Friday 26th. September, 2014 – A delivery and a trip to Wooler 

Today was the day of the Wooler Auction and Tom and I duly set off to see what was on offer. It was a disappointing auction with not very much on sale and not very many people there to buy either (as the picture above shows). However the rolls with sausages in them (covered in brown sauce) were as usual delicious and Tom and I, later joined by David, had an excellent time

Rose, showered and walked Mix before Tom and David arrived.

A Pearsons lorry arrived with two tons of pebbles and, as the picture shows, delivered them neatly exactly beside the entrance to the Bothy. These are part of Plan B and have probably been overtaken already by Plan C. Let me explain. The plans relate to the floor of the Bothy and the issue is that at present the floor is purely an earthen one. Perhaps that wouldn’t matter, except for the fact that this earth is lower than any other part of the courtyard or surrounding area and as a result when it rains the ground gets wet, even now that the roof is on the Bothy. So plan A was hatched. This involved covering the floor with a plastic membrane and then shuttering the floor with a view to filling up to the top of the shuttering with concrete, creating a concrete floor. Once we had prepared the floor by fitting the membrane and installing the shuttering we realised that it would require a huge amount of concrete to create the floor to the depth we had planned. So Plan B emerged. This plan’s basis was that we should fill the Bothy, on top of the membrane, with two tons of gravel and then put three cubic metres of concrete on top of that to create our concrete floor. Discussing this with experts we realised that we didn’t need to create a concrete floor at all. What we required was a concrete seal above which we would create our wooden floor. So this afternoon we bought some more timbers to ensure that the shuttering timbers are also the formers on which the wooden floor will sit. We have the plastic membrane and on this we will place three cubic metres of concrete above which we will place insulation material above which will come the floor. It will evidently create the best of both worlds and will enable us to have the gravel to do up the courtyard once we are ready to tackle it in our restoration programme

The delivery having been completed, Tom and I set off to visit the Wooler market, while David went with Digger to take possession of his new car – a ten-year-old metallic blue three door Peugeot 206. It looks extremely smart and Digger is pleased with it. (For my Australian readers who have requested it, there will be a photo in tomorrow’s entry.)

Having been joined by David, we all set off for Berwick, initially to buy wood for Plan C. However, the firm in question was closed for stocktaking so we went to MacDonald’s for lunch, returning by Pearsons where we collected the wood we required and brought it home in Tom’s trailer.

At this point Tom returned home, but David and I went up to the Whiteadder reservoir to fit two small posts to which we tied down our Wayfarer. This was a precaution against high winds although Tom is quite sure that it is an unnecessary precaution. We returned to Mount Pleasant for coffee and I got caught up with the events of the Ryder Cup in which the Europe team have ended the first day with a slight advantage.

We dined as a family and then Rachel and I watched some television – an old ‘New Tricks’ followed by an older ‘Jonathan Creek’ and then the latest most up-to-date and very depressing News summary centering on air strikes in Iraq.

I walked Mix and retired to bed with a book.


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