This is Studio Benny as her now stands. Sad and abandoned.
All the internal walls have been removed to make one big open space.
Unfortunately we found some of the dreaded rot in the floor so some timbers will need to be replaced.
And this is the cause of the halt to all work............Turf!!!! Bloody Turf!!!!!
When I was a kid I used to tease my friends because they had to go to the bog and work on the turf with their sandwiches wrapped in greaseproof paper and their little bottles of tea. Now I'm stuck in the middle of the bog and married to a man that's absolutely obsessed with the stuff.
When we were on holidays he missed it so much and talked about it most days, to the point where he was actually getting into a bad mood towards the end of our time away. Needless to say, the bog was the first place that he visited on our return!!
After 12 years with my sod obsessed husband I've gotten to know a little of the process and the passion that is put into this stuff. This year, after many summers begging from my husband, I finally agreed to venture into the bog to help with the work. All in the hope that work resume on Benny quicker, you understand. I'm not turning into a bogger at all. I'm too much of a townie for that!!
There is so much work into getting this turf home for fuel for the winter. It needs to be cut and let to dry. The weather is closely watched in case rain washes the sods back into the ground. Then it needs to be picked off the ground and stacked in order for the wind to be able to dry the turf further. This is called footing. After a few weeks of drying the sods will shrink and the footings will probably need to be rebuilt. Another few weeks of good weather and they will be ready to bring home. This could take up to four evenings. Finally the turf will then need to be clamped. This is what you can see in the pictures. They are stacked in such a way that the rain will run off the sides while still allow the wind to breeze through it. After all that work it's not surprising that they call this Black Gold around here.
People are very protective of their turf and their right to cut it. It's a tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation. But the EU have decided that this tradition should be stopped to save the bogs and I can understand that. But when you see the massive machines that the big companies use to strip the bog for commercial fuel or for compost for gardens or to burn to make electricity, then I can also understand the locals fury and refusal to accept to give up their rights. What is cut by hand for domestic use is only 1% of the damage that is done by the big bog companies but there is no plans to stop this. Surely a law that is passed should be applicable to all! Go figure.
Something relaxing after all that.
As I've probably mentioned before, I'm quite often up at dawn to see the sunrise and listen to the dawn chorus.
I was delighted the other day to finally capture a stunning sunrise. The sky looks as if it was on fire that morning. It was a glorious start to the day.
Thank you all so much for popping in and reading all my mad ramblings. I love your comments so much. They really do make me smile. And a big welcome to all my new readers too.