At long, long last...Himself says we can hire a skip for a few days. A skip, for those who don't know, is a big metal thing to put rubbish in...old lawnmowers and that sort of rubbish. Then a lorry comes and takes it away and you are rubbish free!
It's a bit expensive...about one hundred euro I think...but taking stuff in the car to the recycling place is ok for small items...not for heaps of rusting metal which Himself thought 'might come in useful'...and there's an ancient range which is in bits and all manner of plain rubbish. Broken plastic flower trays especially...for some reason we have a mountain of them in what I laughingly refer to as 'The Potting Shed'...
And it was the potting shed which finally persuaded Himself to get a skip...he's spent the best part of the afternoon trying to tidy it up so I waited until he said he it was a seriously depressing task and, choosing my words carefully, said brightly, Perhaps we should get a skip?
We have several beautifully built stone sheds...the little one which I think was used to house the donkey because it has a horseshoe hammered into the wall at the end...probably used to hold the tether. Then there is the big barn which abuts it and opens out onto our little field. Down the garden path is what we suspect was probably another cottage...one side has proper manmade holes all over one wall for chickens to lay in...and the roof is made from huge timbers cut straight from the hedgerow. They are awful rotten now. The other room is now Himselfs shed but it used to be for the pig...there is a flag stone yard surrounded by a wall outside it...and the room has a small fireplace which works perfectly.
Then across the yard from the back door of the cottage is a very big barn...that is a relatively recent addition because it's built of concrete blocks...and in front of it is a Dutch barn, but Himself has built walls to enclose it...we keep the hay and straw and feed in there. To the right of that is the old turf shed...very old I think. One part is for the two old donkeys and the other part is for the turf and coal. The younger donkeys...Christy and Henry, live in the newer barn in the winter because they need the space.
When we first came to see the cottage the yard was totally overgrown with head high grass and nettles and thistles...there were two small ponies lurking in the undergrowth...don't know whose they were...but because of the vast amounts of vegetation and the fact the Estate Agent was dressed in an immaculate suit with highly polished shoes and didn't want to walk any further into the jungle than was absolutely necessary...we had no idea the old 'cottage' was down at the end of our land...we didn't even know the river ran through either...he gave us the key as soon as we'd paid the deposit, times have changed now mind you...and it was only when we made our way to the end of what is now the yard, that we found the old building...the little flag-stoned yard...and the river with its rickety little bridge.
There was a sign on the bridge then...Not Suitable for Vehicular Traffic...but the poor sign fell into a heap of sawdust and rot when I picked it up. When the surrounding land belonged to our cottage, people used to bring their hay and turf over the little bridge and then out through our yard and I have a feeling that right of way still existed when we bought the place...
And in the old pigsty was a huge wooden box full to the brim with neatly wound balls of thick, coarse twine...every ball was the same size. But, again, when we picked the string balls up they fell to bits...long years of being left, and rats and mice making their beds in them had rendered them useless.
There weren't any rusting lawnmowers or plastic flower pots though...