What a Difference a Week Makes

I had spent the last six months diligently working on the bread oven house. Occasionally with the much welcomed help of Amanda, but more often on my own with just my iPhone playing music in my back pocket, or perhaps listening to the latest ‘wittertainment’ BBC Five Live movie reviews podcasts.

Over that six months I/we have; stripped out loads of vegetation from both inside and around the building, carted away tonnes of rubble and old slate, rebuilt the collapsed front wall, re-inforced the rear wall with concrete and steel bars, demolished and reconstructed the side walls, and finally pointed all the walls with a nice sand coloured mortar.

It has been a labour of love through the cold winter mornings and the stifling summer heat and after six months all I really had to show for my toils was a shell, an outline, four almost vertical walls.

Then, in the space of just one week, my builder and his men have transformed it back into a building with a gorgeous new slate roof and three new (old) beams.

There is still a lot of work for me to do including; lowering the floor inside, installing a door and window, pointing the inside walls that will remain exposed stone, and eventually laying a floor and building an internal wall across the back of the building with tanking to allow the spring that emerges from the cliff face in wet weather to drain harmlessly away.

Below you can see a before and after photo of the front of the bread oven, the side that we can see from our barn, and the side where we will eventually enter with our big bowl of dough ready to magically turn it into bread.



Here is the roof as seen from the roadside, now much more safe than a dangerous three metre drop through some ivy to serious injury.


The neighbours have all been to visit, as is the Galician way, and all love it. Our neighbours who herald from Madrid have a bit of ‘horno envy’ and Nati wants me to get it working as quickly as possible so that she can get baking.

It’s the first time, almost in living memory, that this building has been roofed. I haven’t found a single person, or at least one that I understand, that can remember previoulsy seeing it with a roof.

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4 Responses to What a Difference a Week Makes

  1. Coco says:

    Congratulations! That looks beautiful. Slate roofs are so elegant. Well done.

    We have a small, round oven to restore, but it´s pretty far down the to do list. I´m intimidated by the short retaining walls we need to build. Thanks for the encouragement to just muck in.

  2. Susan Roebuck (Your favourite mother-in-law) says:

    Can’t wait to see it in september! Clever people! X

  3. Trish says:

    Looks amazing Paul great job and I can’t wait to see the first batch of bread coming out of there!

  4. Paul & Karen OBrien says:

    Hi Paul, looks like a labour of love same as we are just starting! Where in Galicia are you? We have just moved to a small village called Vilamelle close to Monforte de lemos. Came across your blog as we are now restoring our bread oven room.

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