preparing for winter when winter has already started

12 10 2010

chapter 1 – drying things in the rain (alternative title: you know it’s been a good day when you end up scooping mud out of your wheel arches by hand)

this bank holiday weekend felt extremely english, ie cut short by drizzle.

friday was restful. i managed to buy a bail of straw, slightly more awkwardly now i have learnt that the word for straw in spanish is the same as the word for wank. saturday was productive; the sun was shining, the homemade cement was applied to the persistent holes around the edge of the yurt and i completed stage one of the mud wall. only to realise that if it takes me one week per section, allowing drying time, it will take me 12 weeks to finish the porch walls. that’s long. i definitely should have started sooner.

part one of the mud wall

my new friend from town gave me the heads up on free pica pica at an exhibition opening in the evening (he understands my budget), so that was dinner and i got home minutes before a huge very wet storm. lighting was bolting across the sky, i was watching it through the yurt roof, warm and cosy.

sunday started, amazingly, with dry ground and was so productive i ran out of jobs; sink done but more glue needed. cementing done but more linseed oil needed, sink fits but a decent philips screwdriver is finally top of the shopping list so i can screw it down. several layers of insulation are now fireproofed with my homemade borax spray.

monday. fun day. our hike started with drizzle and determination but with the (very welcome) appearance of the sun our pace relaxed. much time was spent pouring over the map, comparing it to the incredible views that we had – back to Calaceite in one direction, and out to sea in the other. We used Johanna’s gashed knee as an excuse to be moving twice as slowly as our guide Joan (speaking to us via the medium of book) and after reaching our high point, La Espina, we headed back down to La Franqueta on the fire access track. 11am until 7pm we were out there.

view of the winding ebro out to sea

els ports mountains. near the top of them🙂

day 5 it started raining during the night and did not stop. at all. until midday tuesday. nothing is drying. everything is damp. the mud wall is under a tarp and may or may not ever be ready for the next layer. worst of all it appeared that the car was not going to get out. we bit the bullet and started walking the hour to the nearest village/bus stop but in a rash moment of “what the hell, its over a year since i last got the car stuck and abandoned it in the mud for my neighbour to sort out” i went back and gave the track a go. it was slidy and slow going but goddammit we made it. (hence ending the weekend scooping mud out of wheel arches – even the pressure washer wouldn’t budge it).


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