applesteamdream


The New Year Begun

Now here we are, 2012, just a number. Lots to be done during this number, we have to secure full planning permission on the land but even before that a survey, a complete design and a bit of negotiation with our neighbours, “a plan is in  the making”.

By the end of said number we would like to have found and secured a local supplier of  Douglass Fir, a softwood yet strong and proven to be a great framework building material. This is available in plenty in Ireland so keeps down the carbon footprint of long haulage.

Again the straw supplier has to be sorted, straw is better if bought the previous year and dry stored ready for the build.

As well as an unknown amount of things that side swipe you along the journey to your dream, BUT this is our dream, our end product is simple living, not easy living. We have a vision, “sat aside upon our porch, overhanging roof sheltering the rain, a cigar, a whiskey and a good book” this is our dream, no fast cars or condos.

Just beautiful and together, every day together.

Happy new year xx  

Our best wishes to all, Richard & Ric 

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Our Culnady Dwelling.

We’re both hard at work in every department of building our applesteamdream, Ric has accumulated many recipes and ideas inc samples of eco roof tiling (made from recycled bottles).

Eco-slate

Eco-slate 2

Here is a couple of photos of the tile’s, as you can see the difference  in look to standard tiles is very little though they are so much better insulation dew to the proses of weathering, the tiles bond together expelling all air gaps and crate one solid membrane.

We have been searching for an architect to help with the straw bale build and have found Tagarts of Belfast, they designed the Ecos building in Ireland and have taken our project on with wonder and enthusiasm  (at first I think they thought we were bonkers but after the full plan was unfolded they have come round to our way of thinking that everything is possible,  or at least excepted or madness).

All of the land paperwork has now been completed thanks to the hard-working solicitor (J McNally’s) of Magherafelt, we are the proud owners of the land appointed to Culnady Road, Upperlands, its taken six years in total so as you may imagine we are delighted.

Next thing will be a January trip back over to clear and survey the land fully, the house will be built on a platform to take into account  the natural slope towards the river and help protect the straw bale construction. Lots of planning to be done.

Well all for now, Happy days –  Richard & Ric.

 



A Lovely Gift

Last evening Ric surprised me with a ticket to the Grand Designs Live show (which is tomorrow, Sat 8th Oct). The show has a massive section on Eco building, straw bale construction and different heating/cooling systems. I’m not sure I have enough brain space to take it all in in one day so a reusable bag filled with hopefully recycled leaflets will be required.
We will return with ideas & photos soon.
I can feel some tired feet coming on.

Take care, Richard



Ireland


Just a few photos from our trip back home to Ireland, 40 years of growth is going to take a bit of clearing lol.



Ireland Trip

Well here we are one week away from our first trip together to Ireland. This will be the first time Ric will view our little piece of Ireland in person, the place where our dreams will be made, the place we will begin our new life on 29th Feb 2016 (subject to change, we may not be able to hold off that long). 

We have booked our stay at Dungiven Castle quite close to our plot in the beautifully wild countryside of Culnady. I know you might say this is a bit of a waste of resources but we did get it at a snip of normal price on Last Minute.com, and aswell it’s a very special time.

A full report will follow this visit with as many photos as possible. I think you will see how a straw bale construction will blend completely with the surroundings and sustainable living can be achieved. 

All the best, Richard 



Applesteam in Word

Applesteam

By the river, twenty yards to the other shore, high trees and grass of many shades fill my horizon,

A trickling stream on my left cascades to the river’s edge, like excited children running to join their parents. 

River bed clear to see, waters circle the smooth protruding rocks while sticklebacks scurry around their base jabbing about like darts.

Hypnotized by my view, a view 40 winters past, my memory paints a perfect picture.

I spin on my heals – leap and skip as my young legs once allowed towards my country house, whitewashed stone, small windowed but large is the door, hard to push.

Behind the door, I stand wide eyed in the dimly room, sunlight cast through each small window, sharp beams firing onto walls like lasers from an alien spaceship.

Cream enamel aga set to the right whitewashed wall, soot stained doors show its many years.

Branches of trees turned to carbon element, extracting energies.

I hear the vibration of a large pot bubbling on the stove, rattling like a constant passing train, the lid jiggling on top from which the applesteam escapes, filling the room with the sweet aroma of sugared boiling apples.

Already able to taste the crisp pastry’d pie in my mind.

I stand now, older, wiser, fatter, boiling my apples on a futuristic hob of black glass,

But still my mind casts to that place, as the Irish fields surrounded my simple life.

***

Richard



Hello and welcome to the Applesteam Dream

This blog is to chart the journey to our dream life in the beautiful countryside in Northern Ireland.

We have decided to build a new life along more ecological lines. The plan for the house will be developing over the next few years as we plan our future. The House itself we plan to build from straw bales with a timber framing. Once up and rendered, the straw forms an amazingly good insulation against heat in the summer and cold in the winter.

We also intend to generate as much of our own heating and electricity as possible, getting as close to carbon neutral as possible, hopefully we will become negative carbon, generating enough power to sell on.

We hope you’ll join us on our journey over the next few years as it develops.

Ric & Richard xx