Denise: Grotty weather it is – a fine rain driven in from the sea by a bullying wind, everything sodden; and what chance is there of getting the woodstain on the cladding for the new studio to dry …. Aaagh! But the tourists – and yes there are plenty about, albeit mostly holed up in front of warm fires! – want something indoors to do, and just now two men (not my typical big-spending customers by any means – they usually come on their own only for eggs) came to the house and after browsing for a bit over our temporary display in the conservatory spent £130 on hand-woven scarves, hand-made greeting cards, and lemon curd and jam. Result!
Denise: Rapid progress with the new ‘studio’ over the past few days. The walls are up, roof on (but not the corrugated sheeting – not yet delivered) and (since this photo was taken) everything covered with the green breathable sheeting that seems to be indispensible to any building project these days. (Two rolls used – both left over from building Carrick two years ago!) At one point I was really worried about the height, but now we can see the whole thing in proportion, it looks just fine. When the windows frames are made J can order the glass for the windows.
Denise: We’ve had lovely weather the past four or five days, and the foundations have been coming on fine. J was in high spirits because the stack of under-floor insulation boards got used up exactly in the foundations: it couldn’t have worked better if he’d done calculations, he says – he would have added 10% for just in case (or risk being short) , or would have had some left over from buying complete boards, but the oddments we had proved perfect! At 240mm thick, and using a very high specification material, this will be the warmest shed floor between the arctic circles! It will however mean that if we ever install electricity and heating, it will be very economical to heat! As was the case with building Carrick, at this point the floor plan looks smaller than I’d envisaged: why did I tell J he’d designed it too big!!! Tomorrow the 100mm floor slab will be laid: We’ve had to buy some cement to make up the quantity we had already, but otherwise so far it’s all been done with materials we had in store.
Denise: If anywhere in these blogs J or I have mentioned our garden shop, you should understand that what we meant was garden studio. We don’t have a shop. We have a studio, into which visitors are welcome, and if they happen to want to buy something … Ah you understand, that’s good. Anyway the, er, Studio we’ve had for the past almost eight years has served us well, but is not in an ideal position (no sun, gets damp), is facing the wrong way, and is too small. So we are going to move it! And as we have lots of materials left over from building Carrick which for lack of any other use are likely just to rot or blow away, we shall also double its size. And J needs to get this finished for the week before Easter! And when I look out the window, there’s a blackbird making more use of his spade than he is! Now where did I put that whip?
Denise: J was out on in the garden all day Saturday and most of today, digging for the foundations for where we’re going to move the garden shop to. The ground slopes slightly – enough such that the digging is quite deep at one end. This part of the garden also doesn’t appear to have been cultivated for a very very long time, for the soil is poor in humus, compacted and very hard. The turf has gone on the compost heap, and the best soil has gone to fill in where the pond used to be – a lot of barrowing. Saturday was a lovely day, and today started fine, but by lunchtime the wind was getting up and the spits and spots turning into persistent rain. Eventually he had to give up, frustrated, as he really wanted to get that job done before the weekend was out, but he came in exhausted, wet and muddy: perhaps he should have stopped just an hour sooner. Since then the weather has deteriorated rapidly and we’re up to Severe Gale, the window glass bowing silently (they start creaking at Storm force, and start to cause alarm at Severe Storm!), and the roof creaking and even the internal doors rattling. This is forecast to carry on for a day or two, but we’ll bide our time, and then finishing the work in the sun will be a real pleasure again. And it might even be nice enough to take a photo to show you a nice neatly dug rectangular hole in the ground!