Roost Building Logbook

Dear reader,

Here follows the edited highlights of emails Gomito HQ received during the creation of the set for Gomito’s show Roost. It was built on the beautiful Francis Farm in Suffolk where we’ve stayed and rehearsed in the past. It’s always noted that the farm has a special effect on creative visitors; it relaxes them, it focuses them and then it slowly turns them funny in the head. No one asked the design/construction team to write a logbook, no one asked them to assign human names to pieces of wood, no one has asked why Bryan Woltjen puts Zs at the end of random words, we are just glad that these things happen. Read on and enjoy, the performers hope to take up the baton soon after.

Logbook Entry: Prologue
Bryan Woltjen (Designer)

Our journey begins in sunny London, from where was navigated in a North by North-Easterly direction with the aide of Patsy Clyne, Jeff Buckley and The XX.

Some poorly structured navigational decisions led to a decisive demotion of myself from Navigator to Disc Jockey.

After the insertion of an instrumental version of pan-flute outback compositions, it was decided by the voting majority to demote me further to First-class passenger.

Purchases were made at Screw-fix and Sainsbury’s in Bury St Edmunds.

Satsumas not particularly good this time of season, but organically farmed oranges are tres amazing.

Arriving at Francis farm we were greeted by Sarah, who welcomed us with a tour and a bottle of home-made elderflower cordial. She showed us two possible sites for the build/rhsl. The second, next to the barn, was chosen for it’s slightly more forgiving incline, and proximity to barn. As a side not, the performance sites will need to have little or no incline… Is this something that is being checked?

The cabin’s are great. The couch-sofa even has it’s own fireplace in front of it. The ONE THING WE FORGOT TO BRING was tea, but Sarah and Roger came to the rescue. Yaysies.

The workshop is spacious. Table space is a bit of an issue though… we will suffice for now by making tabletops out of the 19mm ply sheet and putting them on palettes that Roger is happy for us to use. When we need to use the 19mm sheets for the set, another alternative will need to have been sourced.

Wood from Acrelane arrived safely. Roger luckily had a palette truck, which was fortunate because it would have been a huge job to unload without it.

Ben/Dawn can you investigate the following for Ben’s trip up?

Hinges as discussed, but let me have a go at assembling what we’ve got tomorrow.
Bolts, we need wing-nutted bolts with washers to connect the elements that break apart for touring (the ones we bought today were for pivots). The distance they need to sandwich is 100mm (two 50mm thick beams). At least 36 of them.
An L-square, or adjustable angle square, as we’ll be doing some angle cuts.
Spirit level.
trestle table/s(?)… worth a shot
BBQ treats, your welcoming meal will be in front of your tent in the Cart Lodge Victory Garden. Both Rachel and myself are vegetarians… Quorn sangers?
A number of cheeky beers.

Except for the tables being set up, all going to schedule.

Amazing to be out here, the farm is amazing, but Suffolkering in the relentless heat (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Looking forward to tomorrow’s adventures in the Roostness of it all.


Logbook Entry: Knot a Day to be Roosted With‏
Bryan Woltjen (Designer)

Above the entrance to the workshop is a pigeon coop. The characters who inhabit therein are something of an informal mascot for the design. Today they sang along with us to Billy Bragg, Nina Simone and Abbe May.
So far we have escaped being blessed by their occasional little wet gifts that descend from time to time, but I think it mustn’t be long now before providence looks favourably upon us.

Some VERY exciting things happened today.
Our Technical Manager Ben Porter arrived bearing hinges, bolts and oodles of new toys to play with.
We have completed the base structure, charmingly known as ‘The Web (…but not the kind you stream cat videos on).
Ben taught us a new knot, which we think will be instrumental in the inaugral test drop which looms very near in our collective futures.

Although we are a day behind schedule, we’re catching up with Ben’s help. Much to do still. Looking forward immensely to the arrival of the rest of the roost.


Logbook Entry: Family Funtimes and Lots of Cheese‏
Dawn Taylor (Producer/Production Manager)

So I’ve taken on the illustrious task of writing the logbook for Friday…and have already fallen at the first hurdle as it appears to now be Saturday.

Yesterday saw the rest of the Roost family come for a visit. Finally myself, Amelia and Alice arrived at Francis Farm after a lengthy and hilarious odyssey from London.

Upon arrival at the farm we were greeted by the beginnings of a structure. Hurrah! The web base has been finalised and assembled, and is in the field ready for the other frames to be fitted on.

We were given a demonstration of the rather impressive protopye articulated wall frames, ably handled by Ben and Bryan. By and large it’s coming along nicely, but there have been a few problems with hinges and parallelograms, or at least so I’m told. Ben and Bryan have a plan for resolving these, with talk of plywood guides and also reinforcing the point in the base which is under the most pressure with steel.

This is going to mean some welding; I’ve had no luck getting any contact with the technical team at Bury St Edmunds, so Amelia if you have any in-roads there might be good to talk about this today. In the meantime, I’m going to chat with Rodger about any local folk he might know that would be set up for Ben to come in and do some welding.

After small amendments at prototype stage, the outer and inner wall frames are in the process of being cut & assembled.

We’re about a day and a half behind according to the original schedule, but are rapidly catching up since the arrival of Ben on site.

I’m going to stay here until Sunday morning, and come back again on Tuesday night to stay all day Wednesday. The idea is that another pair of hands will hopefully speed up production, but at least if nothing else I’ve been keeping the troops fed. So far it’s been cheese for every meal.

In other news we’ve discovered Ben’s knowledge of the world of birds (animals, not the ladies, although I’m sure his knowledge there is paramount too) and proclivity for jousting. Who knows, we might even arrange a Roost family joust before the end of the build….

