31 August 2019

The damp problem found?

When I found out my bedroom wall was damp I first thought of a roof (or wall) leak. Then it went away when I did and it looked more like an effect of my breath. But why was that so bad? I breathe in all rooms I sleep in! And the ones I do other things in. The neighbour suspected that it was a ventilation issue. There was a ventilation vent in the room but it had been in the 'closed' position. That sure wasn't helping! But opening that would only help if the conduit behind it would be open. It must have been the duct for the open fire in this room. All rooms probably had one! The house has three storeys and six chimney ducts. And especially when you have a wood burner on, one duct gets warm, and then you can have condensation in the others if they aren't well-ventilated. So when I was working on that room anyway, I unscrewed the vent. And it didn't take a certified chimney sweep to diagnose that indeed the chimney was blocked. Without much persuasion, a lot of muck came out! I'll have to phone my chimney sweep again. This isn't good. But hopefully, when I have this sorted, the problem will be solved!

I think I may leave the rest to the chimney sweep

30 August 2019

Save the apple tree from the Buddleia

My apple tree is having a bad year! I counted 13 apples. Last year it must have been at least ten times as much. I think it needs some love! And maybe apple trees just have bumper years and normal years, but I think it still needs some love. And sunlight. I decided that it was at risk of being out-competed by a buddleia growing behind it. So I decided that had to die! There is no shortage of buddleias around here. A huge one stands by the side of the house. Another one is continuously trying to block the view from the conservatory (and it's good at it). So this apple-proximal one went! And its trunk will be a modest addition to my already sizeable firewood collection. I hope the apple tree can feel the benefits!



Move a tree

Rose had lots of potted plants in front of the house! And some had clearly been there a while. Quite a few didn't survive my first summer as it contained a substantial heatwave. A few of them were trees; there is a pretty red-leafed one there, and a fir, and a beech. The fir died in the heat. The red-leafed one stays. The beech I figured I needed to do something with. It had been in its pot so long! It had a great big root coming out of the central hole in the pot. And then the pot had cracked. I figured I needed to act. But where to put it?

I have to big lumps in the back garden. They are quite overgrown but I think they are concrete mounts for machinery. And in between them the soil is thicker than elsewhere. So I figured it could go there!

I chopped the last bits of the earthenware pot off to finally rid the plant entirely from its prison, and then I replanted the tree. Now I hope it will be happy in its new home!

The rest of the pots is still a mess but slowly I think I can improve that! I hope I have a lot of time in this house.

What you look like after too long in a pot

Beech in its new location!

29 August 2019

Cwmorthin horseshoe

I go to Cwmorthin (the valley) all the time. For Thursday Nighter trips, for dig nights, for getting to Nyth y Gigfran or Rhosydd or longer walks, you name it! But I had only been in the valley itself and a tiny bit on the flank for Nyth y Gigfran fun. But there is more to the hills around. I had wanted to explore these for a while! And then one day an opportunity presented itself.

I had decided with our PhD student and ThursdayNighter Kate (aka Bob) that one day we should go for a walk. And I had hoped to see her during the week so we could check on suitable weekends. But she was away often! One week with a suitable weekend I asked the other PhD students where she was and they said just working at home. So I mailed her! Was she up for a walk? She was! And she was up for a round trip over the hill crests around Cwmorthin Valley. Great!

We met at the usual car park. I started applying sunscreen while waiting for her; it was going to be a very sunny day! And then Kate rolled up and did the same. And we agreed we would go counterclockwise.

We started on the spoil heap of Cwmorthin. Not the most comfortable way but it's fun. And when we had scaled these we just picked out way up the hill, through the heather and the bilberry bushes; there only were faint sheep paths. It was slightly uncomfortable in our shorts but on a day like this, you don't want to wear long trousers.

When we got to the wide ridge we stopped for a cuppa and some chocolate chip bread (I had been baking again). And then onwards! A path appeared and the walking got more comfortable. We had views into the Oakeley like I had never had them before! And the views on Wrysgan were lovely too.

