Of course, some things never change! Over the last 6 winters on 'Zindagi', Dave has spent quite a bit of time finding firewood, cutting and splitting it. Back in Lapford, no finding or cutting required just yet - there is a lot of eucalyptus wood to split. It helped to keep us going when we found that our tenants had left us VERY little heating oil in the tank, not good in the cold days of early January!
Some of the plants in the garden have flourished, like this heather in the rockery near the front gate . . .
. . . but neglect has been the main thing that has greeted us, to some extent indoors, but especially in the garden and field. The back garden was full of strawberry beds when we left in 2007. As you can see, the beds are still there, but the strawberries are gone and the weeds are in danger of taking over.
We'll try not to moan on too much, but this should give you an idea. This pile of rubbish is just PART of the accumulation of stuff near the gate, halfway down the field. 'Steptoe's Yard' seems the most appropriate title for it. Promises of the stuff being moved soon. We shall wait and see!
Indoors again, and Val's new 'toy' from the children was a breadmaker. Great to wake to the smell of freshly baked bread in the morning - and even better to eat it!
And so to the decorating! This gives you an idea of the condensation damage in the largest bedroom. It looked a lot worse before we had the heating going again, and fortunately the mould came off when the wallpaper was stripped and the walls and ceiling given a good dose of bleach.
Even better when the reinforcements arrived! Shireen drove down from Glasgow with Thor, picking up Adam in Shrewsbury, to come and have a couple of weeks with us. Adam's bow is not so much decorative as functional: to keep his hair out of his eyes - and out of the paint!
Not all hard work, though! Thor and Adam making elephants out of empty plastic milk bottles . . .
. . . and we met up with Dave's brother Peter and family for a good walk along the River Teign at Fingle Bridge.
Thor and Lottie the Rottweiler enjoyed the water and didn't get TOO wet!