I’m feeling less optimistic about having a weather-proof stove-heated building to live in by the time winter comes. But at the moment we’re making progress every day and we’re enjoying beautiful autumn weather whilst we’re doing it.
The current project is to rebuild the upstairs front wall. The old wall was made from wattle and daub and built on top of the balcony floorboards. We had a great time tearing the old wall down with help from Tarje and Ralph. Then we’d planned to build a new brick wall, leaving spaces for two windows and a door. But with the wall down, the plans had to change. Firstly, we realised that all that light and view could not be shut out behind bricks. Secondly, we realised that the top of the downstairs stone wall, which supports the balcony floor and main floor, had been partly raised. This means that the inside floor (which is about 15cm higher than the balcony floor) could be lowered to put it all on the same level. That meant taking down the top of the wall around the floor joists, then replacing the balcony joists with new wood in the same place as the old wood. And replacing the inside joists with new wood at a lower level than the old joists.
And so building a small brick wall has turned into weeks of work – mostly for Dave! But he’s having a great time measuring, chiselling and sawing each of the 14 new balcony joists to make them all perfectly level.
Meanwhile the roofer Duran is nowhere to be seen. I told him that our materials had arrived almost two weeks ago, but (as expected) nobody is in a hurry to get on with anything! At least we’re busy whilst we wait.
I’ve been making some more progress on the barn – the roof that looked like a forest floor is gradually being cleaned to reveal actual roof tiles. And I’ve been getting quotes and drawings for an off-grid heating and hot water system. We have a plan now but it’s a big job and there’s so much else to do! So on demand hot water may remain a pipe dream this winter.
The garden has been very much neglected for the last month or two. But I do still harvest things from it when I remember! We’ve been eating cauliflower, kohl rabi, broccoli, tomatoes, basil, aubergines, onions and beetroot from the garden. And we’ve collected hazelnuts and mushrooms from nearby too.
We spend time with friends, sometimes go climbing or hiking. And the puppies take up a fair bit of time. They’re four months old now and almost as tall as their mum!
Did I mention we have wifi now? Well we do, it’s very exciting. Now can’t imagine life here without it!
There is one thing I really miss. A sofa. I so miss having a sofa. Somewhere comfy to sit when it’s not nighttime. Not a day goes by without me wishing I had a sofa. Of course there are other things that would be nice to have like hot water, heating, a house to heat, an actual kitchen, but those things don’t bother me as much as the absence of a sofa. A comfy, comfy sofa….
Balcony floor removal