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clematis                          Part two the recycled house ....


Day four..

This Clematis heralds the start of a few sunny warm days....



{saudioplayer autostart}anotherbrick.mp3{/saudioplayer}



A head for hights.



 Birds eye view. 










The Rafters previously tied with twine, have now been tied up with wire, and the  charlie post removed, it only settled a small bit  but I suppose that is due to the short span.

Our first hatch of great tits have flown the coup, amazing to watch them yesterday prepare for their first flight, and they sure choose  windy days, gusts of 140km/h... 








 Now we are building the first wal land are using timber logs for this one The logs are 15 inches long and we are using lime morter between them. No spirit levels are being used  just eye levels for the walls so we'll see how that turns out .





 Day six


It's now day six and we have been busy building section by section, gathering stones for the base and logs for the walls, only two more windows to go.

As the wall now is nearly four foot high because of a drop in the ground level it takes us most of day to finish the stonework for these sections, very heavy and hard work. A couple of ton weight in these stones altogether. Great care is needed when handling them.

The sun is shining  its 4 15 pm..a small rest and we are out again to put in another section of timber...its evening only one window to go.


Four years later......




After just six days of tough enjoyable work the project was abandoned to the elements.

roof finish


 It has been four years since this project began, mainly due to a little carelessness.


While painting a window early one morning, I stepped down onto an unsteady stool and fell and broke some ribs, by the time they were healed the summer had almost passed and other projects took precedent. 

The following April just as the weather looked favourable, a momentery lapse of sanity on a hot sunny day when I decided single handedly to stop a runaway tractor from hitting a wall in the blink of an eye I regretted my action.

 My wrist was injured and again I was out of action. A few weeks later we realised it was broken and it was now too late to repair as it had already begun to set itself. Nothing for it but to wait a bit longer and let the body heal itself.  

Other projects again took over. 

Our growing seasons seem to be getting shorter each year. It is midsummer before any real growth happens which is too late for outdoor vegetables to mature in time to harvest. So a second polytunnel becomes necessary if we are going to grow enough to eat. 


Recycled Round House 

Our first idea was to create a space for an outdoor composting toilet. The space was bigger than we first imagined so it was our intention to incorporate a hot tub and sauna into this project.

But our needs changed over time. We dug a dipping place "The Dubh Linn " (black pool) suitable to swim a few strokes into the small river in our garden.


Every morning, summer and winter for the last four years we take a dip before breakfast.

A sauna / sweat lodge just happened also, We had the body of an old Land Rover Discovery in the yard which needed to be disposed of, after we had removed all it's usable parts.

On an early morning idea to bury it in the ground near the river and leave an opening at the back, it became the start of a sweat lodge.

We built a stove from an old gas bottle, connected a chimney flue to it and now we have an underground

"Place of Discovery".discovery1


When it get's too hot inside we step out and plunge into the cool of the river.


New phase

As we once again commence working on the round house now known as "The Hut" we get excited about it. It is enjoyable work. The twigs that we used to cover the roof poles have now rotted and need to be removed.



Each day brings with it new ideas for materials to use. 


A neighbour removed galvanised sheeting from his house roof 15years ago, another neighbour then put it on a shed roof until last summer, now it becomes the first layer of covering on the roof of our Hut.

It is our intention to use waste, recycled, and any materials that we can aquire at little or no cost.





Some of the windows have become unsecured over time with westerly winds having no mercy on an unfinished structure. hp6150092



Tying everything together, getting the walls built and the door on, in case of storms which are a regular occurance now both hp6150093winter and summer, is our immediate mission.

Getting out of bed each morning is exciting. As each wall goes up and the space encloses it begins to feel like a magical space. 



We lit a fire in the centre of the floor and hung a curtain in the doorway to celebrate the midsummer fire festival.

The circle in the roof is still uncovered, we are not sure yet how it will be covered.





The long awaited rust proofing is applied to the metal circle. This metal was once used on a barn roof and has stood the test of time. 

Click eye at top of page to view the first part. 






 We have been using forestry logs to build the walls.

