What a fortnight. Last week we didn’t even have a Monday, well, not according to this blog anyway! Our renovation has been a hive of activity with big things happening, game changing, renovation progressing stuff. Joiners here to fit one of the monster bays as this is simply too big a job for me & Mr M to tackle on our own and plasterers here to do that which they do best and that which we wouldn’t even attempt.
As you can see below, one bay is officially in and it’s fantastic to see. They were massively heavy to get in place and I was in awe of the lads & Mr M for their herculean efforts. Once the hardwood frames were in place, the new roof was constructed around it and we’re now now water tight and for the first time in this Edwardian property’s long history, double glazed & wind proof! As with any renovation, one job inevitably leads to at least another three. People ask me all the time why we haven’t finished yet and what’s talking so long, but generally they’re either people who’ve never popped by the blog or been to the house. This *little job* might give you an idea. Now the scaffolding is up we can see just how much work is needed to the decorative barge boards, those beautiful carved but badly weathered timber sections which are now only part painted in black. Whilst the scaffolding is up for the next 4-6 weeks, each one has to be carefully stripped with a heat gun and chiselled, sanded, filled, secured with back-plates, primed, undercoated and top coated. Yep, all 21 of them. In November.
It’s a good job I’ve got the Navy Ninja on the case…. heat gunning for all he’s worth whilst I chisel and sand. Boy, do we ache already, up and down the scaffold, two days in and 14 out of 21 done. We’re praying for clear, dry days this week to get it all finished. I’ll be very proud when it’s done, knowing we’ve protected then for the next 100yrs when so much decorative work like this has been lost to cheap renovation work and roofing repairs. It’s one of those DIY jobs which makes your heart a little warmer, even if your fingers freeze in the process.
Equally messy but at least not 40ft high, I cleaned down the bedroom fireplace this week, ready for the wood burner. I like the idea of these black sooty bricks in what will be a pure white bedroom, so haven’t scrubbed them too thoroughly with mortar cleaner, just taken the top layer off and all the excess mortar from the front faces. Nicely sealed with flat matt varnish, I’m now bidding on an Ebay fire as I type. Wish me luck 🙂Meanwhile more blackness – and I hope to goodness the last of the blackness – on the first floor landing in the main house. As per usual we didn’t take to easiest and fastest option when the original ceiling on the landing came down on Monday, bringing with it all the dark dust which you get in old roof spaces. Some of the cornice was damaged so Leo the expert is lined up to repair and replace, but rather than simply reinstate the old flat ceiling, I’ve designed the new ceiling to show off the roof angles and pitches with a small shelf to take the new cornice, just as in the bedroom.
Another big challenge for the plasterers, who grumble at the complexities but revel in the finished work. I like that process.
I spend most of my time in filthy work pants, had you noticed, so it’s lovely to get dolled up and pretend to be a woman again, at least once in a while. Well, it would be if I had a bathroom, a dressing table and a wardrobe full of clothes. The bathrooms are well underway but not quite up to pampering soaks yet, so for another year the glam RTS dinner was prepared for with a desperate hunt for Veet, a red lippy and shoes without steel toe caps. Thank god for Zara online is all I’m sayin’.Someone not so happy this week is Builder Cat, firmly in the Moregeous dog house. We’ve decamped up into the new dormer whilst the second bay is fitted and though the room has a bed, there’s no curtains or door. Someone thinks it’s a great idea to get up and roam free at 6am, setting off all the alarms…..Clearly it’s not me who dashes naked downstairs to turn them off, that would just be ridic as for someone who struggles with the concept of two 6 o’clocks in one day, so Mr M is currently working out how to make her sleep till at least 7. Yes, that’s a grown man, working out how to control a cat. He’s decided there’s no way she’s getting on her fav reno camping chair.
I fully expect her to be up at 6 every morning until full camping chair service is resumed.