17th October

Today’s blog is presented by our plant correspondent.

Using the pre-wacker plate concrete block system of compacting the fine sandy soil under the floor slab your valiant 9 ably assisted by 5 GGA volunteers started the day by thumping the soil to form a level base.

A sheet of damp proof membrane and the thinnest wire mesh available were layed out and the concreting began.

The 1976 Briggs and Stratton 4hp powered Benford 5/ 3 ½ mixer was fired up and fed with stone, sand cement and water.

Ear defenders were handed round when Sophie started snorting and Rita danced like a Zulu.  A train of wheelbarrows thundered up the ramp and into the mixer.  After much exhaustion the concrete was sloshed into the same train of wheelbarrows on the other side and down the perilous ramp onto the slab.  And on and on it went.  One tea break and lots of leaning on shovels later the slab was done.

We had the option of going to the beach or staying to watch the concrete dry.  The sun shone and we had a picnic on the sand.  Then a bit of floating that involved balancing on timber beam and scratching the barely cured surface to leave a slightly rough but flat and level concrete slab.

After returning to the rondawel for refreshing showers and tea time refreshments (no not tea) we hung the washing on the line and went to tea with our host Heather Reynolds.  One omen like thunder storm later we sprinted to the dining hall to eat with the 40 resident children, their volunteer helpers and staff.  Thankfully the sound or a torrential downpour, the thunder and chatter of polite well behaved, cheerful children suppressed all the usual gossip about the folks back at work.  But we caught up on that later in the evening after a sprint through the dying embers of the storm.

Walls tomorrow.

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