A recap-and-progress report

Hello again.  Last time I wrote, we had been locked out of Mike’s phone and so had had no access to our recent photos.  After a fairly fraught morning spent on the phone on Thursday, we now know that there is a hardware fault on Mike’s mobile, which means we have lost about 3 days of photos.  The rest are fine as they are automatically uploaded to the cloud, but the pictures taken after the phone refused to engage with the wifi are lost.  On the scale of life, I believe the appropriate response to this issue is ‘no biggie’.  On the other hand, Mike has adopted what was meant to be my phone to replace his phone.  Sometimes, when my position in Mike’s pecking order of importance is made crystal clear to me in this way, I can feel passive aggressive tendencies warring within me with a vengeance…

To remind you – Mike had finished plastering the wall in front of him below….

and he, Dick and I installed the final flight of stairs from floor 1 to floor 2 on Wednesday.

Sixth sets of stairs in situ

We then had a sort-of day off on Thursday, and on Friday we lugged really quite long pieces of 225mm x 50mm joists (that’s  9″ x 2″ in old-school) through the front door, along the corridor, up the stairs, through a door and round a very tight angle and into landing 1, so that they could be passed up to form the support for landing 2.

Timbers in place, ready to support the second floor landing

You may recall that last week we cut a hole in a wall, ready to support the trimmer.  Below you can see the hole…

Here is the hole ready to accept the end of the trimmer

…and below that, you can see the hole has been filled…

(the double length of trimmer, bolted together, running roughly central to this photo – the far end is now cemented in place in the hole you saw earlier.)

Saturday we were both in the cafe, as we had asked Jane to swap days off so she could cover for us today, when we should have been enjoying our helicopter flight which our family gave us as a 30th anniversary present last year.  Unfortunately, the flight was called off due to low cloud today, so instead we cut and fit the noggins to stiffen the landing (see below).

Now with noggins in place for extra rigidity

Once that was done, we cut and fitted the floor boards…

Flooring going in…

This afternoon, we put plywood and plasterboard in place on the walls between floors 2 and 3, ready for the wall to be plastered so we can begin work on the last platform we need to build for these stairs.  How exciting is that – finally we are working on the last two flights of stairs we need to install.  Yippie!

In the brief periods of time when Mike didn’t need his deputy apprentice trainee under-builder, I have started work on widening the flower border outside the cafe.  It seemed such a simple job for me, and a delight to exercise the green fingers again, but I hit an interesting snag.  We were pretty sure that slate waste has been dumped on this slope in the past (and you can see how grey the ‘soil’ is to the left of the embedded bricks), but I hadn’t expected to find long lengths of artificial grass buried here also.  You may be able to see, at the end of the slope, that there is a grey mass which is about 4 metres of plastic turf I have ‘liberated’.  Sadly I have found a further run of this stuff nearby, but it is so firmly buried that I will need Mike’s superior strength to shift this, which I am told I can access around the middle of next week.

Widening the flower bed visible from the cafe

The weather forecast suggest we should have a warm spell next week, so I am hoping to persuade Mike to join me for a day or two of R&R in the garden – assuming progress on the stairs is going as hoped.

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