Further progress with the house and garden

Empty room © Ricky Yates

At the end of an earlier blog post entitled ‘Finishing touches and next steps‘, I posted this picture of one end of the small room behind the kitchen and stated: ‘My plan is to decorate it to get rid of all the orange 😉 and then get Elefant to fit further matching units along the wall on the right, to store all those things that didn’t fit in the kitchen’.


On Wednesday 23rd May, just over two months after I wrote that post, my plan came to fruition when Martin from Elefant, came and fitted my chosen units. Before that, I spent many hours over several days, removing unwanted things attached to, or sticking out from, the walls, and filling the resultant holes. I then applied one coat of white emulsion to the ceiling and two coats, (because of the orange 🙁 ), to the walls. Below is a photograph of what has been achieved.



Room decorated & new units fitted © Ricky Yates

My apologies but, because of the size of the room, or more realistically, the lack of size, it is impossible to get a better photograph to illustrate what has been done. And I do still need to gloss paint the metal door frame, part of which you can see in the photo, as well as the window frame which you cannot see.

A year ago, at the end of a blog post entitled ‘Plenty to keep me occupied‘, I posted the photograph below, of an unsightly pile of earth in the back garden, that I wanted to get removed. As that earlier post explains, its origin was from the building of a retaining wall to hold back the earth at the back of the house, to prevent problems with damp.

To be removed 🙁 © Ricky Yates

Some months ago, I discovered that Rudolf Cebiš from the village, (Ruda to his friends 😉 ), owned a mini digger. I approached him and asked if he would be willing to come and rid me of my unwanted pile of earth. I did so, over a beer in Restaurace U Soni, in a mixture of limited Czech, sign language, and showing him this photograph taken in March this year.

The pile of earth in March 2018 © Ricky Yates

Ruda agreed to do so. However, a combination of the mini digger being used on other work and then breaking down, meant that the day I had longed for, for just over a year, only finally happened on Tuesday 22nd May 2018.

Mini digger being unloaded © Ricky Yates

That afternoon, the mini digger arrived, sitting on a trailer, towed by a tractor, driven by my near neighbour Petr Novak. Here it is, being unloaded on the driveway alongside my back garden, that gives access to the house behind mine. Petr then drove it into the garden, through a gap where a section of fence can easily be removed.

Petr at work © Ricky Yates

Petr soon got to work, breaking up the earth, in advance of it being put into the trailer on the other side of the fence. Various of my neighbours gathered around to watch the fun.

Milan at work © Ricky Yates

Milan, who is my immediate neighbour on the other side, hopped in the cabin and made his contribution to the project!

All gone! © Ricky Yates

Within two hours, all was done. The earth taken away, then the mini digger loaded back onto the trailer, and my fence put back together. Now to landscape the bare patch……

6 comments to Further progress with the house and garden

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,
    Powerful friends are always useful, in this case especially when the power comes from diesel and hydraulics kick started by Pivo!! It’s great to see your plans come to fruition indoors and out. Would the new bare patch be a good place for a bench for a shaded afternoon sit down?

    Your neighbours gathering round and joining in the ‘fun’ reminds me of my childhood in rural Ireland when haymaking or harvesting were much more labour intensive jobs than they are today. Always there would be several neighbours involved in the same work on the same day so a ‘meitheal’ (a group or gathering) would form and move from farm to farm during the day as crop conditions or weather dictated the pace and location of the work. This helped get all the work done in a shorter time and with less hardship while fostering community and neighbourliness. Rose tinted nostalgia Ricky – great in small doses. Thanks for sparking the memory Ricky.

    • Ricky

      Hi Sean,
      It has been very pleasing to see some of my plans come to fruition, especially finally losing that pile of earth! You are not the first person to suggest that the area from where the pile of earth was removed, would make an ideal place for a garden table & chairs 🙂 However, first of all, I want to return it to grass. Fortunately, over this past weekend we had some thunderstorms which broke a long dry spell of weather. The rain got through the trees and softened the ground so today, I spent some time, removing unwanted dandelions, nettles etc, from around the edges of the patch & tomorrow hope to seed it with grass seed.

      The neighbours all coming around to see what was happening was quite fun. Glad to have prompted some childhood memories.

  • Robert E. Doolittle

    Hi Ricky,

    Everything looks wonderful. It does give a person a feeling of accomplishment when everything comes out right. Here in Florida, grass is growing at such a rate that it requires mowing every week. A bare patch like yours in the photo would be green in a month after seeding. I have to work hard to keep my jungle under control. We are in the two worst months (July and August) for comfort, with hurricane season ahead of us.How has the weather been in Czechia? An acquaintance of mine with family in Poland visited there recently and told me that it was as hot as Florida. I am pretty sure it wasn’t as humid.

    My granddaughter is walking from Florence to Rome on the St. Frances way this summer, and that is pretty warm, but she and her companion are 23 years old. I suppose your village is busy with tourists at present.
    Cheers, Bob

    • Ricky

      Hi Bob,

      I did feel a real sense of accomplishment with both the new cupboards being fitted & my pile of earth finally being removed. But since then, I’ve rather ground to a halt with both the house & the garden, not least because of the weather. It has been hot & dry with very little rain, but not humid.

      My best wishes to your granddaughter & her companion. Yes – the tourist season has arrived in Stará Oleška. It was particularly busy over the long weekend 5th-8th July.

  • Stephen Morris

    Ricky: hope you are doing well… and that the quiet blog is simply a reflection of a quiet summer.

    • Ricky

      Stephen: I am doing OK & thank you for asking. I am very aware of not posting here since early June. It is a reflection of an extremely hot & sticky summer which Central Europe has been experiencing these past two & a half months which has not been conducive to writing coherently. It is a situation I hope to correct very shortly.