Lots of people build clay ovens. This week, we started ours by marking out a circle on the ground:


Building a circle of stones using dry-stone-wall skills, with a thin layer of lime mortar to hold them in place (and stop hornets nesting in the cracks):


Completing the stone circle (which is filled with rubble that’s been sitting around up here looking untidy):


Laying some sand on the top to get it Really Flat, and placing some fire bricks (which have also been sitting around for a while) on top:


Making the inside shape of the oven, using bought sand that will be re-used later:


Covering it with newspaper:


Building up the first layer using our own clay and some more of that sand:


And finishing it just before dark:


We couldn’t have done this so fast without our new friends Ben and Anna who, for the second time this year, stayed an extra night because they couldn’t tear themselves away.

(Obviously, this wasn’t the only thing we did this week. We also cut, split and stacked a huge amount of wood, and dug a Very Important Trench. But it wasn’t all lazing around, enjoying the Relaxing French Lifestyle – we also ate great food, drank excellent wine, and stayed up far too late, far too often.)

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