Well, what a fantastic party that was!
I think we had about 22 people, some of whom hadn’t been there before (score one for the future volunteer force, hopefully!) and many of whom hadn’t been in a while, so I was delighted to welcome old friends and new.
Friday night there were only nine of us, so we managed to fit into the cabin, though I think that was about capacity. It hasn’t even got lifeboats yet! The fairy lights above the table (hung on hooks on the underside of the bed) make a lovely ambiance in the little dining-room nook.
On Saturday, Bob and Simon set about fixing the rope swing, which had fallen off the tyre that’s meant to prevent it harming the tree branch. The spectacle drew something of a crowd.
Bob climbed the rope freehand (with Simon anchoring the other end of a safety rope on his harness that had been thrown over the branch earlier) and strapped himself to the underside of the branch so he could work with the tyre with both hands.
It was all very amusing to the people on the ground.
Bob was triumphantly lowered to the ground by Simon and the rope swing was back in action.
This was meant to be an action shot, but I caught it at just the wrong moment of the swing. So instead, I’ll use it to illustrate the comment that Anna and Lisa both showed some aptitude and enthusiasm for rope climbing and tricks. We all agreed that a full rope course, with ziplines and platforms and rope bridges would be awesome. Sadly, the tree preservation order on the whole plot will probably keep the reality more modest.
Saturday night we built a huge, Elmo-style campfire and roasted the traditional sausages and teryaki steak.
I think this is the best bit about living at Boggart Hall. I will make sure that even when the place becomes civilised and has central heating and running water, we will still have a fire pit and roast sausages.
I also did my first on-site baking in my little plug-in convection oven, with marked success! This is the cakey bit of a sticky toffee pudding, which also had the customary toffee sauce and custard. Went down very well. Much more to come!
The kitchen functioned extremely well, even in its not-quite-finished state. I managed to build the shelf for the “running water” which consists of two brewing buckets with taps, one for drinking water and one for rain water. Makes washing up so much easier. The sink drains into a bucket, which you have to chuck now and again, but it’s a lot more convenient than the old system of two washing-up bowls on the stone wall, rain or shine (or snow).
Bob, Anna and I were delighted to find that there was a little bit of teryaki steak left in the morning, so (lack of refrigeration be damned) we stoked up the remains of the campfire and had steak for breakfast. Bob was charming enough to hold the above pose while I fished out my phone to get the picture.