Seen by me for the first time: the wide crest of the hill above Cwmorthin

Oakeley seen from above

Wrysgan seen from an unusual angle

We walked on. Soon we saw Llyn Conglog. We decided to loop around that. And when we approached we saw the small lake next to it. It looked like an infinity pool! We couldn't resist that. We undressed and went in. Lovely! We swam to the other side and back and were very happy. And then we continued our path.

Our infinity pool!

On top of the cliff overlooking the entire valley we had lunch. And then we made our way, with some trial and error, to Rhosydd. And on the other side we went up the inclines. We aimed for Moel yr Hydd and from there picked our way down to Wrysgan. We had some more sarnies there and then we went down the incline. A very good walk! And we weren't done with the day; Kate suggested a cup of tea afterwards. I thought of the Lakeside Cafe but that was closed. We went into Blaenau instead. And there we found a cafe that had fresh ice cream. That would do!


Kate and Cwm 

Near the top of the incline

We enjoyed our ice cream leisurely watching the goings-on on the Blaenau high street (riveting!) but it was nice. And then our ways parted! I had forgot my wallet (honest) so Kate paid for the ice cream, and she thought me getting the opportunity to reciprocate was a good excuse for doing something like this again. But I  personally don't need an excuse. It was a lovely walk and lovely walks are even better in good company!

28 August 2019

Workload: looking up

Since seeing the list of how many modules everyone in the school leads I was a bit disheartened. It looked so skewed! And I know all modules are different, but still. It didn't look right. And  it's not even just that I have many modules. I also do Peer Guides, Welcome Week and Open Days. But what to do? David, the Head of School and thus my line manager, had said during my Personal Development Review that he couldn't reduce my workload. So why would he think otherwise only a few months later? But feeling all demotivated and not telling your line manager has never done anyone any good as far as I know, so after lots of um-ing and ah-ing I sent him an email. Could we talk? And he suggested we talk on Friday morning.

I made sure I had a plan to propose. And a justification. I had not only checked how many modules other people had, but also in what semester they had them. And I saw that only my colleague Dei and I have more modules in the second semester. I have two in the first semester and four in the second. And according to my list, four of my colleagues (on identical contacts) only had half a module in the second semester. Half a module as in, they didn't have any specific second semester modules, but they did have one that ran over both. And the second semester if also the one in which I have to organise Open Days. And then there's the Peer guides which is a year-round thing. So I am responsible for so many things! Four modules, of which one is the dissertation module, which involves the entire 3rd year and about which the students stress an awful lot. And everybody teaches on it so you have to herd cats to make sure everyone does their bit. And THEN the Open Days. I remember last academic year we had the stressful dissertation talks spread out over a Thursday and a Friday, and then an Open Day on that very Saturday. Really no rest for the wicked!

In addition; our annual South Wales fieldwork has now moved to September instead of June. It now is the week before welcome Week. And I am responsible for Welcome Week! And that is mainly run by the Peer Guides, but these tend to only come back from where their parents live in that week. So by the time the Peer Guides are out there and might need me I'm not there. A particularly bad combination!

So I would suggest David that he takes these three tasks off me. And I would see what he would say! I would ideally also lose the dissertation module but I was not sure if that would fly.

That morning I came into his office. And I said I had done some more thinking about my workload. And I mentioned the list of responsibilities. And after uttering surprise; it apparently hadn't been sent to him, he warned me against drawing conclusions from it; you don't know how big a module is, and you don't know what else people do. Maybe they are designing a sort of bridge year for people who want to study Ocean Sciences but they don't have the qualifications? Maybe they are in charge of student placements? And so on! And I agreed with that, but still, I felt overloaded. And he listened.

When I pointed out I have my heaviest teaching load in the semester I also do Open Days he was quick to point out I could swap with my colleague Mattias who does them in the first semester. But I continued and said the Open Days, Peer Guides and Welcome Week go together very well and it would be best to give that to someone else. Someone who does not go on that particular fieldtrip. And he listened. And said it was a fair request and he would work with that. And he would ponder my teaching load. Maybe that could be reduced too! But not by taking the dissertation module off me. That was not going to happen.

