Friday, 2 November 2007

Today is the first day of the rest of your life

I have never been one for calendars with daily homilies; intemperate reactions to that kind of stuff would mean expensive bills or hours of my life spent with polyfilla or linseed oil putty. I would never subscribe to services that send you a new word a day, or otherwise attempt to improve your vocabulary and by inference, your life. But there are some days that are momentous not for themselves but for what they will bring, and today is probably one of those days.
This morning there should be signatures added to much discussed contracts. I will take a good look at the derelict barns and hold my breath and try and make the major mental adjustment needed for when a troupe of people previously unfamiliar, are about to enter one's daily life for 18 months.
As excited as I am about the outcome, I cannot say I am looking forward to the constant round of noise, dirt, and sheer physicality of the whole process. I like a quiet life.
The farmyard already looks like a building site: much in-house activity has been taking place in preparation for the arrival of the pros, with electricity cabling trenched underground, a site hut area levelled, tin lean-tos demolished, elm boarding taken down and stored for re-use, self seeded ash saplings torn up to enable access to walls. The digger has come into its own. I have splinters from sifting the rubbish for fire-wood. My boots are constantly muddy as the scalpings that kept feet dry in the yard have been pressed more deeply into clay with the comings and goings of heavy machinery.
Things will look much worse before they start to look better; dodgy walls will be taken down, rotten timbers removed, last suggestions of roofs removed. But then the craftsmanship will kick in and my admiration will bloom.
Restoring cob buildings takes time - the material requires it and it is truly manual labour. I suspect much of the good works will be hidden behind scaffolding for many months, and I must be patient.

11 comments:

gastropunk said...

Good luck with this mammoth project, mopsa. Looking forward to seeing the progress over the next 18 months.

GeraniumCat said...

All the very best for the restoration, Mopsa, it looks truly worthwhile.

I wish that, as builders arrive on site each day, you could confiscate their mobile phones! When we had them here (for months) I could just about stand the noise, I found, but the phone calls drove me to teeth-grinding distraction.

Winchester whisperer said...

Good luck!

Rob Clack said...

A day will come when you just collapse in your chair and say "Thank god it's finished!" Between now and then, organise yourself a treat for that moment. I'd lash out on a bottle of really expensive and special wine, but that may not push your buttons the way it does mine.

Mopsa said...

Ta folks - yes, I will be keeping a documentary eye on the proceedings.

I hadn't thought about mobiles GCat - the signal here is appalling! But we have laid down the law re: radios - on low at all times.

Wine rather bores me Rob - unless it's a good champagne. If Drunk Mummy was still blogging I wouldn't have dared say that!

mountainear said...

It's a tremendous project - just remember that on the days when nothing seems to progress and all around you is a sea of mud and stone.

Hope there will be regular updates for nosey bloggers.

Flowerpot said...

best of luck with it all Mopsa. Yes it will be a gargantuan task but well worth it in the end.

lady thinker said...

I don't envy you the 18 months of noise and disruption -plus the 6 months to recover your poise at the end - but couple of years down the track you'll think the whole idea was worth it - in the end. I look forward to hearing all the building works ups and downs, ins and outs etc.
A kind of Farmers wife in the South West it'll give WITN to think on ...

paula said...

mopsas in the mud will be a trial - but those buildings...they're so worth it! I really will be thinking of you.

Mopsa said...

M'ear - you can be sure of updates!

Thank you Fpot

Lady T - I don't think anyone will give WITN a run for her £70k advance!

Paula - I suspect the dogs and I will come to embrace mud as one of our most exuberant crops!

Hannah Velten said...

Sounds like you're in for a long, hard slog, BUT it will all be worth it. Well done for even gettig this far!