Some you win, and some just rain on you…

We started this week, after the welcome warmth of last week, with a light dusting of snow on Easter Monday. Please make a mental note of this as it will be important later…

We returned to work on Tuesday, on the last elements of the drying rooms, with Mike working on the plumbing and me fitting and painting the skirting boards. On Wednesday I started work on the windows, dismantling them so that we can reglaze them. The large opening window came out cleanly (but very rotten); the small opening window popped out like a dream; and when we removed the wooden panel that used to fill the third segment, we discovered that there were random bits of wood we needed to remove to return the aperture to its original size.

With the bits of wood removed, I continued the work of stripping the paint and digging out old putty, ready for us to reglaze.

Today we were finally in a position to move the washing machines and tumble dryers into place. They had previously been located in the old scullery, but the roof over that is leaking more each day that passes, so it is a relief to move the equipment into a dryer room…

…but is it?

To our horror today, we noticed water staining on the ceiling and walls of the drying room. You may recall that earlier this year, we had a major flood here before we had installed the plasterboard, and we thought we had cured that problem. We have had considerable volumes of rain since then without any hint of trouble, so the best we can guess is that somehow some snow must have been blown through a gap somewhere, stayed frozen for two or three days, and has subsequently melted and run under our new roof to make this mess. So, thinking caps were put on…

…and we pushed holes out of various ceilings in the rooms under the rest of that large flat roof to see if we can find out where the water was getting in. Unfortunately, it’s still not clear. We can see water running along the metal joints of the stramit boards, but cannot see any trace of water feeding down towards these metal struts.

We plan to keep thinking about it over the weekend (which should, mercifully, be dry) and if not other solution presents itself, we will probably be cutting through to separate the two roofs next week to see it that stops it!

A Happy Easter to everyone –

-especially those of us taking a few days off! This week we have been either (a) continuing to dismantle the old pre-fab chalet on site, (b) tiling the floor of the drying room and starting on the plumbing, or (c) tidying up, in preparation for guests arriving tomorrow.

Except for the two other more exciting things. I managed to give blood again at the end of last week, and it was interesting to see how things were different from the last (pre-covid) donation experience. But far more importantly, both Mike and I had our first Covid vaccination injection this week – great news! I’ve been fine; Mike had the full hot sweats and cold chills experience complete with a migraine – but we are both delighted to be half way to full vaccine cover.

As nothing we have done was very photogenic, instead I share with you photos from this lunchtime:

clear skies; lovely spring warmth; lunch eaten outside in between cleaning duties –

-and formulating vague plans to get back to work next week, at some point, but only if we dont decide it is too lovely in the sunshine and perhaps decide to live out here instead, relaxing!

Exciting news, and yet more wrecking…

I start this week with more of the same… the drying room is coming on nicely, with the ceiling and walls now doubly mist-coated…

…and ready for us to top coat the walls and then tile the floor. Yes, we realise the once-white door is now darker than the magnolia walls, but we guess that is what many years of tobacco smoke can do to a door. I think I might wear protective clothing when I clean and then re-paint it!

We had some really exciting news this week. We heard on Tuesday that we have finally been granted planning permission for the rest of our proposed changes. This is very exciting news, partly because we are running out of jobs that can be done without it, but mostly because there are a couple of real eyesores on the site which could understandably alarm customers and which we can now remove. One of these is the ‘6-person chalet’ (which looks rather like a delapidated temporary shack) on the front of the site.

We hope you can see why this was my target first thing on Wednesday! Oddly enough, we didn’t need any wrecking tools beyond our hands to get this far, as the wooden walls are pretty rotten. We have carefully unscrewed the window surrounds to remove them without breaking the glass so…

…about 15 minutes later it was looking like this…

…and at the end of the day like this. We have had to dismantle the built-in furniture inside, but sadly the floor is so rotten in places that we have to tread very carefully. We will return to this task next week as we are keen to clear this area up as soon as possible, but we need to wait for the weather to become less gusty first.

Given the changes in Welsh Covid rules, we have nipped to south Wales to see our elder daughter, leaving our younger daughter to look after our project. She was concerned that Lola might miss us, but it looks like the cat has stepped up to provide company!

From next week we will be able to accept guests living in Wales, so it will be interesting to see if that slows up the restoration work at all…