July, almost August, the catch up continues

I’m determined to try and catch up on July before August arrives, as I can see the slippery slope getting steeper and I’m loosing my footing; even so the catch may still be instalments as  I’m relying on dates of photos and the calendar to try and get things in order, not that it matters if things arrive in a random order, but it would be nice to have at least one thing in my life with a reliable schedule.

Having quickly read my last post I noticed that I missed on of the major events of the year; July 30th 2013 saw the installation of our first tap! In fact three taps, one in the kitchen and two in the basement, one of which is feeding the washing machine; yes you heard me right; a washing machine. Hard to believe that so many modern conveniences could arrive in one day, changing our lives forever! With all this water available we even move the bath in from outside and whilst we don’t have a tap to fill it I do manage to rig up a way to empty it!

Plumbing is easy, it’s doors that make it difficult!
All mod cons

2nd July:  Paul, out third volunteer, arrived today from The London and the group grows in number and character. Add Slawek to the mix, who has joined us to continue with the terrace, and our evenings are a cracking mix of conversation and laughter, helped along with great food and a modest amount of alcohol 🙂

Paul is planning his own straw bale build in France next year so we have plenty to discuss and we soon find that we hold similar views on many subjects that come up in conversation. Our opposing accents also provide entertainment for our European friends 🙂

The weather is also with us and it’s a great feeling to see things moving along and everybody getting along. Wood plaining and sanding, terrace building, window surround shaping and trimming, and a spot of painting; all in all a good days work.

3rd, 4th, 5ht and 6th of July: It started with the hedge trimmer, not surprising that it’s ground to a halt after the abuse that it has received over the previous 12 months, not surprising at all; a little unfortunate that Paul was using it at the time as I think he feels a little responsible.

It’s funny the noises that you only notice when they stop, like the sound of the grinder with the sanding disk attachment that Paul is wielding and taking out the rough spots on the wood for the terrace. The noise stopped and never started again; never mind I had picked up the grinder at an auction for a fiver so no great loss and I have a spare.

With well over five cubic meters of planks to plain, never mind all he wood for the construction of the frame and roof, the plainer that we have borrowed from a friend has proved to be the most beneficial tool available to us and it seems to run most of the day as Paul and I pass more wood through it. That is until it refuses to start after our lunch time break! After various tests and inspection by an expert it appears that the motor has burnt out and needs to be rewound 😦

Fearful that Paul has arrived with a jinx on electrical equipment I provide him with a hammer and refuse access to the chain saw! Did I mention that the washing machine pump has failed as well….

The progress over the week is fantastic and Alexandra and Iulia make a start on the clay slip coat after finishing the window surrounds with Pauls assistance with non motorised tools!. Paul is quite tall, over 6 foot I’d guess, and the extra height comes in handy.

7th July: No trip to Poland would be complete without Sunday lunch cooked by Gosias mum. It was also a good opportunity for Gosias dad to give Paul a closer look at the machinery in the backyard. The first vehicle on display is a hand built ‘woz’ (or trailer) a combination of a WSK motorbike and Trabant car; six speeds, including reverse and capable of carrying a tonne. The clay for the house was all transported from the brick factory on the back on this  wondrous vehicle; when asked how to stop, Gosias father points to his feet 🙂


The second specimen is an unadulterated WSK, it might not go very far or fast, but its a classic and Gosia has her eye on it for the future.

And believe it or not that’s all I have time for for now, Sunday lunch is upon us, the first we have cooked at the house; Steve and Dorota are coming to join us and then Gosias family are here to pick the raspberries and join us for a BBQ later in the day; there is also a rumour that we will be heading to the neighbours in the evening, so much for a day of rest 🙂

So another weeks goes by and I’m still a couple of weeks behind, reading and writing, I’m only sneaking in this closing paragraph as the sausages are cooking, the men are in the stable fixing the hedge trimmer and the women folk are discussing the price of fish, or maybe sugar, and whilst it’s hard to be antisocial if you don’t speak the language it’s still polite to make an appearance and supply the refreshments 🙂 Have a great weekend, Eddy & Gosia

Author: Eddy Winko

Left the rat race to live a less hectic and harmful life. From the building of a straw bale house to the composting toilet diaries; read my blog https://winkos.wordpress.com/

6 thoughts on “July, almost August, the catch up continues”

  1. I love the idea of using an old jury-rigged motorcycle to do the job instead of a 2 ton pickup, although something should be said about the ‘brakes.’ 🙂

    1. It really is a Flintstone moment when Gosias father pulls into the yard, heels down, dust flying; ‘safety fence’ drawing ever closer 🙂 A Tonne of clay holds a lot of inertia!

  2. The Trabant brings back memories for me too – of Romania. I always wanted one but never quite got to it. Not many there now. Oddly enough just before reading your latest post I had a message from a former teaching colleague in Romania who I have not heard from for more than a couple of years and that reminded me of the faltering multi-lingual evenings with food, drink and laughter, much as you describe. Great days – no wonder I stayed there for so many years, though I’m paying for it now still working in my dotage.
    Great post by the way!

    1. The Trabant is making a come back and you see the odd one restored to original condition running around; one day 🙂
      I have to say I’m unlikely to leave, in fact the answer I give to anyone who asks if I like living in Poland is that I want to die here; the way of life is how it should be and much as I love Yorkshire the UK as a whole and the breakdown in it’s society fill me with dread and dismay. Sorry, a bit heavy first thing 🙂
      Thanks as ever for your encouragement.
      Cheers, Eddy & Gosia

  3. Trabant! That takes me back to the DDR in the early1980’s. Little two-stroke cars, that would have been laughable in the UK, but were an object of desire behind the Iron Curtain. Sorry to hear about all the mechanical foibles. It seems that Londoner Paul is to blame.Typical of us Southerners, no good with machinery!
    Yet again, I am envious of the sound of those convivial evenings of food, banter, and booze! Hope you had a great Sunday, and good luck with the ongoing build. Regards to you both from Norfolk. Pete.

    1. Thank you Pete. A collective effort was made to repair the hedge trimmer after the BBQ but new parts have to be manufactured to complete the repair, the grinder was old and the plainer is rewound and running again so the southern jinx has passed and all is forgiven. For a Londoner Paul was a very nice chap!
      The evenings are the highlight for me, even if I’m the only English speaker in attendance 🙂 Maybe you take up the discount offered to fellow bloggers when we eventually finish the house and open to the public; I’ll buy you a beer 🙂

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