Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day Four at Knockanode

The past two days I have been working to break down shipping crates and design raised beds in one of the gardens at Knockanode. For now I am working alone, which I love, but makes every part of the job more difficult. A Wwoofer from France may be arriving within the next week to help, which would be great for the work and the company.
After six or more hours of hammering wrenching and prying, frustrated each time a board split or broke, I leveled out the first two rows where the beds would be built. I decided to first build onto the existing boxes, staggering the planks against two by four inch steaks I cut from the lumber pile. The first challenge is creating a corner box, curved with the slope of the existing path rather than building the rows on a straight line. First, the area was cleared and leveled, steaks cut and driven, then I leveled
the top row of planks, drilling three screws at each seam. This will match better to the existing boxes
rather than traditional stacked luber. Planks will also be fixed to the front of the existing wood for a
flushed design. The light rain was steady all day without any signs of sun, yet the temperature has begun to rise above five degrees celcius. Mud and slippery conditions made work hard, as tools and screws are easy to drop or misplace, but it is good to have dirt and blisters back on my hands after a semetser of being cooped up studying inside. Feargal is buisy finishing with the cement work on the roof preparing for his windows to be delivered tomorrow, and then we might get to the final section of roofing while the children are out of the house visiting the city this weekend. After it got too dark to find dropped screws and line up planks accurately, I joined Feargal on the roof to hold a lantern as he finished out floating a last bucket of cement to the top of the corner joint. Ive been learning a bit about roofing, flooring and repairing a house while talking and working with him. Also, If time allows, Feargal has offered to show me how to make an andorondeck chair from the wooden crates later on this weekend or next.
After a long day in the rain and muck It feels good to start building a fire, heat up water for washing,
and begin cutting meat and vegetables for dinner. Tomorrow might be the first clear day I've seen, so
after a trip to the pub for daily brews, I plan to call an early night and be up early. I've learned
waking up and getting ready takes more time than back home. I get the fires going for a short period as I  dress, make up the room, cook my porrage, cut some fresh fruit, and make juice. Once the sun is in the  sky, the air warms and being outside feels better than trying to stay warm in bed. Time flys and it seems  like not long at all before it sets behind the distant mountains and the dark takes over at about six each evening.

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