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The French Blatting Company


The Barn Conversion


April 2010. After one of the coldest winters for years April sees me restart on the barn. I have been digging out the floor over the past few weeks but have had many interruptions so have only managed 3 days actual work.

This is the total result of 3 days work. The stones are concreted in and I've dug this lot out with a big pick (that's PICK) and sledge hammer.


This plinth (and the one on the other side) also needs to be dug out. It's been concreted in.


This is some of the stone floor which I've dumped on the edge of what will be the patio.


This will be the patio area, paved in the stone that is being removed from inside.

I've given up being macho. I've booked a large concrete breaker for the princely sum of 84 for the weekend. I pick it up at 17:30 on Friday and return it 08:00 on Monday. Should be a lot easier than swinging a pick!


Did I say this was easier! Starting at 18:30 on Friday night. I worked on until 20:30 (this was Friday 9th April 2010)


Saturday morning sees me getting towards the plinth. As the rubble from the plinth will spread over the floor, the floor has to be broken up first. I worked that out all on my own.


This was as far as I got on Sunday mid morning. It gets to the point where the rest periods are taking longer than the work periods. HM keeps the supply of tea coming. I pack up at 18:00 (our time) to watch Chelsea v Aston Villa.


This is about 16:00 on Sunday afternoon. I'm going to pack up at 17:00 (our time) to watch the other semi-final. Doubt I'd have able to carry on much longer anyway.


See what I mean!


OK, it's now 11:00 on Monday 12th.  That was it. I took the breaker back at 08:00 this morning and booked it again for next weekend. I'm having today off and then Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday barrowing the stone and rubble outside. I'm collecting the breaker Friday afternoon and should get the rest dug out by Sunday night. I'm really looking forward to it.

So, after lunch on Monday I decide we can get the very large slab of slate and the two large water troughs from the top field to join the rest of the slate and troughs at the front of the barn. Remember this was supposed to be a day off. We also towed the compressor (for the sand blaster) round to the workshop. I have to charge the battery and drain and refill the fuel.


From the front going back, the very large stone trough, the middle sized one and the large slab of slate.


 And all three in close up.


Tuesday 13th:

Started about 09:00 and worked to 12:30 and then just collapsed in a heap. had lunch and fell asleep for 3 hours!

This is how far I got with the removal......


.... and this is the pile outside.


Wednesday 14th

Started at 08:30 and had to stop at 10:15 for a 2 hour telephone call. Then restarted until 13:00 and did another stint from 14:30 to 17:00.

This is the floor cleared of rubble. It's also cleared on the centre-left to the back. I'll do another day tomorrow but this is enough to carry on with the breaker on Friday as I've got the space to "spread" as I break.

A much bigger pile now. The stuff on the left is the concrete rubble, the big pile is the faced stone which will end up as the patio and paths around the barn.


Thursday 15th:

Part of the day spent moving more stone out.


Friday 16th:

Took Lynne to the Asthma specialist and then we went for lunch. After lunch we went to pick up the kango which was booked for the weekend. Got home about 16:00, got changed and started breaking up the floor.

Saturday 17th:

Started early and got the floor completely broken up just after lunch. After lunch started on the plinth.

Now, I really shouldn't have been using the 35kg kango to break up the plinth as it's far too heavy to be lifting on and off. As I go to lift it back on for the umpteenth time I feel the muscles in the small of my back tear and a very sharp shooting pain go right up my back.