“I Was Just Thinking…”


 Mike’s newly skimmed wall


It’s a great job, considering he’s never done any plastering before, let alone done it with lime. The trick is to avoid it drying out too quickly. To prevent cracks forming he had to damp down the wall before applying the plaster and then repeat periodically as it cured, sponging the surface to help even it out. The picture really doesn’t do it justice.

In a former life I was, amongst other things, an IT Project Manager. This doesn’t mean I know a lot about computers, quite the reverse. What I came to dread were the familiar words uttered by a client: “could we just…” A project might have gone all the way through sign off and then as it progressed they’d thought for the first time a bit more about what the proposed software could do and suddenly found new and extended uses for it. With further development work, of course. There is even a technical term for it: scope creep. It’s one of the main reasons for a project going over time and over budget, unless it is very tightly managed indeed.

Yet when it comes to personal projects I am one of the worst. The work on our previous cottage started out as an attic conversion. Actually, it started out as a thought about getting a hamster and having nowhere to put the cage, but don’t let’s go there. Where it ended up was a new kitchen, new floors in every room, liner walls demolished throughout the old house to reveal the original oak structure and the replacement of the oak sole plate i.e. the bit that holds up an ancient timber framed building in lieu of foundations. Over £100k’s worth of work. And, as it turned out, still nowhere to put the hamster. So you’ll have guessed why the study is taking so long.

It was thinking about a door, and the need for yet another replacement, that led to the decision to take down the built in cupboard. If I did a serious cull of “stuff” I could manage with a much smaller free standing cupboard and create more space in the room. Except that removing the partitions led to a lot more plastering. Especially after we’d had to dig three channels in the wall to hide the electrical cables now exposed. Then there was the replacement of the louvred doors which originally I was just going to paint. And the ‘new’ door will have to open outwards instead of inwards so now all the architraves have to be changed..


Study 030 Wm[1]


With still more filling and plastering to ‘make good’.

And now that we’ve purchased unpainted rustic doors for the main doorway and the airing cupboard wouldn’t the architraves around them look better stripped as well..?


So no surprise then when one day recently, in the midst of a constructive discussion about some element of the work, I happened to take a proper good look at the radiator.


Study 022 Wm[1]


The side on view has never been pretty. And it was even worse on the other side, which happened to be the first thing that greeted you upon entering the room. The block of wood behind the radiator is a Devon Peg. The only sure way of attaching anything heavy to cob (remember it’s constructed of just mud and straw) is to drive a wooden peg into the wall and screw into that.


Study 023 Wm[1]


And then there’s the curious arrangement of the plumbing. But not to worry eh, at least Mike has some experience of that? * **


After much hoo-ing and haa-ing about btu’s and how big a radiator is big enough, we have ordered a new one. In a freshly decorated and contemporary space surely nothing short of a designer model will do, the same low profile type that I used in the kitchen. But of course when the furniture gets put back there will be far less room to manoeuvre here. Less room for valves. Meaning the pipe tails will now have to go into the bottom of the radiator rather than the sides.


Made to order.

From the factory in Italy.

Four weeks…

* A Crash Course In Plumbing (here) and Mike the Plumber (here)
** I’m required to let you know that the last photos, of the radiator, show the wall BEFORE plastering!!

2018-08-11T20:08:32+00:00January 18th, 2015|Tags: |


  1. Jo January 18, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    I think you’ll have built a new house around you by the time you’re done.

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      No plans to alter the structure (yet) but apart from the walls, I think you may be right.

  2. countrysidetales January 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    That plastering is seriously impressive. Well done indeed Mike :o)

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 8:39 pm - Reply

      He’s done a good job. Now it’s starting to come together we both feel more motivated.

  3. woolythyme January 18, 2015 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    I think Mike now qualifies as Mike the plaster-er….great job!!!! (and those deep windowsills are to DIE for!!!! Lucky you!)

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 8:46 pm - Reply

      That’s one of the narrow windowsills, you should see the ones downstairs. Cob walls are thicker at the bottom than the top. It makes cleaning the windows harder, and less light makes it into the room.

