Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has had a restful, joyful Christmas break. We have been thrilled that so many people have dropped by for a coffee and cake, perhaps a little soup or other hot food, and we have also had the pleasure of showing several people around our fabulous refurbishment project.

As we have been solidly on cafe duties, not refurbishing, there are no action shots to share, but I thought you might like to see:

Tim’s chocolate box…they were delicious!

My best Christmas present…

..and the other side.

I am known to enjoy a puzzle or two, so our children very kindly created a double sided jigsaw from their own photos, taken this year – which arrived in a plain cardboard box, with no picture. We were all rather surprised to see how much more challenging it is when you have no idea what the picture should look like. Still, this is far preferable from previous years puzzles which have included the baked bean puzzle and, in 2017, the 1000 piece puzzle that faded from blue to green. Happy days! Blwyddyn Newydd Dda, pawb.

Oh no – Mr Cock up has been to call

In case you were worried following the last post, I did get my essays in on time, so can now return my focus to the continuing work at Plas, but only for another couple of days before we switch to being in the cafe over the Christmas week. We will take a big jigsaw in with us, to give us all something to do whilst we are chatting and relaxing with our guests.

Below you can see one of the last stages on floor 3 as I install the architrave around one of the doors.

So not some weird exercise programme…

Flushed with the success of installing architrave, I then turned my hand to first ‘knotting’ and then priming all the skirting and architrave on floor 3…

Not a rictus smile – just a photo taking whilst I was chatting with Mike.

So much, so positive. Now I fear I must start our confession. Whilst I was doing all this painting, Mike was working on the electrics. Last week he connected all the wires to their relevant positions in the consumer unit, and today he was focusing on the other ends of the cables. Whilst in the loft, he was trying to connect a light cable, and tugged on it just a tad too hard…

When he got downstairs, he found that the unexpected ease with which he had been able to manoeuvre this wire was possibly – no, definitely – due to the fact that he had pulled the wire clean out of the socket box.

At this point, I imagine anyone familiar with this building lark sucking through their teeth and shaking their heads in sad recognition that we are but amateurs at this game…which is, of course, quite true. To give Mike his credit, he had planned to fit the socket cover earlier, so had straightened out the knot at the wall end…but then got distracted by something and went into the loft to finish whatever magic he was doing first.

There followed a three-way discussion with Tim (who arrived for the Christmas festivities yesterday) about what to do next. Long story short – you can see where we have cut two small holes (!) in the newly painted wall. Because the wall contained insulated matting, we couldn’t just poke the wire unaided back in place, as it kept getting tangled up in the matting. So we cut two holes, each one slightly above the noggins so that we could manhandle (actually woman-handle) a spare piece of earth cable back from the loft through each noggin and back into the socket box. as this earth cable was stiffer than the cable we needed to replace.

Having done this, we taped the ‘real’ wire to the earth wire and, very gingerly, pulled it through into place, and then discarded the earth cable.


So this shot is here as a pathetic attempt to distract you from our tale above. You can see that the architrave has been primed, and the cable dangling in sight is due to be put where it really belongs any minute now.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year!

Family will be arriving over the next few days so we are unlikely to do much more on the building so, in case I don’t have more news before Tuesday. we hope you have a lovely Christmas.

In the pink – again

This will be a quick blog as I have other things I need to be doing… no surprise there, I suspect!  Now Strictly has finished, I can concentrate…

Sound insulation in place

Mike has finished putting in all but two of the door frames on floor 3, whilst Alex and I have blocked out the tops with studding, insulation…

More door frames in place

…and plasterboard.  Mike busy working away….

Mike in ‘action man’ pose

oh well, I guess someone has to be behind the camera!  Lola has been a fantastic support.  After I had cut the skirting to fit, Mike glued it in place and Lola nudged it into final position.

Lola helps with the skirting…

Mike and Alex fitted the architrave around the door, with Lola getting excited every time the pin hammer was used.

and now Lola helps with fitting the architrave

In the entrance hall, which abuts the fire-rated stairwell, we have used fire-resistant foam – such a lovely shade of pink, which enables building control to confirm we have used the right stuff.  And now that is finished, it only remains for Mike to plaster over the plasterboard which he did earlier today.

Plasterboard in place

I meanwhile still have a couple of essays to finish before I can focus on the building work again.  I hope to manage one more blog before the big day…