Toilet time

Well I’m surprised; its more than two weeks since I last emptied the toilet. Given that we have spent a couple of days away over the weekends then its safe to say that the toilet tipping is a fortnightly event. So for the doubters that think that it must take up lots of time then five minutes every two weeks is the official answer on how much maintenance is required. I bet some people spend more time than that cleaning a normal domestic toilet every day!

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Surgical gloves

Make sure you have a ready supply, you will be glad of them as your hands crack and develop burns and sores; lime is not as nice as it looks! All innocent and white, light and powdery. Don’t be fooled, it burns, burns, burns.

That said the render is going on fast with Chris (our one and only labourer) and I applying whilst Gosia mixes. The rain keeps coming and threatens to spoil the party, but as yet we have managed to work through most of it and the sun has started to shine again today. Roughly two walls to do before the second coat is complete. Hooray Smile

And remember, next time you see three people walking around wearing surgical gloves, covered in white powder; they might not be drug dealers, or hospital staff for that matter; it may be they are lime rendering 🙂

First lime coat almost finished

Other than the East wall, which still needs to completely dry out, the first ‘stipple coat’ of lime is on; using a three to one mix of a very course or sharp sand and normal builders lime, which we soaked in a bath of water overnight. More to keep the dust down than anything, but I believe it probably is better for mixing as well.

So we have started on the North wall second coat as we wait for the East to dry; various theories on adding fibre glass mesh to strengthen the areas around doors and windows; at least we only have one door and one window on this side of the house. Decisions, decisions…

WE had lunch and decided to go with the mesh round the windows and doors, as well as the bottom edge of the wall; mess about 30 cm embedded into the lime render. Picture to follow if I get up in time in the morning!

Chicken soup! It must be Sunday

Now I’ve never been that religious, nor had any real tendencies to become so, but I have to agree with one of the by-products of the religious order; and that is the rule that says you should not work on a Sunday. I whole heartedly agree that a day of rest is required and it should be celebrated with a feast of food starting with a serving of chicken soup.  The same chicken soup that I was weaned on as a child by my mother; that was lovingly reproduced by my sisters as I grew up and is now created by Gosias mother every Sunday without fail.

Not only does Chicken soup signify the day of rest, it can also cure coughs, colds, fevers, hangovers, depression and hunger, and if it proceeds a Sunday lunch it sharpens the appetite and aides sleep in the form of an afternoon nap once your plate is clean.

What’s the point to this post; I don’t know; I just wanted to show my appreciation of chicken soup Smile

What a difference a day makes

I should have posted yesterday to mark the milestone!

After more than three weeks, about 600 man hours , 10 tonnes of sand, 4 tonnes of clay and a big pile of chopped straw ( a very big pile); the clay plaster coat was completed. Time for celebration? Well not quite just yet, as we finished the clay at around ten in the morning we started of the first coat of lime render. Pics to go on the web this weekend.

(Edit 30th September) Pics went up today, just a small selection showing the latest progress.

Don’t stand up, empty it!

Less than 5 minutes and the toilet is emptied into the compost pile. I’m guessing that it’s a week since my last disposal, let this be the start of my records.

It was only 5 degrees this morning and the steam from the pile as I pulled back the cover material was impressive; I must get a compost thermometer to see how hot the pile is running……I know its exciting stuff 🙂

Rain stopped play

Early finish today as the longest drought in 200 years ( or since records began) finally broke; or maybe its just a passing cloud. After eventually getting to the last wall for clay plastering the end is in sight and spirits are high; so an early finish when the rain arrived seemed like a good idea; still only an hour early Smile

(Edit) This turned into 18 hours of solid rain so the house went on hold and we tidied the barn, not to mention heading over to friends and returning a few favours; it’s good to give something back when we are getting so much help from people.

Even the next day turned into an alternative day as the sand was too wet to mix! New target date of Tuesday to finish the earth plaster coat.