  4. justjilluk January 18, 2015 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    I could tell you a story about the wine rack we have been given. Still on the floor. Not on the wall. 3 electricians to move plugs now need a joiner…. but it has to be ‘right’ ???!!!

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 8:48 pm - Reply

      If you’re moving plugs you’ll need to redecorate then? 😉

  5. Gigibird January 18, 2015 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Paint the architraves – as you asked;-) in the same colour as the walls in eggshell…

    Plastering looks fabulous…

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      We’ll see what they look like stripped and then decide whether or not to paint them. What needs to happen in either event is the removal of many years’ build up of thick gloss paint. It looks awful at the moment.

  6. Em January 18, 2015 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Oh dear. In by next Christmas? Great plastering job though. It’ll have time to dry out properly at least! X

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      The nice man at the paint supplier said the lime skim will need a couple of weeks… should be able to manage that??

  7. Crafty Gardener January 18, 2015 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    It’s always fascinating to see hewn little projects keeps leading tooters that seem to get bigger and bigger and before you know it … it’s a total renovation.

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      There are so many things that suddenly need doing “while we’ve got the floorboards up”, or “before we start painting”. It does make sense. But they do all add up, time and money.

  8. Chel @ Sweetbriar Dreams January 18, 2015 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    I had to smile as we spent seven years doing up a 16th century thatched cottage with all the little nooks, crannies, wall materials and ingenious plumbing! I can totally understand the different things you are having to think about before actually doing the work, and then the working around things as they are not the ‘norm’. It will all be worth it in the end – just don’t do what we did… move! Enjoy it!!

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      Yes, the trouble with working on an old building is that so much is unknown. Until you strip back it’s not clear just what is there and how much needs to be done. Completely different from building a house from scratch. But that is what makes it exciting for me, it’s all an adventure. I hope we get to stay in this one for a little while when it’s done. It won’t be forever though. The site is too physically demanding in the long term.

  9. Pauline January 18, 2015 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Well done Mike, the plastering looks great. Isn’t it awful when one job leads to another, I think this is maybe why my husband always wants to live in a fairly modern house! You will get there eventually!

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      Mike would probably say the same.. we both love living in an older property when we get the end result. It’s the getting there that’s the problem!

  10. Joanne January 18, 2015 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Well done to Mike on that plastering, it looks very professional!

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      When it’s properly dried we’ll put a dilute coat of paint on it. That will show up any areas that might need a bit more filling. I can’t think there’ll be many though.

  11. Linda January 18, 2015 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Do the words….money pit….ring a bell?
    No…seriously…any Reno always uncovers a hiding nightmare….
    Mike did really nicely on the plastering….bravo!
    4 weeks? Well….let’s go with 7 just to be sure….
    Oh Jessica….all will be right…soon!
    Time for the Pheasants to start eating everything?
    On the bright side….your flowers in the previous post are gorgeous!
    Enjoy the week ahead…
    Linda :o)

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 9:19 pm - Reply

      The last place was definitely a money pit.. you live and learn. But Mike’s ability to lime plaster will save us literally thousands if he wants to carry on with it all round the house. It’s an expensive thing to do because the plaster needs to be built up and then tended over several days.

  12. wherefivevalleysmeet January 18, 2015 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Mike is a saint, the plasterwork looks brilliant – your talk about pipe tails made me look at mine, but now I am curious as to why my pipes go into the wall and yours go into the floor.

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 9:26 pm - Reply

      Going into the walls is much better… it means you can get the hoover underneath! We did it in the kitchen when all the plumbing was ripped out and done again from scratch. In the study we’re just adapting what was there already.

  13. SeagullSuzie January 18, 2015 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    I always think it’s great when someone can do things…just like that…and they work out so well, Mike is a clever man indeed. Your photos have reminded me of what’s in store for me after the electrics and plumbing are finished. I will be stripping the wallpaper, and no doubt filling in endless holes and cracks in the plasterwork.. Once the kitchen is in I’ll decorate.

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      Mike is very patient. If something isn’t working he will persist with it until he gets it right. I’d have had the tools out the window hours before.
      It’s exciting though isn’t it, working on a new house makes it your own.

