Plenty to keep me occupied

The empty sitting room © Ricky Yates

Whilst the inside of the new house was left basically clean and emptied of the previous elderly owners’ possessions, the same cannot be said for the garden, or the various outbuildings. I’ve inherited some quite valuable and useful stuff, but also a lot of rubbish and mess that will take quite a lot of time and effort to sort out.

On the positive side, there was a good supply of cut and split logs for the wood burning stove, (the main source of heating in winter), left stacked in the wooden shed in the back garden. Then there was a further stack of cut logs, sitting at the top of the back garden, clearly the unused part of a supply delivered at the beginning of last winter. Last week, Sybille and I spent several hours over two days, moving all of the latter by wheelbarrow, stacking them in the shed, and finally disposing of the ugly bits of plastic sheeting which were meant to be keeping them dry 😉

I’ve also been left quite a number of gardening and building tools. But they were not all in one place but scattered inside or sometimes outside, the various outbuildings. Some seem to just have been left where they were last used, exposed to the joys of a Czech winter! I’ve been slowly gathering them all together and at least putting them somewhere sheltered and dry.

But on the negative side, there is an awful lot of junk that I will need to dispose of somehow. The previous owners were clearly hoarders, unwilling to get rid of anything. The photo below is of one end of the wood shed, which hopefully illustrates my point.

Junk © Ricky Yates

Seeing all of this reminded me of an experience back in 1975. Aided by my then eleven year old nephew, I was clearing out the lean-to building on the side of my widowed mother’s house, which had been the ‘workshop’ of my late father. He too, was a great hoarder. One box we came across had been labelled by my father as ‘Bits & bobs – vaguely useful’ 🙂 There is a lot of stuff left here which also fits into the ‘vaguely useful’ category!

More things ‘vaguely useful’, propped against the shed © Ricky Yates

Circular saw with ‘rain cover’ © Ricky Yates

One thing I am going to have difficulty moving is this. It is an electrically driven circular saw for cutting logs, and is sitting in the middle of the back garden. There is a heavy duty power point in the pantry at the back of the house, which is where I presume the lead sitting under the machine should be plugged in. When it was last used and whether it still works, I do not know, but I’m not keen to find out! Clearly before last winter, the previous owners bought in ready cut logs, rather than using this implement.

Retaining wall © Ricky Yates

All the work that has been done to the house – altering and extending it, seems to have been done well. This retaining wall, built to hold back the earth at the back of the house to prevent problems with damp, was only completed last Autumn. But unfortunately, whoever did the work, (I suspect, a younger relative), didn’t dispose of the earth removed so the retaining wall could be built. It remains as this unsightly pile – another major item on the ‘to be disposed of’ list.

To be removed 🙁 © Ricky Yates

As Sybille said several times during the first week, there will be plenty to keep me occupied 🙂

6 comments to Plenty to keep me occupied

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,

    Sybille is obviously a great and unrecognised philosopher! No doubt future generations will recognise this and there will be many monuments and memorials in her honour – and perhaps a volume or two of her thoughts? 😉 Seriously though, it seems as though the previous owners gave up caring for the property once they decided to sell it and left you to clean up after them. This seems to happen all too often nowadays and the number of houses with scrap filled skips outside is beyond belief.

    I wonder if the circular saw and the heap of subsoil could be combined into a garden feature reflecting the victory of nature over man made technology? Just move the soil to the site of the saw and plant some form of quick growing and colourful ground cover plants to obliterate the mess; then call it an art installation. Who knows there might be a bright future ahead of you in garden design? All I can do is wish you good health and plenty of energy in your ordeal. God bless, Sean.

    • Ricky

      Hi Sean,

      Thank you for your humorous comment & your appreciation of Sybille’s philosophy 🙂

      With regard to the previous owners, I don’t think that they gave up caring for the property; it was more a case that they could no longer manage to care, especially for the garden. It was because of this, that they decided to sell & move to a flat in Decín. However, whilst I have described them as the previous ‘elderly owners’, they are actually only nine years older than me. I just hope I can cope better in nine years time!

      The large heap of subsoil and the circular saw are going to be the most difficult items to deal with. But they will go – eventually. Thank you as always, for both commenting & for your good wishes.

  • Tim Taylor

    Sorry I can’t help this time. Tim. Now a 53 year old nephew.

    • Ricky

      Thanks Tim! I do appreciate that it’s a bit far for you to come. But I suspect you remember the famously labelled box 🙂

  • Having just spent a lot of time and helping DH move or dispose of a lifetime accumulation of ‘bits and bobs – vaguely useful’ 😉 you have my sympathy, Ricky. My tip is take your time. It will all happen in the end, but needn’t all happen at once. 🙂

    • Ricky

      More than once recently, I’ve been thinking of you & DH, trying to sort out & dispose of things from your old house up the hill, as I have been trying to get rid of ‘vaguely useful’ things left behind by the previous owners. I still don’t know what to do about the circular saw and the large pile of earth will need a skip & a couple of men to shift it. But I am slowly getting rid of smaller things, either by visits to the village recycling bins or by making full use of the weekly emptying of my wheelie bin.