Monday, 26 April 2010

The roof, the whole roof and nothing but the roof!

Yeah, yeah. I know I said 'nothing but the roof' - but I lied!!!
First of all I 'd just like to say a big thank you to all the people who have popped up on my comments section, email or facebook to find out where I've been and to check up on me ........ I'm fine, I was just temporarily MIA.

The list of stuff I had to complete in the real world meant that my forays into the virtual world of blogland had to be temporarily curtailed until other proper deadlines had been met. But, as Arnie would have said if he'd thought of it ........."I'm back!"

The 'stuff' included watching Last-Born shine as the world's skinniest Tracey in a local production of Hairspray. I was so proud of her that I leaked tears throughout both the opening and closing numbers! She was magnificent and should clearly follow her dream to go into Musical Theatre - in my totally unbiased opinion of course! First-Born also gets an honourable mention here for the fantastic work she did on the costumes when she was home from uni for Easter - I think they would have been a bit stuffed without her!

I was also preparing to be inundated - which wasn't quite as painful as it sounds!
I had 10 family members in the house all this last weekend and a party for 40 people here to celebrate my 50th birthday on Saturday night. I'm still not quite sure how I got to 50 so quickly when I'm only 22 on the inside (make that 8 some days) and my dad swears he's only 33, but then maths never was my strong point! (or, as one of dad's friends pointed out, " yer dad's a lying bugger!!!")

I'm also not sure how, when it was my party to celebrate my birthday, I ended up doing all the cooking and preparation but, hey, I had a ball. I also got the world's best EVER birthday present............................................. a Tank Driving Day!!!!!

I've always wanted to drive a tank!
Trust me. There WILL be a blog post on this once I've done it! :D

Anyway, back to the roof last summer!

Having got the purlin ring safely in place, Himself set about putting the waterproof, breathable membrane on the rafters.

This involved him being able to use some of his clamps - which always makes him very happy for some reason that I don't yet understand ........... must be a man-thing!

I was still clearing the holly jungle at this point, but nipped up onto the scaffold tower to do a bit of multi-tasking baton holding and photo taking!

Having got the first baton fixed, Himself rapidly dispensed with my services and sent me packing back into the depths of dusty, spider filled holly and skanky old birds nests whilst he got on with laying more batons.

Even though the membrane is only covering the roof over my therapy room and not the veranda, the batons have to sit over the whole roof. They serve a twofold purpose of allowing airflow between the membrane and the shingles and give him something to nail the shingles onto. Good planning that man! :)

The tea house is beginning to settle gently into its surroundings.

There was great excitement from both of use when the shingles arrived. Lovely Canadian cedar shingles - the smell of the cedar was wonderfully enveloping as I opened the plastic wrapping.

Now.In my defence, I have to say at this point that I had EVERY intention of doing the shingle roof myself! I had even told Himself I was going to do it - I planned to do an important part of the tea house rather than just being the mad ideas woman, gofer (you know ....... go fer this, go fer that!), lugger of heavy things and an extra pair of hands , but fortunately Himself is only too aware of my very low boredom threshold on repetitive tasks (except for weeding, but that's a completely different thing!) and so got started on it one day when I was safely out of the way doing something more exciting!

It's perhaps as well that he did - I would have been SO bored by the end of the second row and could never had got the level of accuracy on any of it, let alone all the beautifully mitred corners as he did. His commitment to detail and accuracy is unparalleled whereas mine is slapdash, to say the least! So, because of his ingenuity and foresight, we have a tea house roof that is a thing of beauty!

The first shingles are laid out.

Himself made a jig frame to ensure that all the shingles were parallel.

A complete row was placed and checked for size and thickness before any stainless steel nails went near them.

Mitred corners.


The ever wonderful Pete gave up yet another weekend to clamber around our scaffold tower. Himself and Pete made a good team - and Pete being a carpenter was a big help! Pete laid out the shingles, then marked and cut all the mitres whilst Himself nailed them on. They made cracking good progress that weekend.

Working out how to do the ridge and hips.

Moving round to the last side ....almost done!

A pile of sorted shingles.

A work of art!

It even looks good from the inside!

My 'boys' at work :D

Last side - done!

Bring on the big drum roll..................................

TA-DAH!!! The finished roof.

It was worth waiting for wasn't it?!


Liz said...

Hi Liz,

So glad to see you back and that you're well and had a fantastic party!

Is there any chance himself would come and build me a lovely tea room complete with fantastic roof? :P

Looking forward to more updates and seeing the final thing (once it's finished!)

Pondside said...

Definitely worth waiting for!!
Very proud that you've chosen Canadian cedar shingles. If you take a deep breath you'll know what Pondside smells like after a rain.

Ruth said...

Excuse me "made all the food myself" but whom made all the buns and the birthday cake? I jest of course - it was a great party :)

Jo said...

