Our quiet weekend before the final push …

We have deliberately had a quiet weekend to try to let our energy reserves recover a little, since we estimate we have about 2 weeks work remaining before the cafe restaurant could be opened.

On Friday, Mike focused on the wiring of the electrical sockets whilst I finished painting the store and started mist painting the kitchen.  In the evening, Tom cooked us a barbecue to celebrate his 25th birthday, and my sister Annie and brother in law Ian arrived for the weekend.

Saturday saw Mike continue to wire up the new consumer unit whilst I started putting the acrylic finish on the kitchen walls and mist coated the lobby.

We then spent Sunday showing the area to Annie and Ian before having a snooze-y day today.  We did have some warm sunshine over the last few days and both Phil and Tom took some photos for us, some of which we show here.

The new lawn and planters on the approach to the restaurant are beginning to look more established
The new lawn and planters on the approach to the restaurant are beginning to look more established

 

 

Shame it was so bright - something tells me we will need to take this shot again!
Shame it was so bright – something tells me we will need to take this shot again!

 

 

 

Even more than normal, we are full of (coffee) beans…

I do apologise for the delay in posting this blog. I have been a little bit poorly. Ahhhh. Is that the smallest violin in the world that I can hear playing your sad song for me?
Sunday was our normal quiet day. I had a quick doze after church and then returned to the church flower festival to dispense tea and coffee along with (I hope) bright conversation. I was delighted to be collected after my stint by Tom, who had – unbeknown to me – returned to Penaeldroch after completing his contract at the summer activity centre in Devon.

Monday was something of a red letter day, as we took delivery of our new, all fizzing, all steaming coffee machine.

So shiny, so lovely...
So shiny, so lovely…

Just in case the first picture wasn't gorgeous enough for you...
Just in case the first picture wasn’t gorgeous enough for you…

Camille from Brodies trained three of us in the secret arts of barista-ship which we look forward to practising once we are open. Whilst we focused on learning these new skills, Mike plastered half of the kitchen, and Phil and Mel cleaned out a couple of the chillers.
Tuesday saw Mike plastering again, whilst I painted a couple of mist coats in the store. In the afternoon, I drove Tom to Porthmadog for some shopping and to show him the breathtaking views that this journey reveals, given that we had glorious weather so could for once enjoy the vistas.
Yesterday, my poorly day, saw me supervising Tom moving the office furniture from the base of the stairwell into the sitting room (as this meant I could sit down if/when necessaary). When we arrived last December, we ‘dropped’ the office in the hall on about day 3 so that the desk would be opposite a wood burner which we hoped would result in a reasonable temperature in which to work – but how wrong we were! So we have moved the desk, computer and other items into the tower window in the sitting room (with my back to the view, naturally, to aid concentration) so that during the winter it will benefit from the warmth in the only room we are likely to heat well. Of course, we will need to take evasive action due to leaks when rain is blown through gaps in the pointing over the winter, but we can plan for this eventuality nearer the time.

The seat of power
The seat of power

So whilst Mike was plastering the lobby ceiling, I was filing, organising, and disposing of large quantities of documentation. And Tim dropped by for a surprise visit. He said it was because he was travelling to Chester and had a sudden urge for a cup-a-soup, but I harbour suspicions that he just wanted to check we hadn’t dropped the quality ball since he left a couple of weeks ago… Oh, and my very grateful thanks to Paul who returned my laptop having undone the mess I had made some weeks ago – truly a man of great talent when it comes to IT problems.

Today, I tried to take things easy in my phased return to work.

Gently does it (return to work, that is, not paint)
Gently does it (return to work, that is, not paint)

Mike spent the day plastering the walls in the lobby,

The lobby, now plastered, so nearly ready for the finishing touches
The lobby, now plastered, so nearly ready for the finishing touches
whilst I did minor repairs, painted the store ceiling, and then painted the walls with an anti-bacterial acrylic resin based coating. Something tells me we will both be happy bunnies when the plastering and painting for this restaurant is over!

First coats complete
First coats complete

We also had three horse riders today from Germany, quizzing me about the Brexit vote. Happy days.

Extra, extra – high drama whilst I was writing the blog!!

The last few days have been plaster boarding and cleaning ones.
By end of play today, Saturday, almost every nook and cranny that needs to be has been plaster boarded.

Kitchen, boarded, ready for plastering
Kitchen, boarded, ready for plastering

(There are about 3 minor exceptions, as we have temporarily run out of board….) Phil has now scraped clean and polished all of the windows in the restaurant, cleaned much of the floor, and cleaned out one of the old chillers. She has also painted out the ‘Plas Hall Pub Sky’ sign (which seems too well attached for us to risk taking it down), much to our relief, and has assembled more tables and chairs (see photo far below).

Old sign, ready for new text
Old sign, ready for new text

Jane has been working on recipes including sample paninis, and helping with other tasks. I have been driving around for supplies, cutting and fitting plaster board and taping joints’ and also clearing out the long corridor with Jane. Mike has been batoning and boarding.

So how exactly are we going to install the plasterboard here???
So how exactly are we going to install the plasterboard here???

On the more exciting side, we have taken delivery of the ventilator hood for the kitchen, the stand for the coffee machine (for which Mike has completed the electrical and plumbing install), and the antibacterial paints for the kitchen.

One ventilator hood, for the  use of.  Installation instructions there were none but apparently, one just drills a few holes through!
One ventilator hood, for the use of. Installation instructions there were none but apparently, one just drills a few holes through!

And yesterday, I took the available taste police with me (aka Jane and Philly) and we purchased some crockery, cutlery and storage containers, ready for the next phase. Which is as good an excuse as any for another shot or two of the emerging restaurant…
More tables, a little crockery...
More tables, a little crockery…

.... if only you could see what was behind the camera!
…. if only you could see what was behind the camera!

Looking at tasks still to complete (plaster kitchen and lobby; paint kitchen, store and lobby; fit floor edging and paint floor; fit extractor hood and vent; connect electrics and get signed off; call in fire alarm components and get sign off; decide lobby flooring; install kitchen equipment; clean) it look increasingly like we will miss the Bank Holiday weekend, but here’s hoping we will be open soon-ish!

So what was the extra, extra bit? I had written to here, and was just fitting in the photos, when I noticed things had gone kind of quiet in the kitchen. Mike had been preparing chilli pasta with salad for our dinner (since we have an unofficial split of evening work between cooking, and blogging/doing accounts/assorted other documentary-type tasks). When I had finished inserting photos, I pottered through to find Mike and Phil studiously staring at the meal. Turns out, Mike had tried to prise the lid off the saucepan using a ceramic knife, and he had heard the tip break off. Searching found no sign of the missing portion so the delicious meal has had to hit the (food waste) bin and frozen chips and fish cakes are now being prepared. Of course we realise that the minute the food hits the bin, we will probably find the knife fragment somewhere unrelated, but you know what sticklers we are for Health and Safety!