On Sunday, Mike took delivery of his two nucs – two boxes full of one queen and many thousands of workers bees, with occasional drones. They were most odd – white boxes about 30cm x 20cm x 15cm absolutely crammed with tiny moving things, trying to burst out of their confined space. These were left in the car to settle whilst we helped our youngest, Pip, and her young man, Hugo, to select some furniture to take into their first unfurnished flat.
After their van had been filled, Mike togged up and bravely led the way to the hives, which he has positioned at the extreme end of the lower level land where they will get some sun but be (as far as it possible on our Welsh hillside) relatively shielded from the wind. The high spot for me was when Mike triumphantly returned to change and declared that he had shaken the bees off his suit, only for me to find 10 bees crawling around on his back, and two further bees in the room through which he had entered the hotel. I think we might need to create some sort of de-contamination space for the future!
The last few days have been a more-of-the-same kind of time. I have been washing the restaurant ceiling, and one can certainly tell that people used to smoke in the bar.
When the cleaning gets too much, I have been swapping between priming /undercoating various surfaces, or brushing down the slate pillars and removing items like chewing gum and other effluorescences that have been festooning them, or more latterly undercoating the black beams in the restaurant. We have purchased a rather lovely rose tinted paint for the beams, and suspect we may need to seal the beams to stop the old colour and grime showing through – so to test first, we are undercoating and will soon find out if any seepage is seen.
Mike meanwhile has finished cementing in the new external drain for the kitchen, created some shaped plywood panels round the pillar / window interfaces, tweaked the new kitchen door so it opens properly, and plastered and skimmed the walls under the windows and also the stud wall to the new staircase-to-be.
Exciting news since Saturday is that (a) we have found someone who has agreed to work with Mike on the electrical installation, which may even be in time for our opening, (b) we had a visit from a company that specialises in providing Welsh products for restaurants and hotels (c) we have ordered some sample furniture for the restaurant to check for colour and (d) we have ordered the tiles for the floor. They are browner than I would have chosen, but we are hoping that their irregular shape will help disguise the irregular lie of the floor. So what with all of this and creating a further 20 inlay motifs in our spare time, things are looking . . .steady as she goes. And slightly less black than before.