Dawn through the trees

As the leaves fall the supporting scaffold of the tree branches and the new building skeleton across the road are becoming more visible. That building was being built in the early part of last year, but in March all work stopped. So it remains, almost, but not quite, built. When it is it will cut out the sunrise on winter mornings, shading out our rising star. I may get some of the lower branches of the trees cut back so that more light can get in. Maybe one day the building will be finished?

Roofer?

Loud knock on the door. I opened the door to see a man in a mask under his chin proffering his elbow?! I stood back. Er can I help you? I’m your neighbours landlord. ( OK, so I know my neighbour owns his own house which is not in good condition). I didn’t believe him.

The man said I’m just doing work on your neighbours house and damp is getting in from your chimney. Is it? I asked. (We have problems with damp from next door). He said I’ve got a man on the roof now and I will go halves, I’ll charge £600 and you will pay £300. I said I can’t afford that, he wandered off and offered £200. I said I’m not sure, will have to talk to my husband. So then he said he was working on a house three doors up? So I said how does damp from my roof get three doors up (we are in a terraced house). He then said the water tracks under the roofing felt (this would be uphill and up brick walls)….. So I said which house do you own and he said the one up the hill with the purple bricks sign.

So then hubby arrived. He was not impressed. We walked across the road and yes we could see one missing tile. We could also see no one on the other roof, no ladder, no scaffolding. Do these people realise we use our eyes? Hubby told the man he wanted to see proof of who he was and proof he owned the house up the hill. By this time the man looked panicked. Hubby can be forceful when he wants and said no we would get our own builder in. The man was now upset, seeing £200 melt before his eyes and clearly worried by my hubbies attitude. I calmed things down. We bumped elbows and said goodbye. I don’t think he will be back!

Autumn view

There is a view from our stairs window across the garden, it’s only about twenty feet away, but it’s like looking across a small wood. There is the skeleton of a building beyond. This was being built in March earlier this year but nothing has happened to it since then. Maybe one day the workmen will come back and finish it off? But I’m pleased it’s still not done, I really don’t want to have people overlooking me as I go to bed!

Beautiful brickwork

I don’t know much about bricks, except that they are fired clay. But I do like to see them when they are used decoratively. The way they are laid is called the ‘bond’ where it depends whether they are laid horizontally across the surface of the wall, or with the short end showing on the face of the wall and the length turned 90° so that the brick is across into the layer behind or allows the wall to turn the corner at the edge of the building.

As you can see from this photo, different coloured bricks are often used to make patterns and shapes in the brickwork or are used to frame tiled areas of text stating when the building was built.

I also know that brick sizes changed over time. That they were smaller in the past and hand made. Then molds were made and the brick sizes became standardised. I don’t know all the history of that sorry.

Band of sketchers challenge

Yes I know its not a building, it’s INSIDE the building. I’m our living room. It’s still bricks and mortar. Anyway it’s the corner with the DVDs and Videos, an old hi-fi system and a lot of books and stuff. Amazing how media and technology changes so much. But not everyone is able to afford replacements. So it’s a case of watching things till they wear out. Anyway that’s the corner of the building I drew. Black ink on cartridge paper.

They are building

They  (whoever they are) are building on the other side of the main road, beyond the shops that are near our garden. I knew the plans were for houses, but the thing across the road is taller by far than the ones surrounding it and is about four stories high. It wasn’t there last week. It appeared on Friday or Saturday. I looked out the window upstairs to see the dawn and there it was! Blocking the view. Once we have the hedge cut people who move in will be able to see into my kitchen and living room windows! I was thinking of having the trees thinned to let in more light, it feels like it won’t be worth it. Maybe I’m over reacting? I haven’t seen any plans of what it’s going to look like. I think our neighbours who live on the main road opposite it have moved out, perhaps because she felt overlooked? Oh well I guess it’s good to have new things happening.

Life belt

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I’m not sure why these are inside a building and not outside by the side of the canal to be used? Perhaps they are old and not the correct standard anymore. Maybe they have been stored in case they are needed? Maybe they are for use by the boat club that meets in the warehouse sometimes. Yes that is damp at the bottom of the wall. The building is between the trent and Mersey canal and the Cauldon canal. It is actually lower down than the water on one side, and next to a deep lock on the other side. So water might be slowly seeping in and the building is over a hundred years old.

Back to the life belts, I guess you could grab them and use them if someone falls in the lock….. I might find out about them…

Brick built

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Bricks are a wonderful building material. They are baked hard clay that lasts for centuries.

Bricks are ceramic, the clay becomes vitrified (turned to a hard substance though heating in a kiln).

Bricks change in size through the ages. From small and thin in Tudor times and getting larger closer to the present day.

My favourite sort are Staffordshire blue bricks. These are dark blue/grey and often covered in dimples on their upper and lower surfaces which are visible when the bricks are used for paving garden paths.

Red brick is also used in building and there are “red brick” universities in the middle and North of England. These are not as posh as places like Cambridge and Oxford but their courses are as good as the ancient ones. Examples of red brick universities are Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield.

The photo on this post is from my collection of photos manipulated in an app called Layout.