The unbelievably beautiful plasterwork continued apace!
The festive season is upon us and following our flurry of activity, we’re getting plastered!
Sometimes it just keeps coming at you.
Getting back on track, or should I say ‘in’ track? Underfloor heating pipes now firmly placed in the Lithotherm tiles and connected up to Ruby the pellet cooker boiler. And also on track, an experiment in orderly queueing – my own milk train, thanks to the amazing Tara Wright!
Some people dream of building a ‘Grand Design’ using ‘Leading Edge Eco materials’, but what they forget is that just beyond the leading edge lies a vast abyss of ignorance. The day you find yourself staring into it, you might just have to hope that an unexpected hero will suddenly emerge to save the day. Luckily for us, Chris Brookman and his products from Back to Earth appeared just in time. More
I’m going to have to stop apologising for not updating this blog. We’ve been doing lots of boring, unphotogenic, slog repetitive stuff. Filling holes, mostly. But this week, warmest this year, we’ve been doing some new style cooking – getting ready for our future! More
Even if it looks more like a break-in than a breakthrough… More
To try to do EVERYTHING at once. Shame there are only 24 hours in a day and we need to sleep sometimes.
When I got the idea to milk other people’s sheep, I created a lot or problems for myself. One is that sheep get ill and when they are taking certain veterinary drugs (antibiotics, wormers, etc) they cannot be milked for a given ‘withdrawal period’. How to easily tell which sheep must not be milked without bothering the farmer? More
You would think that building a house off-grid using solar panels to make our own electricity would be renewable and innovative enough, but our latest renewable is probably the most innovative and possibly the closest to the leading edge we’ve come, to date.
We’ve had a long, self-indulgent period where we were hardly ‘self’ building. The amazing Mike Roberts with his able Whiteway Carpenters has been the real project manager (not me!) – every so often saying – ‘Time to order your insulation’ or ‘Better get the plumber in now’. He will still be coming in to help us with the ‘design and build’ – where he teaches us how to build something, then leaves us to get on with it. But Monday marked the end of an era.
Not really something I was very keen to see, but nothing I can do to prevent it.
Confession: We haven’t finished the interior of the Cabin. The main problem has been how to create a sliding ‘barn’ type door for the bathroom. But the arrival of a special package is going to be a ‘curtain raiser’ for us!
Had intended to have a big party, but Steve, our roofer has finished two days early. More
Before… and during. Leftmost photo – the cabin before the house was started. Rightmost photo (and below), look closely, the single storey bit- away from the scaffolding to the left in the photo, that’s the Cabin that we are living in. I really want to share what an amazing experience it is to live in a micro version of the house you are building, while you are building it, but I’m struggling to explain.
While I was taking this picture, Mike Roberts said “This is called ‘Closing In'”. So the title of my last entry was a bit premature, Sorry!
First equinox at Easterdown and nights are closing in. This is the phase we are at with our house – Roof, Doors and Window installation means we are closing in: More
Very few blocks left to lay and you can really see that this is a house!
This week was always going to be tough because we are now on the first floor and need to move the blocks one by one onto the slab and then up onto the first floor. Yesterday we threw Manpower at it – Mike Roberts + 2 of his guys + me and it took us an hour and a half to get two pallets of blocks unloaded onto the first floor.
I had mentioned to the Wrights (who are helping me with the sheep and sheep milking), and this morning: More
My Nephew dropped in for a few days – first trip to the UK and what does this American Tourist get to see? Lots of clay blocks. More
So quick, we are now too high to reach! So Trestles and Boards arrived today
Beginning to work above head height, but no need for scaffolding –
We have had generator problems for the last few months. The Hyundai generator died and I lost faith in the brand. Not in the people – Genpower and Just Generators have acted honourably and fairly – but I suspect I will never buy anything with a Chinese motor ever again. So skip forward to the next generation, our new generator looks very promising. More
Roderick James Architects wanted us to build with Clay Blocks. An environmentally friendly material (clay), cleverly engineered with natural insulation and thermal mass, but very expensive. Mike Hope said that we could afford this system because it is so simple that we could lay the blocks ourselves. I could imagine that indeed, we could lay the blocks, but knowing when and how to stop seemed to be an entirely different and much more difficult problem. How to know when you’ve reached a door or a window and what you do when you get there, REALLY worried me. More
Unbelievably, we are pretty much on schedule! More
Now you might think that Carpenter Oak magic at Easterdown is something to do with magic’ing up this gorgeous timber frame. Yes that’s part of it. But it doesn’t stop there, I’ve always thought that the guys from Carpenter Oak are ‘super’ men, but read on – you’ll believe a Carpenter can fly! More
Carpenter Oak were supposed to take three days to erect this frame. I reckon they will be ready to leave here at 11am tomorrow morning. They don’t hang around! More
More progress this week – the rallying cry is “onward and upward!” More
Lots happening here – Foundations in. blocks started, more log store activity this week
Early morning inspection and this afternoon, concrete poured. More
Day 2 of Groundworks – WOW that was quick! More
Working on a Sunday! More