I haven't managed to update this for a few weeks, largely because I feel like I simply haven't stopped.
But before I get into my catchup I must say one thing...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAWN!!
Which of course means its Alfie's first birthday tomorrow! It should be fun, and I can't wait to tell the stories ....
However that's still to come, and I need to update with whats gone. I've spent loads of time outside, and the land at the top of the garden has been levelled, with all the surplus soil coming down into the raised beds. I even cleared out the compost heap - this is what I had to move!!
Thanks to Dad, who then spent a day with me and most importantly helped me move the bricks to where the compost bin was. We collected all the bricks together on the pallet, including the ones that were previously in front of the bus. Over 350 complete bricks! Makes me think it's close to time to start on the wall!! With the bricks now out of the way, it means work can continue clearing the shrubbery at the top end.
We paid a visit to Bill recently too, and whilst Bill and I fettled with his Midget and rearranged his workshop Alfie got familiar with his 13mm spanners and Phillips screwdrivers!
Last Tuesday Tash had a day off work, and we had scheduled in visit to my friend Bryn. He shoots and writes for the likes of Retro Cars and VolksWorld magazine, so it pretty handy with a camera. He took something like 500 photos, and we had a lovely day catching up and messing about on the land where he lives. We are so pleased we did a 'photoshoot' with Alfie at this age, and everything about the day was so natural and 'us'. Cheers Bryn, you're a legend!
Work at the top end has since halted, and my focus has been drawn to sorting out the shelter for the chicken run. Forecasts weren't great, and the 2 boards I had thrown over the run as temporary cover were coming to the end of their life. So the past 2 days has seen a new shelter be built.
All through this Aflie has been a dream ... so while Alfie did this ....
I got started. This is the 'before' shot.
Which soon got taken down, and the chicken were released into the garden!
First post notched and concreted in.
Alfie slept for about 2 hours, and in that time I got the barn tidied, the old chicken run taken down, all posts notched, and 3 posts concreted in. And then I ran out of postcrete. With the garden looking like this Alfie and I hurriedly ran out to grab more postcrete, and some sand and bark to go down in the run.
After lunch I eeked out every minute possible from my tolerant son and managed to get the last post in.
He then started to get restless. I managed to get the roof frame built, and the roof panel in place. It may only have 6 screws in it, but it withstood the gales and downpour that came last night! Today I managed to get the scaffold plank back in place, the new 'handrail' and chicken wire in place, and then get the sand and bark down in the run. It looks fairly finished, but there's a few jobs I still want to do. I must get a photo next time the sun shines, I really am very pleased with it .... and I think the chooks are too!
In other news ... some evenings in the barn, a few phone calls, and some research on the internet has seen me with a working welder ... and at a cost of just £10 to fix. I'm very happy .... just preying for some sunshine to get cracking on the bus now!
With Winter coming, i've already started to cast one eye towards next year .... and begin planning a trip to Misano in September. There's a chap names Rossi (who's a bit quick) who'll race an Italian machine (Ducati) in MotoGP next year. Italy will go wild. Traffic will stop. Not a single cappucino will be sold. One of those stories you can't speak about, cos you have to be there to understand. Its 1000 miles each way. We're going. And we're driving. And I can't wait!