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Day 51 and 52 Stables continue slowly. Brendan called in but set off to Wexford to get the 'I' beams which were causing a slight delay. Defiantly no pouring on Friday. We are probably four days behind on our plans. The weather is great and a lot of time is absorbed in the cutting and fitting of the wood panels. As each floor level is different the sheets have to be cut to precision. Next time a good idea would be to keep a level ledge along the outside wall when pouring the floor for the wall to be fitted, solving this problem. As this is the first time to use this method in stable building we are learning as we go along, it looks as though it is going to be a very successful method.

Day 52 Friday the 21st March. A spurt on the stables. The tack room walls were put up, more dividing walls erected so it is really taking shape now.

Day 53 Another slow starting Monday. Doing another check on the wall measurements I found that the last invoice for the stables fronts showed a different measurement on four of the 8 fronts, than what had been agreed. I had signed this without noticing; Motto; "don't sign anything without reading it all carefully first" I later found out from Buitenhuis that this was a mistake on the invoice only. I have to say they are so precise and on the ball, they delivered on the very day they said they would from when these stables were ordered back in January. Alain Storme, who is installing these stable fronts, had them delivered to his place to keep them undercover, bringing them over as they are needed. Karl King, in charge of the stable, said that the 'i' beams are to arrive first thing tomorrow morning. I feel that if there is a delay on these we will not be ready when Alain is coming on Wednesday to fit the stable front bolts prior to the pour. Alain, unlike us Irish, is a very punctual person, so I hope I don't have to put him off a second time. The plan at the moment is to pour the walls of these stables on Friday

Day 54 and 55 'i' beams didn't arrive till Wednesday, but as soon as they did it was all go again. No sign of Brenan. The lads are working as a team now and the yard is taking shape. The plan is working out and I am pleased with the its design. It is not until it becomes life size that you can fully appreciate the design details, which was when Carl, Richard and myself agreed on a few adjustments, such as widening one of the doors to the side of the passage. Alain's team, headed by Denis, started putting the stable fronts in on Wednesday (see pictures, one is of Declan and before you ask, that is a temporary covering of our A.I. mount in the background!)

Day 56 I can't believe that the weather has been so good to us,  another beautiful day. Everybody is here. Stable fronts all in, leaving the doors and wood to go in after the pour. The last of the plumbing was being done. Dividing walls are all up. The last of the 'i' beams arrived with Shay, unfortunately I missed him as I was off sourcing tiles for the house, I would have loved to see what he thought. Just the outside walls and some wall tops to finish and then bracing it all before the pour, which is now to be on Tuesday.

The Team, from the left; Declan, Johnas, John, Karl, Paul, Oliver, ? and Brendan. 27/3/03

Day 57 All here, Friday spent continuing the walls and finishing off the tops of the dividing walls.

Day 58 Monday The weather is beautiful here but there is awful news. Brendan's daughter is critically ill in hospital after a car accident. I hope that everyone reading this will pray for her recovery. I believe in the power of prayer and for Brendan and his family I hope many people see and read this. She is a lovely girl.

Day 59 Tuesday 1st April. First of all the good news; Brendan's daughter showed a slight improvement last night, we are all thinking of her.

The lads here are working very hard. A few bods less but Carl, Paul and Oliver kept working till 6pm the last two nights, so the pour will go ahead tomorrow starting at 8 a.m.. It just showed us how much more there is to do with the SmartPly walls, cutting and fitting. Lots of screws had to be put in every sheet and careful bracing finished it today. I contacted Peter Conaty as he wants to put the bolts in the top of the wall when the concrete is fresh. We just have to plan how best suits everybody. One, to not have Peter waiting all day while each section is poured, Two, not to have to move the cement pump machine more than twice. And three, get the walls poured correctly. We will see tomorrow how we will do it. Maybe we will be able to move the horses in, in another weeks time! Oh, and last night was very windy... the farm is now dotted with polystyrene bits, bags and more polystyrene. I just hope the neighbors farm does not look the same. I think that with the weather so 'Spring like' we just became complacent with the off-cuts. I just wish Hytherm could recycle this stuff. If I had a space to put it and a glue to use on it, I would turn it into 'short term A.I. boxes' for a start. Any other ideas out there?  (email; info@irelandhorse.com)

Day 60 Wednesday 2nd April. All go. It was a full days pour, This picture was taken just as it was started. Peter Conaty came and put bolts in for the beams (purloins, however you spell them) but he hit me with a bombshell; He wont be putting the roof on until next week. As we are over a week behind, he had to go ahead on another job. Could you believe it. Just before this I had a conversation on the phone with Garith Wilson of StableComfort mats, to hear that he had let his stocks go down. He can just do three stables or so, until another batch comes in, which is in about two weeks time. Why can't things go to plan? We have another mare about to foal, mares and foals coming who need stables, and the stallions which we have to keep bringing here to collect semen, so I suppose I am just a bit anxious because of this. 

I cant think where we would have been if we had used another building method. We probably wouldn't have the horses in here until the Autumn. These stables are going to be so good. I think we could house elephants here if we wanted, warm ones too. I also have to say that all the parties involved in this project, Eurozone, Conaty, StableComfort etc. are really doing their best, I would not have changed them for anything. I think all building projects have their delays and room should be allowed for this.

After today we go back to working on the house (except for moving the braces and cleaning the floor). Actually, after counting the working days, the yard walls only took 15 days to do, not bad. When you are in a hurry things always seem slow.

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