What have the last few weeks had in store for the intrepid team ?
We had started on the concrete stables quite a while ago but after the roof had been removed it ground to a halt...
However, when I decided to demolish the concrete slab panels as a giant game of Jenga it became far more entertaining and I got on with it.
You just cant beat smashing stuff up with "Sister Sledge"...
In fact you dont even need a sledgehammer to enjoying smashing up stuff - heres a bit of video of the newly emptied "rubbish" shed being demolished.
We managed to get all the rubbish out first, which, coupled with all the foam insulation that wasnt required from the roof panels made quite a pile - hence the requirement for a big forty cubic yard skip - now stuffed to the brim. Only 4 tonnes of rubbish in total for the landfill , but still the least interesting £500 I've ever spent !
This might explain why I still happily take a plastic bag or five at the supermarket without being overconcerned.
The insulation foam was originally sandwiched in between two sheets of metal roofing- but they still needed lifted off the roof and then split apart - there were foam particles everywhere after it had been chucked down - there was no really neat way to do most of it, the panels were all falling apart internally and most could not be reused.
We did recover enough for the main big job of this year so far, insulating under the caravan. First layer (last blog) and then a second layer to build up the thickness. What a right pain it was too. It took about 4 days in total hours to do it all spread over two weeks. Dad cutting up 300 pieces of recovered foam...
and me lying in the mud, swearing away installing them, while stuff fell in my eyes...
Other rubbish that needed chucked were all the old gas bottles - thirty of them eventually ! I found five lying in the woods where they had been chucked down from the hill above. Like that was going to get rid of them ! They'd probably been there for over thirty years easily and looked like giant rusty bombs !
Theres a few left scattered about even still , I've just spotted some lying thrown down the bank into the river ! Or maybe those ones are torpedoes !
Grove Farm is not the only piece of local history that has suffered badly at the hands of time. Whilst taking the glass we'd picked up to the local recycling yard we discovered the original stables for the local Dalhousie Castle - shortly due for demolition apparently.
A crying shame really , but it is due to be partly rebuilt elsewhere as a selfbuild house by the current owner of the yard so at least some of the 'embodied effort' will be saved I suppose.
Maybe he might have some stone arches left at the end - I would like one (very similar to this one on the other side of the former Dalhousie stables) to eventually rebuild the entrance to our walled yard . Our one got smashed down so lorries could get in and out.
Which I suppose is quite lucky since this one has just turned up ready for (some of) the pile of scrap thats built up...
The yard has started to look a bit like a "travellers" camp so it would be good to get it cleared up at last. The weather hasn't been helping , the tractor has been churning the track up so I'm trying not to use it too much at the moment.
Once the ground dries out not only can the tractor come back out to play but it will have a new transport/ link box which Dad has started fabricating out of 'old scrap' (the roll cage for tractor!).
while I was happily chopping up scrap with my newly restored (inherited with farm) oxy-acetylene cutter . Yowzers thats hot, hot, hot !
I've always wanted one of these for some reason - must be a Marvel Comics Super power thing , the ability to melt through steel plates ! Maybe I'm just easily pleased by being able to use tools.
On that note, I also acquired a hydraulic road breaker, rotovator and welding plant so we can now break stuff up, mix stuff up and put stuff back together. What more could one want ?
Oh yes, a reason to do all this !
April and the kids have been getting out and clearing some of the glasshouse area amongst other things. Willow has even been picking up bits of rubbish and shards of glass to assist ! I suspect there will still be pieces lying around when she's an adult so its good practice for the future !
Despite all the mess ,everything is still going successfully.
The situation: stable