Sarah worked today, while Michael joined Mark on site to work on the link roof. First step was to haul the enormous 8" x 6" ridge beam into place, spanning from a newly created hole in the kitchen wall to the purlin above bedroom 4 and supported by the recently built up stone and brick eave.

 

While Michael was fixing the ridge beam in place, Mark got on with cutting and installing all the ceiling joists for the conventional flat ceiling in bedroom 4 and the ensuite of bedroom 2. Once all the joists were in place Mark moved on to installing a new top plate above the stone wall on the courtyard side of bedroom 2. The plate was fixed in place with several barrow-loads of mortar, and will in turn be used to mount the bottom edge of the slates and the fascia board.

 

 

Sarah was working again today, and Mark also went to work to support the team for the Bahrain GP. It was hardly worth the trip, as BAR suffered another double DNF. Once back home Mark found the paddock was bustling with brand new spring lambs, bleating happily and bouncing about like little bouncy balls of wool.

 

 

Having seen the weather report for the week ahead, the main task of the day was to get the stripped roof covered, to prevent a flood of biblical proportions. Consequently Mark dug the 20 x 12 metre tarp out of storage and dragged it up and over the lower bedroom roof, nailing it down to the new top plate and battening it along the ridge.

Sarah got home just as the sun was setting and the tarp was fully installed.

 

 

In an act of random extravagance we drove 600 miles to have lunch at The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye. We actually started on Friday night by driving to Glasgow, a mere 350 mile blast up the M40, M6 and M74. From Glasgow we headed further north-west passed Fort William then onto smaller and smaller roads through the highlands, eventually crossing the bridge to Skye for the final blat to the furthest corner of the island, where The Three Chimneys hides.

This tiny secluded restaurant has won numerous awards and is listed amongst the top 50 in the world, hence our great trek to find it. Needless to say the food was stunning: an awesome selection of Scottish seafood, venison and beef, accompanied by an extensive wine list, from which we selected an NZ Sav Blanc.

Three hours later we dawdled back to the outside world for a short drive to Dunvegan Castle, then back to Portree, capital of Skye. While walking around the picturesque harbour we spotted a stunning hotel overlooking the bay, and by luck it had a room available with a gorgeous view. A perfect spot to end a perfect day.

 

 

We had a thoroughly luxurious start to the day, then headed out to explore the island further. This plan didn't last long however, as we soon discovered Porky was suffering from a failed alternator, so the battery drained and we were soon stranded in Portree in the rain. The local AA man was very helpful but had never seen a Porsche before, so the best we could do was a new battery, plus the existing one recharged while we enjoyed another fine lunch in Portree, then we headed back to Glasgow in the afternoon.

 

We started the day at the Glasgow Porsche centre, arranging a diagnosis which proved the failure we expected. It could not be fixed on the spot, so we decided to spend a few hours in Glasgow while the batteries were recharged. After investigating the art gallery and exploring some impressive Glaswegian architecture we lunched at Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Willow Tea Rooms. Very sophisticated! 

Happily feed and watered, we then returned to collect Porky and headed home. It turned out we didn't quite have sufficient battery power to make it all the way, but Graham came to our rescue by meeting us near Birmingham with more batteries, so before too long we were safely home.

 

Back at GFB we discovered some new Porkers roaming the field: no less than a pair of NZ kuni kuni pigs, named Fred and Ginger, just purchased by young Henry next door. They are great characters, extremely friendly and remarkably capable of rooting their way under our wire fence and thence right under the caravan to eat every last scrap of food we throw out.

 

Having recently completed the block wall on the north side of the link, Michael and Keith built the link roof rafters today, and fitted the fascia boards on the south side of the link and along the east edge of the lower bedrooms' roof.

 

 

Michael laid felt over the east side of the roof today and fixed the battens in place, then started the first few rows of our new slate roof. The wet weather persists, so we are keeping the tarp over the top and lifting it off during brief dry spells to get the new roof built.

 

 

This morning we got an early start loading our trailer up with the corrugated concrete-asbestos sheets we had stripped off the lower bedroom roof a few weeks ago. Once fully laden we hauled the trailer to Ardley where the rubbish dump and recycling centre has a special asbestos collection point. We suspect this special collection is actually just dumped in landfill along with the rest of the "recycled" materials, but at least by taking it there ourselves we by-passed the ludicrous "dangerous materials" disposal companies.

Back at the barn we meet Michael to discus the next stage of work for the weekend: fixing a new top plate above the west wall of the lower bedrooms. Michael pointed out a few tips and tricks, then left us to get on with it.

By the end of the day we had completed the top plate and undertaken some pointing repairs to the stone wall. Sarah also completed the last of the waterproof tanking application inside the bedrooms. With all that done we took some time to enjoy a rare spot of sunshine, and feed the chickens and the piggies all our food scraps.

 

 

Michael and Keith completed the felt and battens on the west side of the lower bedrooms roof today, banishing the tarp from the roof at last. They also completed the battens and gully details in the courtyard and continued slating.

 

 

Sarah had a day at home today working with Michael and Keith. They continued laying slates while Sarah stained all the fascia boards black.

 

 

Today was race-day again, and this time Mark was trackside at the San Marino GP at Imola. After a really dismal start to the season this weekend was a turning point for the team: finally we found the form we had finished last season with, as Jenson had been at the sharp end of the time sheets in every session. Top times translated to top race performance too, as Jenson got back on the podium and Taku came in fifth.

Meanwhile Sarah was in London with Kate & Steve, enjoying great foods and wines and grand prix viewing.

 

Michael and Keith have been busy slating throughout the week in between torrential downpours. With all the felt and battens in place the roof is finally weatherproof, but finishing off the slates and gullies is taking longer than we'd hoped. The courtyard roof was pretty much completed today, and the new slates certainly look very good.

 

 

 

We started a big weekend of work this morning by installing windows: our real windows were due to be delivered this week, but were somewhat delayed when we discovered they had been primed white instead of stained, so they've gone back for replacement. Meanwhile we've made our own, from scrap wood and plastic sheeting, so we have windows of sorts.

Once the windows were done we got cracking installing insulation in bedroom 2. We bolted 50x60mm battens to the walls at 600mm centres then cut the 60mm sheets of insulation to slot in between the battens. Once complete we'll then screw sheets of plasterboard to the battens and presto, completed dry-lined walls!

 

 


march

Green Farm Barn

may