Steeling ourselves for the future

In our ongoing efforts to (a) make this building glorious again and (b) try to forget our current circumstances, I plan to show you we have completed some minging jobs which no one in their right minds would undertake for fun. Sorry, not sure where that came from, but I have read and heard so many weird things that I simply can’t believe over the last few days that I think it is affecting my writing style…

You may recall we are having to dig out this ‘spoil’ – currently at about 5 foot deep – to clear what will become an emergency escape route. There is a huge rock at the entrance to this clearing which prevents us mechanising this stage so…

…we pull the waste down with a pick and/or rake, fill buckets, and then take the spoil away. Some is soil, some is old builders rubble, and rather disgustingly some is an old glass graveyard. I have moved countless old broken bottles and shards of glass, and there is still much more to move. This technique is relatively efficient, but exhausting so…

…we let Charley give us a hand in the late afternoon of the day we ‘broke through’ whilst I went for a sit down.

The trench now runs from behind the single storey extension right through to behind the long (cloister) corridor. We just need to move lots more spoil and the escape path will be ready for use.

At the other end of the trench is Rocky, the large block to our mechanising the task. We have not yet managed to move it, but we have spoken to someone with a brilliant plan. When some materials arrive, we will be able to show you how we plan to deal with it.

In the meantime, someone has scuffed up my lovely new lawn-seedings…

…clearly they had an urgent need to practice their three-point turn, but did it really have to be here?

With the cafe and rooms shut, we have -rather decadently – taken to actually having weekends off. But this Bank Holiday Monday, I asked Mike to take pity on me and help me finish demolishing the chicken shed because it had become rather unstable, and I wasn’t strong enough to give it the coup de grace. Mike and the sledgehammer got busy, whilst I moved waste away…

…until the point when we leant against a front corner each and pushed it over. We then took the roof apart and lifted the wooden floor before moving the wood away, leaving just the slate waste that was under the floor to move another day.

The rubbish is now piled up awaiting the next stage, but my relief at having removed the rotten, smelly, unstable eyesore of a shed is profound.

Another great relief is that we have moved the old emergency stair case, which has been stranded for a couple of years on the rock behind the building because they were too heavy to move. One of our near neighbours, Niall Barker, used his arc welding gear to cut them apart and move them to the car park, and is currently welding the sections all back together. Once this is done, we have an idea of where to put them.

On the subject of steel, we also took delivery of four RSJs ready to form two new doorways in the house. More of that, I hope, next time.

Yesterday and today, Mike and I installed the guttering to the long corridor…

…and then finished the insulation of the long corridor, followed by replacing the windowboard.

Yes, I know it still looks like there is a bit to do, but sometimes (or do I mean all the time?) it is important to look only at the immediate, since sufficient unto the day are the troubles thereof.

As for continuing with this work, I think I just need to follow my instincts, which I think are likely to be at least as good as those of some other people.

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