Thursday, May 26, 2011

Demolition Site

Our house has looked like a demolition site for several weeks. Unkind passers by might say, "So, what's new!" This time is different though. Our usual accumulation of piles of this and that, and our general disorder, has been tramped through with muddy boots, and garnished by a drizzle of wood shavings and saw dust. Bird song and traffic noise has been masked by the howl of electric saws and chain saws. The passage of time has been measured by the percussive, "thwack" of hammers and the basso thump of wooden piles being bashed into place. There is a saying that "Your home is your castle", our home has been a castle under siege. Even our little patch of forest has not escaped the menacing growl and yelp of the saw. Some of our largest trees have had to come down, an estimated 5 or 6 tonnes of timber, mostly poplar, alder and willow, is lying in rounds on the ground, and splitting and stacking has already begun, a herculean task that has been tackled by a young and muscular Hercules that we have had the good sense to summon to our aid.

It is nearly winter here, and maybe there is some primitive unease and doom-laden nervousness accompanying the change of season that is leading us to nest building, and the laying in of nuts and other good things to see us through the time of short days and bone-brittle frosts?

These several simultaneous projects have actually required us to summon a Pantheon of helpers. Our mythic heroes have been skilled in the arts of directing water up hill, through narrow pipes, and across perilous junctions (Jason, the plumber), scaling vast heights in wind and rain and dismembering 50 foot high tree dragons and questing beasts (Dominik, the tree feller), butchering fallen dragons into tasty morsels for the kiln (Shea, the wood splitter), and the construction of a covered area at the back of the house, and a capacious storage unit within a former bedroom (Mark, builder and carpenter).

Dominik about to slay another dragon.

Some of the slain tree dragons.

 Oh what good fellows these mighty men have been! By their labours, great things have been achieved, and life has improved somewhat!

Somewhere dry to work and to play! Yay! Something that we have dreamed of doing for years and years, now we have it Thanks to Mark's wonderful skills.

Mark at work. I love his white flat deck truck, it makes a formidable work bench for him, and it also has a lovely "house" that can be put on it to turn it into a house truck.

The interior of Mark and Rhonda's house truck. Isn't it beautiful!

I would like to report with a hearty cheer that all this building boom reveals coffers that are full of golden treasure that has been acquired through business success or acts of valour, but this is not the case, really we have reached a level of frustration and desperation where something just had to be done, and we had to pay people to achieve this.
I have to say that seeing problems solved, repairs completed, and improvements made to work areas has been a huge relief and a boost to the spirits. To walk outside the back door into a dry covered area is just wonderful, and to lay down on a stormy night and not to have to worry about water potentially swooshing down internal walls is a blessing indeed!

So, there is still a lot more to do and to finish. I am making benches and shelves for the shed, which will become my main glazing area. We are varnishing a large storage cupboard and wardrobe which will assist in freeing up space for Laura to have a studio all of her own. Two tile commissions await considerably more activity from myself. And I really should make lots and lots of mugs, small bowls, and platters!

Just had a brief overnight visit from friends, Bevin and Lorraine. They visited at quite short notice, having had a frustrating day trying to fire a new kiln that would not come up to temperature with pots for an exhibition. Due to our general state of chaos, we ended up accommodating them in our gallery area, so they slept amidst pots and paintings. Bevin brought with him an extruder, and we had fun this morning extruding some clay shapes through it. Most entertaining, and it could prove to be very useful. Really nice to catch up with them both again, and I hope Bevin is able to get his wood fired Manabigama inspired kiln sorted soon.

Bevin and Lorraine arrived with an extruder!

Bevin's unfired pots packed into his new kiln, sadly problems prevented it reaching temperature. (Photo from Lorraine and Bevin... hope they don't mind me using it here!)