  14. Sue@GLAllotments January 18, 2015 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    We are both guilty of scope creep both inside and out. Some of my – I’ve been thinkings are greeted with not possible but later magically become possible once the seed of an idea germinates. The plastering looks very professional.

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      The same thing happens here, it’s funny how that works!

  15. Brian Skeys January 18, 2015 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    I think the moral of the story is DONT buy a Hamster!

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      Absolutely don’t! Or even think about it..

  16. Amy January 18, 2015 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Mike is magnificent and so are you, Jessica! What amazes me is that you two manage to (successfully) complete the projects… I take off my hat 🙂

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      It’s easy to launch into these things and then discover it’s harder than you thought. But by that time the walls are full of holes and the floor is up.. the only option is to keep going!!

  17. Jennifer January 18, 2015 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    He did a great job. Plastering is a real art. I’m not good at it!

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      Although plastering a cob wall is quite time consuming it does have one big advantage.. there are no lines that have to be straight, the edges are rounded. And because it’s an old building there are all sorts of bulges and indentations that have evolved over time. So although the surface has to be smooth (and it is) the underlying structure is quite forgiving! It’s still Mike’s job for life though, I’m no good at it either.

  18. Julie January 18, 2015 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    DIY in this house is usually accompanied by expletives, your posts are really encouraging it seems it is possible to calmly achieve great things. Lovely plastering!

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      Oh if only you knew! I’m reminded of all that old team building stuff.. storming, norming etc. Mostly the storming…
      I just leave out the expletives.. it’s a family blog 😉

  19. Mark and Gaz January 18, 2015 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    A cascade of jobs resulting from doing a job, that’s the way it is….

    Well impressed with the plasterwork!

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      It’s always the way isn’t it. If we knew what we were getting ourselves into, would we ever start?

  20. Linda P. January 18, 2015 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    Mike has done a very good job there. Between the two of you the work in progress is looking good even though there are practical problems to solve before it’s finished. If we didn’t have our own projects to sort out in the Italian house and we were a lot younger I’m sure the handy man in our house would be wanting an ‘old property in the country’ to renovate here in Yorkshire! Anyway there’s still plenty to keep us busy in our fairly modern house!
    All the best Jessica. Hope the plumbing goes well when the radiator eventually arrives.

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      Thanks Linda. There is always so much to do, you have enough on your plate with two houses to maintain. I’ve always enjoyed renovating, might have bitten off more than I can chew with this one though, the garden included.

  21. paxton3 January 18, 2015 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Eeh, I love the escalation of ideas! Years ago we began discussing bunk beds for the two boys, and ultimately spent a ridiculous amount of money on an extention to the house. Today we have been talking about the loft….
    Leanne xx

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 10:10 pm - Reply

      Ahhh, the loft. You didn’t talk about getting a hamster too did you?

  22. angiesgardendiaries January 18, 2015 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    The mere mention of the words ‘I was just thinking’ fills me with dread! I share a house with my mother and that’s usually how it all begins!!!
    Mikes done well thus far and I’m sure those 4 weeks will fly in!
    Is it wrong that I laughed re the attic/hamster/100k debacle. 🙂

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      Mike dreads those words too, for some reason.
      No, you can laugh. We got the money back when we sold it. Which had always been the plan, keeping everything very firmly crossed. And those were the days when the property market was booming, there was far less risk.

  23. Freda January 18, 2015 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    I think perhaps we think backwards from ‘We can’t do that till we’ve done that, and we can’t do that job till we…..In the end we just don’t start! But that’s ok ‘cos really I’ve done all the DIY I ever want to do….I sometimes say ‘I’ve got an idea’ and see my husband wince slightly. But I’m cheering you on from over here! Brilliant plastering job.

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 10:24 pm - Reply

      I know that wince! It’s not an easy path to go down, but I want to make the house a lot ‘cleaner’ in appearance, more contemporary and simple! I’m looking forward to the culling of stuff.. I won’t stop until I have got to the same point you are at with the living room. When it feels right.

  24. Amy at love made my home January 18, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    It is amazing how one thing leads to another isn’t it. We had that last summer with our patio and building works! Mike’s plastering looks great! He should set up in business! xx

    • Jessica January 18, 2015 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks Amy. Although I think he’s had enough of it already!

