Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Every Little Helps

Shaping slab

Cleaned joins


Not a great deal was achieved today on building the patio, but ‘every little helps’. I had time for tidying the joins between the slabs laid yesterday and for cutting to shape a slab that will be fitted by the steps to the patio.

Basically, that’s it. Maybe I’ll be able to make more progress tomorrow.

I know this doesn’t make scintillating reading; however, when the patio is finished I shall turn my attention to ‘Pike’, a subject I think most readers will be interested in.



Monday, July 06, 2015

End in Sight

Early morning


Late evening

Four to five full days work should see the patio finished. Tomorrow morning will be out of the question for laying more slabs, because the forecast is for rain, but the afternoon may be sufficiently clear for me to clean the slabs that I laid today. I might even be able to do some filling in around the step area, but I’ve been invited out for a meal late afternoon; therefore work will be limited. That could be a blessing, simply to have a rest.

Sunday, July 05, 2015


Therapeutic tools for relaxation

Stained and discoloured slab


Cleaning finished

It rained quite heavily this morning, but as I wasn’t intending to work on building the patio, there was no disappointment. For me to take time off from the task was a relief, but strangely, this afternoon, when the sun came out and there was a coolness and freshness to the air, I thought it would be relaxing to clean up the edges of the joins between the seven paving slabs I set in place yesterday.

In accordance with my desire for relaxation, I made a cup of tea and settled to mechanically scrape away stains on the edges of adjacent slabs. There was nothing strenuous, just a gentle jigging of the scraper, followed by rhythmic movements with the wire brush and a dusting away of the resulting powder. The sun shone, and a cool, soft wind rustled the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. I could think or dream of anything I wished. 

Saturday, July 04, 2015

A Good Day

Sand base for third slab

Seven slabs laid, ready for tidying

There was a considerable amount of rain last night – something unusual over the past few weeks. Anyway, after I made an early start at working on the patio, the sun came out and the weather became quite humid. That didn’t stop me from laying seven paving slabs, after which I had time for collecting more sand from B&Q before the store closed.

Tomorrow’s BBC Weather Forecast is for rain in SE Essex. That will give me an opportunity for taking things easy after morning worship at Provident Baptist Church, Southend-on-Sea.*

Unfortunately the proposed sail with ‘Temagami’ on Monday has been cancelled. Instead, she’ll be returning to Pin Mill tomorrow afternoon. She’ll be making her departure from Walton and Frinton Yacht Club Basin at about 2.00 pm, an hour before high water.  XCWeather.co.uk forecasts a SW wind of only 5 mph which will not make for exciting sailing, and doing it in the rain will not enhance the experience.


*Providence Baptist Church Southend-on-Sea


Walton and Frinton Yacht Club

Friday, July 03, 2015

Bitty Day, but the prospect of a day sail


Gravel in bags

Gravel distributed

Joins before tidying

Joins after tidying

Because of having to do various things with my wife before she set off on her mini-break to Italy, this was one of those days when I could not set aside any length of time for working on the patio. I was able to collect more sand and gravel from B&Q and Wicks, and afterwards to lay down the gravel to make a more even surface at the correct height in preparation for laying sand for the next row of paving slabs. Hopefully I’ll be able to do another six slabs tomorrow, so as to bring me more than halfway through the task of laying about 65 in total.

Another little job done today was tidying a few remaining joins between infill slabs by the garden shed. The more such jobs done now, the less there will be to do later. I have a desire to finish the patio as soon as I can so that I can go sailing with 'Pike', but there is a chance that I may be able to have a day sail this coming Monday aboard ‘Temagani’ which would be a treat.

‘Temagami’, a Lovely Gaff Cutter – Part 1

‘Temagami’, a Lovely Gaff Cutter – Part 2

Pike Skiff designed by Iain Oughtred

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Cleaning Up



Cleaning finished

During the process of creating or making something there is often a mess that has to be tidied. Today, I set about tidying or cleaning up the mortar joins between the paving slabs. My tools were a wire brush and a stainless steel weed picker, along with a soft hand brush.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Twenty-six Paving Slabs

The hottest day of the year so far, and I laid seven paving slabs, one of which had to be shaped to fit.

I can congratulate myself, because another day’s work could see me past the halfway mark. However, I shall not be working on the patio tomorrow because there are a number of important things that have to be done before my wife takes a mini-break to Italy.

My chief role tomorrow will be that of private chauffeur. To a certain extent it will be a rest day – certainly by comparison to today which has been hard grind. Mortar and paving slabs is not my cup of tea; I would much prefer working with wood, building a boat. Cutting a paving slab to shape is not a nice job. Noise is horrendous and grit goes everywhere.

Neighbours have to be a bit tolerant, but since my immediate neighbours are having a house extension built, they have become accustomed to noise. Our other neighbours are off on holiday for a bit of respite and peace. I don’t blame them.

The tally of paving slabs laid to the present time is 26. My calculation is that there are another 39 to go! Some patio! When it is finished I’ll be able to invite all my neighbours to a jive party, and we’ll have right knees up.