He will need some time to ponder who to give these tasks to. Whoever it will be, they won't be happy! But I think I convinced him I am overloaded and that just isn't good for anyone. If I have too much on the quality will drop! And as soon as the students give us bad reviews it affects recruitment. And recruitment is the backbone of our finances. So I think he'll sort it! I hope to hear soon! And when I walked away I already felt better. Good!

27 August 2019

Pantywrach: watching other people drill

A long time ago I had been in Pantywrach. And over the summer, Edwyn had gone back on his own, for the heck of it. He had explored a slightly different mart of the mine, and he had found some bits we could expand on.  So we made it a Thursdaynighter trip! He figured we could re-bolt a traverse that, by the look of the gear, had been bolted in the 70s or 80s, and then explore a bit further. He hoped we could do a through trip; come in from the top and walk out at the bottom.

I drove through awful traffic to the gathering spot. It was the worst traffic I'd ever seen in North Wales! No idea why it was so bad. But I was the second to arrive. David was already there. Then Jason and Edwyn appeared too and we were complete. Edwyn had brought a ladder.

We changed and walked up. Pantywrach is not easily accessible! It's a sweaty slog up a steep, pathless and wooded slope. Not easier with a ladder! But we got there. Edwyn put the ladder down an adit and then rigged from the top. Distributed over rope and ladder we all went down. And then we got to the traverse. David started drilling. And there wasn't much else to do! Edwyn assisted and Jason and me relaxed.

Jason and me having a picnic while David does the work. Pic by Edwyn.

When David was ready he crossed. And then stood on the other side, on a ledge. We could see from where we were that it was a really iffy ledge! It looked like it could plunge into the unfathomable depths any minute. So he couldn't really move much without bolting that side too.

I came along too. David wasn't convinced by his own traverse so he asked me to stay on the rope too. But that's a silly idea! He has a shunt, so he can just stay connected to a rope and move that connection along at will, but I had to work with my stop. That only moves if you put your full weight on it! But what are you doing with the traverse if your weight is on the rope? I didn't want to lose the traverse, but if you have one hand on that you have only one hand for working the stop, and then you can't control your speed. So as soon as I pressed the handle (with my left hand. even) I plunged like a brick. Not comfortable! But I made it across and came off the rope.

David went on bolting. Edwyn thought he remembered we could go into a side passage, but that only went a few meters. We had to follow the crumbly stope! And that was wet. Edwyn had painted this as a bone dry trip so I was in hiking boots, not wellies. Never believe anyone who says a trip is dry!

David drilling in the stope

Edwyn in the passage we started in

David and Edwyn went ahead. I followed slowly, trying to balance on loose rocks, and spanning the width of the passage with my legs, in an attempt to keep my feet dry. It was a bit of a faff. I came to a corner and was surprised Jason hadn't overtaken me yet. He wasn't so sure of this traverse!

I went on to find out if the idea was to go out where the other men had gone. I struggled through more wet passage, and established voice contact. They said they were at the top of a long pitch but they didn't trust the bolts there either! And we had run out by then. So they had to retrace their steps. I clambered back to Jason and told him we weren't going out that way. He said he would just go out and scout a different hole we had seen on the way! And I went back to do my laboured trying-to-stay-dry-thing again. I actually slightly hurt my ankle doing that. By then the men we coming back up. Not worth for me to go down. I decided to stay ahead of them and went out!

It was very sweaty and steamy outside. And full of insects. Not comfortable! I went back to the cars. The next morning I would have a difficult meeting with my line manager and I didn't want to be too sleepy for that.

I had changed by the time the men arrived. I gave them a hug and scarpered! It had been a bit of a daft trip but what can you do. We would have to come back with more bolts and finish the job! And then I'll come in wellies.

Fruit season!

It's mid to late August: plum time! On the night of the work BBQ the first plum fell off the tree. It was time to start collecting them, and start pulling them off the tree before they would go on their own account. So I have now started taking a tupperware with plums to work! Very nice. And the brambles are contributing too. Soon the apples will join!

26 August 2019

Door issues

I didn't know there was so much to doors. I had seen doors I liked and ordered them! And they came with Sussex latches and nice T-hinges. Then I just needed to find a joiner to put them in place and that would be it. I thought. But things got complicated.