  25. Beth @ PlantPostings January 19, 2015 at 1:30 am - Reply

    Oh, yes, scope creep. It has been an issue for me many times–on home projects and professional ones, too. But, your house is going to be amazing when you’re done!

    • Jessica January 19, 2015 at 10:41 pm - Reply

      It’s different when it’s your own house isn’t it. I suppose what is important is that it gets done right, even if that does take a little (!) longer.

  26. Christina January 19, 2015 at 2:39 am - Reply

    Dear Jessica, I totally can relate to your renovating experience. In our first old house in California, we also started out wanting to do something small, then one thing lead to the other and we ended up with a major remodeling project .I think the newly plastered wall that Mike did looks awesome. I am curious to see the radiator. Sounds like you went for something really special. I really like this attention to detail! Good luck and have fun with your reno!
    Warm regards,

    • Jessica January 19, 2015 at 11:08 pm - Reply

      Not so special really, it’s the unusual plumbing arrangement that makes it tricky. It is wider than the old one, when the bookcase comes back into the room it will only just fit!

  27. Charlie@Seattle Trekker January 19, 2015 at 4:07 am - Reply

    You have such a wonderful project, I am really filled with envy…Please keep the posts coming.

    • Jessica January 19, 2015 at 11:12 pm - Reply

      This was supposed to be an easy room to start with, it gets worse from here.

  28. Kris P January 19, 2015 at 4:42 am - Reply

    A good friend of mine (coincidentally, also a project manager in a prior role) calls these little complications associated with renovations and redecorating “the domino effect.” Recovering a sofa leads to the need to recover a chair, which leads on and on. Her husband has an apoplectic fit every time she starts a “little” project. But your way is better than mine, which is to freeze up on making a change because I know it’s going to lead to several others. For some reason,while I have no problem with moving ahead with such plans in the garden, when it comes to the house, I get stuck by the enormity of things.

    • Jessica January 19, 2015 at 11:16 pm - Reply

      I don’t think I’d have been nearly so keen to start this one if I knew how long it was going to take. For the last two months we’ve being having to pick our way around piles of stuff in the bedroom and squeeze past the bookcase which takes up most of the corridor leading to it. And as for the dust..

  29. Anne Wheaton January 19, 2015 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Oh so familiar.I don’t know if it’s worse when it’s self inflicted or when, just as you nearly complete the project a visitor asks what you’re going to do about the radiator (or whatever) that had never even crossed your mind. Then you look properly at said radiator and realise just how awful it looks. I remember reading advice for shopkeepers who always use the back door when opening up – every now and then walk through the front door to see how your customer views the shop.
    It’s going to look fabulous when it’s finished.

    • Jessica January 19, 2015 at 11:26 pm - Reply

      I like your shop analogy. Sometimes we can be too close to things to see them clearly. And now you’ve mentioned opening doors I’ve remembered that I’ve still to find new hinges and latches..

  30. Rosie January 19, 2015 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Hats off to both of you such a lot of hard work. I said to someone the other day I start one job and it seems to create two or three others and that was on a miniature scale compared to your project. It will all be worth it when it’s completed:).

    • Jessica January 19, 2015 at 11:29 pm - Reply

      I was looking forward to getting it all cosy for winter. Winter may well be over by the time I can!

  31. Colleen January 19, 2015 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Now I know why our idea of redecoration is limited to a change of paint…around every ten years.
    Thanks for making my week start with a giggle.

    • Jessica January 19, 2015 at 11:38 pm - Reply

      This is precisely the reason for covering all bases now.. so it won’t need doing again for a while!

  32. Helen Johnstone January 19, 2015 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    Mike sounds like my Dad whose life was filled of Mum’s ‘justs’. We could just knock that wall down, build an extension etc. I grew up in one building site after another. My son is beginning to suffer from my ‘justs’ – latest one, aside from ongoing decorating in hall/landing is if we replaced that very large radiator in the kitchen with a smaller one, I could have a bin there instead of in the cupboard.
    As for the plastering it looks wonderful – clever Mike.

