We were so impressed with Wayne and Arthur's work in the kitchen we also had a dining table made. Like the kitchen it's all solid oak, with a substantial frame supporting five enormous planks.

It's too heavy to move when assembled, so Wayne and Arthur brought the frame in first. We had to decide exactly where it was going to sit within the room, then added the top planks and bolted them in place. Once complete it isn't moving anywhere, and we figure if we ever have an earthquake it will certainly be the place to hide...


Ron and Jill returned for the second part of their visit. This time they stayed close by, visiting local sites and enjoying some relaxing time at GFB.

A group of friends joined us for a summer fete, as we decided to round up a dozen or so kids and enjoy a range of traditional games and activities that are sadly disappearing from risk-adverse village fairs. And in true British Summer tradition it rained on and off throughout the day, so our high-risk activities were undertaken on slippery grass.

Sack racing was top of the list, followed by three legged races and egg-and-spoon races. We also lined up a few dads against a gaggle of tots for a tug-of-war, and threw some boots in a welly-wanging contest. 

Of course no traditional fete would be complete without a cake competition, so all the mums brought an entry along and we had a great time tasting and judging any leftovers after the kids had torn through them.

Great friends, great food, and nobody sued us for causing injuries, so it was a pretty successful day!



Simon stood in for Robin this month, finishing off the kitchen's stable door skins that have been on the to-do list for at least four years. We were delayed by not having enough matching timber, so while manufacturing the garage doors Robin arranged the missing pieces, and Simon assembled and fitted them. We got cracking with the first coat of stain and they're looking pretty near complete.

It's taken six months of hard graft and inspired workmanship, but it was well worth the effort as the kitchen is all done. We have to admit we're pretty pleased with the results...

All the cabinetry and worktops are native oak, which feature some terrific gnarly knots and warm colours. Wayne found us huge boards for the tops, including great hairy edges for one side of the island and both sides of the bar. We love the look and feel of the bark, which contrasts with the oiled tops and painted faces of the cabinets.

The knobs for the doors and drawers were made by a local wood-turner who gave us a great demo when we visited his home workshop. Wayne selected some particularly rustic lumps of tree trunk so every knob features unique grain and splits, and they're polished up to a warm glow.