We got these as poles from the forestry when they were cutting a clearing to construct the Ballaghadeereen bypass. Each log was cut 15" long.

We have run short to finish off the top of the walls and above the windows.

 Last year we cut the tops off some tall trees for fear they would fall on the house, with the ever increasing strength of winter and summer winds.


 So now is their time to live again !





 With a little help from engine power  and a cart that we restored last year we soon get the material needed to continue, without having to travel too far.






As each space is filled in, it feels more secure from the elements. We are using sand and lime to set  the logs into, as this will enable the  walls to breath as they slowly dry. The stone wall base was set in with sub-soil and lime. We are keeping our cost as low as possible and using natural products.


hp6180101In time Nature will reclaim this space. 

The materials used so far are recycled.


The logs, the windows, the door, the metal circle, the four main poles (old ESB ones).

We have sand in the yard that we are using but that will soon need replacing and we will need several more bags of lime.




love 94



  Working together in this space has become such a pleasure, and each day we spend at least an hour progressing it along.

Perhaps it is working in close connection with the earth and the elements, also

It's the love of one for the other,  respecting, what has gone before and what will come after. 

 Cathryn from north east China has come to observe our way and seems to instinctivily understand and we make an immediate connection.




 We use some builders mesh to help the lime plaster make a close connection around the windows. All these products have either been left over from previous projects or we have found discarded in our area. We always keep an eye open whenever we are out and about, you never know what you might find.

As each window is secured and the structure increases in stability it becons to us each time that we pass on our way to the polytunnels.

This way please  --- > Come in.....spend a moment ? so we do ! Always just the right moment.   Time to be.

Reluctantly we are taking time out from the Hut.

We have family coming to visit for a while.



 It is a time for balance and to put our focus and attention in other directions for now.

 We have been intrupted pleasurably by family visits, young and not so young. Also by friends from our village where we spent our earlier lives, musician friends too from home and abroad. All have been impressed with our construction so far and some eagar to create a similar structure in their own space.

Music sessions and festivals a plenty at this time of year.

It's late August 2015.

The weather has been wet and wild. Two weeks have passed and the time has again come.

We are anxious to progress.

We have been thinking a lot about a hot tub, and are asking around especially farmers who are getting out of Dairy Farming.                A stainless steel holding tank used for milk would be perfect if it is the right size.

A farmer in north Sligo has the right size one, so with the help of a neighbour with a trailer we get it home without any problems.hhmilkcan3


It will have to lie in wait until we get the inside of the Hut finished and the weather is suitable to create a working Hot Tub from it.

More Magic times ahead then ! 




The inside walls are ready for the lime plastering to begin, but a more immediate matter is at hand.

We have been looking for a circular glass table top as we feel it will be the right material to enclose the roof space. It has been difficult to find one that is  inexpensive and big enough.  As luck would have it, a woman in Kildare is getting rid of a table and chairs as they are too big for her needs. "It's a long long way from there to here" , but it is a bargain and we are ready to seal the roof.glasstable 

It is a perfect fit. We put some plastic under it but it needs to be seaed properly from the weather.

We then spent four days getting the walls plastered, before we began to seal the roof.

We have some 2" black hydrodare tube that needs to be put to good use. We screwed it in a spiral from top to bottom.

This will give grip to all the covering and creates a secure footing for us to walk and work while we get the layers on.netroof2

We  glued a tractor tube (which we got from our local tyre centre ) onto the top of the glass circle and it hangs like a skirt down the galvanised sheeting.


Later we put a second tube over all the other layers to ensure that it wouldn't leak, and we are on the lookout for a second glass table top to create a double glaze.

Then we put some ceiling liner that was left from a previous shed roof, and pushed it under the tubing.

Next we put a fishing net over everything. We found this net recently on a beach combing expedition, with lots of other treasure which we feel sure will also find a place when the time is right.

Then it was time for the real work to begin !!!!!

We filled and carried 100 buckets of soil up the ladder and onto the roof.






We were given a small roll of tar felt a number of years ago when a friend was cleaning out his shed.

