The last push

This is the last available day to paint and oil and fix and clean before we move in next weekend and it’s going to be epic. I was greeted with this first thing in the morning, some delightful presents from our resident Starlings. Little f***ers.

Cat and Colin are both applying a second coat of oil to the new staircase, working in tandem, one either side of the balustrade, to oil both sides at the same time and to catch any drips. It makes progress much quicker.

Colin’s excessively long arms come in handy here.

I am cleaning out our larder today, emptying it of crates and bubble wrap (that were put in here to protect them from the dusty garage) that we are going to need for the move. There is also a pile of crap in the middle of the dining room ready to chuck in the skip when that arrives on Tuesday.

Colin screwing the timber together for the floor fix between Cat’s bedroom and the landing.

I scrubbed the kitchen floor.

Our larder before.


I will admit this was a very satisfying job.

What a difference! Ready to become our food larder again.

Colin’s fix for the gap between the floors, fitted and oiled and looking suitably perfect for our quirky home. He cleverly designed this so that nothing got screwed into the old elm floorboards, this piece of oak that is visible appears to be invisibly fixed. The carpet will be fitted into this.

The staircase is finished and the oil will soak in overnight so that tomorrow it will be dry and ready for the carpet to be fitted.

Cat moves on to touch up the paintwork on Zanna’s bedroom wall.

Then on to paint a second coat on the woodwork on the stairs.

Cat then paints the top coat to the steels in the attic in Farrow & Ball’s Railings, using the metal paint that we painted our old metal windows with.

The shape of this steel plate is extraordinary! It was originally straight but whilst tightening up the bolts through this oak purlin (there is another steel plate on the underside), the steel bent around the joint in the purlin (there is an old scarf joint here, that was coming apart, hence the steel repair).

Colin painting over the water mark on the wall, where the rain came through the oak peg in the window frame a couple of weeks ago.

Colin using an old towel to shuffle around the bathroom so he doesn’t get our precious elm floorboards dirty. We applaud this!

Phew! All the oak is oiled, all the dirty work finished, so we can finally remove the plastic that has been protecting our ancient beams for months.

The staircase has two coats of oil and two coats of paint on the wood work. Well done team Cat & Colin!

All the protective plastic is removed from the beams, then one final hoover! We had almost forgotten what the beams looked like up here.

The old and the new.

In a corner of the attic sits a load of cables for the TV aerial and internet (that will ultimately be housed in a cupboard). Currently our internet cable goes out of the roof, down the wall, along the front of the house, around the corner and in through the letterbox of the house we are currently renting next door! This was only supposed to be a temporary fix for the 3 or 4 months we were supposed to be here… 12 months later and incredibly it still works!

Now we need to set up a home network involving a new router and new access points in the three rooms downstairs where these Cat6 cables are hard wired into. I’m a bit lost here so am calling upon the expertise of my good friend Anjit who I worked with in the Technology world for over a decade. He is an absolute legend and there is nothing he doesn’t know about data networks.

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