Janine and I have been getting up early and going out to the brick cleaning bench each day now at around 6-ish. We chip, scrape and clean until we have have 100 done, that takes us about 2 hours. The first day it took us 2 1/2 hours, but we are getting better at it now, so we have knocked half an hour off. We don’t try and do more in the extra time, we just knock off once our quota is filled and then rest our arms and wrists.
We are usually quite hungry after 2 hours of work, so we enjoy our breakfast.
Stopping is good. We don’t want to over-do it early on. After breakfast today Geordie called in with some stuff from a restaurant that he was given and wanted stored. it is starting to look a bit crowded in the new shed already and we haven’t even finished building it yet!
Later in the morning after Geordie left, Janine had a little snooze. The extreme heat makes you tired at our age. I didn’t feel like it so went back out and work for another hour, which was OK after a couple of hours rest. I put up the shade cover thing and did another 100 bricks in just one and a half hours. Maybe I’m getting better at it? Or, maybe I was just working through a pile of bricks that had less lime mortar on them?
When I come to the ones that have cement on them, well, that really slows me down. I have a bit of a go at them, but really, it isn’t worth buggering up my arm muscles on these. I put them aside and I will come back to these in a few days time when there is pile of them built up, and I will get out the diamond saw and just cut the brick, just inside the cement coating, and clean it that way.
Some of the bricks are really pretty.There are a range of colours from red, through orange to yellow, with a few maroon and grey variations. There are also a ring of textures as well. Sandstock bricks have this hand made natural variation in deeply inherent in there making and firing technique.
I found one lovely one that had a blue kind of mossy mould growing on the lime in the mortar. It was quite a pretty blue and a lot of the bricks in one part of the pile had just the right conditions for its to grow. The red brick contrasted well against the blue haze of the mould?, with the rest of the brick having a sooty grey black mould on it.
We only found this in one part of the stack. It obviously had very specific growth conditions.