My brother-in-law Ben visited us on Monday, eager to get his hands calloused with a little building work, so he, Matthew and our friend Dave - downstairs neighbour and Boss of the Job - got on with making the walls of the Steamie ready to receive the roof.
As the Steamie is at least a hundred years old and not of the finest construction this involved some considerable mixing of rubble and cement and tipping into gaps and other bodges. There are 'bellies' on the walls of thirty centemetres, the walls were sitting at several levels. In addition some of the walls are double-skin brick, one single-skin brick and one a brick and stone combo. However, on a beautiful sunny day they got it levelled.
Ben got to do some brick laying to build up a low corner of the building; the girls had to be restrained from clambering on piles of half bricks and the rickety scaffolding; Matthew and Ben hauled rubble around and we filled up all the weely bins for the tenement with stuff (why do building sites acquire stuff?). Finally, as the sun was setting at about three in the afternoon, Dave got the damp-proof layer down and the walls level. This means that on the next fine day when we're not baking and the Boss isn't on another job we can get the A frame for the roof made. Seems a tall order for December, but we hope it can be done before Christmas.