Oh happy day!

Best news first – so we can ensure you don’t have sleepless nights worrying about our project…
We heard from our architectural designer yesterday, and (pending confirmation from the building engineer) it looks like we have a relatively simple solution to the structural wall issue. To recap – what we all thought was a stud wall turns out to be a load-bearing wall on floors 1 and 2, and possibly on floor 3. This wall cannot remain where it is, if the original plan for apartments is to go ahead. Well, the new plan involves adding a new load-bearing wall; ripping up part of the floors; inserting new joists running in a different direction; installing a new load-bearing bit of wall; and then removing the problem wall, and hey presto off we go! So there are some very relieved people in North Wales (or will be in a couple of days when we receive confirmation that this option has got the green light).

The highlight of Saturday's quiz - wildlife taking centre stage on the rock behind the cafe
The highlight of Saturday’s quiz – wildlife taking centre stage on the rock behind the cafe

We had our quiz night on Saturday, followed by a busy day on Sunday which also happened to be my birthday. I spent quite a bit of the day cutting back dead rhododendrons with friend Jacquie who is staying for a few days. Far better even than this, Jacquie had a brainwave and has suggested that rather than trimming back the rhodos and then replanting (which was my original plan) we might instead remove all vegetation and expose the underlying rock. On further investigation, the rock seems to connect to the rock at the back of the cafe so we are going to give this a go and see how it all looks.
The red team, all ready to  tackle whatever arises!
The red team, all ready to tackle whatever arises!

This is the hill side we are currently trying to upgrade, as the new apartments will all have a view over this hill
This is the hill side we are currently trying to upgrade, as the new apartments will all have a view over this hill

At the top of the same hill, looking back to Plas - note dead rhodo stems
At the top of the same hill, looking back to Plas – note dead rhodo stems

Same hill, with rhodos cut back, and beginning to remove soil and other plant life
Same hill, with rhodos cut back, and beginning to remove soil and other unwanted plant life

not to mention the bags of rubbish we are digging out from old bonfire sites hidden under the scrub.
Quick sidebar (as I believe the young folk say today – got a totally top birthday present from the offspring, all of whom are visible in the jigsaw puzzle they had made for me!

Totally top present, guys - thanks!
Totally top present, guys – thanks!
And thanks also for the flowers, chocs and port – you know who you are. Indeed I was a very lucky girl who received some wonderful presents which were all greatly appreciated -thanks to all.
Anyway back to the narrative:
As if that wasn’t enough, Jacquie then suggested a way to get rid of the wooden walkway behind the cafe, which we think will also work. Its very clear that we need fresh eyes on the project to keep us on our toes!
I wouldn’t want you to think this is all the progress we have made. Mike has been slaving away inside the house, but as this is all mending window frames, and trying to make them hang properly, its not terribly photogenic…

As a consequence of this conversation, Mike and Jacquie wandered behind Plas and found that a line of trees had been blown over by storm Doris, and we hadn’t even noticed!

Just a quick trip over with the chain saw and we should have fire wood for years!
Just a quick trip over with the chain saw and we should have fire wood for years!