End of October?

Where has the time gone?

The decorators have finished for now as we have officially run out of money! There is carpet ordered for the master bedroom and roman blinds for the lounge but that’s it. The rest will have to wait for a little while.

IMG_4514 - 2014-10-21 at 10-14-41The exterminator came and dealt with the wasps nest in the roof of the bay window. We were willing to live and let live until a few of the wasps decided to join us in the bathroom for a shower one dark morning! They must have been attracted to the light. Plus it turns out that, although wasps never reuse the same nest, it was likely that a juvenile queen or two would have hibernated in the ceiling and set up shop next door to the old nest next year!

IMG_4528 - 2014-10-22 at 08-37-32We have also had a more welcome guest in the back garden. A hedgehog has been busy building a hibernacula under a large pile of garden refuse. Ruby on the lookout.

IMG_4530 - 2014-10-22 at 12-59-33Hedgehogs are endangered so we want to do everything to make sure they are happy in our garden. While there are plenty of slugs and insects for them to eat, as the weather gets colder there will be less and less so we have bought some food to make sure they are nice and fat before they hibernate. Rosie is checking out the new food.

IMG_4587 - 2014-10-28 at 09-41-52We have bought this hedgehog feeding station for them.

IMG_4590 - 2014-10-28 at 09-43-47

Oliver has donated a spare water bowl.

IMG_4589 - 2014-10-28 at 09-42-13The hedgehog lives in the big pile behind the feeding station.

IMG_4547 - 2014-10-26 at 11-14-36Oliver has his own special source of water. You can also see that the new Silestone quartz counter tops have been fitted in the en suite.

IMG_4541 - 2014-10-26 at 11-13-19Oliver approves.

IMG_4525 - 2014-10-21 at 15-36-01The lounge has been painted.

IMG_4524 - 2014-10-21 at 15-35-28The blinds will be fitted next week and then we will have to wait for carpet.

IMG_4518 - 2014-10-21 at 15-32-05The master bedroom has been painted and the feature wall papered. Carpet will be coming next week but we will have to wait for blinds…





Fireplace Reveal – Master Bedroom

IMG_4490I had been waiting until the master bedroom was cleared for decorating before I attempted to open up this fireplace as the others had been quite messy and dusty affairs.


The fireplace is the same shape as the one in the study next door (above), though the hearth tiles are green rather than red (I still need to strip and clean these red tiles by the way). I was worried that the hood was going to be missing as I couldn’t see how the fireplace could be boarded up flat as the hood projects outward slightly.

IMG_4491The board came off quite easily and I was glad to see that the decorative hood was still in place. It seems to close flatter than the one in the study.

IMG_4492I removed the wooden frame and the grate and prepared myself for lots of dust, soot, and the odd bird skeleton. There was nothing.

IMG_4493I shone a torch up the flue and discovered that it has been blocked up at some point in the past. There is a flat piece of board, or perhaps linoleum, sitting at the top of the flue. I dare not remove it and am happy that it should remain blocked for now.

IMG_4494Large flakes of paint came off when I removed the cover and it appears that the fireplace is made of metal with a black speckled enamel coating. I am not keep to strip the fireplace at this point so it will be repainted white.





My Study


P and T the decorators have been working hard. After 13 months I finally have a study again, rather than the kitchen table! The walls are painted in Farrow and Ball’s London Stone and the frieze above the picture rail is Dimity. I would show you the rest of the room but only this corner is finished. Plus the contents of the master bedroom have been disgorged into this room as the bedroom is still being decorated. More to follow.

October Update

Quite a lot has been going on here so I will try to catch you up.


On Build Day #102, A1 and A2 were here. The casement window for the top floor bedroom was finished. The aerial cable was reattached to the house, a mesh cage was fitted to the downpipe to stop leaves, the exterior light was adjusted, plaster was patched on the top floor, beading was placed on the french windows,  and the dining room fireplace hearth was cemented ready for tiles or slate. The range cooker kick plate was fitted. The leak under the sink was fixed. Other windows were eased. The coal store was insulated and boarded where the future doorway has been cut out. A shelf was built in the airing cupboard.

On Day #103, P and T the decorators re-coated the front door and painted the casement, ready for fitting.

We then had a week off as our friends Michelle and Margaret from Australia stayed with us.


We went into town and visited the new Richard III museum. King Richard III’s grave was rediscovered under a Leicester car park in 2013 after having been lost for hundreds of years. The car park was once the site of a great Franciscan friary where Richard was buried following his defeat at the Battle of Bosworth. His death saw the end of the Plantagenet kings and the beginning of the Tudor dynasty.


Leicester’s medieval Guild Hall.

1962676_290986174441868_4906089542144347053_nIt dates to the 1300s.


On another day we went to Market Harborough.


Also Foxton Locks: a staircase of 10 canal locks on the Grand Union Canal, the largest canal staircase in the English canal system.

IMG_5004It was great to see how the narrowboats go from lock to lock in order to negotiate the steep hill.

IMG_5005We drove through the countryside of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire stopping at villages along the way.

IMG_5079In Weston by Welland, purely by chance, we discovered four generations of my ancestors buried in the churchyard!

IMG_5102The village of Medbourne.

IMG_5148The beautiful Georgian town of Stamford.

IMG_5266Burghley House. It was great to see Michelle and Margaret and do some things that were non-house related.

On Day #104, A1 and S the carpenters fitted the casement window, eased some windows and doors and finalised other carpenter related things.

Day #105 saw JB and A2 investigate a couple of problems – a squeak had developed where the tiles meet the shower base in the en suite.


It also became clear that there was some sort of leak from the en suite shower as a water stain had been slowly growing on the ceiling of the entrance hall below.


The water theme continued with the discovery that the vanity tops in the en suite were taking in water somehow and were swelling and cracking! A2 disassembled the vanity units and removed the ruined tops. We are going to have them re-made in quartz, which will repel any future leaks. The cause of the leak, located in the waste pipes from the basins, will also be sealed.


On Days #106 and #107, A2 and D were here finishing up the last few jobs. They siliconed around the external front light, replaced the exhaust grill in the en suite, repaired the leaky gutter and downpipe, fixed a draught in the creepy eaves cupboard, and cleared away rubbish. G the tiler investigated the squeaky tiles, raked out the grout and replaced it with silicone. The recesses in the shower were also resealed as we think that’s where the leak is coming from.

This basically means that the build has come to an end! There are a couple more jobs to finish off and that will be it for Stage 1.


The threshold into the kitchen (pictured with Oliver’s catnip-mouse) will need to be glued down once we have had the terrazzo restored.



The basins in the en suite will need to be refitted when the new quartz tops arrive, and there are a couple of paint splashes on the front tiled gable to clean off and some touching up to do but this has to wait for the wasps in the nest in the bay window roof to die off in the winter – the wasps were a bit aggressive when A2 climbed the ladder to complete those final tasks.

Day #108, today, saw the return of P and T, the decorators! They are working on the lounge, study, master bedroom, toilet and bathroom.

IMG_4373I had them sign their names on the lounge room wall.

IMG_4374It’s right next to L Johnson’s signature, the decorator from 1935.

IMG_4370It’s already looking brighter in the lounge.

IMG_4371I can’t wait for the orange and powder blue to go!

IMG_4372I love how quick decorators are and how much this final work transforms the room.

IMG_4388The bathroom and toilet are also prepped and ready for painting on Monday.

IMG_4386As is my study.

IMG_4387I had the electricians replace the light that was fitted before – it looks much better.

IMG_4381Also yesterday the number and name plate was fitted by A2 next to the front door. This reinstates the house’s original name.