New boots and…

We started off the year well. Mike has an outrageous cold – he is very productive, poor soul – so we have started gently by noticing that his work boots were looking a little shabby…

Old boots, purchased ca. 2014

Mike’s new boots (only slightly out of focus

…so we splashed out on a new pair.

Plumbing installation under way

Mike is now working on putting the plumbing in place for the en suite bathroom on floor 2. This seems to involve a lot of mumbling and tutting and pottering around looking for things – so much so that yesterday, I spent a couple of hours working with Alex to move all tools and consumables into one bedroom on floor 1, to try to limit the time Mike spends trying to work out where he left things.

…But where was Kilroy?

You can see here that Alex does occasionally get distracted whilst working – I saw this dust graffito a few weeks ago. But I was slightly surprised to see that someone obviously noticed this during the Christmas tours, and that other people are now joining in on the jollity stakes.

Sitting room floor 2

and bedroom 1 floor 2

I have returned to my very favourite occupation – painting. I shouldn’t be sarcastic – actually, I did manage a few hours outside working on the landscape earlier this week, and it was very satisfying to see how easily the bramble roots can be pulled off rock at this time of year. Today, whilst I put the 40% mist coat on two rooms in floor 2, Alex continued working on the landscaping.

It’s amazing how a building site seems to become a room when the painting begins.

One slightly late Christmas present

Before I go, I thought you might like to see our youngest, Philly, in her new jumper. This was intended as her Christmas present but, as she had been managing a country pub/restaurant in Kent until the New Year, she didn’t get to us until earlier this year. The jumper was only a day or too late but I think I got away with it.

Mike instructing Alex on oiling the slate pillars

As we start the final lap in preparing the rooms, our eyes have re-turned to the ground floor which contains many slate-faced pillars. A couple of years ago, we purchased some slate oil which we understand should rejuvenate the finish somewhat. Here you can see Mike instructing Alex on the task. It’s a good job this isn’t smell-o-vision – we now do this work late in the afternoon, after the cafe is shut, to give time for the solvent to dissipate before customers return the next day!

FYI, Mike and I are taking next week off. It will be something of a stay-cation, but we thought we had better sit down for a day or two before we fall down, what with Mike still trying to get over his cold and all. So please don’t be surprised if the next blog isn’t for another 10 days or so…

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