What a relief to be able to leave the house without a full haute couture five layers and rubber wellies, green of course, the snow is practically gone except where the tractors have made “encounters of the third kind” mountains and where the snow lies in a no sun zone and is destined to stay there until April. I have had to walk HOSS around the block rather than let him run on the lawns because the garden is a lake, pretty, but a lake non the less. I had forgotten how good it feels to power walk on the road and as we live in a one way system we can walk facing the traffic, one tractor an hour and be safe. I put HOSS’s body harness on as he is OK off the lead but I do need a way of restraining him and clipping a lead on and off is a drag, so with the handle on his back it is like walking with a four legged suitcase, but not going on holiday. I also put the harness on after reading Alex’s horror story of his beagle falling though ice and I hoped that with the handle on HOSS's back I stood a good chance of hauling him out of trouble, at 44 kilos though I think I was probably in pick-your-dog-up coo coo land.
The builder made a surprise visit at lunch time today and fitted the liner in the chimney. He is a young-ish bloke and as I had reported in an earlier blog that I suspected he was retired and saw a niche market building for the ex pats here, well, I was wrong and he is running a pukka business and is very energetic and efficient. He even helped Mike get the cuisiniere into the fire place and we got the whole job up and completed so all we had to do was light it, which we have, and I can not describe the joy and satisfaction of having our own little wood burning cooker cooking away heating up water and warming our tea cakes. I feel that we have met one of our big wants in having a self sufficient heat source because little branches of wood are abundant in the hedge row and now well worth harvesting …for free.