Red Kite
King's arbor
First course D bed
Raised bed finished
painted and part filled
Filled and planted
That's about the size of it!
deep foundations
Day 2
Trench finished
Where all the soil went
Footings poured, ready for block laying tomorrow
 2 courses of blocks
Brick up to damp
Back filled and ext wall down
Shed in place and painted inside and out
Les Lobbs Diary
September 2015
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Budgie box was finished and delivered this morning, on our way to Tivvy for a spot of shopping. After the blocks for the new raised bed arrived, we went to help our friends install the arbor, by way of their neighbour's garden. It took a bit of 'umping to get it over the fence, but with it in place and the "roof" fitted it looks proper 'ansom. I think they have seen a hardwood seat that will fit it just right.
I've had a good clean up in the garage while it is relatively empty and put the tools back in their hiding places, before "someone" put's them somewhere safe! Next project will be the trellising to top off the existing and the new raised beds, but that's a way off yet.
We took advantage of the good weather yesterday and, after a trip to buy some soft sand, got one complete course of blocks finished. I saw on t'internet that Wickes had got 200ltr water butts on offer at £19.99, so that meant another trip into Exeter to get one for the new shed.
It looks fine this morning, so we will press on with the block work, cos the mixer goes back tomorrow; it's not the end of the world if we have to mix in the barrow, but tis easier with a mixer. Admin is already planning what rubble/rubbish we can get rid of in the new raised bed, before we fill it with topsoil - all good for drainage!
Cracked on this morning and finished the back wall and corners, then gave the mixer, and us, a break. Despite the black clouds, we decided to lay the rest of the blocks and got on well until just before the last mix when the mixer started making some unhealthy noises. There was no way that was going to stop head of pointing and finishing, so we used the barrow to finish off. Still needs a bit of tittivating (but don't we all) and time to go orf and then we can start filling it.
All pointed-up, painted (The red colour tones down after a while!) and part filled, just need a few more spoonfuls of topsoil.
We emptied 2 compost bins of nicely rotted stuff on top of the rubble and pea-gravel from the old front garden, and then followed with the topsoil we had stored in bags. The rain held off, but it did threaten a few times.
Waiting for the topsoil to arrive.
Yesterday we lifted some of the paving slabs from the patio where the conservatory is going and laid them round the shed base. We used a wet mix and dot-n-dabbed them to make life easier; the ground was well trodden and firm, so seemed daft to disturb it. Six was all we managed and we're both aching today, but we'll pop a few more down tomorrow. The weather has kept dry with a heavy dew overnight, but looks like breaking up at the weekend.
Didn't quite go to plan, but we got 3 more slabs laid this morning.
We were stopped by Mum worrying about a letter from "Works and Pensions"; she received the letter at 11.30 telling her someone would be visiting between 11.00 and 14.30 today and to have 3 items of identification ready! I rang and ***locked into their office about the short notice and the stress it had caused Mum, only to be told it was about her upcoming 100th birthday (why didn't they put that in the letter!). The lass arrived and confirmed Mum's identity, then asked if she wanted a card from the Queen on her birthday - does a donkey like strawberries?
Earlier this morning, Andrew came to borrow a chop saw and router and to deliver a few rocks for the new raised bed. He gets me soft herring roes from his fish supplier, but had never tried them himself, so at 8.30am we were eating roes on toast in the garden - not yer average breakfast fare.
Had an early morning shopping trip to Tesco, because it was too early to start making a din in the garden- they'm a dozy lot round here.
After a coffee we started planting out the new bed and have just finished; we have left a few spaces for new plants that we seem to collect every time we visit a nursery.
Slabbing again after lunch if the weather holds, but tis looking a bit grey at the moment.
Laid a couple of slabs and got a call from a friend who has been selling draw tickets with Dawn; that was it for the day, she came round and the kettle went on!
It's been spotting on and off this afternoon and there is rain forecast overnight, so that should please the plants we've just stuck in.
A woman decides to have a face-lift for her 50th birthday. She spends £5,000 and feels pretty good about the results.
On her way home, she stops at a news stand to buy a newspaper. Before leaving, she says to the seller, 'I hope you don't mind my asking, but how old do you think I am.
'About 32,' is the reply.'
'Nope! I'm exactly 50,' the woman says happily.
A little while later she goes into McDonald's and asks the counter girl the very same question.
The girl replies, 'I'd guess about 29.' The woman replies with a big smile, 'Nope, I'm 50.'
Now she's feeling really good about herself. She stops at a sweet shop on her way down the street. She goes up to the counter to get some mints and asks the assistant the same burning question.
The clerk responds, 'Oh, I'd say 30.'