Happy birthday, glad to hear that you had such a good time, and wow, a tank driving day. I'm sure Last Born was wonderful in her role as Tracey. I bought my daughter tickets to see the West End version of Hairspray on tour, for Christmas. She's very much into drama and singing too. The tea house is looking wonderful now that the roof is in place, it's really starting to take shape. I'm looking forward to seeing it finished.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Happy belated birthday. The roof does indeed look grand. Very nice. Looking forward to your tank-driving post. Your roof story also reminds me I have a roof post I've been meaning to do for nearly two years now... DOH! Also, I was just wondering how I got to be my age the other day. I feel maybe 24 (and as you put it, 8!) most days. Except slower and with more unexplained aches and pains, lol.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Happy Birthday! It does sound like it's been busy there.
The roof is a work of art. I also have a very low boredom threshold with these types of things. I guess it's good to be married to someone who can help carry out our ideas :) You must be very excited to have such a big project finished.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Liz. It was a great weekend and I had a fantastic time!

You can't borrow Himself until he's finished my tea house - but he's always said that second things are easier to build!!!

Hi Pondside - I'm loving the smell of the cedar and it's throwing it down here today, so I nipped up the garden and stood in the tea house imagining being in your gorgeous garden really made me smile to feel that connection!

Hey Ruth - okay, okay, a slight exageration ....but I did make the vast majority of it and I LOVED me retro birthday cake! Thanks for doing the baking and for bringing them home on the bus! Glad you enjoyed it - it was lovely having you home again :D xx

Hi Jo - I'd love to take Last-Born to see the 'real' Hairspray! She got a great review in the local paper today - I'm SO proud of her:D
I'm glad you like how the tea house is shaping up - it looks even better with walls on and just wait until you see the doors ....!

Hi Monica - thanks! Would your roof be the green roof you mentioed on Facebook? Can't wait to read about that, it sounds fascinating!
LOL - I know just what you mean about aches and pains :(

Hi Catherine - thank you! You're right, it was all a bit manic for a couple of weeks - but peace now prevails again!

Himself is a star and loves the challenge of dealing with tediousness in tasks! - perhaps as well really ;)
He reckons it should be watertight in about a month, the inside shouldn't take very long (?!)and then there's only the decking on the veranda....!

O.I.M said...

Welcome back Nutty.

Definitely worth the wait...and Canadian cedar shingles no less...can't go wrong with that (said the Canuck blogger with a penchant for Canadian cedar shingles. They really are beautiful!)

I am so looking forward to seeing you in the tank. That will be worth the wait too, I'm sure.


Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Hi Liz

Looks perfect, but then I guess it is of course. No doubt himself thoroughly enjoyed doing the roof, very satisfying.

Aside, did you have any joy germinating the corydalis seed? They seem to have popped up everywhere this year over here, I reckon it's the cold winter that's contributed to that.

Woody Wilbury said...

That roof is brilliant. And good to see you back.

Anonymous said...


Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Irena - the Canadian cedar shingles were the best value despite having to be shipped over... and they smell divine! I can see myself out working in the tea house and getting distracted by the lovely aroma!

Hi Rob - Himself certainly made a far better job than I'd have done. I suspect I'd have thrown my hammer in the pond in a tantrum after a row or tow!

Some of the corydalis have germinated but the ones in the north facing, sheltered areas are either late starters or got killed off by the length of time the snow was down - but at least I'll have some this year ... and hopefully more next year!

Hi Woody - thanks for that - and it's nice to be back. I reckon nowt to being too busy to blog!

G702aynellKressO - I wish I could understand what you've written, but I hope you've enjoyed reading my post.

joey said...

Delighted to hear from you, 'Birthday girl', and see the tea house progressing so nicely! You are but a baby, no wonder you have so much energy!

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Liz! Happy Birthday (late)! What a great party you must have had. :-)

I so understand the eyes that leak when you're watching your children succeed. You're a good mom!

I so enjoy watching the progress of your tea house. It's fun that you provide such a complete report. Perhaps someday you'll put all these posts in a book!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Joey - I don't feel like a baby on Monday mornings when I've overdone the gardening again!!!
Glad you like the tea house progress - we're getting there :)

Hi Shady - thank you. I had a great party, but my best present was definitely seeing Last-Born shine in Hairspray! I do try to be a good mum - don't always get it right, but I do try!!

I'm glad you like the detail I put in about how we did things on the tea house - it's a bit of a balancing act to tell people what happened without boring them!

A book?........hmm, might have to think on that one! :)

Anonymous said...

Feel very privileged having seen the legendary tea house, Last-born's show and been to the great birthday party! :)
The tea house looks even more beautiful in real life. So does everything produced by both of you ;)
Good luck with all the projects - I know you have quite a few now! xxx

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Olga - aah, thank you.....what a lovely set of things you say! :)
I'm glad you enjoyed the party - I certainly had a great time, but it's always nice to know that others did too - especially important friends like you! xxx

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Anonymous said...

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