Welcome back!

The weather in the UK in the winter is truly monotonous, it rains and then it rains some more and then it rains a bit more to make sure everything constantly stays nice and moist.

The result of all this is that we do not always manage to get out into the garden over the weekend to continue out the renovation. So last weekend, which should actually be our weekend 3, we spent locked in the house where we did some in-house DIY and maybe one day we’ll share that with you as well. Fast forward one week and the rain actually gave us a break long enough to get out and do some work that we could record! 😀

As you may remember, last time we left off after having cut in half four railways slippers. There were still five more on the floor plus the ones making a wall. We picked up right where we left off and continued to cut the remaining railway slippers from the platform. Now that we’d figured out how to best use the new reciprocating saw, it was easier to cut these large slabs. We figured that, if we cut them vertically then the saw can handle them with more ease plus we could control better the pressure we applied on the blade.

The first two went really well, R handled the first one and G took out the second one. During the third one, we had to take a pause because we found another frog hidden under the log!

G noticed the frog as he lifted the log with the original intention to then drop it straight back down and push it aside, but he couldn’t do that anymore or the poor thing would get squashed! Like the last time, we released the frog at the back of our garden and into the forest. We could not really tell if it was the same type frog as last time, but this one definitely looked a bit more yellow and awake 🙂 .

After that, we didn’t get any more issues and we powered through the remaining beams, which included the ones that were forming a floor, as well as these that were laid vertically acting as a wall. For the moment, we’ve made a big tower with the half beams in the middle of the garden and we still have to decide whether we’ll try to get rid of them online (gumtree?) or we might just take them to the skip.

While G was cutting the beams in half, R did a bit of clean up in the garden. Unfortunately, due to heavy winds, another part of our fence has collapsed and now it needed to be taken apart into smaller pieces so that it fitted into our small car. Since the previous weekend, we hadn’t even bothered to put the back seats of our hatchback back in place, they were still down and we just loaded all the wet and rotten wood on the black tarp that somewhat protects our car. We filled it up to the very top of the roof! 😀  There was so much wood in the car, that G feared the car suspensions would not be able to support the weight. After double checking that the wheels weren’t touching the car chassis, we set off to the skip.

Once back, we spent a good amount of time trying to level down the platform. We could probably write a short book about stuff we are finding under the earth… and the most interesting ones were: some knitting and legos! Others included building blocks, stones, bricks, rubble, plastic bags (now broken into million tiny pieces), wood chunks and some pottery (not all-inclusive list!). While digging, one thing struck us that we had not considered at all…

As you can see from the previous photos, we have a tree on the right-hand side and just in front of the platform. This tree has a very large and disproportionate trunk at its base which for the most part is about 50cm in diameter, but at the base, it is much wider –  over a meter in diameter and widely irregular. It makes the tree very characteristic and we quite like it, however, since the back of it was set against a large pile of dirt, it was essentially covered and its roots have expanded in that direction. We do not want to cut off the roots and compromise the stability, as well as the wellbeing of the tree, so instead, we have decided that we are going to dig in and around the roots and see what shape they take. The idea is to work the roots into a nice feature. This makes me think of the topical forest trees you see in the Lion King Movie 😀

It is a bit of an oversight on our part, but we’ll just have to work around it and see if it is going to be a problem or not. By this point, it was evening and it was starting to get dark, so we didn’t really manage to dig much into the dirt that day but we can definitely say that the fact our railway sleepers were not nailed to each other really helped. We also have to admit that removing the platform edge went quite smoothly because most of the railway sleepers started rooting away and became loose. Truth to be told, without these two factors in, we really do not know how we would have managed this weekend!

See you next time ! 🙂

Check out the next article – Weekend 4 – Digging to lay paving near the house.


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