That’s all for now. It’s a beautiful sunny day here – I hope that you’re enjoying it in London too.

Logbook Entry: Fellow Travellers
Ben Porter (Technical Manager)

We have picked up some new friends. I have to say that they are an odd bunch, a bit angular, a bit wooden, but for some reason they all seem to fit in.

There’s Frank, he’s quite easy going – we immediately felt comfortable about drawing attention to his generous proportions which he took with good grace. He’s often quite laid back. In fact at this moment he’s lying on his back in the field. He’ll be happy there all night. The wonderful thing about him though is that appears to be a really straight up kind of guy and then all of a sudden he delivers a completely new perspective. Interesting. I think he might lead the way at some point.

Eric (you have seen Eric already, he’s got a triangle on top) has been around for a couple of days now but we’re only just starting to get a grasp on his identity – I still want to call him Stan for some reason which probably doesn’t help. To be honest he’s quite a demanding character which is understandable – he’s not had a good time recently: he suffered a bit of a collapse and since that he’s been lurking at the back of the barn. We’ll try and bolster him up, offer a bit of support – as things currently stand I think there is a danger of him becoming unhinged but I’m sure that in the fullness of time he will become our lynchpin. Eric needs our love. And he really needs to start looking after his feet if this relationship is going to go any further.

Sally. What can I say about Sally? Bryan has said some things about Sally but to be honest I don’t think he really meant them. I feel she’s struggling to find her true identity – from what I can see she’s caught between Eric and Frank and doesn’t know which way to fall. Her predecessor was broken by the whole situation and we would hate to see the same happen to her.

Frank, Eric and Sally have fallen in with a good bunch of people. We understand their needs, support their desires and ambitions. We will help help them be what they can be. (Dawn now talks to the wood and is in touch with a higher power – three bars!)

Logbook Entry: To be FRANK‏
Rachel Schofield-Owen (Assistant Designer)

So, another day in the Gomito Garden.

Yesterday I drove back from London as fast as I possibly could wanting to get back to our little cottage and check out the weekend’s progress!! Only Bryan was here and the progress seemed to have occurred mostly in the liquor and food stores. Ben had driven back to London again.

Bryan and I quickly got back into our routine starting today with the 8.30am Breakfast Briefing.

A lot happened today, most of it I don’t remember. At the end of it, it seems we made good progress. We are all itchy with sawdust and knackered with exhaustion. Today was HOT.

The big game changers were……….. (drumroll)
- Deciding to take a more Mediterranean approach to include big lunches and siestas.
The sun got to all of us today and we have realised that starting earlier, taking a break in the middle and working later is more productive (the late print of this log is proof of the revised schedule)


- Today, we all became master carpenters. Having realised our fixings were just not strong enough to cope with the strain put on the structure, we cut much more solid joints. We have been lapping planes to our hearts content making beautiful bespoke corners. You’ll be pleased to know that the inspiration for this came from a beam in the bathroom of the Cartlodge.


- Frank, we made 3 and they are standing. We have cut up all of Frank and Sally and intend to patch them up and put them in the sky by sunset tomorrow. We have one Sally standing proud already.


- Ben drove from Bury and back and back to Bury and back to base many times today, Bryan ordered him to go to bed just so he would stop driving.

- Ben and Bryan became a machine. It was like the London Olympics all over again- COGS/BRO-MANCE.

- My favourite job of the day was being asked to cut 3m lengths of wood to 3m. Simple.

- We have opened my box of wine, it is as you might suspect, a bit dodgy.

All very excited about the arrival of Dawn again tomorrow!!!!!!!!!

Today was good, tomorrow will be better.



Logbook entry: Namaqua, South African for Pass the Alka Seltzer…‏
Bryan Woltjen (Designer)

Still, here we are:
All the Franks (outer frames) and Alice’s (inner frames) and a singular lonely Eric (articulated frame), plus a section of floor.


I have a new belt. The world is mine.


Logbook entry: The Rise Before the Fall
Bryan Woltjen (Designer)

The list of things to do is really rather large, so I attach some more photos in place of my usual delirious rambling.
In brief however, Rachel leaves us today to deliver her own design for some Secret Garden down the road. Her work these past two weeks has been invaluable.
Sarah is okay to have us in the lodge for the extra night, provided she has no last minute bookings.
Finishing off the decking, reworking the crowning triangleZ, and reassembling Eric, Sally, Alice and Frank is our final day’s toil.
We’ll aim to finish up all construction, and document, discuss , write some god dam lists… and clean, come the morrow.

Rach and Roo demonstrate Pale Cockatoo Dreaming

A Spiderweb, 6 Fat Franks, 12 Lanky Franks, 6 Sallys, 6 Alices and 6 Erics discuss an awkward confluence of triangles.

Ben about to dive into a dimensional gateway

Some homeless guy fondling Eric

Logbook entry: epilogue‏
Bryan Woltjen (Designer)

Ben is poaching eggs.

He is a master of this, among other things, particularly as in our last dark hours here on the ranch we our stocks have expired and we are out of vinegar.
We do however have vast quantities of Namaqua left.
Namaqua, and two very small pieces of blueberry chocolate, and we are hoping against all hope that this will keep us alive until we return to civilization.

The deed is done.
We built a house in two weeks.
Although much remains by way of dressing, rigging and the paintZ, I pass this journal to the safekeeping of others and sign out with some images from the last couple of days.
It’s been a great fortnight. The structure has come together so much better than I thought it might. Looking forward immensely to the tales that it will house.

Easy mistake to make


Ben feeding the BudgieZ

Ben, master of yokes

Budgie assembled!

Budgie. Perched next to the old chook shed. As big as house.

Ben’s face after I told a particularly funny yoke.


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