6 Feb 2014

Weeks 6 & 7 - The groundworks nightmare which never ends

Andrew and Paul returned to site and got stuck in straight away to get rid of any of those extra pounds accrued over the festive season.  A large delivery of STEPOC (big, heavy concrete blocks, self-shuttering for those who are interested) had to be relocated by sheer physical effort from the upper to the lower part of the site, taking the best part of a day.

We thought it was all under control - the end was in sight...
It was supposed to be two weeks back on site and those retaining walls would be finished, the costs had all been predicted and it would all be over.  At last we would be able to start spending money on the house, not the groundworks.  

Perhaps we were too relaxed over Christmas and the Gods heard us telling everyone that at last the end was in sight!  So they thought they'd teach us a lesson - does that sound paranoid?

There had been slippage on site over the Xmas break, nothing too major but movement none the less.  So enough was enough, in order to ensure safety the decision has been made to get in a BIG excavator and a driver and grade back the cut at an angle to make sure nothing is going to slip.  The bracing had done its job in order to pour the wall footings, but in order to build the walls it will have to come down.  The guys can't work there building the walls if there is any chance at all that ground might slip. It's definitely the right decision but it's going to cost, around £2,500 in the end...it's only money!  Safety is the most important thing so I accept the costs with no hesitation but with the benefit of hindsight, it's what we should have done from the start. 

The silver lining is that the very lovely Ali, expert digger driver, is now working with us and he is an absolute star.  He has instilled a sense of calm within us all now with his expertise of local conditions and his friendly, helpful manner. I wish we had had him from the beginning. Fantastically in the end all the walls were finished within the estimated two weeks. Well done chaps!

A huge photo cascade to follow, that's what happens when i get behind with my blogging.  I've added captions which is a bit tiresome for you and me but probably more helpful.

Ally and his huge digger.

It's a big one.

Just a bit muddy.
Stoning up the site to stop it becoming a quagmire.

The first course of the causeway retaining wall.

Andrew hiding behind the completed retaining wall, which was later backfilled without him underneath!

The completed retaining wall at the other side.

The whole family checking out the progress on site.

Scrabbling up the backfilled causeway - i'm hoping the wall will eventually be greened by climbing plants and the causeway will be tunnel covered walkway with plants growing all around.

Our very own mountain of earth or Krakatoa as Andrew fondly calls it (the boys are more interested in the port-a-loo, obviously!).

Doing my best to catch up on the last few weeks, it's been hectic.

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