Our first bit of good news is that the builders came in to look at the considerable damage caused by a leak in the bathroom pipework. We were dreading the cost of correcting it. We have now discovered that our insurance covers the work, which we are delighted about and the guys have been in and found three leeks in the pipework, which they have mended and we are now waiting to see if the floor starts to dry out or if there are more that haven't yet been discovered. So at the moment we have one of the bedrooms and it's en-suite in complete disarray while we play the waiting game.
The bathroom has no toilet ......
.... and no sink
and the bedroom has only half a floor!
We failed in our intention to finish hard landscaping the back garden last year, but should definitely be able to finish it this year. The raised beds are all finished and the paving is all laid now, the barbecue and outdoor oven are in the process of being built. I am so looking forward to them being up and running. Once we have finished building them, then the last wall can be built and it should then start to resemble the courtyard garden that we envisaged. We have had to leave this wall until last as it is much easier to cart in concrete, paving slabs etc. before building it. We have high hopes that by the summer we will finally be able to start enjoying al fresco dinners in our lovely new garden.
I have a way to go with the planting yet, but hopefully with the building nearing completion there will be a little more money available for me to be able to spend on plants instead of having to spend any spare pennies on building materials.
After the severe cold spell several plants have been frost damaged and we are waiting to see if they recover or if it is a permanent goodbye. The biggest potential loss is the lemon tree. We were told that it is not possible to grow lemons up in Uzumlu because of the colder temperatures, but we tried anyway and had nurtured our tree through two winters by wrapping it in fleece and plastic in the cold weather. This year we had lemons on it for the first time, but it has been damaged by the frost so fingers crossed that it survives. I also have three young avocado trees that I have grown from the stones from bought avocados we have eaten. We did plant an avocado tree in the garden about five years ago, but lost it the first winter, so I have kept these in pots and consequently moved them into the house so at least they are safe from the frost.
But the really good news is that after a 17 year courtship, my daughter's partner whisked her off for a surprise weekend in Amsterdam, where she was wined and dined and then taken to the love bridge where they attached a padlock and he dropped down on one knee and proposed to her in front of all the passers by. How romantic is that! It may have taken a while but at least the proposal when it did come was planned and carried out in style. All their relatives and friends are delighted, with some saying "About bloody time!" and some saying "Are you sure you really know each other well enough for marriage?"
The soon to be Mr and Mrs Halsey in Amsterdam
Padlock fixed to the love bridge in Amsterdam