Anyway, enough complaining, here is what I managed to achieve;
At 9am, I started on the 3rd row of bricks. It was a struggle to get back into it, but once started the muscles started to limber up.
The 4th row was started at about 10.10 am, but I came unstuck because I ran out of half bricks. After an hour of searching around the town for two measly brick and finding none, I had to improvise. I had kept some house bricks, so bought a bolster chisel and cut them to size. If you click on the above image you will see my improv at the first and middle row towards the ends.
Once the last brick was laid, we waited for about 90 minutes for the mortar to dry before putting on the 60 x 60 cm slabs on top. All level every way which! Next weekend I will lay out the brick base and front arch for the oven. The gap that you probably noticed is the front, and I am going to put an ash slot and length of red gum (hard wood) across to make it look pretty.
Now that the top was in place, it was time to kick back and relax! It looks a bit like a sacrificial alter, but with no virgins in sight, I had to jump up there myself. ;-) Strike the pose.
I am so glad that I got it finished.