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As we move on to different projects I'll collect the stuff from this page and stick it on the Archive page so things can be viewed chronologically. The stuff about the barn roof is on there now.

Chanson de la Semaine

Gone a bit country with this one

'Something I Already Know'

Winter to Summer 2017

I've been dragging my heels posting stuff up this year, so i'll do my best to turn over a new leaf and start becoming a bit more regular. So: to start. I'll begin with the house. Since last i posted we still had to remove the floor in the end bedroom by the stairs. That's been done. After that, the big job was to begin demolishing the dividing wall between the bread oven room and the fireplace room. After supporting the floors with acro props we knocked out holes in the wall, either side of the room, in which we placed concrete blocks (padstones) which were positioned and levelled to support a set of support joists. We then took out a slot right across the room to allow us to slide in the joists. The word 'slide' does create an image of seemless ease, but reality and friction is slightly different. Nevetheless we put in five 5 metre length wooden joists, which rested on the padstones and supported the upper floors. Once they were in place we began the job of demolishing the wall underneath. We're leaving a metre width of wall either side of the room as a joist support and to act as a potential buttress for the house walls. What i neglected to add here was that, through the process of padstone and joist lifting and carrying, we had the help of our always unflagging and enthusiastic american team: namely, Rog and Barb, bro and sis. Their work outside was even more heroic, but more of that later. So, the pics below are of the

While all the demolition was going on inside, outside we had to organise places for the rocks and hardcore to go and also, i wanted to finish off the dividing trellis between the garden and the veg plot. The paths in the veg plot were dug out and the soil was piled into the raised beds. That meant that we now had a place to put all that hardcore coming out of the house and, at the same time providing the raised beds with good quality soil. Barb and i took a day to cut and fix the horizontal slats.
The Gabions
While we were fixing the trellis slats, rog had the delightful job of digging a level trench to accomodate a row of gabions we wanted to install. The purpose of the gabions was twofold: they were to define the two levels of the garden, so, rather than a slope we had a series of terraces. The second purpose was to take all the stone coming out of the wall and give it a permanent home. The problem we experienced with our first renovation was what to do with all the material produced. Mostly it got moved to from one part of the terrain to the other: lots of man hours. This time round we've been trying to avoid that as much as poss. That's the reason for the hardcore on the veg plot paths. Barb provided the technical knowhow, constructing the gabions from the kits, while rog hit a lot of things with mallets.
The Garden
Barb and I marked out the position of the future garden beds, which surround a circular lawn to the side of the veg plots. We covered them with cardboard and old carpets so, come the autumn, it should be nicely composted and ready for planting. There is already stuff planted there and it's doing really well.
The Veg Plot
As previously mentioned, the paths surrounding the raised beds have been home to all the hardcore coming out of the house. The final path, which adjoins our neighbour's orchard has been cleared and freed up foreven more dumping space. Yipee!!! We've been planting out the raised beds with the usual summer stuff, tomatoes, fruit bushes etc. At the edge, against the trellis is, what will be, the espaliaded fruit trees. I'll train them in autumn. We sowed meadow flowers in the spare beds, just for a bit of colour.
Barb Pics
Finally i always like to include a few of the pics barb takes because they're unique, wonderful and reflect something we'd never see ourselves. There is quite a number of them on this page as well as the ones below and all are typified, in contrast to my own, by a professionally framed, focused shot. Oh well.