This weeks news…

So, three days later than anticipated and more white-van-man visits than we can count, we finally have gas AND the road has been reopened. The road closure was supposed to be for a few hours but extended to three days, principally it would seem, because the team were too disorganised to collect the huge collection of barriers, signs and cones that had amassed in front of the house. All rather embarrassing really, but the neighbours have been really quite understanding, publicly, at least.

Look at the state of this!

20140329-201616.jpgToday we’ve been on the lookout for kitchen floor tiles, I’m not impressed with the selection I’ve seen, all a bit ordinary. We have decided on a couple of things though, firstly we want ‘rough edge’ tiles, like these, but nicer:

And secondly we want to use some tumbled pebbles, like these, but cheaper!

20140329-200955.jpg We’ve had chippies in to quote on a few jobs we need doing in the kitchen to move things along, like fitting the cubby hole window, extractor hood and finishing off a little paneling here and there. Once he’s done, we can then have the hob and extractor wired. Finally for this week, we had the guy from the fireplace company come to do a survey… He seemed a little…shall we say ‘overwhelmed’, it’s strange how normal living ‘on site’ becomes and it’s only when visitors arrive with their little shocked faces that we remember the scale of it all! Anyway, in a nutshell the chimney breast in the library is likely to collapse, and behind the board blocking the fireplace in the lounge there is…dead pidgeon, ta da! We were told this on Thursday and he’s still there, Ronnie won’t touch it and I’m sure as hell not going to, it’s probably been there for 50 years, a few more weeks won’t hurt, right?.

Cooking on gas…Nearly!

Today was spent digging a trench from the side gate to the road, what fun! This is in preparation for the gas line to be fitted, we’ve saved about £500 doing this, so as much as I moaned (and I really moaned) the saving was worth the effort. It was also quite nice to be out at the front of the house chatting to passers by, many of them are older folk who knew the previous occupants, they all want to know how we’re getting on and wish us well, which is super.

20140322-181603.jpg We’re slightly concerned that there doesn’t seem to have been any notification to our neighbours that the road will be closed, except a tiny sign on a lampost at the very end of the street, so there may be some drama this week!

I’ve also been on the case trying to mend the stool that the pesky electricians broke. Here is how it looked a few years ago when I first bought it…

20140322-182318.jpg After much stripping, waxing and upholstering it looked like this, shown in our last home…


And after the aforementioned electricians got at it, it looked like this…!

20140322-184107.jpg Not only has the poor old thing lost a leg and it’s mouldings, it’s having to lie on the vile carpet. After a bit of nailing, a lot of gluing and some serious clamping it was on it’s way back to health.

It’s now looking much better after a bit of filling, sanding and polishing, and will be going into the guest bedroom word of warning to friends and family that may stay in future….It might be wise not to sit on it for too long!

This weekend has finally seen an end to the hours, and hours, and hours of scraping and scrubbing of the exposed brick wall in the kitchen.

20140323-211724.jpg It looks a little patchy in this photo, it’s far from ‘perfect’ as each brick is different, but I’m super pleased with it, I can’t wait to get it sealed and hang my Thai mirror on it.;

A kitchen, a sofa and a robbery that wasn’t.

Oops, missed a week. We’ve both been in the sick bay with a bug, so progress has been slow… We’re recovered now, so full steam ahead, phew!

We’ve been given this lovely little sofa after eagle-eyed June spotted a neighbour throwing it out… It’s now on my ever-growing list of things to up-cycle. Sweet, isn’t she?

20140311-214721.jpg Last Saturday Ronnie and I ventured into the village for some breakfast, when we returned the workmen mentioned Ronnie’s friend had been round to borrow his electrical saw from the shed, we’d not been expecting anyone so after a quick ring round, we decided that the saw had been stolen by an opportunist, which was pretty much what we deserved for leaving the shed open with valuables inside. Oh well.
The kitchen fitting is almost, very nearly complete. It took the fitter quite a lot longer than he anticipated but we’re really pleased with the results so far.

