Going to pot…

Our refurbishment works continue apace.  Or at least that’s what I try to tell myself…

Proud father with eldest daughter on Pont y Pair bridge, Betws y Coed

Since I last wrote, our daughter and her fiance came to stay for the weekend so obviously we had to entertain them rather than get our hands grubby.  You might notice from the shot above that Mike even had his passport stamped to travel off site, whilst I remained on site to help Jane if needed.

Standing in the stairwell, trying to work out if enough joists have been removed above him…

On Monday and Tuesday I ran the cafe whilst Mike removed three joists on floor 3 to create the space into which the last flight of stairs will sit.  Oh yes, it’s so close now we can almost taste the excitement.  We had a long-ish lunch on Monday as Toni and family were visiting.  They own a piece of adjoining land and had brought lots of family photos, including many of Toni’s mum who was born in Plas Penaeldroch.

Tuesday is normally a quiet day in the cafe, so I decided to clean the freezer only to find, as luck would have it, that I was kept pretty busy all day.  Mike meanwhile made a gantry to stand on…

Gantry in place

and then plastered the portion of wall which will be behind the last flight of stairs.  Closer still….

The wall that needed plastering


Wall covered in plywood and plasterboard, ready for plastering


…and now it has been skimmed and is drying

We had planned to spend yesterday solidly working on floor 3, but that plan had to be shelved when Jane called up stairs that the local Environmental Health Inspector had arrived with the Licensing Officer to check that we are running the cafe as we should.  Anyone who knows me will be confident (I hope!) that the paperwork was in place, and the meeting went well, other than that I was then one and a half hours behind schedule on my building duties.  Meanwhile, Mike had continued his plastering endeavour after which we finalised the preparation of a space for the trimmer to sit.


Here we see the gap ready for the trimmer…

In between bouts of helping Mike,  I moved the items that had become becalmed on floor 3 and needed to be returned to various locations around the building to give us plenty of room to work.  I presume this happens in other places, not just ours – how tools and materials which had been moved to be close to the builder but, when the building task moves on and they remain unused, don’t seem to have read the memo about how they should return whence they came without troubling the builder.

…which is being prepared ready for fitting.  Remember, Mike is holding just one of the timbers which need to be bolted together and moved into place by us.  I feel weary just thinking about it.

So here we are, on Thursday.  After a quick trip to Llandudno for shopping, I returned to help with the trimmer.  I was trusted to measure and cut them today (!?!) – two lengths of 9″ x 4″ wood at 3.440 metres long each.  That bit was easy.  Watching Mike and I try to manoeuvre them through the building and up to the third floor would probably have made a reasonably amusing documentary.  Twice with the first one we had to carry it back down so that we could have another go at feeding the timber on the other side of props so that we could get the best angle from which to move higher.  Oh, how we laughed when we found we were boxed in!

But the important news is that we now have a detailed schedule for tomorrow afternoon (acos dw i dysgy Cymraeg yn y bore) when we should (a) put the enormous trimmer into place and then (b) install the eighth flight of stairs.  Can you bear the tension?  Here’s hoping this is a sufficient cliffhanger on which to leave tale.


My latest hobby

Just to show we are not all work and no play here, I want to show you my plant pot towers.  In Norfolk, I used to wash out the ‘dirty’ pots each summer and leave them on the lawn to dry.  Here we have experienced problems waiting for a sufficiently long gap between showers, but also for a day when the pots would not be blown out of the county long before they were dry.  So I washed them in the old catering sink and left walls of them around the house to dry, much to Mike’s frustration.


2 thoughts on “Going to pot…

  1. Hello Carrie,
    You seem to be cracking on with things now. Good to see that you let Mike out sometimes. Staircase will look good when it’s finally done. Our plumbing problem is solved, well almost. There is a tiny pinprick of a leak persisting, but of the sort that takes 3 weeks to fill an icecream container lined with kitchen roll, so I’m not too bothered about it at the moment.
    Don’t have time to fix it any way, been doing lots of strange hours as we are so short staffed at work. Just about to start a month of nights which finish on 7th June and then we’ll be in Betws-y-coed for a week, so hope to visit sometime that week.
    Take care both

  2. Dear Kim
    We look forward to seeing you when you are over this way and, I hope, showing you the new staircase. I don’t envy you the month of nights though – good luck with that. You might well need some days away to get over it! All the best to you all

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