Friday, 19 September 2014

Radio silence!

Apologies for the delay in service!

As has been the running theme for this year, I've had another breakdown - this time my laptop, hence the blogging hiatus.  A replacement doesn't appear to be on the cards just yet as internet searches have led Hubby to believe that it can be fixed by means of some disassembly and application of a heat gun.  I am not convinced.  In the meantime we have bought Madam a Kindle Fire (they were on offer), so a mild addiction to a free Boggle app has also been causing distraction.

Things Have Been Moving on the Studio front!  The foundations are gently curing in the late summer heatwave, and the shed will be delivered next Friday, with a view to putting it up the following week (or possibly the week after, as we're hoping to scam some advice from the double-glazing fitters who will be there then).  I'm beginning to wonder whether I ought to paint the outside of the shed before we put it together, if I get the weather for it . . .

Here's a shot of the foundations and the tyre-terracing on the slope behind which has been obligingly swallowing up topsoil as we dug it out.

I sourced the tyres from a local auto-repair place, which was more than happy to have them taken away.  I found that the lower-profile tyres (the ones with a shallower side wall) are much sturdier for building with and climbing across.  We've been drilling holes through the treads and bolting them together horizontally, and my gardener, Gary, has been packing the topsoil in and keeping them level across the slope, which is trickier than it looks because the sizes of tyres vary so much that finding similar sized ones to keep the rows even is nigh on impossible.  If you're doing landscaping work or mixing concrete (or removing about a cubic meter of compressed bamboo rootball that's been growing through gravel), I can thoroughly recommend getting yourself a Gary.  He's been awfully handy . . .

Oh, and I've found that cleaning the tyres, and spray painting them in situ is easier and more economical than painting them first then assembling them.

I tried to find a picture of what it looked like before we started, but the only one I could find was taken so long ago that the full horror of the overgrown bamboo and trellising collapsing under the weight of honeysuckle and brambles had not yet occured.

Perhaps the wide view might help -

Where the tyres start is where the garden virtually ended before - we own up to the center of the old railway track at the top of the slope, but over the years it has become so overgrown, and the slope is so steep, that with kids and pregnancies I just couldn't get it back under control.  There were trellises making a fence at the bottom of the slope, stopping me from being able to access even the lower edges . . . so we're hoping that now we'll be able to safely climb across the tyres and we've got at least a chance to keep the brambles down.  There are four apple trees and a pear in there too, which I'm hoping will start to produce more edibles once I can reach to prune and harvest the poor things!

Well, that's all I've got time to say just now - Little B is watching Cebeebies from the baby-cage (which is what we've been calling the playpen) downstairs, and I've got to go fetch Madam from after school football in a bit . . . and I haven't even mentioned the shed design, and the cheap windows I sourced, or even the fun I had at the Bristol Wool Fair . . . and I can't tell you about my current crafting because I'm doing a SWAP BOX (excitement)!  I'll fill you in soon.