Working towards finding the new normal

We hope that you are all managing as well as can be hoped at the moment. In these worrying times it is astonishing how quickly our lives have been completely changed -and we presume the same for you. We have been working, for years, to get our guest accommodation open – but we never imagined that just before our first season was due to really get going, we would be closed down! Its funny to reflect that earlier this month we were tentatively proud of the burgeoning list of bookings…a mere two weeks later and the booking calendar is looking exceptionally thin.

Our grateful thanks, though, to all of our customers for their loyalty whilst we were open, and their understanding at this time.

Enough of this – we have our health and we have our family – somewhere out there – and the delights of communicating via electronic media – whatever did we do before mobile phones?

Back to Jack – we tried offering takeaway food over the weekend but there was no demand here . We suspect everyone here was climbing the mountains, judging by the local news. With the cafe fully closed, and with no one wanting to stay in the suites, Mike and I are having a day off today before returning to the building works tomorrow. With that in mind…

Once Mike had removed the toilets from the ‘old’ ladies, we studied the floor carefully and decided it had to go. Mike got out the Kanga to break it up and Phil asked if she could have a go…

… and she took to it like a duck to water. Once Phil and Mike had broken up the floor, we cleared out and prepared to start making good.

I stopped cutting up the waste wood into kindling and Mike and I put studding into two new infill stud walls, one to fill the doorway into the back stairs and one to fill the archway into the anteroom to the ‘old’ ladies.

Above you can see we then plasterboarded the stud walls (here between the toilets and the anteroom). Once that was finished, Mike got out the trusted dob-and-dab to attach the plasterboard to the walls from which we had removed the tiles. As this removal had made the surface of some pretty rough walls even rougher, we used quite a lot of dob-and-dab. In case you are wondering, the grey material to the left in this photo is the plasterboard, cut and ready to install as soon as the glue has been spread evenly (but slightly stuck as we tried to move it past the light fitting).

On Mothers’ day, we declared a day off for me. So obvs, I chose to spend it in the garden. The weather here has been gloriously sunny for the last few days, albeit very cold overnight. Below you can see a thicket of cornus stems mixed with hazel and other tree branches, which I have been itching to hack into for the last two or three years. Armed with secateurs and a pruning saw, we went in and razed it all to the ground.

You can see how my re-directed destructive streak was being satisfied, and the hope is that next winter, we will have a line of bright red stems to replace that unruly woodiness.

Next week’s pictures might be slightly less lovely since the work we have in line is visually relatively dull, so apologies now.

Having said that, we will soon be putting in a new lintel into the back wall of the manor, which will require us to prop walls up with Acros to ensure the whole building doesn’t fall down – maybe the photos will be more exciting then? We also hope to hear about our planning application for the next phases in a few weeks, so I will let you know as soon as we hear anything on those.

In the meantime, please remember the 2 metre rule and we look forward to sharing more news soon.

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