17 February 2019

Another Welsh book down

When I reviewed my last Welsh book I predicted the next one wouldn't take as long. And it didn't! I finished it. And it turned out to be quite the page-turner. In my world, at least.

The book just starts out with a bickering, middle-aged couple about to set off to the National Eisteddfod. Along the way they see another bickering, middle-aged couple they know, whose car seems to have broken down. They offer them a lift. General awkwardness ensues. You notice quite soon the man or the original couple is attracted to the woman of the other couple, while his wife swoons over that lady's societal status. And the other man tries to block out all the awkward conversation.

Once at the Eisteddfod, the bickering couple keep bickering. The lady wants to see and be seen, especially on stage, and the man is more keen on a pint with his mates from the choir, and singing Welsh evergreens with members from choirs all over the place.

So far interesting enough for me! What more do you need than the suspense of people trying to share a life while they want different things from it? Especially if it drags on for decades? But later it gets much more spectacular.

SPOILER ALERT

The initial couple, Dilys and Glyn, have two grown up children; a son and a daughter. And in the car on the way to the Eisteddfod you find out the other couple, Heulwen and Dan, had a child, but 25 years ago it was run over by a car when it was only a toddler. There were no witnesses and the police couldn't find a culprit. Can you guess who drove that car? I suppose you can. And then the book shifts to what the loss of a child, without knowing how exactly, did to the one couple; and what being eaten by suppressed guilt did to the one half of the other couple. And then the culprit comes clean. And get thrown into jail rather sharpish. And is joined there by his son. Being raised by a man whose head was with another child never did anyone much good. But the book leaves you there. You do get an idea if the couples will still be couples (and how) at the end of all this, but that is it. Enough for me!

It was a page-turner, even though it was written in South Welsh. I do long for a northern book next, but quality-wise I have no complaints!


16 February 2019

All ready for the joiner!

When the joiner comes in he needs the living room empty except for the floorboards lying ready for him. So that meant getting rid of the stuff the painter had put in it to get it out of his way. And then get rid of the working platform I had used to get to the ceiling. That also meant I had be be done with it! But when I decided the ceiling was OK I took it apart and put it in the garage for now. And I pulled the carpet up. And the underlay. And I swept the floor. And now it is all empty and clean-ish and I look forward to it becoming a proper room so much! It's been almost ten months without a living room! And I like having a living room!


Emergency cupboard work

There is a doorway to the living room. And there also is an old one which is not currently in use. Either Rose or an earlier occupant turned it into a cupboard. Or rather, two cupboards; one in each room. It used to lead to the other doorway-turned-cupboard I sorted out before. And I hadn't notice anything special about it. I had seen it had only two of the three expected planks in! I assumed Rose had just wanted to put something so tall in that it didn't fit underneath the bottom shelf. But I found the shelf in the garage and decided to put it back. And noticed the support it would have to rest on wasn't very well attached to the wall! Aha, that was the reason it wasn't in position. I prodded the other supports a bit. They were quite loose too! They had just been hammered in rather then screwed. Oh dear, I had something to sort before the floor would be laid. I took out all shelves, pulled the supports out of the wall (with not that much effort), and then decided to remove the woodchip wallpaper that had still survived in this corner. Then I drilled out the pre-existing holes so they would be big enough for plug and screw. And then I painted it! The painter had left quite some of the magnolia paint. And then I had to put the supports back. I wasn't pleased I had felt the need to add this to the big DIY list but well, it felt good ticking this off!

 The destructive state

The end result

All ready for the joiner

When the joiner comes in he needs the living room empty except for the floorboards lying ready for him. So that meant getting rid of the stuff the painter had put in it to get it out of his way. And then get rid of the working platform I had used to get to the ceiling. That also meant I had be be done with it! But when I decided the ceiling was OK I took it apart and put it in the garage for now. And I pulled the carpet up. And the underlay. And I swept the floor. And now it is all empty and clean-ish and I look forward to it becoming a proper room so much! It's been almost ten months without a living room! And I like having a living room!


15 February 2019

Clean the hearth

The plasterer had recommended a painter. And the painter was critical of the plasterer! He figured he'd been very untidy. And there was plaster everywhere. And that was indeed sort of true. The ceilings were my biggest concern! But he also pointed out that the hearths were a bit plaster-y. And I decided I should do something about that before the floor was put down. It would result in bits of plaster, and plaster-dust, all over the place. Best do that before the living room would be taken into use! And I used a tool I hadn't used on removing plaster from the wood: my drill's wire brush. It worked! And yes it did get all dusty. But it's clean now! I still have to do the other one though, even though that means I will have to clean the floor there yet again after I'm done... I think I'll put a sheet down to catch the worst of it!

As it was

My not-so-secret weapon

As it ended up!

14 February 2019

More moulding

I had managed to hide the side of the last bits of plasterboard with wood moulding. But the plasterboard had a top too! And that didn't look good either. So I bought some more! And then just whittled it down until it fit in the slot. And then I painted it brown with some stain Rose had left, before nailing it into position. And as the colour brown worked rather well I painted the earlier moulding too. And now it all blends in quite well with the other woodwork! I call this a success!

 Top of plasterboard still in sight; mouldings standing out

 Made the new strip fit!

Look at it now blending in after having been painted!

13 February 2019

Living room ceiling ready

The weekend before the joiner was due to lay the living room floor I dealt with the living room ceiling. I did the usual scraping off of excess plaster, and scrubbing of the rest with a scourer or a toothbrush. I also oiled, as well as it would go, the underside of the beam that had the modern beam right below it. Some flossing with an oily cloth seemed to do the job! And it's never perfect but I'm quite sure that as soon as the living room is in use I won't notice any of the imperfections. Bring on the joiner!

Clean! (NB notice the light fixing!)