September 2017
The late summer drifts into Autumn and our first anxieties at the lack of progress (due to the interminable wait on the discharge of planning conditions!!!) on the construction builds. August proved to be what it is statistically – the worst of our summer months with cool temperatures and rain. While waiting for an Indian summer we were rewarded with the first storm of the winter to come on 12th of September. To be fair, this seemed to finally shuffle off the August weather and replace it with mild autumnal weather. Perhaps God is looking out for us as we are due to start work on the 18th.

Plans for Laurel Farm great Gidding

The machines have arrived but the portable toilets have altogether lost their charm. We do have mains electricity and mains water is arriving soon!

The 18th arrived but work did not start on site. Pete, our builder, went on an asbestos removal course from where he called to explain that everyone involved with this work had to attend the same course! I continued the long slog of fitting out the temporary kitchen and bathroom. In the meantime we continue our bathing by making use of family and friends.
We finally got going on the 21 with the removal of the asbestos sheeting and some much needed site clearing. The 22nd got off to a worse start as I couldn’t find the keys to the machinery in the morning. This inability to take care of keys is a recurring theme of my life and I suspect that I will have to refuse to do this job altogether. Once the keys were found in a distant jacket sleeve (?) the cherry picker broke down and I went off to work with the distinct feeling that I was the jinx.

The weather turned warm after the 25th. On the next day I arrived on site to be informed that Pete had ‘pushed over’ the office barn (which we were hoping to simply refurbish – cheaply and quickly). I had assumed that it was in such a poor condition that it had been pushed over by hand but it later emerged that it was the digger that “…had done it”. Amazing.
The accidental barn collapse led to a huge pile of bricks and the acceleration of Margaret’s efforts at brick cleaning in preparation for the rebuilding of the barn. Nevertheless we are optimistic and full of energy. The weather is mild and the evenings still long and on the 28th we celebrated the end of asbestos removal with a bottle of wine, bread sticks and a roaring fire in what had been a steel water tank.

Friday was the 29th and after a day of Margaret’s brick cleaning (I was in the office) we continued the celebrations with more wine, and more fire.

The month ended with a weekend of cleaning bricks and a bizarre struggle fitting our temporary shower in the temporary bathroom