How are the mighty fallen…onto the breaker

We have been having great fun this week. You might remember Rocky, which we uncovered as we were installing a new oil tank last year. Rocky was roughly a cubic metre of obstruction to our plans and last June we drilled it and poured a chemical breaker into the holes. This resulted in half the stone splitting into about seven bits, all of which were still too heavy for us to move!

Roll on six months, and we decided to give up on chemical solutions and try mechanical ones. You see above Mike attacking Rocky with our biggest breaker ( and yes, we do seem to have a choice of breakers)…

… having previously moved the broken fragments a few metres away where they are not obstructing our progress.

Turns out, having left Rocky for a few months, the large shards had split further into the buried rock and Mike was now able to manhandle them into a wheelbarrow and away. We will worry about breaking these large pieces down further next week. Once we had completely broken Rocky up, we had access to the huge pile of earth and rubble that is obstructing the path that we need to create the fire exit that we have been asked to put into the long corridor.

Unfortunately for us, the gap between the building and the rock to the right is very narrow. We could have just about got the digger through this gap, but without enough room for the top to swivel so there was not way to remove anything we dug. That left only one solution: we had to dig by hand…

…and after we had hand-dug about 18 wheelbarrow-loads, the space became just large enough for…

…Mike and his favourite toy. After about 15 minutes, we had filled and moved more barrow-loads and a sizable area had opened up for our work. We have slowed down a little now as there is a huge bottle dump either side of the trench we dug last summer, and we are having a careful look to see if anything of interest has been buried here.

As you can see there is plenty of material for us to sift through!

By lunch time, we had had enough of being drizzled on so we parked the digger in our super new clearing and found other things to do inside for the afternoon. We will probably be inside for the next few days as the forecast shows heavy rain until Thursday, but I hope it will let up then as Mike and I really have the bit between our teeth now and are keen to finish clearing this area. I hope to be able to let you know more next Monday…

4 thoughts on “How are the mighty fallen…onto the breaker

  1. Hi Carrie,
    Glad to see that you’ve finally persuaded Rocky to move itself.
    It’s a shame that you can no longer return bottles to the off-licence and get some money back from your bottle dump. It would have been worth the trip. Did you find anything interesting in there? Hope the weather doesn’t prevent you from cracking on, althought I bet that you can find plenty to to both indoors and out.
    Take Care

    1. Hi Kim,
      Shaun (a neighbour and keen amateur historian) has taken several bottles away and tells us they are mostly 1950s bottles, and some are medicinal so he will let us know if any are of interest or value. We also found a glass battery which we will be putting into a display case or similar.
      We’ve had snow today so might have to find an inside job until we can see things better but as you say we are not short of jobs which, at the moment, is a very good thing.
      All the best

  2. Hello Carrier & Mike and All,
    I have been binge reading your blog, some I read a while back, it’s great to read and see how you are getting along, I often think of you all when I wander past your home on Church Road.
    I can only admire you and stand in awe of what you have taken on but you are clearly getting on with it all, it just tells me what an observer I am but I would enjoy being outdoors in the garden.
    How lucky we have been these last 12 months to have outside space and to live rurally.
    I hope that your plans have not been put back too much because of these strange times we are living through
    Best wishes to you all, Julie

    1. Dear Julie
      How wonderful to hear from you!!! I am thrilled that you have been checking up on our progress, and you are quite right: this lockdown experience must be terrible for folk living in inner cities, or in flats with no garden. Or no grand project to keep them busy.
      We have been very lucky. We closed the cafe last March and are unlikely to reopen any time soon, partly because this area has a very low population until visitors arrive, and partly because we had to make all our staff redundant last year, so would need to recruit again etc etc before we could reopen. The hotel part has been closed for the majority of the year, but we were very busy last July-September, so have been able to pay our biggest bills. But this has left us with plenty of time on our hands to do the rebuilding work, especially the really mucky bits, as there are no customers on site to worry about. If you are ever in this part of the world, please do come and stay with us – we have plenty of bedrooms for friends, and Penny Woodley can let you know about some of the local attractions!
      We have finally managed to contact our architect this week so are hoping we might finally get planning permission soon, and be able to start the ‘serious’ building work, but we are currently having a long weekend as we are finding we keep trying to tackle more than our aging bones can manage…
      We love to you, and all who might remember us, and remember to stay safe, Carrie

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