Blwyddyn Newydd Dda pawb (that’s Happy New Year Everyone)

I can’t believe it’s two weeks since I last wrote.  Or perhaps I can – I last wrote on 19th December; Jane had Christmas holiday from the 22nd onwards, so Mike and I have been enjoying a break from construction doing the cooking and waiting in the cafe.  We have met some wonderful people over the Christmas break so wouldn’t dream of complaining – but as Jane is back in harness today we are now able to get back to construction work.

First, though, I will share one of our more fiendish Christmas presents.  Charley gave us the 500 piece jigsaw you see below – yes, 500 pieces, all in shades of blue/green, with no picture.  The whole family got stuck into putting it together and it took us about 2 days to get the top and bottom thirds finished.  We then had a lovely American family arrive and whilst Mike and I showed the parents around the property their three children, working in an almost zen-like trance, completed the remainder!

No prizes for guessing what kept us busy over Christmas!

Yesterday, Dick and Jean popped in with John to show off the latest car on which Dick has worked.

John’s new toy – a Singer of some sort.  I’m sure I should know which model but…
John and Jean are being driven away by Dick.  Dick waves cheerio.  “Pip pip”, he calls.  Can you guess who got some Ladybird books for Christmas?

So today we rushed back to floor 2, where we need to destroy parts of a room which overhang an existing stairway which will – eventually – be incorporated into the fire-rated stairwell.  Whilst Mike worked out exactly what needed to be demolished, I set about dismantling the doorway to a toilet, and then began to knock down the left hand wall seen below.

One door liner coming away from its doorway

Mike lifted floorboards until he could track where the water pipes were running, and then put on the freezing kit so that he could cut through and cap the pipes whilst the ice plug seals the water.  Twice this worked brilliantly.  On the third attempt, we found we had created quite a jet of water as the water hadn’t quite frozen .  I had to kneel in the puddle and do my little-Dutch-boy trick whilst Mike dashed around trying to find a suitable stopcock to turn off the fountain.

Pipes in the process of being frozen

We then spent the rest of the morning bashing down the last remnants of the old shower cubicle (left hand side) and wardrobe (right hand side) which I had knocked apart a month or so ago, so that I could bash out the wall you can see on the far right below, which is the inside of a bulkhead over the stairs (if you see what I mean).  When we stopped for lunch, the cafe was gratifyingly busy so I had to change to help Jane whilst Mike returned to the demolishing.  He spent the afternoon re-routing an electric socket so that tomorrow, when I swing the lump hammer at the wall, I won’t need to avoid any electrical fittings as they are now on the floor.

The shower is no more

I can’t wait!

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