    • Jessica January 19, 2015 at 11:49 pm - Reply

      The radiators here seem huge too, some very large single ones where a smaller double would have done the job just as well. Unfortunately the pipes run along the top of walls and ceiling beams. It’s a bit of a nightmare really. Good luck with yours, I know a man who can give plumbing lessons if needed!

  33. Sue January 19, 2015 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Wow … I’m seriously impressed with Mike’s plastering skills. Lovely Hubby has to have a go soon, but luckily it is only inside the cupboard under the stairs so we can close it off from view if it doesn’t turn out as well as Mike’s 😉

    • Jessica January 19, 2015 at 11:51 pm - Reply

      I wish I’d thought of that.. the under stairs cupboard would have been a very good place to practice!

  34. Annie January 19, 2015 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    I too have had experience of scope creep, as has my other half who, as you were, is an IT project manager (scope creep is the perennial excuse when he’s late home from work), but the hamster story puts you in a league of your own m’dear! I’m admiring your prowess from afar. And Mike’s plastering skills too, of course!

    • Jessica January 20, 2015 at 12:02 am - Reply

      The hamster idea is well and truly buried I think. If I mentioned it again the resultant fallout could well make the evening news.

  35. welshhillsagain January 19, 2015 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    I identify so strongly with this! One job leads to the discovery of all sorts of others whenever we start anything in our sixteenth century house. So deeply impressed with the plastering. Send him this way when he has a moment!

    • Jessica January 20, 2015 at 12:15 am - Reply

      I can understand now why architects recommend such a massive contingency fund when working in old buildings.

  36. islandthreads January 19, 2015 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    🙂 reminds me of the song, it was on a Monday morning the gasman came to call 😉

    the wall looks wonderful, well done Mike, good luck with the rest, Frances

    • Jessica January 20, 2015 at 12:18 am - Reply

      We may need a plumber and an electrician yet. Luckily there is no gas..

  37. CherryPie January 19, 2015 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    At least you will be warm and cosy when the new radiator arrives 🙂

    • Jessica January 20, 2015 at 12:21 am - Reply

      Will it arrive in time for the first day of Spring, that’s the thing..

  38. Virginia January 20, 2015 at 2:25 am - Reply

    Well Jessica, you ought to be grateful to have a competent spouse. Mine! HA! many (Ok, many, many, many) years ago I bought him a little leaflet entitled “How To Change A Fuse” – this was back in the days when in New Zealand a fuse was about all you could fiddle with unless you were a certified sparky – and when presented with said leaflet, he firmly closed his eyes and said “What? I don’t see anything?” 39 years later, it’s much the same.

    So, be grateful, woman!!!

    • Jessica January 20, 2015 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      My dad was an engineer and everything, everything, that came into the house was taken apart to a greater or lesser extent and put back together again (mostly), just for the hell of it. My mother totally despaired. But it was to get worse because he then started doing the same in shops before he bought anything, just to make sure it was of merchandisable quality. ‘Big’ DIY jobs required a special jumper.. the one that he got from the institute that certified him as a proper engineer.

  39. Laura January 20, 2015 at 5:58 am - Reply

    Sounds like you’ve got the best parts of perfectionism and collaboration! And I learned a new word today…architraves!

    • Jessica January 20, 2015 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      It’s a bit up and down at the minute. One step forward, two back. Very frustrating. Should have done what you did and build a house from scratch!

  40. Janet/Plantaliscious January 20, 2015 at 11:33 am - Reply

    You make me feel so much happier about my own tendency to suggest various “small additions” to our plans… “Mission creep”. It’s evil. As is scope creep. “What if we just…” and “I don’t suppose we could…” are variously terrifying, annoying and utterly unacceptable. Unless uttered by yours truly, in which case it is clearly just a clever spotting of an opportunity too good to miss…

    Am deeply impressed by Mike’s plastering skills. Do you think he might fancy a small holiday with sea air?! When I say holiday…

    • Jessica January 20, 2015 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      And you and I could leave the menfolk to it and go plant hunting… 🙂

  41. Cathy January 20, 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Love to hear about your continuing projects, Jessica

    • Jessica January 20, 2015 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      I have a horrible feeling you’ll be hearing about it for many more weeks to come. 😉

  42. Sarah January 20, 2015 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    This made me smile it being so different to managing the projects at work! Mike has made a great job with the plastering! Sarah x

    • Jessica January 20, 2015 at 9:02 pm - Reply

      It does feel very different when it’s a project of your own. There’s a lot more emotional investment in it. And you only have yourself breathing down your neck!