Again she proudly responds, 'I'm 50, but thank you!'
While waiting for the bus to go home, she asks an old man waiting next to her the same question.
He replies, 'Lady, I'm 78 and my eyesight is going. Although, when I was young there was a sure-fire way to tell how old a woman was. It sounds very forward, but it requires you to let me put my hands under your bra.. Then, and only then I can tell you EXACTLY how old you are.'
They wait in silence on the empty street until her curiosity gets the better of her. She finally blurts out, 'What the hell, go ahead.' He slips both of his hands under her blouse and begins to feel around very slowly and carefully. He bounces and weighs each breast and he gently pinches each nipple. He pushes her breasts together and rubs them against each other. After a couple of minutes of this, she says, 'Okay, okay.....How old am I?' He completes one last squeeze of her breasts, removes his hands, and says, 'Madam, you are 50.'
Stunned and amazed, the woman says, 'That was incredible, how could you tell?'
'I was behind you at McDonalds'
Managed three slabs yesterday using our "rope placing" trick and then, while we were discussing the best way to lay the next one, my back decided to hit me. I've been laid up since, giving madam guillotine a chance to dead head the front garden.
Our conservatory chappie has given us the drawings etc and should be able to start in a couple of weeks; good timing as I've just had a date, 9th Nov, for them to pull my knee apart again - summat to look forward to!
Well wet here; hammering down all night, just brightening up a bit now. We wanted a wee drop of rain to settle the new plants in and they're certainly not thirsty after that lot.
Temporary head of slabbing and grouting has got low on sand and cement, so we had a quick troll into Exeter at 7.30 this morning to get supplies; we beat the works and school traffic which was a blessing.
You'll have to excuse the smell cos head of pickling is making a batch of green tomato chutney and is does tend to whiff a bit.
Two fish swim into a brick wall - one turns to the other and says "dam"
The lass decided to try and sell a few more raffle tickets tonight, so off she set with mini clipboard, bum bag, ticket books and pen. Partway round there was a problem:-
Lady - "Yes I'll buy some tickets"
Dawn - "Have you got a pen I could borrow please, I can't find mine"
Lady - "It's behind your ear"!!
A guy in a pub asks the barmaid's name
'Carmen' she says
'nice name - your mum or your dad called you that ?'
'no, I used to be called Sharon '
'oh yeah, why'd you change it?'
'well, I like men,and I like cars, so that's how I thought of it ! what's your name ?'
'Beertits ' he replied
Rain stopped play.
We've got the awkward slab in place and pointed between a few of t'others with the spare muck. Dawn stripped the toms out of the greenhouse and now the staging is back in place ready for taking geranium, fuchsia and begonia cuttings. There are enough green toms to make another batch of chutney, but we haven't got any more jars yet, so will leave them to ripen on the staging. I suppose we've been lucky with the weather, because it's come over black a few times but has held off until now.
Our flu jab appts have just come, so that's a sure sign winter's on its way.

Home alone - this morning we took Mum over to Bridgwater, to stay with Jean & Ivan for a few days.
When we got back it was a quick beans on toast lunch and then slabbing again. They all wanted cutting, so not a very quick job, but it looked ok when we'd finished; we have one awkward beggar left to do and a few halves alongside the greenhouse.
The patio slabs that are staying (and everything else within range) are getting a pressure wash from our head of cleansing.
The fish-n-chip van comes to the village tonight, so I think that'll do us.
Wanted a change, so we visited a garden centre near Exmouth this morning, with the idea of looking round and having a late breakfast there. There was nothing that took our fancy (getting everything ready for xmas!) and when they said £8 for a breakfast, plus tea or coffee, my minder made the decision to eat elsewhere.
There are lots of small cafes in Exmouth, but you try parking near one! We eventually ended up at the "Railway Carriage" and got a very good brekky, with tea and toast, for £6; we've had cheaper, but it was decent tucker and we had a good view of the yachts leaving the estuary on the ebb tide - lucky beggars.
By the time we got home we were ready for another go at the slabbing and got the last full slab in place; head of pointing is just finishing off round the edges.
The patio was cleared of the remaining unwanted slabs this morning and the area near the shed base was tidied up. We tootled over to Taunton to get the boys evening meal, because Julie has flown up to a meeting in Manchester today. There was a traffic warning on the M5 so we took the back roads, but still met loads of traffic doing the same thing. It was just getting dark when we came home and fortunately the traffic had calmed down; all we had to contend with were cyclists and joggers wearing all black clothing and no lights - death wish I reckon.
Mum is now staying with Jean and Ivan until Sunday, by which time we should be all tidy outside.
