Friday, February 26, 2021

Project cottage: the excavation has started

We've had a few days with lovely weather, the snow has melted, and if it were up to me it wouldn't come back. For now, the great outdoors is green and welcoming again. The first spring flowers have even popped their adorable little heads out of the ground. 

Milder weather means the dogs and I have resumed work on "project cottage." I work and they watch, looking like: 

"She's sure doing that backwards." 

"Should we tell her?" 

"Nah, it's more entertaining this way." 

I've been trying to fix the door - some hooligan kicked it in and destroyed the hinges. When I first spotted the cottage I thought it didn't even have a door, because one half had collapsed. 

It's not perfect yet, but it is an improvement. And with some more time and work I think it will become a decent door again.

Inside the cottage, one of the ceiling tiles has fallen down. They're far from original - deeming from the material they were probably put up in the 1950s - but that's not the interesting part. It shows an old layer of newspaper in the ceiling that belongs to a more original ceiling covering. The newspaper is dated 1896 and has ads for the White Star Line that would eventually build the Titanic.

I would guess the cottage itself is even older, but I don't have any proof of that besides a hunch. Some details look much older. Of course, they may have been reused from another building.

Anyway, I've been looking forward to the snow disappearing and the ground thawing, because there's a good deal of digging to be done. 40 years of sediments has built up small mountains of soil, and all this must be removed - before I do anything else. I'm not particularly good at digging, but I'm hoping this soil will be fairly soft and easy to move. 

I wanted to start with digging around the front door, partly because it will be easier to get in and out without having to climb and crouch to get through the door, and partly because it's impossible to close the door.

Many of these older houses without a porch has a slab of rock or something in front of the door, and I was hoping to find something like that. Guess what? Reality is even better. 😍

I found stairs!

There's one more step that's currently below ground level - three total. All this has been hidden under 40 years of sediment build-up. I stood on the top step with a feeling of awe. I am the first person to use it for four decades, how cool is that!

I didn't have time to complete the excavation today - I had to go home and get ready for work - but that's probably a good thing or I'd have to roll out of bed tomorrow. (My muscles are already complaining, lol.) But, weather and Mother Nature willing, I'll be able to show a photo of the cottage with stairs soon! 


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