This week has been a quiet one on the building front. This is partly because I went to Cowbridge (slightly to the left of Cardiff) last weekend to go shopping with our daughters; partly because we have pretty much run out of things to do before the plumber comes; and quite possibly mostly because we are both exhausted.
Last Saturday, whilst I was drifting around the shops, Mike and Jane were looking after a walking group who parked in the morning, went walking, and arrived for tea in the afternoon. I believe Mike and Jane coped admirably, but I suspect they might have had to have a quiet sit down afterwards.
We have continued to work on clearing and improving the landscape, and I have potted on many seedlings and planted bulbs out on the hillside which we hope will be remodelled by next Spring, assuming the stairs are in place, enabling us to remove the wooden slope.
Given the stalemate we have reached, we have decided to get away for a few days. We will stay in North Wales so that, should we hear that the plumber is coming, we can whizz back if necessary but otherwise plan to spend a few days doing absolutely nothing, leaving the building in the loving care of Jane and Tom. When we return, we hope that normal service will be resumed!
We are waiting for the plumber who we are expecting any day this week, so continue to find jobs to do that don’t need the pipes to be moved. We have replaced the last of the 6 Velux window panes, so no longer have a view like this from the third floor.
and we have completed various other totally un-glamorous tasks around the property.
Yesterday, we decided we needed a break from indoors, and set out to do some Rhodo bashing. In the photo above, you can see a line of Rhodos around the centre of the shot which are holding up our attempts to clear the view down to the river. In the shot below you may be able to see how steep this bank is, with the river flowing gently at the bottom of the slope.
Here we show the view from the road, so you can see the extent of the Rhodo infestation (hint: most of the green stuff you can see is either ivy or Rhododendron ponticum)
and that remains true further down the river bank, much of which we will need to eradicate over time.
Mike was clipping the top growth away and passing this to me before treating the stumps.
We had hoped that the photo below would show just how much we had achieved, but maybe not! We will try to take a shot from the road tomorrow to show you next time…
This week we have been somewhat distracted by other events – I have had a string of appointments and meetings which took me away from the refurbishment work, so I hope you will understand why progress has been slightly dented as a consequence.
Below you see one of the two Velux windows we have re-glazed.
and this is the view from the window that was previously filled with polycarbonate. We were pleasantly surprised to see just how lovely the view can be, but we noticed that there was something of a damp patch on the floor both before and after re-glazing. We think we have tracked down the problem, and Mike and I will be trying to rectify this in a week or so.
Having almost completed the roof insulation, I have continued to insulate the stairwell, and then fix the insulation in place with chicken wire. The wall below is on floor 3, which means we have almost completed one of the stairwell walls. Yippee!
Having got to the top floor, we would really like to complete the wall at right angles to this, but we still need the plumber to arrive to move some pipes. Mike therefore decided to start building the internal stud walls that will complete floor 3 so that we can work on them whilst waiting:
We may have to move on to something else now, as it is virtually impossible to move 8′ x 4′ plasterboard sheets up to floor 3 at the moment, which requires us to walk up a very steep, very narrow set of attic stairs, until the stairwell is complete and the new staircase in place. I’m sure we will be able to find something else to do if we look hard enough…
In the meantime, I have been using some of my spare time to create a fundraising sheet in aid of BBC Children in Need. If you are fond of Dingbats and live locally, pop into the church, the Spar or Plas Penaeldroch and your quiz sheet is available for a small financial donation to the charity. If you are more distant and would like to join in, please just drop us an email and we will see what we can do!