We got back from the UK on Thursday. Or was it? I’m now getting so confused that I have to check our travel arrangements in the diary. No, I discover that it was actually Wednesday when we caught the ferry. But then, of course, we stayed overnight in Dublin so that we would be in time to ask the saintly Nodlaig (prounounced Nolig) to let us into our Ennis storage unit to collect some essentials. By the time we had picked up the keys to our rental house and Eamon had given us a quick run-down on the Stanley range, it was dark, so our first site visit had to wait till the following day.
It had been raining heavily and there was no one around. However, it was evident that work was still progressing. The chicken shed had gone and the ground was dug ready for laying the foundations. We could now clearly see the outline and position of the new house. The footprint had been moved a few feet further away from the ruin, presumably to allow better access for vehicles.
A storm was forecast for Sunday, so we moved our furniture on Saturday and spent the rest of the weekend making ourselves at home. We agreed to meet up with Pat on Tuesday morning, the day the concrete was due to be delivered for the foundations.
It duly poured with rain for most of Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, and we imagined the site would be a swamp by Tuesday. However, when we got there at about 11.30am, the steel reinforcements were in place and the concrete mixer was en route. The place slightly resembled some sort of Roman excavation.
You will notice that the front wall and part of the gable end of the old house has now been demolished. This was done in order to allow the lorries access without disturbing the foundation work. We could now see the level of the old floor, though Pat assured us that the flagstones had not been disturbed. We still don’t know what condition they might be in after all these years, but it will be a week or two before we need to decide on materials for our new flooring, so they are safer left where they are for the moment.
It was chilly, so we didn’t hang around and wait for the concrete. Pat needed to discuss the drainage at the road entrance. The Road Supervisor had initially asked for a pipe to be installed to allow rain water to drain freely into a ditch that runs along the perimeter of a neighbour’s field. Unfortunately, the heavy rain over the weekend demonstrated that a more sophisticated solution might be required.
We left Pat to his work and went for a cup of tea with Bridie … who presented us with a heap of junk mail! Our planning approval had not gone unnoticed in the local press and mail started to be delivered to a cousin of the same name a little further down the road.