Planning, planning and, oh, more planning.

Apologies, it has been a while since I wrote a decent post on here. It seems all I’ve done for about a year has been ramming tyres. Probably because that’s pretty much all I have been doing!

At the last count, I’ve got about 50 tyres to go to finish the final retaining wall and I cannot wait to get them out of my way! I’ts not that I haven’t enjoyed ramming the tyres – far from it, actually, I think ramming tyres is brilliant fun and has got my upper body into a decent shape! It’s more that, after two years of digging trenches and turning a big hill into a terraced garden, I am ready to move on to the next stage.

This next stage is all happening this Easter. It’s exciting and equally terrifying. I ordered the straw last September and had it stored at a friends farm in Brecon. In five weeks, that straw will be making its way down and the walls will be going up, along with the roof of the building.. all of this will take place over one week!

This is the pitfall of building without a timber frame. Since I need the straw to hold the roof in a monolithic structure, the walls need to be built, then the roof placed in top. When you have a material like straw, you need to keep it protected, and for those precious few days when the roof is going up and being covered, you have to pray for good weather and a smooth operation. It’s no wonder a lot of people would go for the timber frame approach!

To ensure that the week goes smoothly, everything, and I do mean everything, has to be planned to the smallest detail. I’ve got a shopping list as long as my arm, consisting of roof timber, lime putty, tarpaulins (essential weather protection kit!) and clay. Delivery times are being considered, as some of the materials will require lugging up to the back of the garden, and to be honest, it can be a very overwhelming operation to plan!

This is where I am at currently. I’ve just put in the order for the timber for the roof plates, and the joists, which I hope to construct before Easter. I’m bidding on a Gripple for compressing the walls on eBay, and emailing lime suppliers about prices and delivery dates. It’s mental, but as Easter draws closer, I can’t wait for it all to arrive and all to fall into place. I won’t be surprised when it’s all over that I get bored and look for my next project, because this stage feels very addictive!