Build Diaries: Wednesday / Thursday

The project build took place between Monday 14th April and Friday 19th April. After completed it stayed in place for one week. The next few posts reflect on the events of each day of the build…

WEDNESDAY – DAY THREE

Feeling more optimistic after a nights sleep I meet Malcolm our course technician at the art college workshop in the morning, collect the generator from HSS Hire in Dundee and head back to the site for a second day. We are meeting my dad there as well as tutor Gary and family for a short time. The weather is fairly windy with glimpses of sunshine.

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First task is to roll out the fabric and cut into strips.

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Malcolm attaches the wooden blocks to one of the strips ready to be pulled over.

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In an attempt the avoid the fabric tearing as before, we use the pully to first pull over the torn piece of fabric from the day before. The idea is to pull the new piece over that and then moving it along the roof. We seem to be successful. We hit the pegs into the ground and tie the fabric to is using a lorry mans hitch knot.

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Taking a moment to admire out success, the wind picks up suddenly, gets up the fabric strip and both rips on the roof and is torn off the structure. It’s difficult not to be frustrated and wonder if this is going to be a constant issue.

At this stage everyone needs to leave and me and dad are the team thats left. Remaining positive we get a system going; firstly we prepare and the wooden corner blocks, next attach them to the strips of fabric we cut earlier, then thread the rope through each wooden corner. We attach two corners to the pulley system to pull the fabric over which seems to pull the fabric over more evenly and flat and also helps to avoid catching so much of the sharp corrugated roof. We quickly secure each strip after we do them so as to avoid the wind moving it. Darkness has fallen but we have successfully got 7 strips of waxed cotton over the hut. At some points it didn’t seem like we could do it so despite being physically drained we are pleased!

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We set up the tent ready for me to camp over with a friend and it’s pretty tiny. I feel like he’s not going to fit in never mind the two of us but that’s the least of worries, there are already bigger problems…the train has been delayed and my friend is going to be 2 hours late, arriving at Pitlochry at 9.45pm instead of 7.45pm. Also there is only one sleeping bag as circumstance during the day has meant he was unable to pick his up. But still, I’m thinking…whats the worst that can happen…we’ll be fine….!

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After collecting him from the train station, Dad drops us back to the tent before leaving for Inverness. It’s already pitch black and heavy rain is pattering down. It’s too wet for a camp fire and it’s more important we stay dry, so much for nice ideas of cooking sausages and melting marshmallows on a fire!  Inside the tent the rain worsens and the wind picks up to extraordinary levels. All of our clothes we have with us on, a fleecy blanket and one zipped open sleeping bag over the two of us, curled up tight we are still absolutely frozen and I am petrified our little tent is going to blow away in the storm. No sleep is happening.

 

THURSDAY

It’s morning and it’s still stormy, dark, wet and grey outside. We are frozen and tired after a combined 1 hour sleep from 5 minutes here and there. The worst camping experience yet. My plan had been to camp over so I was able to get photographs and film of the installation at sunrise but there was no sunshine out there. The tents was still in tact, remarkably…theres a positive!

I can’t bear to see if the waxed cotton strips have survived the storm and send my friend out to look…silence. There are only 2 tattered strips left loosly over the roof of the hut. The rest have ripped off in the night. I know I can’t fix it myself and I know there is nobody else to help me today. I need to get breakfast, I need to get warm and I need time to think of an action plan. We head into Pitlochry for breakfast and then see my friend off back to Dundee on the train, he has work and it’s another day ahead as a team of one. I walk back to site.

It’s sunny now but the wind is still fierce. The remaining two strips have now also blown off since I have been away. I panic because I don’t have enough photographs and any of good quality from the night before because we finished it when it was dark. There is little point in doing the interior fabric screens because although I can do them myself I knew the wind would blow them straight off again.

Trying to keep calm but failing, I clear up the strips of waxed cotton that has blown off and is now lying about the field wet, heavy and muddy. Gary is on his way back to Dundee from up north and picks me up along the way.

At home I see how windburnt my face is. I feel shaky, sick and can’t stand upright without the room spinning. Hopefully a good sleep will improve how I feel as well as my outlook.

 

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