Day 88: Free gym passes!

People often ask me: “James, how do I build upper body strength, tighten my core and increase stamina without those crazy gym fees.” Well this weekend I’m offering an only-occasionally-to-be-repeated special: absolutely free power work out targeting all the key areas, plus free beer at absolutely no cost.

It’s like it’s our birthday but you get the presents! How do we do it? Five pallets of concrete blocks says we’ll find a way. Show up on site today and we’ll guarantee you as many hours workout as you want.


Life’s weights room awaits.

But enough of the special offers. Did we beat the weather? That’s what you really want to know (well, what Sarah wants to know anyway).

In short: yes (there; narrative tension resolved).

It was quite a push as predicted, but not only did Paul come and hook up the missing plumbing elements but the builders got the remaining reinforcing mesh in place and some final boxing details in while the concrete placers were already spreading the concrete into the stairs to the lower garden.

Tanea popped home in the middle of the day to briefly catch the action.


Stan straightens up the boxing while Tam takes photos. “Don’t you lift a finger Tam, I’ve got this. As usual”, mutters Stan.


This pumping rig saves us from running backwards and forwards with barrow loads of concrete, for which we are very grateful. It would take quite a while to barrow 20 cubes of concrete.

By the time I got home it was all done. The concrete pumpers were folding their long snout away and Tam was spraying Rugasol, the chemical that prevents the top layer of cement from setting to give us an exposed aggregate finish, on the outside paths.

There was nothing to do but stand back and look with satisfaction on the concretey goodness.

Day90StairsDon’t look so worried; they’ll look much better once the boxing comes off.


You know the concrete placers are on a good wicket when they leave half-drunk cups of coffee sitting around the site. Add the coffee cups to the polystyrene detritus everywhere Tanea says it feels like being back on set.


Pearl artfully captures the chemical action of the Rugasol while still managing to get herself in shot.


Is there anything sweeter than a freshly poured slab? No, there isn’t. Note the boxed area where the shower will go and the upstanding outlet for the toilet. Hopefully the toilet will not be that high off the floor.

There’s more to show (concrete with the boxing removed; concrete with the aggregate exposed; retro-application of concrete due to an engineering disaster) but that will have to wait for another post. I’ve got blocks to move.


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