A few days off

After successfully completing the second lime render coat and resolving to put on the final finish coat in the spring we decided to take a few days off. Not that that means we can rest much, as we search for soffits for the house, doors for the Piec (cooking range) and mushrooms in the forest. […]

Ba ba black sheep

Well not anymore as we picked up our two sheep skins from the tannery, all soft, white and fluffy. If you didn’t know we kept a couple of lambs over the summer as an experiment on ourselves to see if we could keep and kill animals for our own use; all part of the future […]

Well it’s finished

That is we have completed the second coat of lime render on all four walls, ready for the windows and doors to be installed in the coming weeks so we can face the winter ahead. And just in time it seems as the ground was covered in a lovely white frost this morning,     –2 overnight. […]

Just for the record

Its toilet emptying time again which is much sooner than I expected, we must have had more visitors than usual! So after lasting about two weeks last time we are down to a week; seven days solid of solids. Even still I think the five minutes once a week; not bad. However let the record […]

Time and temperature

Another marathon slog for the rain god as we experienced another 18 hours of pretty constant rain, at least the main of it was on Sunday so it didn’t interrupt work, and it made the Sunday lunch at Steve and Dorotas that much more enjoyable as we tucked into leg number three of eight from […]

What the Fly Agaric!

With the rain comes the possibility of mushrooms and the first to show are the Fly Agaric, having read a little more about them its no wonder that Alice had an adventure in Wonderland! It has a reputation more for killing flies than people as it was traditionally used as a fly killer; perhaps this […]

One wall left

Despite the wind and rain over the last couple of days we have pushed ahead and completed the second coat of lime on all but the East wall. This was the last wall to get the clay plaster and it finally dried out yesterday, so the first lime (stipple coat) went on last thing yesterday, […]

Toilet time

Well I’m surprised; its more than two weeks since I last emptied the toilet. Given that we have spent a couple of days away over the weekends then its safe to say that the toilet tipping is a fortnightly event. So for the doubters that think that it must take up lots of time then […]

Surgical gloves

Make sure you have a ready supply, you will be glad of them as your hands crack and develop burns and sores; lime is not as nice as it looks! All innocent and white, light and powdery. Don’t be fooled, it burns, burns, burns. That said the render is going on fast with Chris (our […]

First lime coat almost finished

Other than the East wall, which still needs to completely dry out, the first ‘stipple coat’ of lime is on; using a three to one mix of a very course or sharp sand and normal builders lime, which we soaked in a bath of water overnight. More to keep the dust down than anything, but […]

Chicken soup! It must be Sunday

Now I’ve never been that religious, nor had any real tendencies to become so, but I have to agree with one of the by-products of the religious order; and that is the rule that says you should not work on a Sunday. I whole heartedly agree that a day of rest is required and it […]

What a difference a day makes

I should have posted yesterday to mark the milestone! After more than three weeks, about 600 man hours , 10 tonnes of sand, 4 tonnes of clay and a big pile of chopped straw ( a very big pile); the clay plaster coat was completed. Time for celebration? Well not quite just yet, as we finished the […]

Don’t stand up, empty it!

Less than 5 minutes and the toilet is emptied into the compost pile. I’m guessing that it’s a week since my last disposal, let this be the start of my records. It was only 5 degrees this morning and the steam from the pile as I pulled back the cover material was impressive; I must […]

Rain stopped play

Early finish today as the longest drought in 200 years ( or since records began) finally broke; or maybe its just a passing cloud. After eventually getting to the last wall for clay plastering the end is in sight and spirits are high; so an early finish when the rain arrived seemed like a good […]

Toilet Diaries, or how to save the planet

Composting toilets, the single simplest thing you can do to reduce the impact you have on the planets resources; plus you get fantastic compost for your garden. www.humanurehandbook.com There is no need for me to rewrite a book that is already written so follow the link and order your copy now. Or download it for […]

The story so far

A quick and easy way to find out how we got to where we are and what we are doing to get there. www.winkos.co.uk or you could take a look at the page Before the Blog which I’m updating all the time whilst I port my website over. Of course I should be updating the […]

Just testing

Just setting up the blog on the off-chance that I have the time and inclination to post anything. The house is coming on slowly, we are still putting on the clay mix (3 parts sand, 1 part clay, 1 part chopped straw) two weeks after starting; ten hours a day. We are getting close to […]