Cottage News

2020 started well with GP rammed for New Year and with loads of bookings, one of these from a certain NE University got a bit out of hand when the ‘students’ starting lobbing £40 bottles of malt whiskey around [couldn’t afford that sort of thing in my day!].

The AGM was reasonably well attended but was accompanied by the storm-of-the year which knocked out the power and surrounded the cottage with a moat so that we had to conduct the AGM with emergency lighting. Linda cooked us a nice meal (good job we still had some gas hobs).

Then of course we got the dreaded lockdown so since then it has hardly been used. There was a £10,000 grant on offer which many of the other clubs apparently took up but after some discussion we decided that as we never normally got anything like that it wouldn’t be right to claim it, however we have applied for the Welsh grant to cover the second lockdown. We have received £3,000 and so have more than covered our operating costs and will pay for most of the windows and door replacement!

At the AGM we decided to replace the gas cooker with a new[!] electric one which was done for about £150 . For the lockdown, I drained the utility shed of water. Unfortunately this allowed oxygen into the water heater which meant that it rusted away so Charlie carried out a major revamp of the system; the electric shower from inside is now in there. This has the advantage that you don’t have warm up the water first. The cottage only has an 60 amp supply so if everything was on we could get close to this; we now have a current usage display below the meter box. If you see this showing “60” turn something off, e.g. the cooker or shower. There are spare main fuses in the meter box in the unlikely event it blows.

Also at the AGM, someone said we should establish our ‘green credentials’ by spending thousands on solar panels but as we are not there most of the time we thought that we (and the planet) would not really benefit so I suggested that we replace the front door and front window with double-glazed, draught-free ones and this was agreed. After lengthy investigations and several quotes, we have agreed for the work to be done for about £3,500 by a friend of Paul Richards (Frondeg) who is approved for this type of work. At the time of writing, this has not been done due to the dreaded lockdown blight and also because we specified ‘black’. The objective was to keep the cottage looking the same as possible but without the endless repairs to rotting wooden windows. Hopefully we will have achieved this as compromises have had to be made mainly to ensure fire exit rules etc. Next year we may do the same with the back door.

You need to bring your own pillows for the foreseeable future and there is some talk of a late/early Xmas dinner or maybe a hog roast if and when ‘normal’ activity resumes.

If anyone has an upright vacuum cleaner they don’t want let me know as Skippy (MK 2) has not survived deep cleaning usage.

We also need to thank Paul Richards in Frondeg (next door) for cutting our grass and keeping an eye on Godre Pentre during the lock down.

To get some use of the cottage I attempted to comply with the rules to allow two ‘groups’ to use the cottage at once by separating facilities and came up with the ‘Cummins go anywhere shower ‘, see next...

Chris Crowley