So, this is what I made at the weekend....
A dry stone wall!
Well, the beginnings of one anyway and I have to confess that I did not make it alone.
It was a work thing, hence my deeply unglamorous outfit.
A weekend introduction to the ancient art of making a dry stone wall, under the watchful eye of John Holt from the London School of Dry Stone Walling. John has been building dry stone walls since he was a child and has a good many years of experience and skill under his belt. An earthy and engaging gentleman, these days he teaches his incredible craft to groups; for education, for training, for teambuilding and well-being. It's a hell of a lot more satisfying than paint balling, that horrible thing where you run around the woods shooting each other with paint. Not that I've never been paint balling. But I have learned a bit about dry stone walling!
The method is simple to understand. The practice is extremely difficult, not to mention physically tiring. Finding the right stones was frustrating for me at first. I was trying too hard to make it absolutely perfect! Firstly I found my patience and then I found my niche - finding and placing the hearting stones, the smaller stones in the middle that help keep the wall firm.
We made the first three courses and got it off to a pretty good start. When finished it will form one of the boundaries of the wildlife area. Creatures will shelter in the crevices at the base and, if made properly, it will last for hundreds of years.
I want to do more!
To see examples of John's beautiful work and find out more:
London School of Dry Stone Walling www.londonschoolofdsw.co.uk
Hugely recommended if you like that sort of thing, which I most certainly do.
Love Dry Stone Walling