Change of plan - there were 6 full slabs left and it seemed daft not to use them, so we've stuck 4 in front of the greenhouse door. That was an unplanned job and, as the sun was out, we spent the afternoon chilling before I made us a paella, which went down very well with a glass of white wine.
The nights are getting chillier and most mornings there is a heavy dew on the grass, which prevents early starts. I expect the house martins will be leaving us soon for sunnier climes; they've been really entertaining in the evenings and t'other night a couple of them saw off a buzzard, which is usually the crows job.
It's raining quite steadily, so don't know if Dave will be coming to start the conservatory work this morning.
All the slabbing is done at the bottom of t'garden; I got a thump for telling 'erself she wor a reet ol slabber - no pleasing some folk.
Jean & Ivan brought Mum back yesterday and stayed to a splendid lunch of roast lamb, runner beans, cauli, roasties etc..
Returning home from work, a blonde was shocked to find her house ransacked and burgled. She telephoned the police at once and reported the crime.
The police dispatcher broadcast the call on the radio, and a dog unit, patrolling nearby, was the first to respond.
As the handler approached the house with his dog on a lead, the blonde ran out on the porch, shuddered at the sight of the cop and his dog, then sat down on the steps.
Putting her face in her hands, she moaned, 'I come home to find all my possessions stolen.
I call the police for help, and what do they do? They send me a BLIND policeman.'
A blonde suspects her boyfriend of cheating on her, so she goes out and buys a gun.
She goes to his apartment unexpectedly and when she opens the door she finds him in the arms of a redhead.
Well, the blonde is really angry. She opens her purse to take out the gun, and as she does so, she is overcome with grief.
She takes the gun and puts it to her head.
The boyfriend yells, 'No, honey, don't do it!!!' The blonde replies, 'Shut up, you're next!'
Despite the rain, work got underway this morning, with the walls cut, site marked out and trenches started. Sometime in the dim and distant past, a thoughtful person had laid a thick concrete path right where the trench is going, which made the job harder.
The skip to take the waste is being delivered in the morning and then all the blocks, bricks, sand etc. should arrive. We've got to go to Bridgwater, Taunton and Exeter tomorrow, so will probably nip off early to leave the driveway clear.
When we got back from our mornings roaming, Dave was setting up the planks for the skip, after off loading all the other "stuff"; our drive now looks like a builders merchant. Before the trench could be continued, the gurt heap of spoil from yesterday needed dumping into the skip; Dawn was in her element barrowing to and fro! It's about halfway now and they're hoping to complete it tomorrow.
Wouldn't it be great if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes and come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller!
Skip's full, trench is finished and we just need a drop of fair weather for the concreting. Timber and bricks being delivered tomorrow, but they can't collect the skip until Friday, which is a shame.
Fish & chips from the van again tonight - bugger the calories!
The biggest lie I tell myself is ..."I don't need to write that down, I'll remember it."
The concrete has been poured and the blocks stacked ready for laying tomorrow. Dawn couldn't do much to help today, so she contented herself with clearing up the spillages and mixer mess, after Dave had finished. If all goes to plan, Dave will lay 2 courses of blocks tomorrow and the bricking will start next week. Once the blocks are down, the window people can come and measure up for the conservatory.
We'em getting there, the first two courses of blocks went in today and that's it until Tuesday; the next job will be backfilling and then brick up to damp. The drive looks a lot clearer with the skip gone, but there's more stuff coming next week. Looking back over the week the weather has been very kind to us, which saves so much mud and mess. Head of logistics has volunteered to take the bricks from the drive over the weekend and stack ready for use next week.
Glorious sunshine!
The bricks are neatly stacked in position around the site and the drive is clear for the next delivery. Chief hod carrier is chilling out in the garden and I've come in to put t'kettle on.
Just got a phone call to tell me my op has been brought forward to Oct 26th. It's going to be a busy time, with the conservatory due to be finished around then and Mum's birthday on the 28th.
Busy day!
The shed was delivered just after 8.00 and erected by 8.45, good to get a firm that does what it promises. As the shed boys were leaving, the bricky arrived and got started on the outer wall below the window; this was going in the backfill before being topped off with soil.
There was nowt we could do, so we had a ride over to see Ju at work in Glastonbury; ended up buying the laminate for the conservatory floor! Ju said her front door lock was playing up and asked if we could "look" at it on the way home. We replaced the lock, cut the lawn and Dawn took her mate Max for a walk, collecting fish and chips on the way back.
When we got home, Dick had finished the backfill inside and out, and I think tomorrow he'll lay the plastic and concrete the sub floor; at this rate we may get the joists in by the weekend! The sun was still blazing and we took advantage of it to paint the shed with decking paint - I did the outside while the gaffer did the inside.