Finally after six weeks of being forced to carry out parental duties and care for my family I can return to being a lady of leisure and and one who (sometimes!) gets to lunch. Firstly I have to thank Chris for handling the blog in my absence then I'll get down to business. Thanks Chris - oh next time don't be so good at it either, you make me look bad ;-)
A taste of things to come.
My first week back collided helpfully with our second walling taster day of the year. These sessions are arranged with the AONB to give people a practical introduction to dry stone walling, for the princely sum of £3 you get to dismantle and rebuild a wall with the added bonus of our expertise and scintillating company to help guide you through. The booking process is all handled by the AONB office (for which we thank them greatly) and features as part of their activities schedule for the year, it is also a great way for us to give back to the AONB for the help and support they give us. This year we ran two sessions with the first taking place in June and the second taking place this week. These taster days always are fun to run as we love to pass on our enthusiasm and knowledge to others and we get to meet some great people and hopefully convince some of them to come along every week and join us.
Location, Location, Location...
One of the hardest parts of organising the taster days is trying to find a suitable wall to let our proto-wallers onto, it is true to say that some of the projects we have tackled over the years have tested even out hardiest members resolve. This year the AONB came to our rescue and have put us in touch with an obliging farmer in West End with plenty of space and plenty of walls in need of attention. So with the location sorted out we selected two or three potential stretches of wall that would give our tasters a wall to take down and rebuild plus a non too shabby view to enjoy.
Hard work, mud and coffee.
One comment we must apply to the brave souls who have ventured out for both sessions is determination. Walling is a physically demanding and frustrating pastime (especially when you first start) and whilst we live in a beautiful and inspiring landscape it is prey to changeable and harsh weather conditions, both our taster days this year have involved battling the driving rain and whilst the experienced amongst us hid behind the wall with coffee, our newbies pressed on reluctant to give in. We have been impressed on both sessions by their cheerful dispositions in the face of adversity. I also have to mention the quality of the work both sessions produced, the stone at West End is coarse and irregular, it's provided challenges for all of us but the quality of the walling has been of a good standard and as you'll see in the images below the end results of their work shows a significant improvement in the structure of the wall compared to the sections either side.
So here's to;
Morag, Carol, Dave, John, Richard, Roy, Judith, Gail, Richard, Paul, Lesley, Julian, Ian & Angela
Thanks for your hard work and enthusiasm, it was lovely to meet you all and we hope you enjoyed your time with us, it would be a pleasure to wall with you again!
As you'll see from Chris' blog the rest of the team were not given a week off and have been tirelessly slaving to complete the wall at North Stainley, from the pictures it looks fantastic and I'm off to NS today to check it out in person (and obviously point out the flaws etc etc ;-) , no it's not sour grapes!). Since the site is now cleared up as well we no longer need to be at NS next week so it looks like we'll be heading to West End to finish off the wall from the taster day. So tasters if you can make it that's where we'll be, I'll email those of you who gave me your addresses as well.
That's all from me for now, see you next week. Em
Aha, just to update this entry I was having a sort out of my files and emails and have finally located the images from the first taster session. So without further ado, here are the rest...