The Cool House: It feels like summer

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

It feels like summer

Winter has finally left us and it has turned hot and humid here. We spent Memorial Day in the pool, which was a little chilly but it felt like a very American thing to do. We also barbecued and sat on the deck at the Beach Club to watch the sun set. A very satisfying day all round. We've also accomplished a few things that have been on hold whilst the weather has been so bad: fixing the pond was the major achievement. I was expecting to have to buy a new pump or at least a new cable for the old one but when Steven and his father got it out of the pond and cleaned it it worked first time.
Actually, it worked a little too well: they decided to clean it in the kitchen sink and I arrived just as they plugged it into the socket and water shot 6' in the air and soaked the ceiling and most of the floor, too. So I got a scrubbed floor and ceiling out of the deal; luckily they missed the light fixture by a hair's breadth. It took another couple of days to clean out the accumulated soil and debris from the pond and to angle the flow from the waterfall so it circulates back but I think it's done now and it is very restful to sit on the patio and listen to the water trickling down the rocks.
I have pruned two enormous holly bushes to about a third of their original size and replanted the rhododendrons that were dying off under the hemlocks. I hope they like their new homes. I also uncovered an entire rockery on the southern corner of the south drive, which was a totally unexpected and pleasant surprise. I got Steven to reset some of the stones and it's waiting to be replanted in September.
The final thing was to tackle the kitchen window sill that was completely rotten. We couldn't do this until I had pruned back the holly and the evergreen (above)that were right against that wall. Taking it down dramatically increased the light in the kitchen but also exposed a lot of rotten wood on the sill. I dug out a piece to see if I could fit a "dutchman" but it looked too big a job for me. Then Steven and his father had another go at it before declaring it a workman's task. So today I have a man replacing the entire sill and hopefully we can manage to keep the rain off it and stop any further damage.

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