Today we celebrated our second anniversary at GFB, so we took a moment to look at our progress and what's still to be done. Happily we can report to be structurally complete, but nonetheless there is still a lot of work to do! Michael and Jody will complete the doors and glazing to close up numerous openings, while we are heading indoors.

The scaffolders came back today, to strike the dining room scaffolding allowing us to see the full size of the room for the first time in months. After spending so much time working in the roof it's great to see the whole room again.

 

 

Last night we took a break and had dinner then stayed overnight with Phil & Jules, in a real house with heating and a bath. Luxury! Returning home, we had another mini-digger delivered, as it's time to clear the dining room floor. Mark spent the day digging out rubble, piling it into the trailer, then reversing the trailer into the field to be unloaded and spread at the edge of our growing mound. Meanwhile Sarah had a quieter day, painting more of the lounge ceiling.

 

 

 

We enjoyed more perfect weather today, quite cold but with clear blue skies. We finished digging out the dining room floor, then compacted the surface to be flat and level ready for concrete. While Mark was fussing with reference pegs and a spirit level, Sarah cleaned and oiled more twiglets for the lounge roof.

 

 

With the floor complete we  moved on to the mound, reshaping it to be as smooth as possible. All the hard core rubble has to be carefully fitted and covered with clay, to ensure no concrete lumps pop up through the topsoil. By the end of the day we had achieved the desired result, but found ourselves finishing in the dark so a night vision photo was required.

 

 

 

Sarah was off work today, so she continued painting duties, this time taking a roller to the ceiling of bedroom 4.

 

 

Mark got home early this afternoon, so he got cracking with more painting in the lounge. First target was the final coat on the lower section of the north-east corner, followed by the lower section above the mezzanine floor. All the lounge ceiling painting is now complete, so Michael and Jody can finish installing the twiglets.

 

 

Sarah spent today cleaning, wire brushing and oiling more old tree rafters, aka twiglets, for the lounge ceiling. Michael dropped off a bundle more of these twiglets in the morning, so we should now have enough to finish the lounge and make a start in the dining room.

Meanwhile Mark continued threading power and lighting cables through the dining room ceiling. We stopped for an early lunch to see Bahrain qualifying, the first race of the season, where our boys did well by qualifying P3 and P6.

 

 

Michael and Jody finished the framing and slates of the link roof today, ready for the glass panels to be installed.

 

 

Mark hired a petrol powered water-pump to drain out the underground water-tank hole. It's been filling up with rain water over the last couple of months, so we had to pump out around 6000 litres. The pump made short work of that, emptying it all in less than an hour.

Later in the afternoon we shovelled all the broken bricks, slate and rubble from around the site into the bottom of the tank hole. That helped soak up the remaining water and all the slush and mud, ready for the concrete pad to be poured. The last task was to insert four steel loops in the corners of the hole, which will be set in concrete to provide tie-down points for the water tank. Yes, that does seem odd: the tank has to be tied down to the concrete slab because if it is empty, while the surrounding ground is water-logged, the tank will attempt to float out of the ground, so it's important to prevent that from happening.

 

 

 

We had a concrete truck booked for 07:30 this morning, and Michael, Jody and Mark Ellis came for an early morning workout. The truck hadn't arrived by 09:00, and after much chasing we discovered the driver wasn't available (no doubt after a big night out) and the concrete company couldn't find another driver. Unbelievable. Sarah eased the pain by providing yummy bacon butties for the crew, but it was a pretty disappointed group that headed away once we had confirmation the truck wasn't going to come.

After a wee snooze we spent the afternoon looking around architectural reclamation yards, and found an excellent local stone flooring supplier.

 

Today started very early, watching the Malaysian Grand Prix where Jenson scored us a podium. After breakfast we got back to work in the dining room, finishing the last of the wiring then we installed a ventilation duct out under the thatch.

 

 

After lunch we got cracking with rolls of foil insulation and a staple gun. The long west side was relatively simple, but when we got to the hip edges Mark invented a new extreme sport, hanging from the hip rafters by one hand while stapling with the other. No ladder accidents today! 

 

 

 

Finally we managed to get a reliable concrete truck driver on site... after the letdown on Saturday it was a relief to get the concrete delivered first thing this morning. Mark, Michael and Jody had a super hard early morning workout though, as the truck's chute could only just reach into the corner of the dining room so we had to shovel and rake some 6 tons of concrete around the room. We also poured a small step on the north side of the link, plus the base pad in the bottom of the water tank hole.

 

 

Today Michael and Jody put the last twiglets up in the lounge ceiling. Sarah was home, joined by Kate who was up from London for the day. They spent some time painting, applying the first coats of colour in the lower bedrooms. Bedroom 4 has one exposed stone wall and a rich burgundy on the others, while the tall south end wall of bedroom 2 is forest green. The other walls of bedroom 2 will be a lighter green.

 

 

 

Michael called in on us this morning to deliver the long-awaited glass panels for link roof. We finally got on to the job of emptying out the shelves and tools from the kitchen, so after using it as a shed and storeroom for over a year we were delighted to create a huge empty space again. This was our first chance to open up the space from the kitchen right through the link to the dining room, and the very tall opening between the kitchen and link gives a great view right through the centre of the building.

Once everything was cleared we were able to start the next phase of work in the kitchen, installing the first round of power and light cables.

 

 

 

 

Mark was away in Japan this week, and progress has been hindered by very wet weather. Michael and Jody are waiting for a few clear days to get the glass roof panels installed in the link, but it hasn't been possible yet. When it's too wet to work on site they've been busy in their workshop instead, manufacturing the three huge glass door sets for the dining room and link, plus windows for the lounge and garage.

We spent the evening avoiding the rain, working indoors preparing plans for our kitchen development.

 


february

Green Farm Barn

april