What’s in a name…

Before I report on the refurbishments, I would like to send our thanks to everyone who has sent kind words about Jasper.  It looks like his roles as chief welcomer to the cafe, twinned with his extraordinary efficiency as the sausage disposal mechanism, have been noted and will be missed.  The cat is trying valiantly to fill the void, but he is clearly also missing his house mate.

On Saturday, Mike switched his focus back onto the works as a distraction, and completed the plywood floor on the landing on floor 3 which needed strengthening to stop it boing-ing every time we walked on it.

New landing on floor 3 now reinforced with plywood

He then started on the electrical wiring for floor 3.  Firstly, we had to move a couple of old baths down the new stairwell so if you know of anyone looking for original period avocado baths, sinks, toilets and fittings, do please feel free to point them in our direction.  Once these were out, we were able to approach the walls again and start fitting socket boxes and wires.

Sunday and Monday saw us both in the cafe.  On Sunday, there was really quite a torrential downpour in the early morning.  The skies were emptying so fast that the Manor guttering – which we already knew needed some attention in the near future – was, in some places, spouting fountains of water nearly a foot away from the leaking joints.  As we discussed the timescale on which we might tackle this over breakfast, the thunder and lightening got steadily worse.  At about 8.45 am we remembered it was a good idea to unplug the computer during a storm, for which we were very grateful when at 8.50 am there was a very bright lightning flash followed almost immediately by an extremely load bang when we think the house (or, if not the house, something very close by) was struck by lightning.  As a result we spent Sunday serving the handful of trusty souls prepared to venture out in such atrocious weather, including the couple who had been camping out for the first time and whose tent hit the skip when they left the campsite several days early and popped in for lunch and an opportunity to dry out.

As a consequence of the strike, both our credit card machine and our wifi modem were fried, so apologies to anyone trying to contact us by email – it might be a while before we get through the backlog.

The weather on Monday was relatively settled, but definitely not the Bank Holiday weather we had expected.  Yesterday was dry so we prepared the paintwork and I primed, and today undercoated the doors and railings you see below.  (Those with a long memory may recall we got to this stage last autumn but, sadly, didn’t get the dry spell necessary to put on the gloss coat, so have had to start again this year…)

Woodwork on the balcony, currently being repainted

Mike meanwhile fitted the ring main wiring on floor 3, then the fire alarm cabling (see the red cables coming from the ceiling below), and then used the plasterboard delivered today to plasterboard more of the walls (on the right below) for the second bedroom.  We were unable to find the cable for the lights circuit, so that will have to follow in a day or so.

The plasterboard has been put to good use.

Floor 3 is now beginning to look more as it should.  On the other hand, we are running out of electrical components so, first thing tomorrow, I will be making my way to the electrical wholesalers before doing the routine shop for the cafe.  This is my favourite sort of shopping, not: I will be asking for a variety of components by the name Mike calls them, which will probably not be the same as the names in the wholesaler’s catalogue.  No matter, it all adds to the excitement of my day…

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