20140316-181215.jpg These pictures show where the two walls have come down, the first just behind the new breakfast bar, the second came off the yellow wall in the background. The stained glass window I bought will drop into that yellow wall one if these days!

20140316-181228.jpg The breakfast bar has achieved the divide we wanted between kitchen and dining areas, we still need to get the extraction hood fitted. I’m still upset I missed out on those old school stools on Ebay, they would have been perfect! The exposed brick wall can be seen in this picture too, sooooo many hours of scrubbing, but it’s looking good!



20140316-182639.jpg The oven and microwave sit just got the right of the hob.

20140316-183507.jpg The corner by the pantry has worked out ok, and now houses the fridge freezer and some cupboards, next weekend I plan to sort out the cupboard doors…new hardware, beading and a good few coats of paint. Dottie cat has been ‘helping’ in the kitchen by sitting in the box of handles, refusing to move.

20140316-185000.jpg Finally for this week, the ‘stolen’ saw was returned. A red faced couple knocked at the door and basically they’d arranged to borrow some tools from a friend of a friend and gone to the wrong house, they only realised when they returned it! All’s well that ends well, they bought us some wine and chocolate to apologise, and the saw made a lovely job of their new kitchen floor!

Comings and Goings at Lansdowne.

This week has been one of comings and goings. Coming, most notably was our cheque from the sale of Ronnie’s house, and with almost as much excitement (from me) my three Ebay purchases from last weekend, goings were my little round table and the giant holly tree.
The garden looks a lot bigger without the tree, but also more ‘normal’, and I don’t like normal. You can now clearly see the original Victorian fence to the right of the garden, we’ll need to lose this to put up a new wood fence fairly soon which will be sad, but I think the days of a 3ft fence dividing neighbours are long gone, especially when you own a crazy cat, and them, and even crazier dog. I hope to be able to use the old fence to divide off a little vegetable plot at some point.

20140302-193227.jpg On Saturday I collected last weeks Ebay steals, I’m totally, and utterly in love with my window, I’ve looked at sooo many, but when I met this beauty, I knew it was the one for us. .

20140301-194815.jpg It’s going to look stunning when it eventually goes into the alcove. I also picked up the mirror which I can’t wait to hang, it will be opposite the French window so should make the area feel much more spacious than it actually is. The guy I bought it from had stuffed bats hanging from his hallway ceiling, so I expect the mirror is glad of a new home!

20140301-194658.jpg Finally on my little road trip, I collected the corner cupboard for the kitchen, it’s actually much nicer than I expected and I feel quite sad that it will most likely end up being repainted to match the units, I love the little lock and key.

The DPC has gone in this week, along with the base plaster. It’s good to see the back of most of the bricks and house feels a lot more finished than it did last week. Some bricks we didn’t want to see the back of though were the ones that form the library fireplace. It’s not especially pleasing to get home from a day at work to find that the bricks we painstakingly removed plaster from have been plastered over again! The DPC guys are coming back next week to correct their mistake and get the plaster off again, hopefully the chimney won’t fall down in the process.

20140302-191927.jpg I’ve got upholstery class next weekend, so I’ve been doing a little bit the dreaded chair to hopefully get it somewhere near finished in class. Progress on the exposed brick wall in the kitchen is a bit slow, it’s difficult when aiming for a rustic look to identify quite what ‘done’ looks like, it’s definitely NOT done yet though…homework for the week…I think. The kitchen fitter starts on Thursday, excited, much. We’ve been getting the last bits and bobs finished in preparation today, we cleaned up the areas where the two walls have come down and found the old quarry tiles a few inches below the current floor, I’m afraid that’s where they are going to stay as they are now covered over again ready for tiling.

20140302-192934.jpg We’ve also chosen our worktop, we’ve gone for the 40mm oak, it’s the middle one on this picture.

20140302-195741.jpg And finally, I (re)found this tea pot, we found it in the garden on moving day and rediscovered it in the depths of the last kitchen cupboard to go today. It’s quite sweet!