Today is May Day, hence a bank holiday and the village fair. Unfortunately Sarah was working as it's also a big day for her golfers, so Mark went to the fair with friend Ian and his family. The Weston 5 mile run finishes in the fair, so we cheered on the runners and volunteered Ian to compete next year. After a very enjoyable pig-roast followed by tea and cakes, Mark bought another selection of books then we headed home to meet Sarah.



We got back to work in the afternoon, with yet more cabling in the kitchen then filling the water tank hole with gravel. After much shovelling and barrowing, Mark decided the quickest way to get the gravel into the hole was to pour it directly from the bag. Each bag holds a tonne when full, so they're pretty much impossible to move until empty down to 200~300kg. Then it's a real struggle to drag the bag over the edge of the hole, until suddenly it topples and empties in a great rush. It sure beats going to the gym...



Sarah was home today to supervise the arrival of the oil tank. This is an 1800 litre bunded tank: basically a pair of plastic tanks, one inside the other, to protect against oil leaks. The tank will be located at the north end of the garage, out of reach of the delivery crane. Sarah guided the crane into the field, as close as possible to the final site, since it will be difficult to move.



We hosted a big social event tonight, as the executive team from Sarah's work joined us for a bonfire and barbecue. The weather was perfect: warm and clear with almost no wind, so we were able to sit around the bonfire and watch the sunset. Sarah's general manager Keith soon took control of the steaks and sausages on the barbecue while Mark stoked up the bonfire for toasting marshmallows.





We had an all-kiwi building day today, with Lawrence and Graham joining us for some serious wiring, battening and shovelling. Lawrence and Mark started the morning by wiring and plumbing the green water tank.

Graham joined us a little later in the day; his first task was to continue battening the kitchen ceiling ready for the plasterboard. After lunch Mark, Graham and Lawrence dug out a foundation pad for the oil tank and filled it with pea shingle. They then needed to move the tank to the shingle, which required all hands plus a wheelbarrow and much heaving and grunting.

We finished the day with a bonfire and barbecue, enjoying another cracking sunset and clear, still night.



Back working solo, Mark got stuck in to preparing the boiler room. First step was to line the stone wall with insulation and a thick sheet of ply, to provide a flat mounting surface for the plumbing and electrical kit. Once the ply was fitted the plumbing for the green water system went in, along with its control box. Sarah came home in time to assist with all the pushfit plumbing connections.



While Sarah headed off to work to deal with the morning golfers, Mark took the trailer to Lawrence's house to help him clear out some old furniture which we will use temporarily as we expand into more rooms. Lawrence followed Mark back to help unload the pieces and then stayed to continue with last weekend's electrical work. The biggest task was to move the electrical consumer unit to its permanent position in the boiler room, then Lawrence wired up the green water system controller while Mark completed the plumbing.



Sarah was off to work early, so Mark started in the boiler room, tidying up the installation. Once that was all done the next job was to construct the studwork framing above the doorway of the west end of the kitchen. Sarah came home to supervise then once the framing was complete we finished fitting the insulation foil in the ceiling.





Mark has been away in Italy during the week, so today he was making up for lost time in the kitchen. The ceiling is ready for plasterboard tacking, so we arranged scaffolding planks between the trusses then got on with the task. We cut the sheets down to more manageable sizes for lifting overhead: overhead and on the head, as Mark held the sheets in place with his head to keep hands free for screw fixing. By the end of the day we had the top section of the ceiling complete.



This morning we returned to the dining room to finish off foil insulation and battening in the ceiling. Sarah supervised while Mark balanced on the top of the ladder to reach up into the gable above the doorway to the link.

In the afternoon we moved back to the kitchen where we started fixing battens to the south wall. The are 50x60mm tanalised battens, fixed with stainless coach bolts, to create a cavity for the celotex wall insulation.




After numerous delays and seemingly endless rain, Michael was finally able to install the glass in the link roof today. The double-glazed units clip snugly into aluminium rails, which are then cloaked in hardwood caps to give us the look of hardwood joinery with the weather resistance of the aluminium system. Now we eagerly await the arrival of the matching glass doors.



This morning we took a trip to Northampton's B&Q superstore to collect some plumbing supplies, then returned home to put them to use. We installed an outside tap in the courtyard that's plumbed to the green water system, and the waste pipe for the kitchen sink.



Once the plumbing was tested and approved we moved inside to fit insulation along the south wall. Cutting and fitting the celotex sheets was straightforward, but cutting slots for cables outlets turned out to be fiddly and time consuming.


Sarah spent the day staining the woodwork around the new link glass roof, while Mark finished off the insulation along the south wall of the kitchen.



We had a bank holiday today, and a visit from Anne, Nick and kids Holly and Eddy. Nick helped Mark tack plasterboard in the kitchen, while Eddy and Holly inspected their work from the top of ladders. We completed the kitchen south wall and ceiling, all ready for skim-coat plastering. We also spent some time in the link, stapling up the foil insulation.



Mark had a late night session tonight, tacking plasterboard in kitchen's north side ceiling. The entire ceiling is now ready for Michael and Jody to start skim-coat plastering.




Green Farm Barn