The Words of the Stout Family

Cleeve House Project

Michael Stout
August 29, 2004
Great Britain

Last weekend, after having been given the all-clear from HQ, the Cleeve House restoration project started. Since dead materials drain life energy, we've commenced by felling and clearing long-deceased trees; and removing the dense thickets of one inch diameter brambles that had been occupying potential children's playing areas

It took most of the weekend to clear the area around the old sheds; but now there is a totally different view from the back of the house to the left; and clearing the dead trees at the bottom of the field has opened up a brand new vista beyond the valley

Many thanks to Jonathan Haines, Raemonn and Jonathan Bateman, Ruth Johnson, and Diana, Gloria and David Stout who all kept going at the unkempt vegetation, dragging it to the bonfire, and managing the bonfire itself. Daniel Johnson single-handedly cleared the long dividing stretch of weeds at the bottom of the field

At the end of the day, Barbara laid on a sumptuous al fresco meal, and Carlo demonstrated how to make a barbecue from wood

For myself, it was a great lesson in woodland management; and I could understand why it had been impossible for just one family to keep up with the work

There will be more opportunities this week, for anyone who wants a different day out. No cost, fresh air, plenty of natural exercise, great comradeship, a wonderful sense of accomplishment, and topped off with a scrumptious feast

If you wish to join in the fun, contact Carlo on 07780 980215, or myself on 07711 843663. You'll need long, strong, old shirts and trousers. If you can supply transport, then let us know how many spaces you have in your car for others who need it. Right now, we're giving Cleeve House the loving care and self-respect it needs to host the Gathering next Sunday

Finally, we got on really well with the neighbours, Richard and Karen. Easy to remember, being the names of the Carpenters; and in reminiscence of a song by the eponymous couple, "We've only just begun..."

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