Monday, 9 July 2012

A Busy Day

Work on the garden has been continuing apace over the last few days. It's still full of buddleia, only it's all horizontal and in pieces now. There's still lots of rubbish, only it's... well, actually, it's pretty much all where it was. We're trying to keep everything on the other side of the fence so that the garden remains baby-safe, which means that until a load of the buddleia is gone, there's not even room to start sorting the rubbish. In the process of hacking down the shrubs, we've found numerous buckets, many shower components, a terrifying number of tiny polystyrene balls, and a sofa which has been buried so long most of the biodegradable bits have gone, leaving only the metal and foam elements to haunt us, amongst other things.

Honestly, you couldn't make it up.

Lloyd hard at work
Tomorrow we're planning a co-op work day to try to clear a section near the fence so there's room to start sorting the rubbish into plastics, tiles, rubble, glass, polystyrene, landfill, etc. That's a lot of sorting, but we'd rather recycle as much as we can, even if it's a palaver.

Because this is a massive job, and dedicated though we are, it's going to take forever, we're also planning a work day on Saturday to which we're inviting willing victims volunteers. If you'd love to wade through sedimentary layers of skank in the pursuit of us one day having a magnificent permaculture plot, then please do get in touch. If you don't fancy that, but do have a vehicle, we'd be over the moon for you to take a load or two of chopped up vegetation to the dump for us. Being vehicle-less has it's downsides, and the inability to cart stuff away is definitely one of them. If you can help, there'll be tea, biscuits, and one of Flick's delicious dinners in it for you.

All this and more awaits you!
I feel I should note that this is not for the fainthearted. We don't know what we're going to find, and it's all pretty gross, but if you like a challenge, we'd really appreciate your help. In the event that our garden pursuits are rained off, we'll have some work ready to do inside the house, though this is likely to be of a more fiddly DIY nature, just so you know.


In other news, we have a shower... sort of. The mixer tap in the upstairs bathroom looked ever so shiny and nice when we got here, but it turned out that it was perpetually stuck in the limbo between spout and shower, spraying water pretty much everywhere but where you wanted it. We dismantled it and tried to fix it - oh, how we tried! - but to no avail (nothing made of metal should have a tiny, vital moving part made of plastic), and new taps are too pricey to contemplate.

The downstairs bathroom... well, that's another blog post, but it did have a working mixer tap which we decided to purloin for upstairs. The mission involved in this was pretty epic, and resulted in the realisation that the bath would have to come out to get the taps off. What luck then that today the washing machine waste pipe, which runs under the bath, sprung an almighty leak! We are lucky golems indeed. Within ten minutes of this discovery the bath was out in the garden, the pipe was bodged back in place pending a decision about the layout of the bathroom, and Rob had the precious taps off.

Getting them back on the upstairs bath was another matter, but he persisted, and lo! We now have a mixer tap with shower attachment upstairs, which is dead exciting after weeks of washing your hair with a jug, even if there's no bracket on the wall yet. Sometimes it's good to be easily pleased.

Our new workflow chart - blutacktastic!
In the midst of all this activity we also had a workshop. I know! We're basically superhuman. Anyway, this thrilling workshop was run by yours truly, and involved sticking lots of coloured paper to the wall. We were trying to get to grips with all the essential and non-essential jobs that we need to do, and put them in some kind of order. Although we didn't quite manage the order bit today, we did sort things into sequential and stand-alone jobs, and group things together into related tasks. An example of this is that we need to scaffold the building and fix the roof, but it will be easier to get scaffolding in once the back wall is rebuilt (possibly with steps to street level in) so it makes sense to do the wall first. It's much more complicated than that, but you get the idea. I've included a picture above for your enjoyment.

So, a busy day, and everyone is buzzing and planning on playing board games, and I'm feeling all happy to live with such a lovely bunch of people.

Fun times indeed.

- Hannah

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