Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Beans, apples, water lilies in the sunshine

Here is the unit from the shed we just need some new kickboard now - its Wednesday tomorrow so Alan will go with his 'pensioners' card and a list and get 10% discount!!
Because I am not normally home during day this is the first time I have seen the one of the water lilies out in bloom - havent caught it very well but you can see one of the fishes head out of the water!

This is Alan watering our beans and sweet peas. We also have spring onions and lettuce growing there. With leeks just along to the left. I was munching the first dwarf beans last night - they were lovely. I went to get the dozen blueberries I have grown to top the fruit salad last night and everyone had been eaten by the birds! Needless to say they now have netting over them.

These are the dwarf broad beans they are ready to eat now but the ordinary ones are not full yet.

This is the decking - obviously - we think it has been built too high?? What do you think - we thought we might chop a bit off the spindles and put it all back again!

This is my apple tree - our neighbour said they are lovely - I can't wait. We have planted carrots, onions and beetroot at the bottom of the garden and they are all coming through. Our other garden was different levels but this flat and I can see more of it going over to produce to be quite honest we were late getting going this year but potatoes are definately going in at the end of the year.
Well this has been a more cheerful post than of late - we are having a break from the house for a while after the back lounge is done - fund recovery is necessary and energy levels are low. We need to sit back soon and enjoy the fruits (and veg!!) of our labours.

A cheery post!!

This is the 1930's fireplace removed from my brother's house and fitted in my 1930's house today!! Yippe we are getting there at last. I feel like we are on the home straight now. We have to line two walls that aren't so good - they are originals and the rest have been replastered by the previous owner - he put thick polystyrene in the alcoves for noise reduction and then plastered over them - I must admit we have never heard a sound from next door. New dado has been added as his was too high and new coving in the extension after the ceiling was down. Still searching for light fittings at the moment and have decided to go for downward shining ones so they dont highlight the ceiling!

We had a gap in the kitchen and had the spare tumble dryer parked in there as Dad got me a condensing one and its in the utility but as we dont know how long it will last and ours was relatively new we decided to keep in in the garage covered over for the time being. There was a little 300m cupboard next to it. This was removed and left a 1000mm space and in the garage had been fitted a 1000mm cupboard. So this has been cleaned up and fitted in the space. Its marvellous and I have gained so much storage. The space in the shed has been filled with the dresser base I had in the kitchen when we first came and that was in the garage. That space has been filled with the Ikea basic shelving we had had in my workroom at the old house and Bob's your uncle! Now has anyone else grown up with that saying?? Everyone has storage where they want it and we can rest for the day. Tomorrow the lining paper goes on and then the big job of THE WALLPAPERING starts............................................... Pause for music!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Plaster disaster update!!

Well today is Wednesday and we now have a newly plastered and coved ceiling at the back of the disaster lounge - Richard once again came to the rescue and did a wonderful job. I think he should be knighted!

On Sunday night we were brushing water out of the garage for 35 minutes in the tremendous downpour - we couldnt let it in because there are lots of boxes in there still including Kate's new bed and drawers. By the following night we had sandbags inside - that was lucky because on Monday we had another one identical but only for about 25 minutes - the sandbags held. Richard and Alan are going to add a soakaway thingy. Last night Alan was sanding ceiling again - its pretty good considering its 1938. We are going to put a coat of emulsion on so we can identify any rough areas still there. We have also decided to sand the two original walls (the others have been plastered by the previous owner) and line them with 1200 grade lining paper before adding Percy to the walls, after so much effort it has to be right. We will be restoring the picture rail asap and that will make the room lighter and the papering easier.

We are still having problems with the laminate flooring man. He has been and relaid the hall but has now decided that he doesn't think its right so he said he had arranged for the rep to come today. Surprise, surprise the rep isn't able to come now after we once again emptied the hall and cleaned the floor ready for the visit. When he came to sort out the hall he was also supposed to change one of the boards in the lounge as it was dipping - he forgot to do that! I just want to say ************** and pay him and get on with life! sorry still no pics to add - mind you they owuld only be off horrible old walls etc etc. I forgot to take pics of the disaster day as well

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Well the weekend that was!!!!!

