We Brits love optimistic Americans, but often take their confident declarations with a pinch of salt. On Sunday night, Carl and Eric (the most qualified building people in the team) declared that the following day would see some construction taking place at Chateau Duffy. Given that there was still nearly half a roof of tiles to remove (and it had taken the best part of a week to remove the rest last summer), we were rather dubious.
But we were to be proved wrong. The combination of a bright and early start; a large team; more experience; and a day of no rain and plenty of enthusiasm, construction actually happened. By lunch time the first part of the replacement beam had gone in and Carl had got rather emotional that the last time someone had worked on the old one was a French man 400 years previously. By early afternoon, the final tiles had been removed – meaning that in 5 hours we had achieved what had probably taken 3 days last August. A few hours later, all the old rafters had disappeared and new ones were being put in their place. It really was quite incredible progress! And we Brits clearly ought to be more American in our optimism…
A lot of the progress is down to the skilled people we’ve got on board this year, and the fact that some of them were able to get on with roof building while another group removed tiles. Plus, those of us who were here last year have remembered the skills we’d acquired and the problems we overcame, so all of a sudden moving scaffolding takes 15 minutes instead of 90; a tile organisation system was already in place and could be continued by Queen of the Tiles Rachel N; and, as it’s spring, we have impetus to get as much as possible done while the sun shines!
[Photos to follow when we have better internet!]