Smash it up, smash it up

This is what I found when unlocking the house this morning… We had leant the stone for the steps against the neighbours wall (that Tom rebuilt last week) so that Cat could jet wash them at the weekend, but the wall was still intact yesterday. It was a stormy night with gusty winds, so I can only assume a gust blew it all over!

Tom was NOT happy when he saw this, understandably.

Then Pete and Roger arrived to finish off the down pipe at the back of the house and repair a couple of holes in the slate roof from the scaffold. They were here yesterday to repair the gutter at the front of the slate roof (it has dropped in the middle so pours out over the front door – we aren’t replacing this gutter until phase 2 as we are replacing the whole roof) and Pete had leant on the stone that was leaning against the wall and it had all fallen over. It is a shame none of us witnessed this as I am sure there would have been many swear words! It also would have made a great photo.

The down pipe at the back of the house is finished and drains into the new land drain and soak away in the middle of the lawn. All working beautifully, we know this as it has already rained very heavily.

Cat is oiling the rest of the window seats that Dan finished last week. This is the huge one for the dining room front window and has some fabulous details in the grain.

Tom and George have fitted the two front door steps and finished the bulk of the garden wall, it’s proving difficult as the wet weather is not conducive to using lime mortar.

The old York stone looks great and is the perfect size.

Annoyingly this bit of stone has remnants of concrete on it. We are now total experts in removing concrete from stone but it can wait until a later date.

The last of the wall around the drive gets laid out.

Tom has rebuilt the neighbours wall (again) but this time he has added some mortar so it is unlikely to fall over so easily. Dry stone walls are notoriously bad for collapsing, this used to fall over if Jasper stood on it!

Meanwhile Cat has started the EPIC clean up. First all the timber needs cleaning up. Plaster needs removing from almost all the beams, window and door frames, stairs etc. etc. and the thought makes us both feel sick. We have put so much work into the timbers already, indeed they were all cleaned, sanded, oiled and finished weeks ago, but now we need to do it all again. We are also both utterly broken, Zanna with her neck, back and shoulders and Cat with RSI in her elbow.

Cat has sanded and scraped all the shit off the old window frame and surround in the sitting room so we can see the stunning grain of the oak once more. This window seat looks like it was all made from the same piece of timber as the distinct grain is mirrored in all the pieces. We love it. It’s always been one of our favourite features of the house, it was in fact one of the only original features that wasn’t covered up when we first bought the house. This and the old staircase.

Perfectly imperfect.

Tom is sorting out the stones for the last bit of the wall. They are going to dry fit this for now and will have to mortar it in after Xmas. The trouble with doing this now is that they would need to come back every day for 2 or 3 days to brush back the mortar as it is so wet, and no-one wants to be doing that on Xmas day!

The stone mountain is now a very small hillock. We should just have enough stone amazingly. Also, we have a brand new skip with a very bright paint job that was immaculate (no longer).

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