Tomorrow we are, unusually, having a day off to go to Pip’s graduation, so I am blogging early. Having had a hint that more pictures would be welcomed (thanks, Di) I am planning to include a few more sweeping shots this time to help illustrate that things are beginning to improve, we think, more rapidly now.
On Sunday we treated ourselves to a trip to the Ugly House to check out what some of our soon-to-be competitors are doing, and enjoyed a very good snack lunch. We spent the rest of the day strictly doing nothing so we could recharge our batteries. We note that if Andy Murray recognises at the grand age of 29 that it takes longer for his body to recover, think how much longer it is taking ours at nearly twice his age.
Yesterday was a good travelling day. I travelled to Llanrwst to pick up some essential building supplies, then travelled to Mochdre (close to Llandudno Junction on the way to Colwyn Bay) to visit an electrical wholesalers and bring back vast quantities of goodies, only to find on my return that the order for grommets had been overlooked. Since Mike insisted he absolutely must have these before he could do anything else, after entertaining our Dutch horse-riding visitors, I nipped to Blaenau Ffestiniog to see if I could get any. Have you noticed how this looks like a travelogue of exotic sites in Wales, all in one day? There really were some lovely views that sped past the window as I rushed (in a relaxed sort of way) on to my next destination. Suffice to say that whilst I had wanted to buy a couple of hundred grommets, a visit to two shops in Blaenau produced the grand total of 7 packs, each containing 5 grommets, so on my return home I placed an order with Screwfix (other internet suppliers of electrical bits and bobs are available) for further grommets for delivery on Tuesday. I then placed an order with the local builders merchants for plasterboard and other thrilling items (some of which can be seen in the above photos). Having warmed to the internet ordering theme at this point, I also ordered some business cards, some routine stationery, requested a quote for more furniture, and then recorded an outgoing answerphone message that I have been meaning to do for only a month or so.
Today I put a second coat of undercoat onto the (once black) beams and suspect I splashed myself more than I realised, based on the slightly sideways looks I received in the Co-op this afternoon. It was only when I checked my glasses because I couldn’t read a particularly small label in the shop that I noticed the speckled effect…. Meanwhile all Mike has done is attach about 20 electrical socket boxes to various walls, and then added the cabling and clipped this to the walls. I know he had to drill holes in the walls to fit some of these but really, is that the sort of commitment we expect? Of course, Mike would probably say that he has been working like a Trojan and I have just been swanning around in the car, but clearly that’s just fiction.
We have tried an experiment on the dressed slate-faced pillars. I have spent some time brushing years of dust and gunk (including old plaster) – and chewing gum! – off the pillars but they still look tired and worn. Yesterday, having purchased some raw linseed oil, Adrian painted some onto one of the pillars and you can see the result below. I would be grateful is anyone still reading at this point would let us know if you prefer the slate to be left alone, or oiled up (which has turned them darker in colour).
And finally, I include a couple of shots showing the effect (I hope) of our having moved the front door. The door had been at a 45 degree angle, at the end of a corridor, but as the door is mostly unglazed, this made the corridor very dark inside, and made it quite difficult to find the entrance from the outside. Here’s hoping the changes will improve things, especially when we find time to fit the glazing. I hope that the extra photos prove interesting – do let me know if you have any further comments!