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“Will you walk into my parlour?”

said the spider to the fly.


The study has ensnared time, money, patience, energy and general good humour for over three months now and yet, as you see, it is still devoid of furniture and life.

The piece of string? No, not a noose. Not quite yet. It’s a somewhat rustic means of door closure, deployed until the metalwork has been finally fixed in place. Lucky there was a lock there previously isn’t it?




Let’s start with the good news.


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The painting is complete.


‘Mittens’ turned out to be the exact and rather classy grey/green I had hoped for and I love it. Standing it that room when the sun is streaming in makes me feel so good.


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Devon peg


Mike marked the positions for the radiator fixings and hammered wooden pegs into the cob wall to provide anchorage for the screws. The pegs finish up flush with the wall and have now been skimmed and painted over. He says he still knows where they are..


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I have been giving some thought to floor finishes and playing with sample pots again.

And what do you know that’s not straightforward either.


Originally I’d intended to stain the floor a sort of medium oak colour, wax it and buff it up to a sheen. But now that I’ve seen the way the room is evolving if anything my inclination is to go the other way.. to go lighter.

The top stripe is an oil that is recommended for floors. Too pink.

In the middle another oil, supposedly maintaining the original colour of the wood. Too dark.

On the bottom, bingo. Liming wax. A considerable toning down of the orange accents in the stripped pine, resulting in an effect not dissimilar from bleached out driftwood.  The only drawback is that it is not really supposed to be used on floors, it’s not durable enough. But it’s an upstairs room, the main traffic area will be protected by a rug, and I’ll apply a couple of coats of clear wax on top.


I shall lime the doors and the windowsill too.




So where does the bad news come in?


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No radiator.


Remember we had to wait four weeks for the radiator to be made to order?

We initially overlooked the damage that may have occurred in transit. But not when Mike discovered that one of its orifices was just a little too small to accept the valve. It’s going back. And a replacement has been ordered.. another four weeks.


It doesn’t end there.

Mike had cut the second of our reclaimed doors down to size and started to sand it. But what we had assumed was dark paint turned out to be sticky: creosote. He worked valiantly for two days and got most of it off but after one night in the study the door still stunk the whole house out. We investigated getting it acid dipped but likelihood of success was deemed to be slim. We rang round the salvage yards once again but our purchase, it appears, had been a ‘lucky’ one off. There is nothing else around at the moment that is as tall.

The best option it would seem is to get a door made to order from reclaimed wood. So tomorrow we shall go and look at some examples to see if they fit the bill.

The £150 pound bill.

And the lead time on such a beast? 6-8 weeks.