Home / My Rutland Life (Page 3)

  • An autumn Saturday: jumbles and bonfires

    An autumn Saturday: jumbles and bonfires

    Rutland’s first frost of the autumn followed by a day of clear blue skies and sunshine.  A perfect day.  I helped at one of our twice-a-year jumble sales this afternoon, a fund-raising activity that has all but died out, according to the faithful who actually queue up from 1.30 for a 2pm kick-off. Our customers don’t come from our own village but from larger villages nearby and the towns – even from Corby.  It’s a... Continue reading

  • The great wall of Rutland

    The great wall of Rutland

    Now decades of ivy has been cut carefully off the wall and piled high in the front garden, ready for several bonfires, I can see the damage to the wall.  And in fact, the ivy is only the half of it. In one place, the wall has developed curvature of the spine, curling over at the top so that it’s about 12 inches off vertical.  It leans so badly that individual stones are being squeezed... Continue reading

  • Never plant an ivy

    Never plant an ivy

    The old stone wall that forms the boundary between my 18th century cottage and next door runs, with a couple of kinks in it, for about 50 yards from the road at the front to the field at the back. It’s between 6 feet and 9 feet high and provides both houses with privacy. It was swamped in ivy which I’m just getting around to dealing with.  I wrote, care of the letting agency, to... Continue reading

  • Renovating the Garden (1)

    Renovating the Garden (1)

    Now the inside of the cottage is just about finished, it’s time to turn to the garden.  I really need to sort out the driveway before winter, and the broken concrete ‘runway’ and steps which run up to the front door.  I can already see myself performing an undignified back-flip come the first real frosts. And as for the driveway: well, the builders discovered that the disintegrating tarmac had been laid over – wait for... Continue reading

  • Bottling my fruit liqueurs

    This year the hedgerow harvest has passed me by: don’t know how, but it seems to me that the dry spring inhibited Rutland’s sloes and blackberries, which usually hang in profusion in every field and really slow down my dog walking activities. So, no new sloe gin or anything this year. Instead, yesterday I carried out my final filtering of last year’s fruit liqueurs, and put the end result into vintage-style stoppered glass bottles, which... Continue reading

  • A million pheasants

    A million pheasants

    Rutland is knee deep in pheasants, and partridges.  They’re not very bright birds.  I can’t drive to Oakham via the back lanes without weaving around small flocks wandering across the road.  The dog can’t snuffle along a hedgerow without flushing out five, 10 or 20 partridge in a panic. And a favourite field is  now off limits because it’s full of kale, being grown solely for winter cover for game birds, and the gamekeeper’s warned... Continue reading

  • Rutland rush hour hazards

    My city friends will love this. Late for work this morning because, as I returned in the car from walking the dog (a stroll around the village being too tame) I found a small crowd at my garden gate, and six sheep (tups) penned inside the garden. Now, this isn’t as disastrous as it sounds, since the ‘garden’ is a pile of weed-strewn rubble after the cottage renovation – and this is exactly why, when... Continue reading

  • My Rutland Renovation: switches and sockets

    My Rutland Renovation: switches and sockets

    One of my biggest indulgences in renovating the cottage was to splash out on new light switches and sockets throughout, as well as new lights. I do not see the point of putting in a beautiful slate floor, an Arts & Crafts fireplace, replacement cottage-style windows and all the rest, only to spoil the overall effect by keeping white plastic light switches: they’re always at eye level, by the door, where everyone can see them.... Continue reading

  • Season of summer fetes and open gardens

    Every weekend brings another set of difficult decisions. Do I go to that village’s Fete or this village’s Open Gardens? Wherever you go, bright posters advertise yet another summer event. There are just too many to choose from. My own Rutland village, Morcott, held its Fete last Saturday – a happy, family-orientated, hot and sunny afternoon when many Rats were Splatted, Wellies Wanged and home-made Cakes snapped up by yummy mummies too busy to bake.... Continue reading

  • Lark rise to Pilton

    Lark rise to Pilton

    A beautiful morning for walking, though I’m sure even by 9am, I’d missed the best of the day! I took the bridle way to Pilton, along the old line of the railway that once served the ironstone quarries. The dog particularly loves this route, as she can wander off the lead, and there are lots of good smells. For me, it was the sounds that made this morning’s walk: the green cornfields were full of... Continue reading