Saturday, October 23, 2010

How long since the last time I was here?

Well, I really can't believe how long it's been since I last blogged.  I had no intention of leaving it so long but the time has flown and I've been caught between a rock and a hard place while the work on the house continues.  The kitchen has seen the worst of it, by far. Every house we've ever owned has always needed work doing to it - major work. But this one has been the most difficult. There is almost nothing worse than living in a house while it is being renovated but this one wasn't really a house when we started it!  It was just a series of rooms - some of them open to the elements - with dirt floors and dirty old stone walls. I suppose we've come a long way but you can sometimes be blinkered to the progress by the difficulty of living in the inevitable mess.

I keep thinking that the kitchen is almost finished and, to us, it is when we consider how much work has been needed but, judging by these photos, it still looks as if there's a lot more to do.  What I can say is that it is getting just a little bit easier as each day goes by.

This is the Husband taking off all the old tiles before plastering the walls and replacing the kitchen units that we had installed temporarily some time ago, and adding more....

... and this is the mess he made!  Nice, not!

This is him again, slapping on the plaster. It was a lot more awkward than plastering a plain ceiling because he had to go in between the beams.  The plaster dries within an hour so he has to work fast, then leave it a while and go back over it to smooth it off.  He couldn't avoid getting plaster on the beams (or so he tells me!), so they needed cleaning up and sanding over - the dust had to be seen to be believed! It there's one thing I can barely stand, it's dust!

There is, however, a chink of light starting to shine at the end of this very long tunnel!   This, to us, looks organised!  We still need to paint the walls and ceiling, add the tiles and finish off hiding the remaining cables. The kitchen itself came from the UK (we brought it over on the ferry strapped to the top of the motorhome we had at the time!), and we've run out of edging strip for the worktop. We've ordered it and will be adding that as soon as it arrives.  The Husband is looking for a piece of timber to turn into a shelf on the upright of the return.  As he has already made one for the upright behind the sink unit, he needs to make sure they match, so we are hunting around for a piece of oak.  The last piece he found in one of the barns but, try as he might, he can't find another one!

We've been tidying up the outside now that the summer is definitely over. We've woken up to a few hard frosts recently, so we needed to bring in the little orange trees we bought during the summer.

They're now in the conservatory where they are out of danger of frost-damage. You can just see these tiny little oranges - this particular tree is covered with them but whether they will ever be edible - or even orange! - is another matter. This is the first time we've had orange trees so we have no idea what to expect!

We found this lovely praying mantis in the conservatory - at first, I thought it was a leaf that had blown in through the door, but then it sort of unfurled itself. It's beautifully constructed and just made me marvel at nature - that it can come up with such complicated-looking designs!  He (or she? - I know some of them eat their mates after they've had a good time, and this one didn't seem to have any company!) only stayed in the glass for a minute or two - long enough for me to get the camera, of course - then we sent him on his way.

Well, that's it for now.  I won't leave it so long before my next post, although I can still hardly believe how long it's been since my last one!  Just think - when this house is finished, I may even have some spare time; now that would be a real luxury!

Thanks for reading!