A Technical Hitch.....
Regular viewers may notice that I have changed the background template for this blog, so we are now various shades of white. The delightful Pat Arkansas kindly let me know that she had experienced some difficulties viewing one of my recent blog posts, and I also had difficulty yesterday when I viewed my blog from someone else's computer. For some reason the formatting got scrambled. My last post came out like a long scroll with all the links and other things that should be on the right hand side displayed below. I thought I would apply a new template and see if that ironed out whatever technical issue was creeping in. I suspect that there might be issues with some versions of Internet Explorer, but I could be mistaken.

If you find that this does not display with links on the right, but they are below the post instead, could you kindly let me know so I can try to remedy the bug. It would help if you let me know the name and the version of the browser that you are using.


Judy Shreve said...

Looks like great improvements occurring for your work spaces and living spaces - and how wonderful that you have such great help.

We are dealing with some disorder at our house too - we're having hardwood floors installed.

Your blog's formatting looks fine on my Mac.
I've moved my blog to my website.

Angie said...

I have been turned up side down by just having Jay redecorate and build some new bedroom and craft furniture so I can only imagine your turmoil the new look although the old one was no problem for me ....great post as usual.

Arkansas Patti said...

What an amazing band of merry men you had working. I could use that tree fellow.
Mark and Rhonda's house truck is really beautiful.
Enjoy all your new improvements. I too have been having problems with my post but I thought it was just Blogger. Perhaps I will change formats also. Nice of Pat to have let you know.

Tracey Broome said...

Peter, if you ever stop doing pottery, you have a good chance at selling books you write! I love to read your posts!! Love that covered area, that is on my wish list.

Linda Starr said...

the house truck is super, tried to comment on last post, but couldn't find a way and my emails were all lost so couldn't email you, what a lot of work you are doing there, don't work too hard.

Peter said...

Hi Judy,
So good to hear from you, I was wondering how to find you as I couldn't track down your blog any more. I'll update my link to your site. We probably need some sort of support group for those of us undergoing the pain of house renovations! Hardwood floors will look great when done, but I can imagine the "joys" of moving everything to install it! Glad that the formatting is OK on the Mac, I'm OK too with Linux, but I am suspecting there might be an Internet Explorer issue with Windows on some versions????

Hi Angie,
Glad you've had no problems with my blog formatting... it is helpful to know. It is delightful when new decoration is finished and nice things come into the house.... but it is what to do with all the accumulation of stuff when the process is going on!

Hi Patti,
I'm sure my tree fellow would love a trip to Arkansas, and he is a nice fellow too, I should dispatch him to your aid immediately! Visiting Rhonda and Mark is like dropping into somewhere that is always bathed in happy sunshine. Interesting that you've been having blogger problems too. I do know that Blogger had a world wide hiccup recently where all sorts of things went wrong, and all the comments were "frozen" for a while when they tried to sort it out. I have never had problems reading your blog... so it is travelling to NZ loud and clear on Linux!

Hi Tracey, thanks for that regarding writing (you're not so bad at it yourself!). The covered area is probably the best thing that we've done around here so far, and is greatly recommended! Sorry to read about your snakes, by-the-way....!

Hi Linda,
Agggggh, technology! I think that we would be better with smoke signals and carrier pigeons sometimes. You would love Mark and Rhonda's truck (and them too). It is so good to see how a small space can be made such a beautiful place to live too.

Armelle said...

Hi Peter,
Thank you for your comments on my blog.
What a job, you did !!! battle with the dragons had to be terrible! What a great place for this winter.
I am using mozilla and have no problems to see your new blog formatting, a very nice one

Peter said...

Hi Armelle,
Battling with tree dragons is a fearful adventure! Happily most of them are chopped up now, but their mortal remains still need to be sorted and stacked, which will be an enjoyable task one day soon.

You have Mozilla, so do I! And Mozilla is a well behaved fellow too. Hooray for Open Source software! I think that Internet Explorer may have a problem understanding some HTML code..., and I am starting to try to find the area that is causing the occasional hiccup!

Hope your experiments with Schist rock are going well.

Best Wishes, P.