Monday 28 July 2008

More shelter building...

Today was the big day for the shelter. The shelter will still be temporary (in terms that a planning officer would understand...), just a bit more sturdy than the old one, and more waterproof for the purposes of storing tools and drying wood.

Yesterday we'd made the pillars for the corners, so the first job was to slot them into place and put some bolts through to secure them:
Don't worry that they look a bit wonky - they're not meant to be tight in their sockets at this stage. However, this did make it difficult when we tried to tip the whole thing on its side, and we discovered a use for all those poles with forked ends that we'd saved last winter:
With the poles that would be on top after tipping braced, we heaved the whole thing over, moved the supports and attached some ropes to hold it all steady while we worked:
With the whole frame on its side, getting the "roof" on was quite straightforward, and we ended up with a cuboid shape:
We added some diagonals on the side walls to stiffen the structure, and then it was time to stop, because we were hungry and the sun was getting pretty hot!
When we next get up, perhaps tomorrow, we'll put a couple more diagonals on and them lots of poles across the roof (currently on the side) to support the tarpaulin - we've learned from past experiences with rain on the original shelter! Then the whole thing can tip back to where it started and we're done!

We had a wander around the woods after lunch, and saw this stunning feather floating on our pond. My Dad helped me ID it, it's from a Jay.
The pond, by the way, is doing OK. There's a few plants in it, and lots of little black bugs crawling around on the bottom. The algae seems to be slowly making a comeback too - I wonder if it had a "bloom" in its population and then suddenly ran out of a critical resource, and is now coming back slowly. Worryingly, human population has done much the same, with oil and gas being used to grow food, and the implications of Peak Oil take on a dark side...

But moving on to a lighter topic, here's a Peacock butterfly enjoying the sun in our coppice. Same it wouldn't sit still for me to get a better photo!
This wasn't the only pretty insect I've seen recently. After my discovery of the range of moths we have, when I found one on our blind this morning I took a photo before carefully catching it and letting it out the window. It's a Buff Ermine, a common species that's apparently attracted to artificial light, so no surprise it was in our house!
Well, after all that hard work with shelter we cycled down to the beach for a swim. That's the nice bit about living by the sea - when it gets hot and sunny you can just pretend you're on a beach holiday! :-)

Bye for now, Mike

UPDATE: links to posts on building the shelter:


La Ferme de Sourrou said...


Your blog is really going from strength to strength. Loads of interesting stuff and ideas.

The electric bikes sound great - I must find out more about them.

Mike Pepler said...

Thanks :-)

I'll put more details up on the bikes when they are delivered, which may still be a week or two. The model is Kalkhoff Pro-Connect if you want to look into it.