Here’s écovallée at 4pm yesterday, when we officially opened for the season.

yurt camp

It’s a terrible shot, taken with a bad camera on a reasonably priced phone. But cloud cover was very handy with the amount of walking around carrying things that had to be done before our first guests arrived.

The forecast for the rest of the week is mostly sunny, with daytime temperatures in the low 20s. Looks like they picked a good week for it.

Here’s this year’s Peaseblossom frame up on the platform, before the cover went back on.

For new readers, it’s an 18-foot Kyrgyz-style coppiced chestnut yurt. Sleeps four very comfortably. The floor is locally sourced pine. Very comfortable on the foot. It gets furnished with comfy beds, duvets and all that stuff you don’t want to carry with you on holiday.

yurt up

It sits in mixed woodland of sweet chestnut, hawthorne, wild service, oak and hornbeam, and overlooks a grassy valley onto more woodland that has, for some reason, a fair amount of pine.

Just down the hill (as you can see in the previous posts) is the solar shower and compost toilet. Out of shot, to the right, is a canvas-covered kitchen and eating area shared with an identical yurt. There’s one other yurt way away to the left, with its own kitchen. That one’s a 12-footer perfect for two, or two and a bit. There’s also another 12-foot yurt off to the right and down the hill, but that’s just for playing in. Hence the sand pit and play area behind.

First guests of the season arrive tomorrow. And the écovallée summer begins…

We didn’t get the yurt onto the platform tonight. This is how far I got with the platform by about 8.30pm.

yurt platform 2

Trimming the boards took longer than I thought, but that edge is 18 metres in a straight line and quite a bit of it’s down the grain. Still can’t work out how it ended up too large, but it’s finally the right size.

By this time tomorrow, everything should be in place – including a new Lovely Thing in the compost toilet I’ve told you nothing about. It’s all coming together.

Here’s the platform at 13h45 the way I wanted it to be at 11h00.

yurt platform 1

Still on schedule but a few things to do before the yurt can go on it. Like trim the whole circle,’cos it’s too big, sand and seal the front door, mop the floor (no small job, that), add the edge, and fetch the yurt from the tractor shed.

But first, some coffee.

The forecast took a turn for the better today, so I got to spend most of it cleaning and fixing the Peaseblossom floorboards onto the joists I set up the other day. Was it yesterday? I have no idea.

Here’s how I left it a little while ago, before covering it up for the showers due for the next 24 hours. Pretty confident there’ll be a yurt sitting on this by Thursday evening, with guests due on Monday. Those lighter coloured boards are new this morning, from a place over near Castelnaud, to replace the ones I robbed out to finish the other platform a few days ago. Or whenever it was. It’s like a living Time Team around here. Only with metal hammers and cordless screwdrivers.

yurt platform

For anyone who wants a superbly accurate forecast that seems to be right most of the time, especially for the coming three days, check out accuweather. I’ve lived by this for years.

The last of the noggings went in a few minutes ago.

yurt platform joists

The first of the floorboards will go on after this short break…

Spent most of yesterday putting the joist frame for Peaseblossom together. Spot the silly mistake:

yurt joists

As with all of these constructions, there’s something that works really well and is deeply satisfying. Here’s an example of a four-way joint resting on an acacia post.

yurt joint

Those long, angled cuts take a while by hand. But are much easier since I started using a vise.

Todays it’s noggings and as much flooring as possible before some light rain forecast tomorrow. It’s going to be a bit of a week.

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