Way back in December 2005 we finished the thatched roof on the lounge and dining room, and thatcher Paul gave us a thatched kiwi for Christmas to decorate the roof ridge. We didn't have a long enough ladder at the time to reach, so we parked the kiwi quietly in storage. Now, two and a half years later, with our recently acquired 6m ladder we decided it was time to give kiwi pride of place on the link's gable ridge.



The builders were due to crack on this month, laying flagstones on the patio to match those in the link. Unfortunately they only appeared briefly, laying a few courses of stone facing around the sides of the patio, before vanishing again.





We're still finishing off details in the lounge. This month we attacked a particularly rough section of plaster patching in the corner beneath the mezzanine. After a long spell of scraping and sanding we got the plaster mostly smooth, then gave it a quick undercoat before rolling on a couple of coats of taupe and we also touched up the rest of the wall while we were at it. Job done.



We were also busy in the mezzanine study, with more plaster sanding and painting, then laid down a temporary carpet and furnished it with temporary desks and cabinets. All these temporary fittings will have to be replaced, but at least it gives us an opportunity to try some layout options before committing to big, handmade desks.





Our next major phase of work will be insulating, dry-lining and plastering our master bedroom. Before we can start that, however, we have to clear out all the old timbers, building materials and the tool collection currently filling the bedroom and ensuite. That in turn means we need to find somewhere to put everything, so we decided we need a wood store.



We found a suitable spot in the far corner of the field beside the Portakabin, then trawled through our scrap wood collection to recycle materials to make a wooden frame, particle board roof and corrugated rubber roof cladding. With a couple of levels of racking we should be able to stack all the old timbers in under cover, ready for recycling into fixtures and furniture in the not-too-distant future.



We've had more visitors this month: Steph and Adam called in for a couple for days with their girls during their tour through the UK and France. We had a great time catching up with them, then a few days later Ray and Katy arrived from Paris, on the train all the way to Northampton. We had a couple of weeks with them interspersed with trips out and about to London and the south coast. Thankfully we enjoyed some spectacular summer weather, giving us plenty of opportunities for outdoor living, with a big bonfire and barbecue night, and several days dining al fresco in the field.