Happy New Year – 2011!
Snow disrupted things in mid-late December with a fall on the 17th of December staying with us until just after Christmas – so between that and Christmas itself progress has been limited.
I had high hopes for what I’d achieve before Christmas as I wanted to start laying the flagstone patio for use over the festive period and also mostly complete work on the main bathroom – neither got done as we were snowed out of the barn over the weekend I had that work planned for.
I managed some work in the bathroom – which has taken a step back towards being a building site, to hopefully shortly be able to take a few steps forward towards being a bathroom.
After Christmas, I continued work levelling the patio area and on my ‘tap hut’ (the shelter around the external tap that stands proudly at the front of the barn). I also at last managed to get out my new concrete mixer and mixed a load of concrete for the floor of the tap hut and a mix of cement mortar for the recycled back wall. I’m pleased with my mixer – a Belle Mini Mix 130 – and it’s made in Britain!
The snow and ice caused some further erosion along the bank on the garden side of the path at the back of the barn. This is a problem as the original ‘garden’ wall (a two foot wide mortared stone wall) is perched on top of the bank and needs some support. To provide that support I’ve started ‘under-pining’ the wall with concrete and stone and suspect I’ll need to build a low wall along the whole of the path to tidy up.
I also have an area where the path at the back of the barn ends to tidy up. I thought this would be relatively a straight-forward job just requiring me to build a low retaining wall. However, as I dug in the area I discovered that the soil is very stratified and contains a lot of clay and in places holds a lot of water. As you dig, occasionally the water runs out from where it was trapped in small rivulets. So although not very wet under-foot I think drainage needed. There’s already a length of drainage pipe that connects into the land drain – I just need to dig a trench to accommodate it. Another job for the list…
Finally, I spent many happy hours getting my satellite dish installed, cables run underground and behind walls and all the associated Freesat gadgetry working. I’ll spare all the gory details for now, suffice to say my advide is – use Freeview via an aerial if possible! (Actually I exaggerate, it’s not that painful and I’m quite pleased with the results really) I plan to publish a more lengthy post on the subject shortly.