Toodaloo to the loos

Last weekend, we hung up our building tools for a couple of days so we could have a joint celebration of our hitting our 60’s. Mike passed the milestone back in February, and I will pass it next month. Most of our close relatives kindly made the trek to North Wales and helped us celebrate by decorating the cafe…

…and leaving heartwarming messages for us. We took the many dogs for lovely long walks, or visited the local shops, and we partied with friends on Saturday night, and then we stood around outside Plas for some reason…

… and then the mass exodus began, but only after we took a snap of Julie and Yvonne who had spent the weekend with us and then taken the group photos.

As I might have consumed a bevvy or two on Saturday night, we took it gently on Sunday and Monday, but on Tuesday we got back to work.

Firstly, Mike made sure one of the upstairs toilets was available to become the ‘ladies’ facilities for the cafe, for a month or two – new carpet and everything! Meanwhile, below you can see the ‘lobby’ to the downstairs ladies toilets, which will soon become our accessible toilet. Note the door on the left hand side of the shot…

…which is now the door you can see just to the right of the mirror, as we look at the long corridor. Watch carefully and you will see that the radiator…

…has been taken away by the radiator removal fairy (aka Mike) along with quite a lot of plumbing…

…and then that the wall removal fairy (aka Carrie) paid a visit. I started with the tried and trusted lump hammer and bolster chisel method to remove the render and much of one block. But this was very time consuming, and also hurt my wrist, so I got mechanised. Out came my old friend the Kanga hammer, which I find works better with two operators – one to work, and one to let her/his arms recover from working. Alex and I broke out the first breeze block, and then the first row of blocks. We then used the Kanga on the next row down to remove the centre block and then I wielded the sledgehammer to remove those blocks to left and right of the gap. In this way, we cleared the gap you see below in about an hour. We then started working upwards at which point…

…Mike offered to help us as he could put a little more oomph behind the hammering. Shortly thereafter, we had a gap where the wall used to be. In case it isn’t immediately obvious, our expectations were fulfilled – this part of the wall was formed in front of a blocked-up window in the old manor which you can see below because the top window frame is still in place.

A little light vaccuuming later, and we were ready to start removing the tiles. You have no idea how much I have been looking forward to this. Some of the tiles, frankly, were clinging on by their fingertips and it required little more than a well directed sneeze to have them falling to the floor. (Not, you understand, that anyone here has the remotest suspicion of a cold or sneeze.) Careless talk… anyway, back to Jack.

Armed with the necessary equipment and PPE, I happily chipped away at tiles yesterday afternoon.

Mike spent this morning chasing down and removing some electric cables so that I can return to this work (if you can call it work!) tomorrow after Welsh class. Whilst he was doing that, I took advantage of our first dry day for what feels like weeks to weed four of our seven raised beds. The onion sets and garlic have been planted, and our rather tardy broad beans will be going in tomorrow. It was really lovely to spend a little time outdoors, even if the cross wind was fiendishly cold. Afterwards, we planted a couple of fruit trees given to Plas by a couple of friends, and had a lunch when I tried to warm up by the fire.

I wonder what I will have managed to destroy by the next time I write?!?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *