....So there we were, digging this hole, which was to be for the inspection pit in the new concrete sectional shed. Well, actually, 'we' didn't dig it, the mini digger man dug it, in the snow, a few weeks back. Luckily, it hasn't really snowed much since then, and the pit has remained covered up with tin sheets and anything else that would stop Star the not-overly-bright-Collie from falling in it. Last Wednesday, the Man from Muckle Flugga came round and started the concreting of the pit floor. There was a small pile of sandy ballast left over from the last shed build, half way up the drive (the lorry driver got stuck so just dumped it there), so some of that was barrowed down to the site and after clearing out the mini-landslip in the bottom of the pit, a few loads were mixed up and dropped into the pit. While the MFMF was busy concreting himself into a corner, I was up a ladder fixing the roof on Cubbie's shed. One of the corners of the box profile sheet had somehow come lose, and was flapping around in the rather stiff breeze. Luckily it had survived the recent storms that we had earlier in December. The problem was that the plank that that the sheeting was screwed into was so rotten that the screws weren't holding, so after a quick scout around the 'timber recycling pile' I found a suitable replacement, chopped it to size and fixed the roof back down. Sorted. Meanwhile, someone had left some footprints in the wet concrete....
(A couple of days later...)
So with the pit floor sorted, the next step will be to pop a few rows of blocks up for the walls and back fill the gap between the blocks and the rest of the world, with some concrete. But that's for later. Moving swiftly on to New Years Eve, and a handy contact in the world of 'big diggers' had agreed to lend us a JCB Loadall, and it was delivered to Cubbie Towers at early o'clock. A rather useful bit of kit, it would surely make shifting the huge pile of spoil a lot easier than a wheelbarrow...
The first pile to be shifted was nice, healthy dark top soil, which had to be carted right through every field we've got, up to the top of the farm, then back down to the bottom and back up half way again, to Mrs BC's veggie garden, and when that was gone, it was time to move the thick, orange clay that was heaped up on the far side of the shed base area. Easier said than done really, as there's the small matter of the whopping great big hole in the middle, aka the inspection pit.
New Years Day: Being ever so careful to avoid dropping the Loadall in for an inspection, TMFMF set about shovelling up the clay and dumping it in one of the fields to make a bit of a sheep shelter. Unfortunately, being the middle of winter, and having had quite a lot of overnight rain, it meant that the big heavy beast of a JCB cut into the ground rather a lot, and after just a few loads it was decided that it would be better to dump the spoil on a patch of waste ground, that wouldn't involve running back and forth through the fields. That was a doubly good thing 'cos it also meant each load could be dumped in half the time, and I didn't have to keep running around opening and closing gates and keeping sheep in the right fields. It's certainly been a great help having the machine in to shift the spoil, but more or less every load has had to be supplemented with hand lifted shovel-fulls of heavy, sodden, half set clay, which let me tell ya, is no way to spend New Years Day! But hey, it's all going to be worth it when the muck is cleared, the ruts have healed up and the shed starts to be built. Can't wait. Oh, and before I forget to tell you, it looks like I might be getting my paws on another plunger Cub frame in a few months!
We've only got the Loadall until Wednesday, so hopefully the weather tomorrow will be nice and frosty, and we can finish off the earth shifting and maybe even get the mini digger man back to help tidy up and then.....maybe.....on Tuesday....maybe the block work could go up in the pit....maybe....oh yes, there's a tree to plant too, one that had to come out when the base was dug out.
And before I take my weary body off to the land of nod, I'd like to say thanks to one and all for the good wishes received by email, text or Fleecebook, and thanks for your continued interest and support in all things GBC and Cubbie over the years. I hope you'll continue to 'watch this space' for more madcap adventures and sheep tails. Tales. Sorry. HAPPY NEW YEAR BLOGGERS!!!!!