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Progress has been made.


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On the floor, amongst rotten ceiling laths and general detritus, there is a massive bees’ nest. An old one thankfully. No live bees. How long it had been there is anyone’s guess. It was certainly taking up a huge area on the underside of the thatch.

To fill the gaps between the stones on the chimney stack lime mortar was literally hurled at them by the trowel full. Fun? Possibly. Messy? Oh yes. But effective.


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Replacement laths

It felt a good deal better to have the holes in the ceiling closed in. The mice could still peek, but they’d now struggle to get through.. Best to get some render up before they start a-nibbling..


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The first application of render is known as the ‘scratch coat’. Where there’s a big hole to fill the builders add a bit of hardcore for stability. The best things to use, apparently, are chunks of terracotta. So we’ve now added our own layer to the history of the house.. a few pieces of the broken flower pots I’d been using for drainage in new containers!


Spider 001


I wonder if the performance of a spider’s web is enhanced or compromised by the addition of builders’ dust? Probably the latter. Only a fly in urgent need of optical correction would miss seeing it now.


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The top coat of render


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The plasterers are still giving us odd days between other jobs and it’s working well. It makes sense to get the most out of the time they can spend with us and if there are jobs we can do between their visits then so much the better. Any downward impact on the final bill won’t go amiss either. This is turning into a hugely expensive, and unplanned, addition to the project. On the positive side they are doing a truly excellent job. We couldn’t be more pleased.

Thus, at the completion of each phase Mike is given his homework. For most of last week he was channelling the walls for new electrical sockets and switches, paint stripping beams and the doorframes plus a door. A few marks may have been deducted for overfilling one of his channels but hey, an A- for a first attempt can’t be bad..


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This week he’s been chipping away loose pointing from the fireplace stonework in readiness for the new. A gold star from teacher without a doubt. And, failing that, we have Liquid Gold. It’s a bonding agent. The unofficial moniker will undoubtedly have come about from the eye watering cost of the stuff as opposed to its chemical composition or physical state. The skim coat, the final application of lime plaster, will adhere to new render easily enough but not so much to the older plaster still on the walls. Mike’s mission, which he has chosen to accept, is to paint all the older surfaces with the Liquid Gold.


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Should keep him out of trouble for a while..?