Monday, 16 January 2012

Out Came The Sun And Dried Up All The Rain...............

...................and the Little Geordie Builder got on the site again! With a big smile on his face J.  I have to admit it was good to get back out there and working.  It was a cold and misty start but the afternoon was glorious.  We have put down the damp-proof membrane and conduit for electrics in readiness for the concrete arriving tomorrow.  We have hired a telescopic something or other that I will be driving.  It is too wet around and about the land and Brendan is worried the concrete waggon will get stuck, so the plan is for the waggon driver to fill my telescopic bucket with concrete and I will then carefully deliver it onto Brendan’s head the required area.  Sounds good in theory.

Never did I think I would see the day during my past life as a fashionista (You may scoff those of you who have only known me in the garbs of a labourer, but in fact I was the first person to wear baggy jeans in my college days.) when I would spend €21 on pair of wellies.  (Auto correct just changed wellies to willies, but it was definitely wellington boots.)  They are not even designer, unless you call Dunlop steel toe-caps designer.  Still, needs must.

Talking of fashionistas, I received a parcel from my lovely Dad. My family always worries about me being cold and in the past has bought me; battery operated foot warmers, slippers you can heat in the microwave, fur lined boots, hot water bottles and body warmers to name but a few items.  This parcel contained a Snuggie which is a blanket with arms and claims to; ‘fight off the cold, winter nights with a comfy Snuggie blanket. It keeps you warm and content while also keeping your hands free so you can reach that remote control with ease’.  The box also claimed you could ‘wear it anywhere’. Well, let me tell you Mr Snuggie Ltd Dot Com – you can’t!  It was totally impractical on the site.  I felt like an extra out of ‘Sister Act’ and fought from belting out a rendition of ‘Rescue Me’.  Besides which, I was crackling with so much static electricity Brendan would have had to wire me up and earth me to keep me from being electrocuted or spontaneously combusting!  However, I have a feeling it will come in very useful when we move into the caravan, thanks Dad!

And so to bed ready for a hard day of concreting, but it is a huge step forward and Brendan will be happy and relieved when it is done and the real building work can start.  Happy days!

Move over Whoopi Goldberg!


Well C Day arrived.  Kevin, a friend, popped along to give us a hand.  This meant a quick risk assessment of the site as Kevin is known as Mr Bump because he is rather accident prone.  I salvaged some plastic bottles from the recycling bag and popped them over the iron bars sticking out of the corners of the foundations.  Preferable to finding an eyeball on the end of it.  Nothing else seemed to pose much risk, except perhaps me driving the telescopic handler, as I now know it is called.

By the time I had carpeted the cab I didn’t get much time to practise on the telescopic handler before the concrete arrived.  I drove up to the chute of the concrete waggon; the driver filled the bucket with concrete which I then drove over to the boys where they gave instructions on where to pour with hand gestures.  Pretty straightforward I hear you say, except their hand gestures for the same instructions were completely different.   They looked like they were dancing to ‘The Birdie Song’!  Very confusing.

Also confusing was the one stick that made the telescopic arm go up, down, extend, retract, tip the bucket up and empty the bucket.  I think any kid who has played with a PlayStation and joystick would have found it a doddle!   I shunted the cement chute once and caught an iron bar, so not bad even if I do say so myself.

With the second delivery the driver decided to deliver the cement straight into the foundations.  Perhaps he thought it was all taking too long.  That went fantastically well and it was, of course, so much quicker.  However, he then got stuck on the mud so we had to shovel sand under the wheels to enable him to get out again.  On the third and fourth deliveries we went back to him filling my bucket!  I have to say he was brilliant and very patient.  Brendan said they would charge extra in England if the pour went over a certain time.

There was method to my madness in putting carpet down in the cab.  I thought it would keep it clean as there was a charge of 128€ if the machine went back dirty!  I was told to put the keys under the floor covering in the cab for the company to collect the machine.  Of course no one would think of looking there would they?  I was a little nervous leaving fifty thousand pounds plus of unlocked machinery on the drive. It was gone the next morning, I just prayed it was Locatoumat who collected it and it hadn’t been stolen.

Brendan's little invention worked a treat!

Well the hard work starts here.  Brendan has stipulated the time we must be out in the mornings, that we will probably be working later into the evenings and will stay on site to eat lunch. We have put blocks and sand out in readiness for us to start the build on Monday.  Brendan is so excited.  He is going  on site tomorrow, Sunday, to fill the water bins and put more blocks out.  You’re on your own Sunshine.  Sunday is a day of rest and I’ve got the house to clean, shopping to buy, the washing, the ironing, the paperwork………………….  Roll on Monday!

A misty end to the day.

Laying out the blocks.


  1. Thank you so much for doing this blog... it is humorous, & informative. Wish I was there to be part of it. You should publish this at the end of the build.
    Love you both Jan xx

    1. Thank you Janet and all of you who have left comments either here or by email. It is so nice to have your encouragement and know that you are enjoying the blog. xxx

  2. Hi Deb,
    I'm really enjoying reading your blogg. You're all working so hard & it's great that you keep your sense of humour.

    1. Thanks Ann. So far the sense of humour is in tact - but for how long?? I didn't realise I could reply to your comments until today. It is all a learning curve this blogging lark! xxx

  3. Hi Deborah
    you should write a book one of these days! Have to say I love you in the telescopic thingy! Cool! We went down to see you the other day, but you weren't there. Would you like to come for lunch next week? It will be your very late Christmas present... :) Let me know when.
    lots of love Hege


Thanks for your comments. Nice to know there is someone out there!