Monday 17th. February, 2014 – The week takes off 

In the midst of all the chaos, one of Digger’s hens (a Scottish Grey, I understand) walked serenely around the compost heap

Today began early with the arrival of the men to re-point the chimney on the farmhouse. That meant the erection of scaffolding, the starting up of the concrete mixer and then the pointing work on the roof itself. It was a full day’s work but I was pleased that they managed to get everything done in a day (including the dismantling of the scaffolding. By tea time one would never even know that they had been.

The scaffolding was erected

The concrete mixer was turned on

and the chimney was re-pointed

No sooner had the chimney pointing got underway than our electrician arrived to start work on wiring the Hen House. By lunch time the cables were all in place and it is now down to Tom, Rachel and me to ensure that the plaster board is put up so that the electricians can return and complete their work.

An electrician at work

I dropped Tom off at home for his lunch and then spent a bit of time researching stairs – Digger has devised a splendid plan but Tom also wanted me to look at spiral staircases. Unfortunately we don’t have room to install one which would comply with building regulations as our only staircase but our electrician suggested that there is a local tradesman who could build to our plans (and who might be quite reasonable – we’ll see!)

With Mum, I collected Tom and we drove off to pick up the slate which she had ordered to go underneath her stove. We collected it, brought it back to the farmhouse and installed it. It is just the finishing touch – the bee's knees:

Tom and I spent quite a while in Pearsons measuring up and pricing the plasterboard and insulation we will require for the next stage of our project. Our work starts tomorrow – look out for the photographs. I drove Tom home and then Rachel and I walked the dogs before I got ready and set off with Scott for a meal at the Lindisfarne Inn with Kathy and Mike. They run Bede’s World in Jarrow which sounds to be like a cross between a growingly successful museum celebrating the life, work and importance of a hugely important ninth century hero of our faith and a themed community centre carrying the insights and priorities of Bede forward into our modern world and acting them out for all to see. What we learn from the past matters and some of its insights, such as the fact that each of us is important and has something important to contribute, can all too easily be lost in contemporary society. I enjoyed meeting them enormously and was challenged by their commitment – they were also fun to meet. (Oh, and I had a very satisfactory gammon steak with two fried eggs and chips.)

Back home, Rachel and I watched an episode of Inspector Gently before walking the dogs and retiring to bed – there is much to do tomorrow.


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