Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Terra-forming II

Quick lunch time trip to the house today, just to see what's what. Well, actually to see what state our grinds are in now that the landscaping chappy and his merry band of diggers have very likely packed up until spring.

Sooooo, instead of my usual wordy blog, I thought I'd do a photo intensive post today. Ok with you lot? Then I'll begin...

Here's the view of the Zurich lake we get when taking the autobahn towards the village where we're building our Huf Haus. Please note the blue waters, radiant blue skies, sun drenched houses, and then dismiss the lot entirely. This is December 13th, so the weather is simply a continuation of the fluke Autumn we've been lucky enough to have this year. Normally December through to February are three months of continuous grey skies, with the odd, and I mean odd sunny day to relieve the monotony. And delay the suicides.

Which is why the Zurich residents escape to the mountains at the drop of a hat. It just so happens that the Autobahn trip to our new home also gives yer a dynamite Alp view.

Oh, the hardship.

Then, after a meandering road through the moraine lands above the lake we get our first glimpse of the village, and, if you look very carefully, our house.

Hmm, now's the time to give the snowline an anxious look. Ooerr, looks to be about 850m. Another couple of degrees off the average temperature, plus a snowy day, and we're up to our necks in it.

And then we arrive. Here's the rather tight and steep cul-de-sac down to our house. One will soon be able to report just how passable this is going to be during the winter months. Ooerr again.

So, here's where the landscaping chappies got to before dropping tools. We have a nice flight of main steps, plus the paving stones are down. Great stuff.

So down the steps for a closer butchers...

...still plenty of view from here...

...ahh, they left a decent gap of earth betwix paving stones and wall. Hmm, wot d'yer reckon? Ferns or moss? Or both? Let's see it from the other side...

...ok, I'm happy.

Hang on? The door's locked and nobody home. Where are the Huf Haus peeps? Probably at lunch somewhere eh? Or back in Germany? Ah well, we're talking about Huf Haus, so I don't have to police the hairy-arsed workers like those poor unfortunates that choose not to build a Huf Haus.

Ok, I'll wipe that smirk off my face. Sorry.

So it's external photos only today, which I suppose is what I popped up here for anyways.

So out again to see the rest of the land around the house. Now we intend to use wooden decking for the rest of the 'paved' areas, plus judicious applications of pebbles for that mock japanese look. One imagines that some time in the future, the mock-japanese look will be just as scorned as the mock-tudor dross that's blighted the Blighty suburbia. Until then, we intend to make hay while the sun shines.

So I climb on a pile of concrete blocks that someone helpfully left here so I can get a view from what will be the westernmost corner of our garden. Not the biggest piece of land, but it does run alongside a whopping big field of grass, which'll visually extend the greenery.

The intention is to leave the boundary between the garden and pasture land as undefined as possible. It'll work well in winter as many Swiss mountain villages up their fences so that the wires don't garotte a passing cross-country skier. However, during the summer months there be moo moo cows in them thar Alps, and they'll be after me begonias they will. Actually, I have a theory that the farmer'll put up one of those electric fences anyway, although one wonders how many times my wee lads'll get zapped before they learn to eat the grass, soil and worms on our side of the fence. Oh the joys of parenthood.

And here's the view from t'other corner. Note the big sliding door in the middle of the house. Oh and the standard Huf Haus balcony, plus the dangly chains which act as drainpipes. I watched water cascade down these a couple of weeks back. Really really neat.

And then we have our twilight zone. This is the north-eastern side of the house, and I think the sunlight situation here is obvious. The gap between house, roof and slope is bigger than the photo gives it credit for, but whatever we do here, it'll be a bit compromised. The landscapers will close most of the hole up leaving a 2m by 3m slot to give some light to those Bastelraum windows yer can see down there. The rest will be more or less level. One supposes that once the plastic wrap's been removed, some sort of stepped terracing cut into the slope, and ground fixing plants put down, we'll have something nice to look at.

Claudia fancies getting plenty of pebbles and stones put into this area, and bamboos and various big grasses. Could be yet more japanification, but only if the grasses can put up with the lower levels of light that we'll have here. Shall do some research on the matter.

And here's the view from the carport area back towards the cul-de-sac. The ground was frosted enough for me not to disappear into the mud. All seems wide enough... in fact the drive way's sooooo wide that I reckon we can remove some of the upper stones from our climbing wall. Shall talk to landscaping chappy when I next see him.

And then a look back towards the carport to confirm we've enough space to drive our cars in. Yep.

I hate to finish a blog post with a photo of a mud bath without the ladies, so I thought this last image would leave a better impression on you. And me.

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