Slow progress

This last week, we have been busy, but we don’t have many photos to show you, as much of the work is continuation of work already started, and/or its stuff you will have seen before. I have done quite a lot of sorting out of our filing system, which seems to be a national sport just at the moment, and Mike has plastered several walls, having managed to get hold of some multifinish. Other new bits include:

This is what remains of the path behind the single storey part of the building, between the building and the gas tank that we recently dug out. I have begun lifting the blocks because we will soon be digging out the path which extends beyond where the ladder is lying above, to clear a fire exit path. This ‘digging out’ depends on Mike’s digger – we have tried digging by hand but it is simply too exhausting – so obviously the digger broke last Friday! The weld holding the tensioning device in place, which keeps the drive chain taut, failed and the chain broke. Mike ordered a new chain, and re-welded the bolt for the tensioning device to the body of the digger (showing centrally below for those with any interest)…

…and this morning the chain still wasn’t here. We tried to burn the stump you can see below. It has been lying on its side for about 3 years, but despite putting several firelighters into cavities drilled into the stump, very little progress was made. We then moved material from another bonfire site over the stump and lit it, hoping the stump would eventually get hot enough to catch.

At 11am, the postie dropped off the drive chain! Great news, so I continued to feed the bonfire, whilst Mike fitted the chain and got the digger going. You can see our current task below: we need to remove about half of the soil, leaving less soil that can be controlled by a simple restraining wall. We also hope that removing some soil will further reveal the beauty of the rock. We then plan to put a very basic planting scheme here so as not to detract from the simply beautiful setting. Most of the excess soil will be taken to the lower garden, ready for grass seeding just before the next rain is forecast, and a small portion reserved for some raised beds we have planned.

I did have a quick go with the digger, but during my stint the drive chain popped off again. We are both pretty convinced there was no causal link between the failure and my driving, but I wasn’t prepared to take the risk so Mike carried on digging whilst I fed the bonfire.

The flames are in front of the stump, and the wind is blowing them back towards it, but at the end of the day we seem to have made no progress in reducing this massive problem. I will just have to return to YouTube to see if we can find more suggestions on how to solve this ticklish problem.

Tomorrow we will continue digging out the soil, and then we have a four-day weekend to enjoy a little break. We are beyond happy that the local builders merchants reopened earlier this week, and our rather substantial order should be delivered next Tuesday. With the cold weather forecast, we may soon wish to return to the interior work and with the consumables on their way, its time to enjoy a little break.

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