23/10/2014

LSS’s birthday. We’ll probably celebrate by going to a restaurant tomorrow evening.

I have been considering using a layer of straw in the barn as insulation under the lime concrete. Research has shown that it is a fairly efficient insulator; after all it’s used in bales in straw-bale houses. However, I don’t think it would be a suitable material for this particular floor. Because there’s a fairly high water-table, the soil is always damp, so I strongly suspect it would just rot. T&M suggested putting down extruded polystyrene sheets; however these would not be breathable, so we’d have even more rising damp in the walls. I’ve decided to just pour the lime concrete on top of a layer of compacted rubble/gravel and take my chances. At least it will be an improvement on the dirt floor.

The construction of the formwork has now been completed, and it’s ready for pouring the concrete (which will be 10cm deep). It took me ages to get it all levelled up, but it’s now ready for the pour. I initially intended doing this in sections of one square metre; but I changed my mind. For practical purposes each form measures 0.8 x 2 metres. This size is a better fit for the area to be done. The width of 0.8 metres will make it easier to scrape the top surface level. I’ll probably start the pour next week, as there are other little jobs pressing for my attention. As LSS is working all hours, I need to collect some more grass and plants for the ravenous horde of beasts viz. the bunnies. I also need to cut some more wood with the chainsaw. We do have sufficient firewood for the winter, but we’ve been bringing back and stacking up scrap timber and old fence posts from the aged FIL’s place, and the pile has become somewhat large.

In the evenings I’ve been working at the rabbit skins; they are nearly complete. It’s a lot of work, I can tell you!

This morning the aged FIL was taken by the local ambulance to the hospital in Orleans for a scheduled checkup. They think the issue with one of his heart valves has become worse, so have decided to keep him at least until after the weekend so they can run more tests and possibly carry out an operation.

LSS returned home with a new nutcracker, so shelling hazelnuts is once more back on the “to do” list!

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