Thursday, 20 January 2011

Filling: the time, the yard, the skip, the potholes

Lots of varied work been going on in the last two weeks. The main job was getting the "Grumpy van" (aka Dads caravan) out of the mud at the top of hill, down the hill into yard ,into a position that catches the sun, and that stays out of our view from house.

But first the remnants of that big silo shed had to come down. This photo gives some idea of the size it was - Those timbers were huge !

Once that was out of the way we had to extract the caravan - because of all the recent snow it had sunk up to the axles on one side - resting on the lower part of chassis.

This led to a day of graft, first jacking it up...    (the face tells the story !)

then trying to pull it through the squishy mud using the tractor...

...and then the van for the hill down to yard because I know the brakes work well !

As always there were plenty of suggestions on how it should be done properly. Funny how everyone has an opinion after you've got it dragged out successfully ! ;-)

Getting it almost into position was "easy" , if reversing around a corner in a van, uphill ,with a 35 foot long x 12 foot wide caravan can be considered easy. OK, it was "slow".

Doing the last 4 feet sideways was really hard work - it took a whole day ! The problem was eventually solved by sawing up telegraph poles to make rollers - then jacking it onto them. With that done it was just a quick push with the tractor - after we'd dug up the yard to remove the mud and replaced it with hardcore !

The cheesy grins hide the frustration of the rest of the day !

The caravan is now in place. I insulated most of the underside yesterday with waste 25mm Kingspan insulation. A whole day of lying on my back, hammering above my head , really tedious, dirty and giving me acid reflux all day. Yuk!    Dad had the "easy" part - cutting up about 100 pieces of insulation after sweeping the old chicken crap off first ! Nice job ,not !

 The photo above does give a good idea of how the yard is starting to open up especially if you compare it to what it looked like at end of September 2010 (in photo below). The concrete "pit" (to right of picture above) can be used to orientate yourself in both photos)

I decided to get the "rubbish" shed down next (thats the one to right of both pictures above /behind Dad in picture below)  - its been full of old gas canisters, rotten wood and all that plastic I picked up four months ago.

Lucky they make a BIG skip...

 ...which looked even bigger inside ! Its already about two thirds full. The "rubbish" shed is already just the frame and roof.

One trick I learned is to get hardcore delivered in the skip at the same time, so I ordered 10 tonnes  saying "that'll be loads and last for ages" to fill the potholes on the track.

It was quite a pile, maybe as tall as me almost - however after a day and a half of pothole filling its ALL gone! I knew they were bad holes but TEN tonnes , that track must have cost a fortune to build its 300m long !

The tractor earned its money again today thats for sure . So did Dad , payment in the form of wine and pasta!

Its been quite a successful couple of weeks and despite some crappy back breaking jobs recently its been good fun in a challenging kind of way. By way of relaxing April and I chopped some rhododendrons down one Sunday and the following weekend I started on pruning the vines in the glasshouse. No photos yet of that - you'll have to wait - its as dramatic a change as the sheds !

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