Saturday, 16 August 2014

Pushing on........

Lester says that it should take about six days in total to finish getting the chappe down onto the kitchen floor. We are going at a stately pace. Two hours in the morning, then two hours late afternoon, with a meal and a nap in between, plus, of course, the usual farm work of animal husbandry, harvesting and storing, and anything else which comes along. 

Lester has had a fear about doing the floor, saying that it had to be level otherwise the tiles would be all up and down when they were laid. And how deep did the chappe need to be, that was also a very long ongoing discussion he frequently had with me. It was a relief when he made his decision, and made a start. 

Meanwhile, my job is to get buckets of sand from out on the front drive, and buckets of cement from inside the house. Lester carries a full bucket with ease because he has man muscles. I can't even lift it because I have lady muscles. But there is always a way to be found to do things which at first seem undo-able, so I do the transporting of the sand and cement by putting the full bucket of sand / cement into a wheelbarrow. Sorted! 

I have also acquired the skill of getting the contents of the bucket into the cement mixer, but not a full bucket because my arm muscles won't oblige, so what I do is shovel half of the contents of the bucket, bit by bit, into the mixer. Only occasionally do I miss. When the bucket is half full, then I can lift it and get the remainder of the contents into the mixer. I am not, however, allowed to put the water into the mix, although might be instructed to do so but only under supervision, never on my own.

I was also instructed requested to make  sure that the sand and cement right at the back of the cement mixer could be made to mix better. My best solution, via my female thought processes, was to use a long handled small pronged gardening fork. A quick dab, thrust, and poke, and the mix was mixed. However, this was not found to be an ongoing solution when the cement mixer ended up on its back with its legs in the air, there being an error in my dabbing, thrusting, and poking action which got the long handled small pronged gardening fork tangled up with rotating paddles of the cement mixer, which put the mixer into a tizz, and flat on its back it went. Not to worry. It was only three quarters full, so Lester managed to man-haul it back on to its feet. As for the long handled small pronged gardening fork, that, too, will live on, but only after the wound to its shaft has been mended. A piece of string should do the trick.

In the intervals between my loading task I prepped some garlic bulbs ready for the dehydrator, bought from the local market at one euro (80p)for one large head of garlic, so I bought ten. Did five. They are now dehydrated, as are the ten kg of apples at one euro per kg, also bought from the market. I scattered cinnamon and sugar over the apple slices. They will not last long though, as Lester is frequently doing a raid on them already. To fill the dehydrator up I also did some green peppers of our own. Dehydrating, canning, jamming and chutneying means that we never have a glut, and what is not processed goes out to the animals. I think of the amount of food we wasted in the UK, and am glad that we have changed our ways. 

Day One (Thursday)
Our first efforts. 

Day Two (Friday)
....and over the the other side of the kitchen.

Look at the angle between the left and right hand floor chappes,
how they do not run parallel, but widen.
This is not an optical illusion!
The room is not square, that's all!

Things I have learnt: 
- That when Lester says to wash the cement mixer out at the end of a session of work, then he means that it should be done NOW, and not after I have done a couple of more rows of knitting and made a cup of tea. It is the nature of sand and cement to go hard, and quite quickly so, this I have learnt.
- That prepping lots of garlic cloves can make the hands sting after a while, although the possibility of garlic juice and cement dust combining to add to the stinging effect must be taken into account. Anyways, probably best to do knitting in between loading the cement mixer and leave the prepping of garlic cloves to another time. Also, probably best to wear gloves as well, but not winter type gloves, just thin latex type ones.

It is the morning of Saturday, and still no calf has arrived. Lester is waiting for me, so I had best stop chatting with you and get on with the day.

It takes me five trips with the wheelbarrow to load the buckets of sand and cement per one cement mixer load. 
So: 5 trips x four loads per session = 20 trips. 
So: 5 trips x four loads per session x two daily sessions = 40 trips
So: 40 trips per day x 2 days of work = 80 trips

Estimated days to finish the kitchen: 6
So: 6 days x 40 trips = 240 trips 
So: 240 trips + 80 trips already done = 320 trips in total

Estimated trips to complete the chappe on all the floors in the house:
1800 trips.

I am off to make a cup of tea now. 
But I shall not fall over backwards like the cement mixer did,
no, I shall not,
no... it is alright to have a little lie down perhaps? 
Just to stretch the back.....
....and perhaps have a snooze....



rusty duck said...

It will be worth it..
It will be worth it..

Repeat as many times as is necessary.

Vera said...

Jessica, am repeating over and over 'it will be worth it', honestly I am! Meanwhile, I am off to have another nap!!!!

Niall & Antoinette said...

Hang in there..... it will be wonderful when it's finished :-)

Vera said...

Niall & Antoinette, ... am hanging on, really I am, honestly I am.....

Rhodesia said...

It will be great when done. I don't think there is a square room or wall, even close to it in our house, adds to the fun :-))

Horst in Edmonton said...

So proud of you two, Vera. It is wonderful to do all this hard work and then see it almost done. It won't be long and the job will be finished. Then you can have a little rest and party and then move in all the stuff you need for that room. Have a little rest and keep going.

Vera said...

Diane, I love the uneven walls of old houses, and I would think you do as well!

Horst, thanks for your encouragement, and we are giving ourselves a slow day tomorrow, it being Sunday and the day of rest! Hope you have a good Sunday as well.

Vera said...

Diane, I love the uneven walls of old houses, and I would think you do as well!

Horst, thanks for your encouragement, and we are giving ourselves a slow day tomorrow, it being Sunday and the day of rest! Hope you have a good Sunday as well.