We've made a start on the final bedroom building this month, clearing much of the stored building materials from the master bedroom in order to start lining the walls and ceiling. Once the room was clear we bolted battens to the east wall, then ran power, lighting, ethernet and antenna cables through the ceiling and wall voids.

 

 

With Ron and Jill visiting for much of the month, we took advantage of the extra hands and had Ron helping fit the insulation sheets, then we lined the wall with foil-backed plasterboard.

 

 

Next step was the ceiling: the trusses and purlins will remain visible, so Mark cleaned them up with the belt sander so they'll be ready for coats of antiquator and Danish oil in future.

 

 

Meanwhile Ron was making spacer blocks for the ceiling plasterboard fixings. We need a cavity of about 80mm between the old sarking boards and the new ceiling, so we bolt on a series of spacer blocks then attach lengths of slate battens, onto which the plasterboard is fixed. We managed to get the lower section finished before running out of screws, then our normally excellent mail-order supplier suffered from lazy-courier syndrome just before the holiday period so we were forced to take a break over Christmas.

 

 

 

 

We've been delighted to host more visitors at GFB this month. Ron and Jill have been up from down under for the month, spending time with us and popping out for a couple of tours. Ryan also came up from Oxford for a couple of visits, for a weekend at the start of December and then to join us for Christmas. On both occasions we had great winter weather: clear, frosty nights while we were enjoying hot feasts indoors, then clear skies and sunshine which we all enjoyed out on walks through the countryside.

 

 

After our Japanese paymaster's surprise attack on Brackley, we were briefly considering cancelling or at least curbing our Christmas plans. That thought didn't last long though: with family joining us for possibly our last GFB Christmas we decided to go ahead with a full celebration. As last year, we picked and cut our tree from a local farm, and had a great impromptu dinner party with friends while decorating it.

We shared Christmas day with Jill, Ron and Ryan, enjoying a day of great food and company. On Boxing Day more friends joined us for a big bonfire and barbecue. It was a bit more sombre than last year, as many of us await our fate at Honda, and everyone is looking carefully at the rapidly deteriorating economy.

It's going to be a tough New Year, so we're expecting to have a few interesting challenges and plenty more building to be done.