I went on a dry stone walling course today. It was just an introductory day, run by the local authority. The wall was limestone, same as ours, but the stones were more irregular and blockier than ours, and the walling style described as 'random'.
The wall we were working on looked rather dilapidated when we arrived.
The first job is always to strip out the stone, and in this case, it was so higgledy piggledy we took it right down to the foundations.
We found a couple of fossils, although perhaps not as many as we expected as limestone is often full of them.
Finally we got down to the ground, and rebuilt the foundations.
We were a small, inexperienced group, and by the end of the day we were pretty chuffed with the short section of wall. I'm used to the more regular blocks of limestone, so to my eye this still looks a bit like a pile of stones, but I'm assured it's an actual style of walling.
I was pretty tired when I got home, but after a couple of hours on the sofa, and after planting out the rest of my raspberry canes, I took a deep breath and started to tackle my own bit of collapsed wall.
Hmm. My wall is both taller and wider than the one we did on the course, but I was heartened by my stones being easier shapes to work with. It's always a bit of a challenge knowing how much to strip out though - you're meant to get to a bit that's sturdy enough to build on, but my entire wall feels like it's about to fall down. This might be a long job.
Sit down and make yourself comfortable. I'm Jenni, and I write here about our new forray into country living, which includes growing food, knitting, baking, wandering around the fields, and seeing which local cafe serves the best cake.