George the builder called in briefly to build the low retaining wall for the concrete floor – having first removed the soil kicked on top of the concrete by the chickens. (Reminder to self: Keep the chickens in their pen when the floor is poured!).
And then it rained… and rained…for days!
The digger was cancelled, because the ground was too soft. I didn’t mind, despite the delay, as access meant the digger had to travel through the field and around the back of the barn – it’s the boggy end of the field and I didn’t want it chewed up. Finally the rain abated and everything was set in motion again.
The digger arrived and levelled the contained area.
George laid the damp-proof membrane down and, right on time, the concrete mixer reversed into our yard. My vision of having to help George barrow concrete to the far end of the base soon evaporated when the digger took over the job. Instead I went to double-check that the chickens were firmly held in their pen! My workshop floor still bears a reminder of a marauding hen stomping its way from one end to the other before the concrete set!
The next morning (after a night thankfully with no rain) the marauding hens inspected the new base, found it to be solid and quickly lost interest in favour of the soil alongside.
Once again we stood on the base and couldn’t help thinking “This is not going to be big enough!”. So we decided we’ll block up one of the two doors into the studio and, in time, install another one leading to the passage between the studio and my workshop. Reluctantly, I’m going to have to partition off a quarter of it to provide an additional and larger storeroom.
Once again it rained heavily for a couple of days, and George had a concrete job to attend to in Scotland. On his return he was as good as his word and spent the morning building the wall on which the studio will stand.
This wall will accommodate four inches of under-floor insulation, and raise the building high enough (we hope!) to avoid the light flooding that this area sometimes suffers in winter.
This afternoon I had to go to the Post Office to ship the pencil packs and worksheets to Loveland, Colorado, for the three-day workshop next month. On my return I found George’s van and trailer in the yard… laden with half of my studio!
I helped George stack the panels in their approximate locations and he left saying he’d bring the rest tomorrow and begin assembling them, as the roof trusses are due for delivery at 4pm.
Later as I was feeding the dogs and horses, George returned with the final sections. Each section is complete, with outer boarding, damp-roof membrane, four inches of insulation, and internal plywood skin.
George has left his trailer here overnight, saying he had a couple of hour’s work to do at home… which reminds me – I’m supposed to be painting our bathroom ceiling… more tomorrow!