Over the two days of last weekend we built a curved dry stone seat at Colinton in the south of Edinburgh, on the section of the Water of Leith walkway that runs along the old railway line. This is part of a larger project to enhance this area, which also includes some pretty spectacular murals in the tunnel that's there.
The project's being run by the Colinton Amenity Association (CAA), and they'd prepared the site before we arrived on Saturday morning, cutting a flat area out of the banking near the tunnel.
The stone was from the Swinton quarry, just north of the Tweed (the specification being that it had to be Scottish), onto a large piece of which one of our former members, Pete Smith, had carved an inscription for us notifying who'd built the seat and when.
It was quite tricky working in the fairly enclosed space within the curve, and the bank above was quite muddy and slippery too, which didn't make it any easier. The stone, however, was pretty easy to work with, and there were several large flat slabs which would do well for the seat area.
By lunch time we were up to seat level - the slabs having to be mortared on to ensure that they stay put.
The CAA even provided us with cake to keep us going.
And fortified by this we soon got the seating slabs finished off.
The back of the seat would need to be built on top of the slabs and we therefore had to let the mortar set before we could build it, so all we could do for the rest of that day was build up the lower parts of the back wall to seat height.
We reckoned Sam was light enough not to cause the seat to shift, so he tested the seat for us before we headed off at about 3 pm.
On Sunday, the mortar having dried, the back could go up - a tricky curved build with a sloping top.
And finally the completed seat, with the inscribed stone in the middle of the back.
And proof, if any were needed, that it works.
This blog, and the rest of the site, are produced by Donald McInnes, treasurer of the SES DSWA (I'm the baldy one, sometimes in a saltire hat).