house – day 44 – visitors from abroad

We’re spending the weekend down here – but not in the house. Our friends Katharine and Emilio and the girls will be on their way back to Spain after a family tour of the UK and they were hoping they could stop with us. It would be handy stopover before getting the ferry on Sunday and heading back through France to Spain. Unfortunately, we’re nowhere near being able to entertain visitors, so we’re putting them up in the local Premier Inn and we’ll be staying there too. As well as being able to spend time with our friends it will be a useful way of getting two days work out of one trip.

So I’m setting off early with our luggage, to get on with more refurbishment work and Fiona will get the train and join me later for the socialising bit.

First job is to see what work was completed yesterday. Basically, there’s more rubble in the kitchen, more holes in the walls and more studwork. Looks like we’re getting to the last of the rubble to be cleared. Chris had cut the water supply to the sink in the back bedroom and demolished the cabinet. So now we could get on with sorting out that room. I decided to do that later and, in the meantime, get on with sorting out the wood repairs – ie replacing the broken and missing bits, with wood salvaged from elsewhere. I’ll start in the room that Paul, the decorator, will be working on next Monday.

First, I measured the wood I’d salvaged and the sections that needed to be replaced, to check I had enough. There was plenty of wood, leaving a handy margin for cock-ups. I set up the chop saw with a fine blade and cut the first piece, then cut out a corresponding piece out of the damaged picture rail in the front bedroom. It was a good fit, but it was the wrong profile, it didn’t match. Shit. Checking the other upper floor rooms, they all had the same picture rail profile, which was different from the one in this bedroom. How could this be? What was so special about this room? God knows, it just was. I hunted through all the wood I’d salvaged but couldn’t find anything close. And there was nothing I could move around in the front bedroom to fill the gap either. I’ll have to talk to Paul about it. I was going to strip the remaining wallpaper in the bedroom too (the area where the radiator was), and then I realised we didn’t have a water supply. Chris will be fixing up a temporary one, but he hadn’t done that yet- so I couldn’t use a steamer. There was a bit of water left in the spray bottle, so I started using that. I only managed to remove a small amount of paper, before running out of water. There were about four layers behind where the old radiator was, so another unfinished job. Better find something else to do.

When Paul redecorates the front bedroom, he’ll be taking down the doors to tidy them up, cleaning up the old hinges at the same time. To save him some time, I cleaned up the ones I’d salvaged from other doors (at least the hinges are the same in every room). Once stripped and wire brushed they look great. Fine old pieces of steel. At least something went right today.

By the time I’d finished the hinges and done a bit of tidying up it was four o’clock and Fiona had arrived (and Katharine and Emilio were looking for a parking spot). Time to finish, I think.

Thanks to Ella – for today’s featured image.