The joiner that came with the house first said the horizontal bars were too short; they were supposed to reach the side of the doors, and they didn't. And that meant he couldn't fix the hinges to them! Then I thought about it a bit, figured the hinges could go on the other side, and told him. But he came back and said that the doors were too heavy for the frames. Oh dear! And the frames weren't wide enough for the hinges. And I hadn't thought of that sort of things. I really hoped this wouldn't mean I had some £1000 worth of made-to-order doors and associated metalwork and no way of putting them to use. And he was right about at least some of these things; some of the frames are indeed very narrow. Several varied seriously in width over their height! That's what you get with an old house.

 One door with indeed a frame that's not generously wide everywhere

I worried about it. I mentioned my issue to my colleagues at lunch and they got very involved. They thought of all sorts of things! Drill straight through the entire wall. Why restrict yourself to the door frames! Change the door frames (sounds expensive). And some more suggestions of varying seriousness! The most useful contributor was my colleague Katrien who is married to a joiner. She asked her spouse and he thought the joiner had been exaggerating! Maybe he hates hanging doors and tried to get out of the job.

I decided to contact Phil, the man who had sorted out my cupboard. He clearly was good with wood! And he agreed to have a look. And he saw the doors, frames, and hinges and decided it should be doable. He did tell me to decide on which side I wanted the horizontal beams. He figured they could go either side as the hinges don't have to be at the same height as the beams. I'll have to think about that! And for some of the doors, adding butt hinges would be needed, but he'd have to decide door by door.

He offered to do one door on an hourly wage, and based on his experiences give me a quote for the rest. I warned him all my door frames are different but he didn't think that mattered. I accepted! So hopefully the day is saved! Bring on new doors!

25 August 2019

Ongoing struggle with climbing and rain

The week before we had made it to the crag. We had a rope out and our harnesses on. Then it started to bucket down! We bailed. But this week we'd try again. Same quarry (Bus Stop), same route (Jenga). And this time we managed to get there dry! And we even managed to climb it. Eifion asked who was willing to lead it. All three of us were. Tony started. And when I saw him struggle I changed my mind. If Tony struggles I don't want to try! And I climbed it after him; I was glad I was on top-rope. It's not a hard route but still. And then Eifion did it. He did it twice; after the top-roping he did lead it. Successfully! But in this corner there was only one feasible route so we had to go elsewhere afterwards. And of course it started to rain.

Eifion on top-rope

Tony belaying in the still-nice weather

We were already walking back to the cars when the rain stopped and we thought we could add another route. Maybe Jagged Edge? Or Comfort Zone? We settled on the former, and its twin the Big Easy. And indeed they're not hard! Or high. But it gave us a bit more climbing time before we got tired and it started going dark. Not a bad session, in spite of it still being a bit wet! 

24 August 2019

Hide the cupboard

When I made a cupboard it looked fine. But cupboards are for putting things in! And this one is quite deep. This invites the storage of big, unsightly things. So I figured maybe I should hide the contents. And the easiest way to do that is hanging a curtain. The shelves don't come all the way to the front so there is space for it! And I even had the rail lying around I had pulled out of the wardrobe I had bought in spring. So I mounted that at the top. When I went to the soft furnishings store I found a curtain in the right colour and size; it even was heavily discounted. Even better! So now you see cloth. And not whatever's behind that!

Starting to tackle the bedroom

Once the cupboard was sorted and the room was empty anyway it was easy to also start the redecorating! And given that the wallpaper came off unpleasantly easily anyway it was easy to make good progress. I pulled almost a whole wall worth of the stuff down in no time. And I pulled down the curtain rods. The destructive phase is well under way. I hope I can soon move to the constructive one!

23 August 2019

Swim and dive Diffwys

In 2015 I had done a trip in a mine which involved swimming across several chambers. That was cold! But it was fun. And that water attracted more people; the year after, we chaperoned two divers up to that same place as they wanted to know if it was worth diving it. They wanted to do a recce! But they needed guides to show where the entrance was and where the interesting flooded bits were. And they had decided it was worth it. And had come back on a day I was unavailable. But there was more to see and they were back again! And this time, I was around.

