We have the letter - our retention is officially through.
Time to breathe a sigh of relief. (Just time to breathe before we see the form to register the development with building control and pay for the privilege .. which we already did in 2009 ... but we'll let that go for now .. no point spoiling a well anticipated moment of relief).
So, it really is time to get back to lovely Leitrim and get our hands dirty again.
Here's what we did on our last visit - clearing the straw that had been left for the horses (that were illegally left on our land).
.. looked at some bare / slightly weedy areas of the vegetable bed, cleared the weeds and ..
.. added the straw on top - to stop any more weeds from thriving too enthusiastically.
So, the vegetable bed is resting under it's straw blanket, awaiting our return.
Of course, inside the house awaits too. Walls to build, plumbing to sort, electricity to get ready for .. it's a long list.
Here in the utility room is a spaghetti junction of pipes for the high pressure plumbing, waiting to be civilized!
This is the heart of the home - the kitchen and dining room. All that wood is for stud walls and architraves (apart from the bath - which we won't try to build walls with). As we make progress the wood pile will decrease to reveal our kitchen / diner to be. Very exciting.
That pile of wood will partially be disappearing upstairs, where we still have all the stud walls to put up .. and the ceiling to finish. There's a LOT of work to do up here. Insulation in the roof, the bathroom to install. Yes, a fair bit of work. Once we have the stud walls up we can sort the electricity, get certified .. and get connected. That will be a milestone. Proper electricity means we can run the water from the well as well as power up the solar hot water panels (how ironic that they need electricity - I wish I had a bit of extra money to get a pv panel to do that job!!) and do all those things we love to do with electricity, light, tools .. computing!!
There's more too, much more - taping and jointing, tiling, laying floors, decorating - lots lots more. I think I'll take it one step at a time for now!