A few miles from us in Ballyward, is the blacksmith’s forge of the Walker brothers. Gates have been made there and horses shod for generations, and Walker made gates a century old are still in use and good repair. Gate styles are very distintive things, and I hope that someone has taken the time to research them properly, though I can find nothing online. Anyhow, our neighbours David and Fiona kindly gave us a hand-gate in the same style as other Ballyward made gates I have seen, and it will live at the entrance to the small cottage.

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I built a couple of pillars for it, which I’ll lime render if the rain stops long enough to let me, and today I fitted it up. A once over with the wire brush, and a coat of paint, and it will be as good as new.

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In other news, I’m finally tackling the problem of storage – our only tool storage is the very leaky and ramshackle old garage, which will get pulled down as soon as I’ve somewhere else to put everything. ┬áThe solution is to replace part of the old pig sheds that form our hay barn with something a little less rustic. A timber frame and wany edge larch cladding will replace the many layered old tin sheet that we currently have. It may not look great, but it is remarkably strong, and bloody hard to pull down.

I would say that I’ll miss it, but having banged my head on the low ceiling every day for four years, I can’t wait to be able to stand upright and fill hay nets without injuring myself. The larch is local – from Leitrim mill, and is rather fetching. Pictures tomorrow once I’ve the building clad. Then to tidy up the stables with a lick of paint.

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