Lockdown plus 1: progressing smoothly.

How quickly everything has changed. Shortly after my last post, the instruction to stay at home if at all possible was broadcast, which altered so much for all of us. Here’s hoping you are coping well. We managed one brief foray for food yesterday, and we have divided the dog walks so that Mike takes Lola out in the morning and I take her out in the evening to ensure we each only take the one exercise permitted. If Lola is lucky Phil will take her out as well, which is helping to distract Lola from the lack of visitors these days.

In an effort to take our minds off these difficult times, we continue with the building work (whilst we still have supplies) and I am hoping to post more pictures, sharing our stress reduction regime…

Mike has continued to focus on creating the new gents facilities. Two walls are now plasterboarded and today we finished one further wall.

My task yesterday and today was to empty the shelves above, and then destroy them.

I removed lots of tiles, smashed up the shelves, and then investigated the structure of the back wall of the larder. Turns out it was originally lath and plaster – so I stopped trashing it since we will need to replaster this wall in due course. Next, having removed the tiles, I had to try to break through the wall on the left, which turned out not to be stud partition as we had hoped, but a brick wall. I pestered Mike to start breaking through, just in case the building was going to fall on my head…

…which he managed with great aplomb. Tomorrow’s job for me will be to extend this hole to pretty much remove this entire wall, which currently separates the anteroom to the ladies from the larder.

Meanwhile my ‘treading water’ job – the task I work on whilst I am on standby to help Mike – was to widen this doorway into the ladies. The gap needs to become wide enough for two doorways, so first we needed to strip away infill walls which were put in 40 years ago to turn a window into a doorway.

When I removed the door and bashed through the plasterboard behind the tiles, we found this brick pillar, which just had to go.

It took a little while to loosen the top layers, but soon I was well into my stride and the pillar…

…learned who was boss.

The doorward is now considerably wider than it was, but I still have to remove more on the left hand side to re-establish the original window enclosure dimensions. Once we have recovered the original void, we will be better able to work out exactly where we need to place the new lintel, and what else can be/needs to be bashed away at that point.

If all of this leaves you feeling exhausted, join the club! After we stopped this afternoon I sat on the sofa… and the next thing I knew, Mike was waking me up to take my turn walking the dog. Maybe I’ll need to take it a little easier tomorrow… but it’s so useful to be making this terrible mess at a time when we don’t need to worry about anyone needing access to the facilities…

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