We used this on the overhang under the soil to keep it from slipping. It will also prevent the rain from finding it's way through and create some shelter.

abottle window








Our thoughts are now turning to the inside once more. 


Our Tuesday music session in Ted's has given us the idea to create a bottle window, so Jacqui has been enlisted to save bottles for us. 

 We decided not to glue or fix the bottles in permanently. Each bottle can be removed individually and replaced with another. At any time we can change the colour, the pattern, or remove them altogether.


 Heat   is next on our minds. 

We have been researching Rocket Stoves on line and are thinking of giving it a go. It sounds mighty, and should be fuel efficient.

A man in Castlebar was getting rid of storage heater bricks as he is renovating a house.

We decided to experiment.

 With nothing to loose we followed one of the many on line methods. The roof stayed up when we followed the YouTube instructions for a reciprocal one !


We leveled a base to set the fire bricks onto, again using eye level. A few concrete blocks were loose layed and the space was filled with stones and sand.

Next we put the storage bricks in place, arisertopFive rows high.







We then cut the ends off a compressor tank which we found dumped in the bog two years ago and placed it over the bricks.


A full bag of Vermiculite was then poured in to fill the cavity between the tank and the bricks, to insulate and to contain the heat.


A Chamber and Riser were then extended from the bottom of the bricks to form a feed to the stove to create the Rocket effect.








 Now we need a Barrell to cover it all. Our local farm machinery outlet was glad to let us have one. The paint needed to be removed as it would create toxic fumes inside the Hut.



A bottle of beer was enjoyed while we set fire to the inside and outside of the barrell. After all we are short a few bottles for the window inside,

so !!!aburnt barrel

"All in all your just another brick in the wall." 


Some elbow grease was needed next day to polish off the job.




As the walls are built with logs it doesn't prove too difficult to take one out to make way for the chimney flue.


This one was left over from a neighbours chimney lining last year.








achimneyfinishNow to connect it all and hope for the best. Seems too good to be true, but we are optimistic !






It Works !!!!

It's time to put the feet up.

With just one sheet of newspaper and a few tiny dry sticks the top of the barrell is hot in a flash.


The fire bricks are still wet as is the clay that we have used to pack in and seal any gaps between the bricks and the barrell. We created a seating bench on each side of the barrell using bottles and stones as filler, and also left some bottles exposed for effect. Then the whole bench was covered with lime plaster. The great thing about this finish is it can be restructured in any way later on if we choose. 

lafinisht all looks a bit grey. Colour is needed. A coat of black for the Barrell but the walls also need life. We tried some sample colour pots but they just didn't feel right.

Turmeric might do the job as we have used it to dye wool in the past. It begins to take on new life as it is applied, looking different on different walls. It's the perfect thing at euro3.25 for the packet. 



The ceiling and floor too need the fininsing touches.

ceilingendWe got some pallets and broke them up to fit between the rafters.

They give the effect we are looking for, also some painted petals with bunches of green and red dogwood finish the job.

What a beautiful sunflower !


We bought timber for the floor. It pushed up our costs from euro130 to euro310

There was a circular condensation drip from the glass top on the ground each morning until the wooden floor was laid, then it just disappeared.

All the windows are double glazed, one is aluminium and gets wet, the glass on the door is single glaze, both of these may need adjustment or replacement in the future. At the moment they are not a problem.

aview fromwindow

A Path becomes necessary as we are repeatedly walking to and from the house. Also some finishing touches to the overhang to stand under away from the odd shower that might come our way.

We light the rocket stove each evening, partly to dry out the walls but mostly just for the pleasure of sitting there each evening and watching as darkness creeps in.

It's time to begin to seal the outside before the weather changes. 

October has been so dry and mild so far, but it may not last.  We do some pointing to the outside log walls to prevent the rain from penetrating through to the inside. It is our intention to do a little at a time as the weather permits.

But for now we are happy with a job well done.  

Back to our next big project.

Jack The Lad.

hutend or


 The Hot Tub. Coming soon...