Gosh, where did the time go? Just a week ago I was cooking potatoes on the fire (disaster, we had bacon and egg rolls instead) and already tomorrow is burger in buns and cream doughnuts. It’s been another busy week for the build.
It’s hard to pick out anything that’s a highlight but today has to go down as one of them. Rich has been doing boring stuff like driving F1 cars and is currently in Lincolnshire/Scotland/wherever doing evo’s Car of the Year – so has millions of pounds worth of exotica to drive, but he’s really missing home.
And no wonder. I’ve been driving the digger. Not just the girly mini Kubota but a properly large, fully bucketed up, yellow, JCB. I know they’re all yellow, but I thought that was important to note because us girls only buy machinery on the basis of their colour. A little known fact, but true. If it had been red, then I probably wouldn’t have wanted to take part quite so much.
Matty was kind enough to not only let me have a ride on his machinery but also gave me some expert tuition on how to handle it singlehanded. Excited is an understatement. Over the past seven days the Landtech boys have been digging and laying the apron for the stable block, re-contoured the dyke, lost a load of our muck-away in aforementioned dyke, laid the foundations and footings for the mancave, dug out the cottage floor, backfilled the cottage floor and laid the concrete for it, oh, and dug out and filled the footings for the extension. Not much then.
In the same time they managed to do that (Matt, Simon, Pat and Gav, I thank you) I’ve made about four hundred cups of tea, declared Wednesday an extra ‘cake day’, dug a little hole and laid some blocks for the garage.
But back to that little hole – honestly, I can’t tell you how proud I am. They say women are better at multi-tasking but when you’re moving the diggers’ tracks with your feet, swinging the arm and working the bucket back and forward with your hands, trying not to take a chunk out of cameraman Vince’s head while you’re at it, AND successfully negotiating a bucketful of clay/earth/brick and dumping it in the truck bucket, without spilling it all back over the place, I’m beginning to wonder whether I should have been born a man. It probably looked a little bit like my dancing when I’ve had a few too many sherbets – not pretty, but a whole heap of fun 😉
I reckon Rich should sell his 964 and buy a digger. When I called him to crow about my exploits this morning and suggested putting his car on Ebay, he thought it was a ridiculous idea, simply because our four acre patch ‘Would look like Diggerland, with holes and piles of shite everywhere.’ He has a point but I reckon it’s only because he wasn’t here to take part. He’d soon change his tune if it’d been him digging out the footing. And anyway, Simon was going to take his kids to Diggerland, but if they’d been riding on the machinery, it’d have set him back about five hundred quid all told. Perhaps Diggerland’s not such a bad idea afterall…
In other news, the Klargester has arrived. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a giant shit-pit where all our effluent will accumulate, before being eaten by bacteria and other such nasties. By all accounts, you should ‘in theory’ be able to drink that water that comes out after it’s been treated. Ewww, no thanks, I’d rather drink gin. Christ, I’d even rather drink Bacardi, or milk. I’d looked at the alternatives, as we’re about a billion miles from the sewer connection, and they all looked like environmentally friendly, non-electricity eating alternatives but decided that shit is something we’d better not mess around with and that Klargester, being the Rolls Royce of shit munchers, would be the best product for the job. It’s one of the only ones that come in ‘one piece’ aswell. I can’t imagine the mess if a two part job were to give way under stress, nor can I can’t quite believe how big it is – I know we eat a lot of curry, but there’s only so much crap two people can do. Still, it’s all going underground at a later date and it’ll give Matty a reason to come back 😉
What else has happened? Stu had a day off (we missed him), Simon managed to squeeze a box of chocs and a load of other stuff out of the Civils and Lintels rep (thanks Ian, you can come back – provided you give me a really good price on any hard landscaping stuff we need. Like, a really good price), the Building Inspector (Graham, Philip is a harder nut to crack) actually smiled when he realised that the boys are all doing what they said they’d be doing and that he’ll appear on the telly, Paul was as Dependapaul as usual and carried on working like a Trojan on the hole Stu made the other day (I forgot about that – Stu took the entire corner of the house out, it was properly fooked, but all is well now). And I think that’s about it.
The Helifix people are coming out on Monday – the original structural pinning costs were about twenty five thousand pounds. Yep, you read that right. For something you can’t even see. I’m hoping that all the work Stu has been doing will pay off, and that the Helifix price goes down to £not much. If not, Rich is going to have to work while he’s asleep, or start putting his day rate up. The alternative (ie me working) is waaaay to hideous to contemplate. Especially as I now want to be a digger driver.