Welcome to my blog, where a 30-something couple from the UK renovate and extend an old cottage, build some outbuildings, raise some hens and grow firewood trees and vegetables on our Acre in Hampshire. It's a bit like a smallholding but without too many animals, so we call it a homestead - living within our means, relying on ourselves and having a wonderful life!


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Moving the Workshop.... Day (err) Three?

Not really the third day that we've been at this job, but it's the third blog entry about it - so Day Three seems to fit well enough!

An early start as the forecast was HOT - 24 degrees - which is a bit warmer than ideal for concrete to set. We started by finishing the concrete pad for the oil tank. This mix was different from previous batches as I'd ordered gravel and sand on separate 850kg bags so we could use the remaining material on other projects. It mixed well enough in the cement mixer, and the over-engineered shuttering made the job much easier. We rigged a cover for the concrete to shade it from the strong sun, in the hope that it would slow the cure and prevent cracking.

The odd pipe on the right is actually a mould for the oil line - I plan to tuck the line in the dent that will be left when this pipe is removed, protecting it from the strimmer! I also had to re-route the water feed that fills our water trough - temporary pipe on the left.

We were about to start laying blocks for the workshop when a head appeared over the fence - it was our neighbour Charlie inviting us for a barbecue lunch. As you can imagine, we were delighted - they had also invited some old neighbours from their old village, who bought their dog (another Monty...) who was a lovely little chap. We ate wonderful sausages, lamb skewers and burgers under the midday sun, and the dogs chased each other and ran about like mad things.

This is (the visiting) Monty...

Lunch ran on - simply because it was a wonderful afternoon and we didn't want to go back to work! Still, we pressed on eventually - Kristy was mixing mortar and I was laying blocks. We finished shortly before 8pm, very pleased with the progress.

We managed to summon the strength to tidy up before showers and supper - and as we moved the temporary shade from the oil tank base, we saw that someone couldn't wait to check the cure! 

In other news, we have a new car - my parents bought a new highly-specced VW Golf, and we have had their old machine - a slightly older VW Golf! It is a lovely car with very low mileage - I'm sure it will last us a good number of years. Kristy's brother is buying our VW Passat estate which will suit his two children and all their bikes, dinghies and kit very well.

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