I wasn’t expecting that!

It’s November already, and we are still pretty occupied with the cafe and hotel combo, but not so busy we can’t enjoy Lola.

Lola playing at being the centre of attention

Whilst the weather is still pretty good, we decided to cut back the plant rampaging across the front of Plas. I rather like this hydrangea, but it was looking pretty straggly, so we declared it to be time for a quick trim.

Our Hydrangea petiolaris has got a little out of control..

We set to at the lower levels with loppers and secateurs…

..so it’s getting a little hair cut

…and then got out the ladders for the higher stuff. You can probably see our biggest concern was towards the top high hand side where the plant was running up under the roof and hosting many creatures that we didn’t want to be able to climb into the building.

Short back and sides ok do we think?

We then set Alex up with a job he could complete in our absence. Behind the building, in the part we will be working on next summer, there is a slope that runs across the back of some rooms. Obviously, this touches the rendering and is therefore holding water against the building, which is showing serious signs of damp inside.

Who put all this up against an external wall?

We set Alex to uplift the blocks, to see what he could find underneath. As we had thought, removing these revealed slate chippings on top of builders’ rubble, just as we had found under the blocks at the front of the cafe three years ago. We left Alex digging this out, down to the ‘original’ ground level around here whilst we…

starting to remove it…

… nipped off to see Teddy, our new grandson. As the North Walian Granny and Grandad, we will be known as Nain and Taid respectively.

Proud Nain with Teddy who has just dropped off…
…and proud Taid taking over the baby sitting.

We had a wonderful couple of days with this part of our family, made possible because Julie and Yvonne heroically moved into Plas to keep things going in our absence. We are hugely grateful for this as, even in this quiet part of the year, they not only had to run the cafe but had guests staying over one of the nights we were away. Gold stars all round.

On a less cheerful note, Mike was showing some cafe guests around the building this morning when he spotted a slightly damp patch on one wall. After I returned from Welsh lessons at lunchtime, we both went to investigate the small damp patch and found, on the other side of the wall, a distinctly worrying patch on floor 2 (photograph below) and a smaller one on floor 1.

A quick but thorough investigation left us in no doubt that the plumbing was leaking somewhere…

oh dear – whatever can be causing these water stains?

… which I will tell you about next time. Feel free to relax – it is all sorted already – but I didn’t want to miss the chance to build up a bit of dramatic tension to make sure you return to read next weeks blog…

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