To mix the cement for the swimming-pool walls today, the builders had to break up the sand with a pickaxe and smash through two inches of ice on top of the water barrel. The garage tap has thawed out but we are having to keep it open to prevent it from freezing again until we can move the wood - which we can't do until the enormous pile of sand has gone.
BB spent all day wrestling with coils of armoured flexible PVC tube for the pool - which in sub-zero temperatures is extremely difficult to unroll and cut - whilst trying to avoid impaling his eyeballs on the reinforcement rods sticking up all over the place every time he bent down.
People keep stopping to ask why we're digging such a big hole in the basement so we're having to pretend it's a cave (cellar) otherwise we may have difficulties when we come to applying for planning permission. Apparently, the planning authorities can come to your house before they grant permission to make sure you haven't started the work already - and if you have, they can refuse your application. It's probably the worst-kept secret in the village right now, so we'll just have to make sure we don't fall out with anyone!