No, it isn’t my birthday – that’s in February – it’s just that this evening I was given to reflecting that whereas this time last year I was seemingly dashing off job after job in and around the house and garden, and some of them quite heavy too, with little by way of physical discomfort to show for it, this year I’ve ‘felt it’ whenever I’ve completed tasks that in comparison have been quite light. Take today for instance. After procrastinating for far too long, I decided that I really must make some progress on improving my wood shelter in readiness for the coming winter. Wim and I had originally planned to fly south to the find the strip where Gordon, who we met at the Cavarc open day, keeps his 1941 Taylorcraft but as the weather looked as though it could be a bit ‘iffy’ for much of the day, I decided that we’d do the flight another time instead. That left me no excuse, so I had to get stuck in. I ended up having a successful day but as I mentioned at the beginning, although the work was not that heavy, I am rather ‘feeling it’ this evening 😕

I had seriously considered just trying to make the existing shelter more weather-proof but always knew that this would be a bit of a cop-out. The structure, if you could call it that, was so ramshackle that any work done on it would have been a total waste of time and effort and would have needed to be re-done all over again at some time in the very near future. So my conclusion was that something much more drastic was the order of the day. Here are some shots of the existing shelter that were taken at various times over the past few months.

null

null

null

There was nothing else for it, it had to come down, so that’s what I started on this morning. First, the side supports, many of which consisted of old branches, for which I suppose I have to thank the previous occupier of my house, starting with the ones I could kick down with little or almost no effort.

null

null

Then the roof supports, some of which I attacked with my chain saw to speed things up a bit.

null

null

And finally, all the other verticals and bits and pieces that comprised the remainder of what truly had to be one of the shoddiest and most pitiful ‘structures’ that I’ve ever come across. In some ways, it’s surprising that it had remained standing for as long as it had done and also the amount of effort that was needed to eventually reduce it to a heap of old wood and sheets of corrugated iron, leaving the space clear under the stairs to my ‘grenier’ for the first time for many years, I suspect.

null

null

I saved any of the wood that I might possibly be able to re-use in any way whatsoever (some to use as a frame when laying a proposed concrete base for the new shelter) and covered it up. The remainder consisting of old, dry wood, I should be able to burn on my wood burner, so I piled that up to one side and covered that up also with one of the old roof sheets to keep that dry too. Afterwards, I thought that the space left looked quite tidy.

null

null

I’ve never seen my house looking like this before and I hope that it won’t stay this way for too long before a spanking new wood shelter begins to take shape to replace the old one.

null

I’ve already got my plans done for the new one and for its framework I’ll use the wood that I’ve still got in my ‘cave’ that I bought two years ago when I thought about making a temporary ‘lean-to’ shelter in which to work on 56NE shortly after I’d bought it, when we had a long period of wet weather. I knew that it had to come in handy eventually 😉