Small steps to further progress…

Before I move on, I need to share the photo below taken at Barry Island. We had enjoyed fish and chips on the beach, being relatively untroubled by the seagulls. Mike then took a bite out of a doughnut and was immediately dive-bombed on the back of his head, after which he exclaimed loudly and shooed the bird away. You can see how effective that was below! People further up the beach were laughing and pointing for quite a while afterwards.

Back in Plas we are now fully occupied being hoteliers. Our tiny progressions with the building work include…arranging for someone else to collect a pair of settles (one showing below) and reuse them…

…and slightly less successfully, the hinges on one of the shower screens in a suite has failed, so Mike is on the job to repair them.

The big news however, is that we have received the detailed plans for the barn which will be a secure store for our guests bikes and other items. We also had a visit from the electrician who signs off Mike’s work, and as a result we all spent some time staring at the pole below earlier this week…

…trying to work out whether this supply pole is carrying 3-phase, or just the 2-phase which we know we are using within the building. This becomes critical as we discuss the number of car charge points we can put in in future.

The final progress is that our friend Gill is visiting, and we have found her a thrilling job. When we repainted the extension a couple of years ago, we pressure washed all the old paint off so that the new paint would not late flake away…except for the area around the window (shown below) which we thought was all stable and well adhered. As you can see, this was not the case, and various blisters have appeared over the years. Earlier today, we set Gill to work with the pressure washer, and will let you see the progress next time.

As I read this I wonder that we have done so little building work over the last two weeks, but then I remember just how blisteringly hot it has been, and realise that it is amazing we have managed to do as much as we have!

Only minor refurbishments last week…

Last week, our unsightly parade of old defunct fridges and freezers was finally collected and taken away for recycling.

In addition, I went to the bottom of the garden stairs intending to rake and seed the bottom area…

…only to find the scale of the task overwhelming for me and my little garden rake. Instead, I had a strategic sit down to discuss with Mike how he will need to join me with the digger sometime soon to level this lot!

We were distracted from the refurb by noticing in the diary that we will soon be unable to leave Plas because of the density of guest bookings, so we slipped in a couple of family visits last week. Firstly, we nipped to Sheffield to check out Will and Lucy’s new house and do a quick spot of gardening, and then we left Lola with our excellent neighbours whilst we went further afield, so you can perhaps understand why Lola was desperately trying to identify Mike’s scent from below this door…why has he left me here?

In South Wales, Mike indulged his childhood memories of playing the penny slot machines whilst visiting Nessa’s place on Barry Island…where he found he still played extremely successfully, to the point where he ‘won’ all the tickets you see below, and more…

…which he swapped for some super prizes, which have been distributed among the family members.

As you can see, the weather wasn’t entirely with us, but it was lovely to be out and about with the ‘kids’ and grandchild and various partners for a few days.

Now though we are back in harness, ready to greet more lovely guests, and in our new livery too!

There may be more snippets of building news over the next few weeks, but then again we might be too busy with other work…

The great clear up continues…

I must mention straight up that I am not proud of this snap, showing the pile of spoil we have generated over the last year as we dug out the accumulated junk that had been buried behind the building. Let’s face it: it was pretty unsightly for our guests.

We had lined up a local contact to remove it, but he had to wait for weather conditions and workload to suit before he could remove it. As you can see, he and Mike scratched heads earlier this week whilst discussing what to do, but then Mike had to leave us to go and visit Cambridge for…

..

…our younger daughter, Pip’s, graduation ceremony for her Bachelor of Theology. On many levels, I am both astonished and extremely grateful that she should be our daughter – which I also feel of our other offspring – we have been so very lucky with our children, now young adults. Anyway, back to the main story…

…the great clear up. Idwal has worked his magic and removed the soil and rock waste, leaving behind just the pavers and some slates which we hope to be able to repurpose in future. I am delighted that he managed to do such a great job with minimal input from me, whilst I was busy keeping the business going as Mike was swanning around with Pips.

You might also remember we had put in a new set of steps, which kind of ended when they ran into a spoil heap on the lower garden, so I am also delighted to report…

… that (even though it is difficult to see from the photograph) that spoil heap has also been removed.

Next week I plan to find some time to rake and re-seed this area, so that the entire lower area can truly become garden. We expect to be extremely busy with hospitality over the school holidays so building progress may slow a little, but you won’t hear us complaining: it’s wonderful to be welcoming guests to this fantastic building again!