Work Party

Well. It’s been a busy few days.

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A giant work party was on the horizon last week, so I though it was time to decant a bunch of last year’s fruit gin. This picture was shortly before the bottle, left unattended, ran over and soaked my laptop. Happily, it seems fine now, having dried out.

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The orange sherbet rose is out in full force, smelling amazing and adding to the generally cheerful atmosphere.

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We went for a walk on Thursday and picked some of the first bilberries, but then met two really cute ponies on the way home and lost half the crop to them.

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Anna’s friend Alice came for a visit and was most helpful, particularly when the sand delivery only made it as far as the bottom of the hill, and we had to shovel it into buckets and drive it up in the car. It took three trips, which wasn’t so bad.

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The lime putty is getting really good. I opened a tub of it that had been sitting around a long time, half empty and not particularly well lidded, but it was fine, and made a fantastic slurry with some long straw to fill in some bits. Nicola and Rob did a beautiful job making some very concave bits come out flat.

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And Lea and Catie helped me remedy a mistake I’d made with the wall rendering. First we knocked off the old render at the bottom.

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Then Catie attached the bell cast bead, which is a sort of long plastic tray you render down to and it forms a drip edge so your walls don’t shed directly on your concrete.

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That should help with some of the damp. Meanwhile, Anna cleaned the roof. It was practically becoming a green roof, but not the good kind. Kate did some gardening, of the sort where you dig out all the weeds and stick down some black plastic. We need a lot of that around here.

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I think we had 16 or 17 people on site at one point.

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Lea’s gift of plantains went down well although sadly she’d left by the time we ate them.

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Teams of people set about removing some of the straw from around the windows. Another remedy for a bit of a mistake made in the early stages, where the posts weren’t sited where they needed to be for the windows. So now we have to invent a window installation method. Luckily, we’ve got Nora to help. Kate and Sam, below, are doing a marvellous job with cutting, splicing and hitching the baling twine.

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Bob and Jen doing the same.

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So that Nora can come in with her chainsaw and prepare the ground.

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Meanwhile Ryan cut the sills to length (while Esther took careful measurements for the front glazing later on) and Rob and Christopher oiled the sills ready to be put in.

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Steven helped make the sill steadying triangulation devices (part of the aforementioned completely newly invented window installation method.)

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And we were ready to put in the glass.

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It’s all pretty complicated and I have a lot of windows to do, but at least I have some idea what I’m doing now. So more on this later I guess.

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