Rain Stops Play…

What a week! It’s been a non-stop but fun few days. Starting on Thursday evening I took a cookery glass learning to make Dosa at the Loaf Community Bakery & Cookery School. It was great fun and I feel pretty confident I’ll be able to make the five dishes which we learned at home… One day. There was also the opportunity to purchase some of their ridiculously good bread, the sourdough is amazing and I’ll be on another class soon to learn how to make that!
Friday evening was tidy up and prep night. Boo. But we had the Dosas for dinner. Yay!
Saturday morning was set to see the arrival of Dennis the plasterer and the scaffold guys, the rain and wind were so bad the scaffold got pushed back until Sunday. One out of three ain’t bad, and Dennis got the lounge finished and rough coated the hall. It’s good to see the back of those holes! 20140610-194014-70814820.jpgRonnie filled holes in the kitchen ceiling. My dad painted the cloakroom. I peeled paint off the library ceilng rose, it needs a little more attention, but it’s difficult to know when to stop given that we’ll eventually be admiring it from eight feet below, rather than eight inches below, atop the ladder. The difference is quite dramatic, who’d have thought such detail lay below the gloop?

20140610-195657-71817991.jpgI also peeled paint off the stools we bought at the flea market, then waxed the seats (I may have used a tiny bit off wood dye to give the new wood a little, erm, heritage!) I’m really pleased with the results, a nice little bargain!

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The scaffold guys arrived on Sunday morning and spent the whole day erecting the scaffold up to the chimneys. These pictures show it from the side and front elevations.

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I planned to climb up to have a good look around, but was only brave enough to go onto the first staging. Ronnie clambered up and descended looking a worried man, not because of the dizzy heights, but because of the state of the roof. There are holes and dodgy slates everywhere. The ridge tiles are all in place, so that’s one positive.

20140610-200224-72144756.jpg The builder is due to start tomorrow rebuilding both chimneys. He’ll be taking them down, cleaning off the bricks and rebuilding, hopefully straighter! Once that’s done we have to climb up the scaffolding and drop down chimney liners, and ‘pop’ this crowning glory (yet another Ebay purchase) on the top, eek!

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Extreme Weather Warning…

In contrast to last weeks glorious sun, this week has been rain, rain and yet more rain. Worse still, there’s been a blizzard in the kitchen, not actual snow you understand, but off-cuts of foam insulation floating down from the ceiling, sticking to every-single-surface possible on their journey. The insulation will though, really help on our energy efficiency and is quite a big tick on our to do list.

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The plumbers will need access to the beams to run the central heating pipes through, but once that’s done, we can have our ceiling back, won’t that be a luxury! While Ronnie was beavering away in the kitchen, I set about trying to smarten up the corbels in the hallway. Whilst ridding the hall of the last traces of wallpaper last week, I noticed the steam seemed to be affecting the paint on the plaster corbels, this, was a complete bonus as the steam technique I’d read about failed miserably on the ceiling roses. This picture shows how the steam melted the paint and allowed me to peel back decades of paint.

20140525-211434-76474865.jpg The left hand corbel has suffered a few knocks over the years, but they are both in quite good condition all things considered.

20140525-211545-76545550.jpg This before and after shows how much crisper the corbels are now, especially noticeable on the top frieze and the ‘grapes’ – hurrah!
In other news, we have confirmed a plasterer, who will start bright and early next Saturday, (and as he’s someone Ronnie has worked with, I think he’ll actually arrive!) first up will be the lounge, so we’ve moved most of the furniture out to the library, which now resembles a bring & buy sale. The chimney rebuilding quotes are in, the first was 80% over budget, the second? 30% under budget, go figure! However, after a bit of a deal we’ve done on separate scaffolding, we should be able to get this job priced right down. Last but not least, we’ve put a bucket in the attic under a hole in the roof, so hopefully that’s the last of blizzards in the kitchen and rain on the landing for a while!