Work on repairing 208 really got under way last week. Dan and Misi collected some beams reclaimed by the Organic Art Ranch, Rachitele last weekend and during the week began shaping and positioning the first repair. By Saturday evening two beams had been repaired and only requiring to be raised a short distance to their final supporting position. The beams may look new in the pictures but this is only because the outside of the original has been chopped away and then epertly planed. All the work being done by hand using traditional tools. Even wooden pegs have been created to hold the beams fast, the ends expertly spliced and a wedge inserted to prevent the pegs slipping. It is a very beautiful thing to see an old neglected house deemed unsaveable to be cherished in this way.
On Friday and Saturday we were joined by Mihaela, who even managed to enjoy cleaning out rotten wood mixed with clay and lime plaster before finding out she had a passion and aptitude for clay mortars. As you can see from the pictures it was almost dark before we could get her to stop.
Inside the walls we found plenty of rotten wood. We have begun to remove all that we find, taking out all the soft wood until we reach a part which still has enough strength to support the new walls we still have to build. There is much sense in the romanian name for an old traditional country house like this, Casa batraneasca (batrana = old lady). This old lady house may just about have enough strength in her to survive.
Work on 208 will be continuing all month with volunteers welcome on Fridays and Saturdays. Come along and experience the joy of bringing life back to a fine traditional building which has survived for over a 100 years and with your help can survive a 100 more.
Sara and Douglas 0731 629 418