Thursday, August 21, 2008

New apartment in New Jersey

As these pix upload Michele should be signing to take up ownership (with the bank) of a lovely wee apartment in the same complex where she is currently renting. It's early times yet for pix, but here are a few shots taken this morning after the previous owners had vacated. (Actually, at the rate these pix are uploading on dialup in Mexico City there'd almost be time to make a payment off the loan.)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quick trip to the finca

After a couple of days in Mexico City I came over to Coatepec today. I got the 10am bus, was in Coatepec by 4pm and out to look at the work on the coffee land by 4.30. The place is lush, green, and the coffee crop is enormous. The poor old trees are laden over with the weight of the beans. The small outdoor kitchen has been completed alongside the bodega, so everything is in place for the coffee harvest in December and January. It was all looking splendid. I'll go out again tomorrow with Gabriel and think about what next. Meanwhile, here are today's pix.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Top soiling the grounds and sowing the lawn

The many truckloads of rock and gravel that had been trucked in over the past 2 or 3 years to stabilise and level out the ground achieved their purpose at the expense of being an aesthetic blot on the landscape -- the kind of thing that keeps you awake at night when one has run out of academic trivia to angst over.

A few days before leaving we noted that a family down the road had got a load of great-looking topsoil in, so we asked where they had got it from. It came from the same source (Roger Sheppard) as all our gravel. At short notice Roger delivered 8 large dump truck loads of the stuff, along with a truckload of small rock for building up the immediate surrounds to the cottage foundations kin readiness for next winter's inevitable snow.

Once the truckloads were dumped, Roger used a small front end loader to pile the soil nearer the points it would end up in, to make it quicker spreading the stuff. He looked quizzical when we said we wanted it spread and the lawn sown before leaving (2 days later).

Harvey added his back-bending to ours and we had it all laid and sown the evening before we were to leave. It was a close call, and the aches were many and prolonged. But it's down, and Harvey says he'll post pictures of the grass growing, as and when it does.

Painting and flooring the barn

3 solid days of work saw the top (studio) floor of the barn painted, the clip-together flooring installed, and some of the furniture set up. There are still some details to attend to, but the general shape of the top floor is now evident.

Friday, August 01, 2008

First week at the Cove

After finishing the summer teaching we have finally managed to get to the Cove to do some work -- although not as yet a lot of time to take pictures. Here are a few pix of a sunset haze over the Humber Arm, some progress in laying flagstones as part of the wall retaining that needs to be done, a couple of shots of harvey and me laying flooring in the newly painted upstairs of the barn, and a couple of pix of the flagstone birdbath and seat that we got from John Tuach's flagstone quarry along with the conventional flagstones for the wall.