  43. Cathy January 20, 2015 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    ‘Scope creep!’ Love it! So much that I’m sharing this with my husband. Our recent example was his desire to turn our attic (at the moment being insulated in a rather modest way so that we can use the lovely barn-type space as a library) into a kind of roof balcony in the style that he’s seen in Italy. There were other little extras too … We will be walking on the spot for ever at t(his) rate. He never glances at the pathetic budget we have for this work – and I will be going down a 4-century-old spiral staircase in the middle of the night when I’m 90. But maybe I’m imaginatively the poorer for not allowing from a bit of ‘scope creep’ into my life? And Mike’s plastering is terrific!

    • Jessica January 20, 2015 at 9:08 pm - Reply

      You have to work with an old house for a little while before you see the possibilities in it I think. Yours sounds as though it will be stunning! I have Phases 1, 2 and 3 for now, with more money and with lottery win!

  44. finlaygray January 20, 2015 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    You are always so busy Jess doing and organizing x

    • Jessica January 21, 2015 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      I could say exactly the same about you! x

  45. Chloris January 21, 2015 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Still, with a bit of luck and hard work you might get it finished in time for next Christmas. That would be something to look forward to.

    • Jessica January 21, 2015 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      Don’t joke.. 🙁

  46. sustainablemum January 21, 2015 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Scope creep, now I love that. I remember having some of that when we wanted to decorate one of the bedrooms in our house. Every problem usually has an ingenious solution who said that DIY isn’t full of creativity? The plastering job looks amazing, it will save you a fortune if you can do it all yourselves.

    • Jessica January 21, 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      It will save a fortune and I hope the fact he’s done a brilliant job of it will encourage him to keep going.

  47. Caro January 23, 2015 at 9:15 am - Reply

    The Devon Peg. That’s a new one on me but I can see its uses. The walls here in my rented 1930s flat are held up by paint. No, seriously; any drilling is likely to result in a cascade of sandy grit and a wide pit in the wall where I’d intended a tiny gap for a rawlplug. I find glue guns useful. Except for the time that the glue came away from the PVA coated sand and a curtain rail fell on my head. I feel your decorating pain. xx

    • Jessica January 23, 2015 at 6:30 pm - Reply

      Fixing the new radiator to the wall is going to prove challenging as the fixings will be in a different place. Hopefully we can not only do it but achieve a neater result than the previous attempt. Nothing around here is ever easy. And I’d not even thought as far as the curtain rail! Oh dear..

  48. Donna@Living From Happiness January 23, 2015 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Oh Jessica I am so like you….even when we built the new house, I have obsessed at things I want to change….

    • Jessica January 23, 2015 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      They say it’s all in the detail! I can’t make this place perfect, it’s been altered too much for that. But I do want to get some character back into it if I can.

  49. Polly February 2, 2015 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    hello Jessica, I like your site, I’ve just found you via Authentic Bloggers. I like this post, it brought back memories of an old house I owned years ago. The walls were constructed with mud, straw and horsehair. I loved decorating so when I first moved in I couldn’t wait to get started. Every room had dado rails which I removed along with chunks of plaster. At the time I couldn’t afford a plasterer so made do with patching up the holes with polyfilla, but every time I re-decorated and stripped wallpaper off more plaster fell off until eventually I did have to have two rooms re-plastered. Mike has done a brilliant job.

    • Jessica February 2, 2015 at 5:23 pm - Reply

      Hi Polly, thanks and welcome on board.
      It’s a nightmare isn’t it. Old plaster is a lot less stable than the modern stuff, especially where anything has been attached to it. We are learning as we go along. My first inclination was just to patch the wall with lime filler but it would have taken ages and probably not looked very good. Mike’s skim has done a much better job!

I'd love to hear from you..