November of fortunes and misfortunes

October saw our first painted Stable doors and our eldest daughter’s birthday. We had cyclists staying for a visit and we were all geared up for installing our wood burning stove and preparing the Stables for activities. We had one last weekend to relax and meet with Elena’s family before our next steps in the project.

In reality, I was still working on bits and pieces in the mornings of that weekend to fit a door between the hall in the first floor and the staircase. Elena and the kids went to their grandmas in the morning and I joined for lunch. On the Saturday (28th) I stayed the night to come back to work on the Sunday morning and then met the family again for Sunday lunch hoping to restart work on Monday, fresh with energies. broken windowSomeone had followed our movements for a while and when we came back on the Monday morning we found that the back window to our kitchen was totally destroyed and that thieves made their way in. Start November.

There wasn’t much to take, but what they thought was of value they took: Elena’s Mac (my desktop stayed untouched), hard drives, cameras… my camcorder, the kids pocket money box, DIY tools such as a hammer drill, hand drill and a circular saw. Most distressing was the amount of damage they caused, leaving us with an open window up until the time of writing this post. (Let’s not talk about slow reacting insurance companies, we are still waiting for their instruction to go ahead with work). Luckily it wasn’t the new stable doors that they ruined and none of us got hurt. Just a pretty bad start of the month.

An old Becchi stove installed in the stable. Elena’s grandma remembers having these in her school.

The cold was creeping in quickly and I tried to forget about the thieves by immersing myself in fitting a chimney for an old and small stove Elena picked up from a friend. The old clay stove (Becchi) is intended to be used as a temporary fix to heat at least some of the Stable space during the cold months on the occasions we hold activities.

As soon as I finished with the chimney for the Becchi stove, the long awaited wood burning stove was being installed in our living space by Martin and his sons, Lucas and David. Having workers in the house again was some kind of a blessing after the thieves episode as we didn’t feel alone… we could even leave the house for a few hours knowing that Martin and his crew are there. Most of all, we could start imagining how our house would be nice and warm when the work would be finished.

The broken window that kept the chilly breezes running at our backs (and reminded us of the thieves), the rainy spells of that week together with dropping of temperatures made it difficult to pick up the spirits but all was getting sorted in a way, we just needed a bit of patience. Bit by bit some fortunes were heading in our way: my parents came for a visit, our youngest had a birthday celebrated with all his grandparents present, we had our first party in the Stables with special visitors (my dad’s cousin from Switzerland and his son) coming for the occasion. The cat started feeling comfy and cuddly with us and there is finally time to start thinking of the first batch of home brew!

Family and friends kept their moral support high, lots of help and encouragement and within no time we were given as a present an identical camera to the one that has been stolen. So we could keep on capturing the moments. We also found more people interested in the association and having similar ideas to ours so we hope this will create a bigger network.

So now that November is coming to an end…. time to think ahead. Inner doors and curtains are our next small projects as well as starting to brew and tidy up the Stable for activities. Elena is finally getting to organize her workshop with all the old looms and sewing machines.

Farewell November, we will keep you posted very soon. Meanwhile here are some photos:

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