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If we are going to be able to heat water then it would be good to have some, and barrells will not be enough. We sent for quotations for suitable water storage tanks to put under ground. We got some outragious prices from €2,500 - €4,500. We managed to source a 3.500 ltr. tank locally which they delivered to Dave's the same day for €700. Now we needed a big hole ! A local man collected and delivered our digger from Gortigara.

Liam brought the tank up the lane on the buck rake of his tractor as Jimmy started to dig.
On it's way
Rain is forecast
Once the hole was big enough, a pipe and fitting were connected to the base before lowering the tank in.It was all hands on deck as the walls of the hole were caving in as some layers were pure sand and darkness was not far away.


Lined the base and walls of the hole with insulation to prevent freezing, then the soil was filled back in, and when I say that it was not as simple as it sounds, believe me... We needed water to flow into the tank, quickly some guttering was put in place as darkness was falling and rain was not far away. Now let it pour... we just had to wait.

Plumbing pipes are put into the attic and brought down to the kitchen and into the back of the fireplace in preparation for the range. The range arrived, again it was Liam to the rescue with his trustee tractor and buck rake, as the boreeen to our lane is not wide enough for deliveries. It is heavier than the small crate looks, so it has to be dismantled and brought in piece by piece. The main body is still very heavy so it takes time and careful manoevers to get it in. We are thankful for help.
A piece at a time



The legs are the next task, easy does it. Then a hole needs to be hammered out of the fire breast for the flue which we connect to a flexible flue. It's a mighty job.
reinforced with steel


15th February. Day 1 with our new Stanley.

It is like having a new baby in the house, we can't keep from looking at it, checking to see if it is still breathing, as there is no smoke we can't tell if it is still lighting. Soon we are aware that it is lighting as it is untouchable, the kettle is singing, soup is simmering all plates and oven are hot 'too hot'. We are experimenting with heat settings. It is wet and windy in the west today but our little kitchen is so snug. It will take a bit of getting used to, having such powerfully hot cooking rings and maybe some burnt offerings !!











The beauty of the place takes our mind off our work as does the power of this mystical sunset.










Next it was the turn of indoor water storage. We put a double coil insulated copper cylinder and a large storage and expansion tank into the attic. This should cater for the solar water heating later on.
work to be done
More Power












then I went for a pump suitable to pump water from underground into the attic, but alas it was not fit for the job so back to Ballyhaunis for more power, better luck this time.


Oh my ! we have a tap in our kitchen, and with hot water. This is a moment for pause as not only will it give us much pleasure but there has never been water in this kitchen before, hot or cold. How lucky are we ? No more fetching water or chopping sticks in the mornings before breakfast.The Belfast sink which was the only surviving item,(it was in the back scullery), we will replace the basin with it when ready.
We have sourced two old cast iron radiators in the buy and sell, we will need to release hot water from the system into them. We picked up the radiators in Co. Monaghan on our way back from a trip to Dublin, as soon as our backs were turned it snowed. When we arrived back this is how the lane looked, by morning it was nowhere to be seen. Let it snow let it snow......























Disaster strikes

After getting off to a mucky start it is time to re-think the tank situation. We had put it below ground for frost protection but due to heavy rain and very soft ground it caved in slightly,so it was decided to remove it again and place it in an old shed and insulate it. This was a difficult task in the tank was none the better for in the face of disaster we get down and dirty...
Working in tight spaces
This shed was hoping that it would be useful for something and not be overlooked just because it isn't as beautiful as the others. Everything has a worthwhile use here. Above ground this time, we now have a water house. A place for the tank and pump. Firstly we will put in an insulated floor, raise the walls and replace the roof.

Now to make the necessary adjustments, firstly the dints had to be pushed out, from the inside. Then some minor repairs caused during the lifting process as the suction of the wet soil had a tight grip. Will this flexible sealant be strong enough? we will know when it rains. We are anxious to get it repaired or replaced before the weather dries up, as rainwater will be our only source of water. We have the river put there is a lot of peat in it, which would clog up the pipes and would be unsuitable for drinking.


Water water everywhere !!

Should we swim in it, or drink it. When it rains, it rains. The yard is wet and sloppy, the mighty little digger is busy opening drains, clearing and shifting. Will it be up to shifting this giant stone which has probably been lying here since the ice age.


Where's me wellies?
Island in the stream
With a lot of huffing and puffing it's out of the water. It will make a beautiful feature in the garden.











New Home

The once tin roof is now just a skeleton, once removed we rolled the tank up and then down a plank to fit it in. connections need to be modified to fit. Now it is ready for the rain. Before next winter we will re roof and use strawbale insulation around the tank.
Just right for the job
A perfect fit
Once again we are working with the weather, the dry spell continues so we raise the walls of the 'now' pump house about 2' . The stone at this front window is unsafe so we have made the opening bigger and use an old window to let in more light. The roof goes on too with no damage to the overhanging trees. The forecast is for a change at the weekend. The now beautiful little pump house is functional and just needs some finishing touches at a later date and rain to fill the tank. It hasn't rained since we installed it.



To be continued