Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Zero tolerance

After a good session at the dog class last week where Gremlin misbehaved again and Ian and I were put in our places for not being strict enough, we have started to adopt a zero tolerance approach to Gremlin. That means he doesn't get anything unless he does as he is told first time. We are trying our best to be good pack leaders. It does seem to be working although I am cautious as Gremlin does seem to have a habit of working out our latest tactic pretty quickly and then either ignoring it completely or finding a way to disobey!!

Moving forward

The work on the garage is progessing, in between rainy days and a few other chores. Here are some pictures taken yesterday.

Friday, 13 January 2012

The garage

Monday arrived and it was the day to start the garage, assisted by our neighbour. Ian had painstakingly drawn up the plans again and again, calculated the materials required, ordered them and had them delivered, lost a few nights sleep to worries about certain aspects of the design. The design was finalised on Monday and by Tuesday the planning was over  and it was time to start building.

11th November 2011

Back in November Ian finished off the concrete base by putting in a row of blocks to support the timber frame and finishing off the positions of the drainpipes, water and electricity.

day 1- sun

Monday was cold and sunny. The first job was to erect the old tent to protect workers and tools form the rain and to set up the work benches. Wood was measured and cut.

cutting and measuring
Cutting and measuring continued until the shadows lengthened and daylight faded! Much tea was needed to keep up motivation and morale. The A frames were constructed.

Yesterday I was in Bordeaux so I didn't see the progress. In Bordeaux it was cold and foggy all day but according to reports was lovely here and so progress was made. Today is day five and when I looked out of the window I saw this.

13th January 2012
It's funny how suddenly my view has changed forever and something has appeared where once there was a muddy field.

erecting the A frames
Erecting the frames has required the digger arm to lift them in place and from what I could see a bit of cursing and swearing to get things into place and secure. When all 4 frames are in place it will be time to do the end bits (I think they have a more technical name).

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Great expectations

No New Year resolutions about blogging more or less, or changing the blog layout. All I am hoping to do is to continue and not to get too bogged down in the day to day of living that I forget to record it. After all, it was recording the day to day of living that was my first intention when I started the blog ?? years ago (I can't remember without stopping to look) rather than write a novel or use it as a therapeutic ranting tool. So I will plod on, just as we are plodding on stoically with our housebuilding.

New Years eve was a brief and pleasant interlude from the work, but we are now back on course, trying to finish indoor jobs while it rains outside and then work towards the major project, which is building the garage. This is due to start next week, all being well with the weather. The weather has been wet but really mild. We have so far only had a couple of mild frosts and it is already January. Will this mean a late cold spell this year or is this it for winter?

One of the jobs that Ian did was to finish off the wall in between our bedroom and bathroom. This involved plumbing in the sink and shower before we could close off the wall.  For ages all we have seen is the back of the wall, and to brighten it up over Christmas we stapled all our cards there and when the time came to finally seal off the wall for good we decided to leave them there, together with all the Christmas letters people send! One day someone will have a good time trying to work out what they were all about! Maybe they will find this site and this picture!

Tomorrow I am back to Bordeaux for the day and then next week I am doing some marking for my on-line course while Ian and the neighbour battle with the garage!

On a completely different note, there must be something in the air or water as next year will see the arrival of three new babies in the village, all with a kilometre of here. The latest to announce their news were our friends, who are expecting in July. It looks like 2012 will see some changes!