Year: 2010

Sheeps wools insulation

I was at Rounded Developments last week for a meeting and a big bag of sheeps wool insulation was cluttering the place up. It was a cancelled order that was now looking for a home and fortunately I have a home for it. I have two 'boxing-in' projects to complete. From Barn Conversion 2010The first is around the manifold and associated gadgetry for the underfloor heating that currently hums away and looks very hi-tech under the stairs, the second is a larger project, to build a cabinet around the thermal store and all its associated gadgetry. The thermal store boxing-in…
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Pumpkin soup

I managed to grow a couple of pumpkins this year. From Barn Conversion 2010 They led me to make some soup, which in turn led me to write up the recipe, which in turn led me to write a post on a website that I all but abandoned a couple of years ago when the allure of barn conversions drew in most of my available time. Anyway, my recipe for pumpkin soup is on Mwnch, if you fancy some and have a pumpkin or two...
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Progress in Pictures – Update 2010

I was recently ferreting through my old posts re-tagging and categorising them and came across this Progress in Pictures post from summer 2008. An update seemed to be in order, so in the spirit of these posts, I'll let the pictures do the talking... Before... autumn 2007 Before (picture taken October 2007) During... summer 2008 During (picture taken August 2008) During (but nearly there)... summer 2010 From Barn Conversion 2010 During (picture taken June 2010) I think I like the look of the barn when it was unpointed and unwhite-washed as in the middle photograph ...oh well, too late now...…
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planners have a lot to answer for…

As usual, I must agree with Roger Deakin... Planners have a lot to answer for on the commons. Roof heights are all wrong now. The monster executive villas dwarf the older, vernacular language of the Suffolk houses, which all more or less had the same roof height and alignment. Planners have allowed the scale and alignment of the houses round the perimeter of the commons to go out of kilter altogether. So we have lost the graceful natural proportions of vernacular building. Roger Deakin in Notes from Walnut Tree Farm, page 113. Another quote of Roger Deakin having a moan-up…
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Green Books Campaign: The Making of the British Landscape

As part of the Eco-Libris Green Books campaign I was passed Francis Pryor's latest book to review... ’This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books. The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to…
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Maintain Traditions – architecture, design and the local vernacular

Consider the local vernacular. When converting or renovating you'll already have a great reference point in the building itself and others close-by of a similar age. So, in East Anglia, a wheat straw thatched roof is a appropriate choice just as are brick and flint walls in Wiltshire or a cross-over slate lintel on a house in North Wales. Of course your local planning office may have differing opinions, having decided on a local 'style' - rendered walls with stone corners for example, that is not actually in keeping with the local vernacular at all ... don't forget to pick…
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Building Progress ~ October 2010

Seems like I've been repointing for ever and ever... Back in August I said... I'm not sure that I'll hit my end of September goal, but if I need a few more days in October then so-be-it. It'll be a lovely feeling to get it finished and move onto something else (the to-be back garden is top of the list if the weather holds). I've not managed to complete all the repointing by the end of September, or even by the end of October - but it will be done by the end of November... Whilst it is not ideal…
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the things done on not enough money…

I've been poring over Roger Deakin's Notes from Walnut Tree Farm again. I feel somewhat chastised for my insistence on oak in the interior of the barn (although there's also beech in the kitchen)... ...converting old barns with as much oak as possible. Oak represents value now and is like gold teeth here: you have an oak staircase, an oak floor, oak bannisters. Yet I can't help preferring the things an earlier generation of us did on far less money - the things done on not enough money... Read more - Notes from Walnut Tree Farm on page 122. ...I…
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Lime Pointing ~ time trial

I'm trying to get the pointing finished this year, but it drags on and I could do with a change of scene. So although I've not yet finished the northern gable end I decided to finish the more straight-forward and visible back wall. I'd completed all along the bottom of the back wall - up as high as I was able to reach on a step ladder and so to finish the top I'll need to use an extending ladder. (As a slight aside, pointing from a ladder isn't as awkward as it sounds - you can rest the mortar…
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