Lots of itty bits now done…

Last time, we told how we had stripped away the old slate hearth. We knew even as we did it that the old mantle shelf was supporting some of the slate facing on the wall above, so one of the first things we needed to do was to insert a new lintel in the place where we believe one was removed about 20 years ago to stop everything falling down.

Then, we put a bag of self-levelling concrete onto the step in the porch, to make it ready for tiling. Sadly, the weather has been so cold that this concrete is still hardening up almost a week later…

…so we turned our hands to something else. Last year we put in a set of steps to enable people to walk around the back of the building should they need an emergency exit, but they weren’t non-slip. Mike found a cunning (fi rather expensive) solution on the internet when he found an insert you can drop in between the decking slots which have a non-slip tread, so…

….we spent the best part of a day with me cutting bits to length using an angle grinder, whilst Mike glued the pieces in place…

….until the surface was suitably grippy. The division of labours here is usually by consent, but it endlessly irritates me that some jobs are simply more than my poor girly wrists can manage. I can manage to use the mastic gun for short periods, which when used well supplies a steady bead of mastic, or silicone, or whatever. If we need to use it all day, it is simply more than my strength can manage. Surely the manufacturers could change the viscosity a tad to make it easier for women to use? Not that I am bitter or anything…

Anyway, after we had finished we decided to treat ourselves for a day or so. Our greenhouse is still only partly constructed as we need to complete the floor before we finish glazing it (since access is easier whilst the glass isn’t in place)…

…and we managed to get this far on Saturday as we waited for our guests to arrive.

We then managed a little more on Sunday after our wonderful guests had left, after which I finally managed to finish this jigsaw which my delightful daughter had given me for Christmas.

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth before this was finished, I can tell you!! And I will be sending it on to her, as an act of appreciation tinged with revenge. But tomorrow is another month, and we still have plenty to be getting on with…

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