We met up at the usual place. The divers were already there: Paul and Sue, who had been on that recce trip, and a new guy called Dan. After a while, Phil appeared too. And we loaded up and set off. It's a bit of a slog up the hill! But it was a nice day and the views were nice.

Walking up

When we got to the entrance, Phil and I got into our wetsuits. We wanted to swim. And kitted up we got in and found the others. They had a LOT more kitting up to do. We looked on! And then saw them vanish into the depths. When we knew they were away (we didn't want to stand on their heads or things like that) we swam to the next chamber. And the next. And there we could hear voices. And after a while we saw their lights! But they weren't coming from the same direction as us. They must have taken some route we did not know about. It was cool to see them swim around deep below us! And their light showed us things we couldn't possibly see well from the surface. But after a while they vanished again. We swam on, to the end. We were quite cold by then! I had been wearing all the neoprene I could: wetsuit, socks, booties, gloves, and hood. Phil made do with only suit and socks. That's cold!

Walking to the water

Dan and Paul getting ready

Paul is off (notice the funky yellow flippers)

Seeing Dan reappear from an invisible tunnel

We turned back, but soon heard voices again. The men had surfaced again, and were discussing what they had found. Not what they expected! But after a while they vanished again. And we swam back to Sue. And got out of our wet gear! And drank hot coffee.

Cold and wet but happy!

After a while the men appeared again. They only had air for an hour or so! So it was sort of time. They got out and we walked back to the chamber where they changed back into their civilian outfits.

The evening before they had brought Dan's oxygen bottles, and Paul had carried his on the day. But now we needed to carry all of it back down! And these bottles are heavy. So we redistributed the kit. Dan carried the bottles, Phil carried his other kit, and I carried Phil's kit. And that worked! We got down without incident.

I had a sandwich and we said our goodbyes. I don't know this place well enough to have a clear idea of what the divers found, and how novel that all is. But I had a nice underground swim! And it was good to have an extra pair of shoulders to carry all that kit down. A morning well spent! And I think the divers will be back; they had run out of lines to set out. They figured one more attempt! Maybe I'll be there.

22 August 2019

Cast iron window panes

What a bad idea! Who wants cast iron window panes? But the garage had them. And then I had the roof redone. And the roofer forgot to chuck the window panes. I figured I'd do it myself until I realised that maybe someone has a use for these. There are four of them, and three are in good order (one misses a corner; how on Earth did that happen?) They're not very practical, but if you want to restore a shed to a specific period, they may be just what you want. So I decided not to chuck them.

Then I needed to find someone who indeed has a use for them. I imagined it could be a lengthy process, but if in the end they find a good home it would be worth it! Imagine actually looking for a set of these. Might be hard! I decided to start on the Bethesda Facebook page. As good a place as any! And it worked! The very same day I had a response from a bloke a bit up the road that he was indeed doing up a shed. He's picked them up! I wish the frames a long working life, and the bloke lots of enjoyment from them!

The window pane with the corner missing

21 August 2019

Cae Fali

We were going to do a new mine! New to me, of course. It was quite far away: near Penrhyndeudraeth. I drove up with Chris. And when we arrived at the designated lay-by we saw David's car. And an unrelated car pull in right in front of us. It turned out to be driven by a man who likes (and owns) old Rovers so he had quite a lot to discuss with David. And he had an enthusiastic young dog in his car, and the window half open, so that kept me occupied.

When the Rover man left, in short succession both Jason and Simon appeared. We expected Jason (he had suggested the place) but not Simon. And rumours about how his house renovation project was growing above his head were circulating. It was good to see him, especially as he did not look particularly haggard and exhausted and exasperated.

We changed (not into caving suits; this would be a fair walk to a small mine on a nice evening) and set off. We had hoped to find a small path from the very lay-by but we didn't; we had to walk a bit along the road to get to a clear path. It was pretty! And easy to follow. And after a while it started following the Ffestiniog Railway track.

Walking along the Ffestiniog Railway

After a while we diverged from the path. Now we had to find the entrance! And that wasn't easy. We stumbled through the undergrowth, happily eating blueberries and some blackberries, and found some cuttings but no entrances. Until Chris called; he had found it. 

