27 June 2011

Up On The Roof

What's the chance of that happening then - the weather forecasters actually getting it right for once! Yesterday was absolutely GLORIOUS and the perfect conditions for kicking back, chillin' out, striking up the BBQ, enjoying a few beers with family and friends and simply enjoying the sunshine.

Instead we were up and down ladders, sawing, drilling, screwing & fixing and generally leaking incredible amounts of sweat. It was extremely hard going to say the least - not because of the job at hand (fitting the pond roof) but because of the relentless heat and the sun. It was perfect weather .... but not for working in. However with only a few weeks left before fibreglassing d-day we felt that we simply couldn't take the chance of leaving the work until another weekend and potentially not getting the job done due to adverse weather.

And so with blood (a few knee scrapes, splinters and general cuts & bruises), sweat and .... loads more sweat, we worked through the heat of the day ducking behind the bamboo and into the shade whenever and where ever possible, until the job was done!

There's still a multitude of jobs to start & complete never mind finish off, and we've still got the filter house to build along with plumbing in all the equipment, but we definitely feel like the old British Rail ..... "we're getting there"!

25 June 2011

So over last two weeks we've made little progress with our pond build due to the weather we've been enjoying. In fact, it seemed that every time we picked up a piece of equipment or tool, even a tape measure or pencil, the heavens would open and the rain would pour down. It was as if whatever was being picked up was the switch, lever or button that instantly opened up some heavenly sluice which resulted in a downpour. So yes, it would appear that we're to blame for all the rain we've been having!

First thing this morning and it didn't seem like today was going to be any different but by 08.00am the rain had stopped and it remained dry for the rest of the day. Making the most of the break in the weather we cracked on and completed a few jobs that we'd been eager to complete as soon as we could. The first of these being the header pond build and the fitting of the skimmer as both needed completing prior to the 19th July (d-day for fibre glassing).

We also wanted to finish off the QT/growing on tank which we managed to achieve today!

We're now keeping our fingers crossed that the weather forecasters have got it right and that conditions stay dry for tomorrow, enabling us to get some more jobs done ... possibly even get the roof completed?

13 June 2011

One Small Step - One Giant Leap

So things on the new pond build are progressing nicely although this current weather front is hindering progress a little. We mustn't complain though as we've experienced extremely good weather over the build period so far!

So what have we been up to since the last blog? We've concreted the area for the header pond and levelled off ready for the blockwork. We've also backfilled and levelled the area for the filter house ready for concreting as well as fitting the sump and ground drain. We've also been completing a lot of the backfilling around the pond with concrete.

Our original intention was to mix the concrete for the base of the filter house ourselves on Sunday morning however after completing this for the header pond area, we decided that a ready mix option was the better solution. Plus after a scorching start to the day the weather soon turned and by lunchtime it was raining, so in hind sight it was probably the right decision anyway. However it wasn't just the rain the stopped progress ....

After reporting in our blog about the Thrush chicks, quickly followed by their demise, we decided not to report when we discovered another event happening very close by - a Wren nesting. Literally above our heads!

One small step - quickly followed by one giant leap!

 After watching the Wren's fly back and forth for sometime now, running the Husky gauntlet as well as trying to avoid the cement mixer and all of us, it was an absolute joy to see 7 chicks take one small step and one giant leap (again literally) from the nest and into the big wide world. This first step, which was immediately followed by a giant leap to the floor had us all cringing & wincing each time one of the little mites took the plunge, but each and everyone bounced well and was soon scurrying across the gravel and eventually through the fence and into the big wide world beyond for nature to now take care of them. Work stopped not only because we were frightened of stepping on the chicks or running them over as they bounced around, however the main reason for the break was simply to enjoy this natural spectacle which is only normally witnessed via the TV screen. Safe to say ... it made our weekend!

5 June 2011

Blocking Marvelous

Saturday morning 08.00am sharp and Gaz was on site readying a mix before we'd even had chance to offer him a cuppa before starting. He already had the days schedule planned out so we were up and at 'em before the big hand on my watch had reached 15 minutes past the hour.With the first mix already being plundered it was time to get the second mix of the day doing somersaults and getting "fluffy" - just how Gaz likes it!

Before long the remainder of the walls were brought up level and all four corners built up to their final heights. The morning was proving to be a bit of a scorcher weather wise - great for sunbathing & BBQ's but definitely not for lumping concrete blocks around as well as aggregates for the mixes. After a good old sausage butty for lunch the remainder of the blocks were laid and by 3pm we'd even managed to clean up ... as well as finish the main pond build itself.

There's still a few jobs to complete for the main pond build itself such as fitting the skimmer and putting the finishing touches to the pond floor. There's also the header pond still to build as well as the filter house and the pond roof, but we definitely feel that a major milestone has been reached.

Sunday morning and after a bit of a sleep in (well for some of us anyway) followed by a lovely cup of coffee and a croissant, it was back out in the garden again for some more titivating. We were soon joined by Grandma & Grandad and so while Grandma kept the "foreman" entertained we set about concreting in the posts which will support the pond roof. We also took the opportunity to back fill a little along the way.