Happy Mothers’ Day

Here’s hoping that all mothers (and fathers) have had a lovely day today, and that all their children enjoyed making the day that little bit special. I count myself very lucky that most of our children managed to make it to North Wales for the day, but confess that it wasn’t the most relaxed Mothers’ Day I have enjoyed. Instead, Mike and I shamelessly dragooned our young adults into helping undercoat the woodwork in the floor 2 lobby, painting a couple of ceilings, and moving various items to another floor. After all, the carpets arrive on Thursday…no panic here….

We started to mist coat the floor 2 lobby

Earlier this week, the lobby to floor 2 was skimmed, so once this dried out we began the mist coat painting.

Alex busy painting the edges

Whilst that was drying, we painted the first colour coat onto the walls of the rooms on floor 2 – I wielded the roller, and Alex painted the edges.

Now the first coat is on the walls in the lobby

Bedroom 2 floor 2, with ceiling papered and painted


Shaun has papered the ceilings. People will be walking around on the floor above so we all thought the ceiling needed a little reinforcement. In two rooms, the ceiling paper has now been painted once…

and this papered ceiling awaits the first coat.


…and in one room the paper was installed today so it needs to dry out fully before I paint it tomorrow. We still have a surprising amount to do before Thursday, when painting needs to be finished before the carpets are fitted…

One of our planters is maturing nicely

In between all this frantic busy-ness, we took a moment this afternoon to enjoy the above planter. The Pierises (Pieri?) in the front are clearly enjoying themselves. Mike gave me a couple of Garrya eliptica last year for my birthday present, one of which is in this planter, and it had magnificent tassels all winter. I am hoping that it will put on a bit of a growth spurt this summer, so that it can begin to clothe the walls of the manor.

Smoke from the Siabod fire, visible from Plas

and, if you look carefully, you can see the flames at the crest slightly to the left of the house over the road.


On the less lovely side, the fire that we had reassured some friends was on the far side of Moel Siabod, and thus no danger to us, has crept around to our side. In the picture far above you can see the smoke Mike noticed whilst he was walking the dog. When we went out to photograph this, we could see flames (just about visible in the shot above). The grass fire apparently started near Betws y Coed around 4.15pm on Friday, and it would seem it has burned through the moorland near Llyn Elsi to our side. It was thought it was under control on Saturday, so we have notified the fire brigade to be sure someone knows about this, and let’s hope this is put out soon.

And then there was light…

After last week’s deluge, we have mostly been working inside to give the water time to recede. Those of you who saw the photos of Llanrwst and Maenan on the national news last weekend will know what I am talking about. I understand that the committee have starting discussing what they would do if there are heavy rains when the National Eisteddfod is due to be in Llanrwst this August…

First the priming…

Anyway, back to the mundane. I am still painting the rooms on floor 2…

Look, actual floor!

… whilst Mike is working to complete the electrical circuits on floor 2. Now that the wiring has been embedded in various newly-built walls, we were able to complete the flooring in the hallway. The piece of chipboard above may not look much, but it replaced an undersized piece of plywood that was here for the past year – so that we could work around it as necessary. I cannot tell you how good it feels to be able to walk here without being able to see down to the floor below as you place your foot.

Consumer unit, now partly wired up

As you can see, the consumer unit (the modern fuse box) is partly wired -because the local electrical wholesalers has sold out of connectors just before Mike arrived. As this was being connected up, Mike was trying out all the lights. At first this was fun: a ‘light switch down – lights on; light switch up – lights off’ sort of thing. Then we tried the master bedroom on floor 2 and the lights didn’t obey the commands of the switches. What? What?? What on earth will we do now? (Catastrophise, catastrophise…) Arrrrrrrrrghhhhhh!!!!! Only a slight over-reaction, I think, under the circumstances. We will admit to a slightly uncomfortable moment or two, until Mike worked out which of the many possible cables had been left out of the loop. I am delighted (and mightily relieved) to be able to report we were well illuminated in more ways than one when it all ended well.

I wonder what he has recently sat on…?

Here Mike is filling in the gaps in the wall around the door frames with plasterboard that I had been cutting off-camera. He hopes to be skimming these walls next week. No pressure – carpet will be here the week after…

Doors and all woodwork now undercoated

By yesterday evening, the woodwork on floor 2 has been primed and undercoated. Next week, ceilings and walls can begin to take on some colour

Mike and I will be taking some relaxation during our cafe days today and tomorrow – making Hungarian mushroom soup today, since you asked, and lemon and lime marmalade tomorrow. Yum!

After the wind came the rain

…and in Biblical quantities!

You can just about see through the haze of rain that the river level is rather high,..

…and here you can see that upriver of the bridge, the river has escaped into the field…

…and here the river is thundering through under the bridge.

We particularly like the shot above as it nearly shows how the river level dropped sharply under the bridge. It was as though the water was waiting politely for its friends to manage to get under the bridge…but once through, it was everyone for themselves and away we go, as fast as we can!

One, two, three – stretch…

Back to the refurb. We have been working on the hallway on floor 2, trying to change this from a building site into a series of rooms ready for painting. Here you can see Carrie in her new-normal activity of painting…

Meanwhile, Mike has been boxing in some pipes in the ensuite bathroom on floor 3. He has been avoiding this task for at least the last three weeks, so I want to thank him publicly for getting this done.

And this time, to give a better sense of scale.

This particular bathroom had a bit of a tangle of pipes at this point, so we chose to box them in for safety, as well as for visual appeal. Or perhaps I should say everyone but Mike thought they should be boxed in, and Mike was rather less convinced. So I am very grateful that he has allowed us to persuade him, and I hope to show you the box looking rather less intrusive after it has had its colour adjusted a tad during the week.

Oh, and no pressure, but we have ordered the carpet for the top two floors! This will be delivered and laid on April 4th. And the first of the furniture arrived, flat packed, earlier today. So the clock is genuinely ticking…