It was a bit sloshy! I overtopped my boots within meters of the entrance. Oh well. It went in, around a corner, and split. I went left with Jason. And it lead back into daylight! I clambered out, found myself on the other side of the track, and thought I saw another entrance behind a wall. But I came back to report back. 

The adit

Kibble (?) along the way

A scary zombie moth

By then the others had explored the right branch too; that only went a few meters and stopped at a collapse. Hm! Not much to this mine. But I wanted to have a look at the possible entrance outside so I got out again, climbed over the wall, and checked it out. Nothing! I checked out a cutting too: nothing. Oh well. I clambered back. And we went out again on the other side. 

We had a sarnie outside the entrance. And walked back! It was still early. It had been a nice little trip. 

20 August 2019

Impeccable cupboard

My built-in cupboard was a mess! The ceiling was caving in, the back wall showed the scar of a beam or something, that had been plastered around, and it had half-torn-off bits of wallpaper. There were two shelves but one of the had a big hole in it; I assume that was where a previous boiler had been. It wasn't good! So I phoned a bloke who had been recommended to me by Phil (also called Phil; he had already looked at my roof the previous year) to see if he was willing to do something about it. And he was!

He came to have a look and figured he could work with this. So a few days later he came up with whatever was needed. I gave him a key and left him to it. And when I came home he was done! The cupboard looks spiffing! And the old shelves will be added to my already substantial stock of firewood. Now it's my job to do the rest! Pull the wallpaper off, apply filler where needed, and repaint. And then the top floor is done!

As new!

19 August 2019

Work BBQ

After the initial dinner in the local Italian restaurant we were on a roll! The Teaching and Scholarship crew also came together for lunch one day. And then while it was summer and the pressure wasn't quite as on as otherwise, we met up in my back garden for a BBQ. And maybe this specific means of cooking food was a bit sub-optimal as we have a majority vegetarians and vegans, but what the heck.

I made sure I was home quite early to finish my own food, start the fire, get the garden furniture ready etc etc. (The wasps were eerily quiet; have they moved out??) And things got a bit confused because I was also supposed to meet the joiner about my doors before the BBQ guests came, but that didn't work. He was still there when they started piling in! Oh well. We rounded off and I joined my guests.

It wasn't busy; people were on holiday or writing up PhDs or whatnot and only four colleagues and one set of associates came. But that was OK! Soon there were vegetarian sausages on the fire, and beers in hand, and all well. People had brought lovely salads and such, and my vegan garlic soup went down fine. I think it was good! It got a bit chilly at the end, and then it started raining (that wasn't forecast), but we're all overworked people so nobody was into partying deep into the night. At about half past nine I said goodbye to all! The last to leave got onto her bike to get back to Cwm-y-Glo. She's tough!

It's nice to sometimes see your closest colleagues in a social setting! And I think my garden is excellent for it...

18 August 2019


Bethesda has a Facebook page. Quite often it just has messages on it from people who have either lost or found a pet. But one day I saw a milkman advertised on it. A milkman! That would be cool. No more milk in bottles that go into the recycling bin but might very well not be recycled anyway. And supporting small local businesses.

I measured how much milk I actually use so I knew what to order. And then I phoned him. The first time it went wrong; he couldn't find the address. This is not uncommon; people tend to struggle to see the difference between Ogwen Street and Ogwen Terrace. Oh well. When I explained where it actually was he complained it was a dead end street and he couldn't turn around in it. Well no, but you don't have to go there! Just stop at the junction and walk the remaining 20 meters. He said he'd give it a go. And by the next Tuesday I found my two pints of organic whole milk in glass bottles at my front door! Marvellous. I'm so British now that I also think: I'm so middle class! Now where's my Guardian...

17 August 2019

Rained off the crag again

We did it again! We would climb on slate, but the weather got in the way. It had been a beautiful, bright afternoon in Menai Bridge, but when I drove towards Deiniolen I saw menacing skies. When I arrived I saw Eifion; he said only four people had said they'd join that day. We waited for Tony and went up; we were going to do Bus Stop Quarry. None of us had done the route 'Jenga' before so we headed in its direction. It's fairly high up and the views are lovely! And Charlotte appeared too. But when we had our harnesses on and a rope ready it started to rain really hard. Oh dear. It looked like that was it for the night, but did we want to hang around waiting for the crag to dry off again? The men decided to go climbing indoors. I had lots to do so decided to go home. Not sure what Charlotte decided. So it was another unsuccessful night climbing! But it was nice having a small scamper in the quarry. Better luck next time!