Well- the weekend!!

We had booked a plasterer who said £200 and he would come and PVA the ceiling Friday night then him and his mate would come and skim on Saturday.

What really happened was this: He turned up with his gear on Friday night and dumped it on the drive - we were worried it might be pinched so hauled it all inside. He was in a rush so said he would PVA tomorrow and come Sunday to skim. Last words - see you at 9.00am

Saturday - Richard came at 8.00pm and made a splendid job of making the hatch bigger and fitting our gorgeous QVC steps - great. By 11.00am I rang the plasterer - no answer so I texted him - got an text back at 1.20pm!!! to say - sorry he couldn't lie he had been at an all night party - you know how it is!!! No actually I don't!! - He would be there in half an hour. He finally turned up at 3.00pm and PVA'd the ceiling and went off saying he would be back at 11.00am on Sunday.

Sunday dawned - I left Alan in waiting for him. I was in Homebase using my 15% voucher on paint etc and replacing Alan's Black & Decker Mouse sander. Alan phoned at 1.10pm to say he hadn't arrived yet and would I ring him - so I did - he said he was having his dinner first and he would be there in an hour!!! He finally turned up at 2.15pm and started to plaster leaving a hell of a mess as he worked.

After about an hour (he was huffing & puffing and sweating - I kept giving him water - I am sure it was drink - he was red eyed) He shouted me to come quick - there were huge blobs appearing in the plaster and it was dropping off the ceiling and taking the artex off with it!
He said that he could only think that whoever had put the artex on hadn't PVA'd the ceiling first and because he had wet it with the plaster as then the plaster dried it was pulling it off - it was falling off as he was speaking! If it wasn't so awful it would have been funny. So he and Alan decided to quickly scrape off all the plaster and the artex came off as well but you can imagine the mess that created. It was everywhere - he hadn't at that point done the extension ceiling at the back of the room which was the reason that we were skimming the ceiling!

Anyway off came the plaster, I started scooping it all up with a shovel and so did Alan - the guy said he would give us a hand but then proceeded to remove his gear which coincidentally took as long to remove as it took us to scrape it off the floor and bag it up. (he did take away the bags of plaster for us) Hey - who needs a sauna!

We then asked him what we could do with the back ceiling - he climbed up and peeled the tape off which was masking tape! stuck on over unplastered plasterboard. He said he could only suggest Alan steamed off the artex and then had it plastered. He was most concerned that we would say he was rubbish at his job and that it had never happened to him before - we assured him it wasn't his fault as it wasn't. I could have said your reliability and timekeeping are rubbish but I didn't. We asked how much he wanted and he said £100 - so we paid and he went off to the pub!

So - after a cllo drink - it was so hot - Alan gets the steamer set up and starts to steam and scrape the artex off - after about 10 minutes the plasterboard started to disintegrate and fall off. So he pulled down the ceiling and coving (just in the back area which is about 13ft x 6 ft. What a mess - all had to be bagged up again by us!

It was so badly done he was glad at the end he had taken it down - we rang Richard and he came the next night to inspect it all! and he is coming to re-plasterboard it on Sat am when Alan has added more noggins etc.

Whilst it is open Alan called my brother (an electrician) becuase he could see the wiring for the lights and we wanted to add another light at that end of the room. That was fitted last night.

So what a long winded way to get a wall light up! and artex off a ceiling - hope you haven't fallen asleep reading this - it was so awful at the time we just laughed and I still love my house after all this - Mam and Dad were appalled at how much we are having to do but it is our choice.

Waht I forgot to mention is that Sunday and Monday evening Alan has sanded the main ceiling with his little Black & Decker Mouse (wonderful tool thoroughtly recommend it) and it looks lovely - just a couple of littel cracks to fill - I can't unerstand why they covered it in artex.

Last night we spent hours hoovering the plaster from the under the skirting boards and getting the dust up, now the floor is washed it looks qquite presentable - an any one else's eyes its actualy a dump but after Sunday afternoon when it was covered in huge lumps of damp plaster and artex its paradise.

Sorry I have no photos to add and its just boring writing .................