We have had such a fun few days – really!
On Tuesday we finished the painting that requires the scaffolding, and then set about a quick (?) repair to the roof. Storm Doris back in February blew a section of ridge tiles off the top of the roof, which was conveniently close to the top of the scaffolding. Mike bravely decided to fix this himself, so cue purchase of a length of lead which he moulded around a bit of wood to have the profile shown below.
This section (cut in two) was then carried to the roof and fixed. I will leave out the thrilling details of what had to be removed, and what replaced, and who had to pass and carry everything on command, but I will confess I was mightily relieved when this particular job was finished.
On Wednesday we were then able to clean the scaffolding down, ready for it to be taken away. Mike has replaced the down pipe so the guttering is complete again, on this wall anyway.
So yesterday, and again today, I have been painting the front of the cafe and the area around the front door in our new colour, with the contrast colour to be completed next week.
Also on Wednesday, Bill (lately returned from holidays) very kindly came to give a hand with the landscaping. I asked him to have a go at removing a series of rhodo stumps close to the old fire escape, and he gamely set to. He told me afterwards that he set the strap around one stump (for removal) and anchored this to a second stump (to be the immovable object) and then tightened the ratchet, and tightened, … and tightened….., and tightened…. but nothing seemed to be happening. So he went across to check the strap was properly in place, where he confirmed nothing had moved, and as he walked back to return to his ratchet he found that the ‘immovable’ stump was almost entirely lifted off the rock!
My apologies to Bill, and all of you, that the pictures really don’t do justice to the size of these little devils.
I realised that Mike, meanwhile, had been really scraping the barrel on Wednesday looking for tasks to complete when I found he was cutting the grass.
Fortunately, shortly afterwards, the stairs arrived! Yes indeedy – Oh joy, oh rapture – we have taken (re)delivery of the new stairs!
As soon as they arrived, and in spite of assurances from the lovely driver, we positioned the first 5 stairs in place and found that they do look like they will do the job nicely. To make sure we lose no time, I spent yesterday afternoon painting the fire-resistant finish onto the treads and risers of the first two flights, and today painting the third coat on these, and the first two coats on the other four flights.
When the weather cheered up a little over lunch, I returned to the external painting. We are really pleased with the colour we have mixed, as we think it tones well with the slate work but is sufficiently light that it doesn’t make the building look too forbidding, but only time will tell. On the other hand, unsolicited remarks from customers and visitors over the past 3 days have been very encouraging.
So – who knows – next time we might even be able to show you a fitted set of stairs (but perhaps don’t hold your breath just yet!)