View from high up in Bus Stop Quarry

Eifion inspecting the route


Too much rain for climbing

16 August 2019

Bedroom ready for being done up

The top floor was the floor I immediately moved into! I had no plans doing big things with ceilings and floors, and one even didn't need painting. They were rewired, with the rest of the house, and they got new radiators, but that was largely it. But now downstairs things are starting to look good and it's time to pay some attention to the top floor after all! And then especially the bedroom. The other room, in use as home office, is the one with the perfectly fine walls. And I had already dealt with the scars of the rewiring. But the other room needs some serious attention. The wallpaper came falling off the wall; I need to make the rest fall off as well, and then repaint. (The problem seemed to be my breath; when I stopped sleeping there the moisture problem vanished.) And it has a built-in cupboard that needs attention. But in order to do all that one needs some space. So I moved the big bed out! The rest of the furniture is less urgent; it can just be moved around. So now the bedroom is taken out of use and ready for work! I have received a quote for the cupboard work. And I think I'll do the painting myself! I have some sheeting to protect the carpet. It will be exciting if this room is sorted too! And then I really need to decide how I arrange the office and the bedroom. Or whatever names I give them. Things are starting to proceed towards completion! And from completion on, I only need to do fine-tuning and maintenance! That would be lovely.

Office is now bedroom too!

Bedroom as good as empty

The cupboard that needs an overhaul

15 August 2019

Sorting out the garage

When the roof was fixed and the enormous pile of waste wood was sorted I could make a start with rearranging the lay-out of the garage. I think I need a bit more shelving and that needs organisation, so I'm not done yet, but I made a good start. I arranged everything that had been piled up in a heap by the workmen in such a way it became reasonably accessible again, and I moved everything that had been living in the conservatory for now back into the garage. The lawnmower had already gone, and the ladder, and some gardening stuff, but now the firewood came too, and my caving kit. The conservatory is now strangely empty! But that will come in handy too I'm sure. And my spare bicycle moved back from the storage next to the kitchen. I'm enjoying this!

The pile of cut-to-size wood has now reached maximum height! If it gets any higher I can't reach anymore. And there is more to cut up! I think I need an additional pile. But that can be arranged. The garage is back in use and it'll only get better!

14 August 2019

New doors

They've arrived! My new doors. One of the big things still to do in the house; at least, on the ground floor. (One of the bedrooms, and the kitchen, still need wallpaper pulling and re-painting). When I moved in, most of the doors didn't close. And most are not solid wood so you can't just plane a bit off. And not only did they not close; several were hideously ugly, and one was both quite damaged by a pet of sorts, and lacking the entire closing mechanism including the door handle. And I managed to get several doors to close in the end, but four still didn't, so it was time to replace the lot! I restricted myself to everything that was and always had been an inside door. The outside doors could stay; that needed something more sophisticated than something that just opens and closes. And the doors that had been outside doors, but had ceased to be that due to various extensions, had glass in them so I left them alone too. But that still meant seven doors! For the kitchen, bathroom, all bedrooms, living room and landing. And I had ordered custom-made doors made of reclaimed wood as I had seen them in Guy and Kate's house. They were gorgeous! But I wanted to only order them after the main dust had settled (I needed space to put seven doors, after all) and as well, they are not made in a jiffy. So I ordered them mid June. And they came mid August! I put them in the conservatory; seemed a good space as with the garage roof finished, I now could empty out all the firewood, tools and whatnot I had kept in there while the garage was busy being re-roofed, and make space for the doors. Now I need to get the joiner to put them in place. I hope he'll do it and do it fast! I can't wait!

The damaged kitchen door

As far closed as the upstairs bedroom door wants to go

This gives an idea of the various door sizes; the upstairs landing

Doors! The associated metalwork came separately.