Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Day 8: Picking and Pulling
We got to work earlier this morning, taking advantage of the bright sun while it lasted. I got right up on the ladder, and started working on removing the plaster from the outside wall of the house. It's a good workout, and quite satisfying watching large chunks of plaster fall twenty five feet down and crash on the driveway.
After doing this for a little less than two hours, I decided to preserve my back, and move onto a different task. After tea and cake in the garden with Garth, I began weeding. I started working around the house, pulling out the plants growing between the stones in the wall and on the street. I then moved into the garden, and got all the weeds out of the gravel that lines the path through the garden. After considering the damage to the chicken coop wall done by the ivy climbing up it, we decided it should come down, even though it was very romantic. So I spent a while pulling ivy off the walls. It was incredibly tenacious, and only came off in very little chunks.
When this was finished, I moved behind the chicken house structure, and began to weed what will become a little vegetable garden. It had plants easily up to my knee, and probably up to my hip, but they all came out with relative ease when I pulled. I found a toad at least the size of my hand, with the most substantial and expressive head I've ever seen on an amphibian.
I then came in and helped to prepare a lunch of gnocchi with delicious goat cheese, tomatoes, garlic and parsley, and bread with an amazing hard sheep's cheese.
After lunch, I headed back up the ladder. Not long after I got up, the thunder started. And then the rain. Just before the storm passed over us, I came inside. Then, the heavens let loose, and it poured. We ran around the house, frantically putting buckets under all the leaks. One whole portion of the house is completely unfinished, and has an old, rotten roof that let water pour in like a tap in several locations.
When the rain subsided, I got back up the ladder, and worked until 5:30, at which point half of the house was completely finished. The rain made the plaster soft, making my job much easier.
Garth told me to stop at 5:30, but I still had a lot of energy. I decided to get on the bike. After biking for about 20 minutes, exhaustion caught up with me, and I turned around. I had passed some goats on the side of the road, and when I got back, I headed straight for the goat cheese. I think the prospect of that goat cheese is what got me back up the hill. Nutella and goat cheese is, as would be expected, incredible. Try it. I took a shower, climbed into my loft, and read and slept for about one glorious hour.
After rousing myself from a deep sleep, I walked outside. The most incredible double rainbow spanned across the sky, originating behind the great line of windmills the next hill over. Thirty photos later, I walked back up the hill to Garth's, read the New York Times for a bit, and then we headed to Alvins. Alvin bought several conjoined houses for very cheap years ago, and has been fixing them up since. Each one is eccentric, and unfinished. His project this week is the swimming pool he is building. After going into three houses looking for a corkscrew, we found one, and opened a bottle of rose while alvin finished cooking dinner. We (Garth, Alvin, and an Italian friend and builder Andrea) took dinner in the library of the main house. It's dark; filled with photographs and candles. Dinner was good, and the conversation was hilarious. Between Alvin, Garth and Andrea, they have been all around the world, ran into each other and mutual friends over and over, and been in crazy situations with artists and art collectors.
Dinner was over at midnight. We drove back through the mist, and, when we got back home, the auditions for season seven of So You Think You Can Dance somehow showed up on the computer, so, accordingly we watched it.