We’ve had a lot of rain but no problems at the farm; and no reports of problems around Warland. Tod and Hebden have avoided floods, too, so their new defences must be working. The wind was more of a problem but, beyond loosening the boat’s tarpaulin a couple of times, it’s the noise that’s a worry. Of course, as the “Storm Boy”, I’m the last one allowed to complain. I must try to recapture the delight I used to get from a good blow but that was when I had no responsibility for fixing the damage.

The weather has prevented me from getting on with the timber framing, though, because outside in the pigsty is the only large, flat area where I can work until the new barn floor goes down. I did get the Harry Potter trestles out and discovered that they have nuts welded on either end. This allowed me to insert some threaded rod and create an adjustable, wooden auxiliary platform. This is important for two reasons: every joint requires the heavy timbers to be levelled in two dimensions; and the oak would be stained by contact with the metal trestles.

Monica’s brother, Al, is here today to help her install the first fix wiring in the drawing room. Oddly, that seems to have involved taking apart the panelling in the hallway so the building site is creeping outwards. No wires have been hurt in this production.

I winterised the mill and the lathe today, mainly to keep out of Al’s way. Lots of light oil, grease and spray lube to keep the rust at bay. Until the forge fires up, the atmosphere’s a bit damp for the machines and it would be a shame for such fine old examples to ginger up. They were moved in a bit early but I knew the space would get filled with crap if left empty for long. I also tried to copy a complicated, turned spindle to repair my workshop chair. Good practice on the lathe. Al spotted the new lathe—could hardly miss it—and decided he wants his own back, which is good news, really.

Perhaps, tomorrow, we can get outside to play

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