Stage 2, Day 1

Today Stage 2 of the renovation officially began!

IMG_1384This is the current view from my kitchen window onto the servants’ courtyard – not very inspiring. This was part of the service area of the house: the Edwardian cistern collecting rainwater is to the left and there would have been a pump to utilise that water for washing. There was also access to the coal store and the servants’ toilet. No verdant views of the garden for them. In Stage One we blocked up the external doorway to this courtyard and converted the original servants’ toilet into part of the breakfast room. The covered area you can see here is going to be enclosed for a new downstairs toilet (with indoor access, unlike the one we removed!). The coal store, which is on the other side of the black door, will be converted into a utility/laundry room. The courtyard will eventually be developed into a more picturesque space, perhaps with a small tree like a Japanese Maple, or a water feature or bird bath.

IMG_1377Inside the coal store.

IMG_1380The original lath and plaster ceiling. Today we discovered a massive abandoned wasps’ nest above this.

IMG_1381The view onto the courtyard from inside the coal store.

IMG_1382Edwardian thumb latch on the coal store door.

IMG_1305On this handmade brick we can see the imprint of the brickmaker’s hobnail boot.

IMG_1391This morning Ruby was on the lookout for the builders.

IMG_1407A skip was delivered.

IMG_1409And a lot of building materials.

IMG_1412The coal store door was removed and the pavers and brick floor of the coal store dug out. If you look carefully you can see that each brick is stained with a few centimetres of coal dust that has filtered in deep between each brick. The smell of the coal was so strong that you could even smell it indoors.

IMG_1413A deep trench was dug out for the foundations of the new external wall.

IMG_1414Some new bricks were incorporated into the foundations where they were beginning to crumble at that corner.

IMG_1415The scene by the end of the day. Spot Oliver in the window. He was very brave today with all of the activity. In other news, some more blinds were fitted (pictures to follow) and the Edwardian leadlight window we are going to use for the new toilet was delivered.


7 thoughts on “Stage 2, Day 1

  1. Oh It’s Spring and this is the wonderful part. Ruby doing The First Meerkat Of Spring on that windowsill, and “spot Oliver in the window?” – he knows all the activity is merely to amuse him.
    Brick with Hobnails – OMG. the ‘convex’ has me stumped though, as does the street parking looks like LeftHandDrive. clearly I need adjusting.
    The smell of the coal is making me think how those coalmine towns/streets must have been awful. 150 years later and the Australian government still cannot be convinced to just bloody stop with the damn coal.
    Wishing you a mild and lovely Spring in every way..

    • iODyne – it’s a bizarre thing but people are allowed to park facing the wrong way on the road. It’s quite disconcerting when driving at night as you expect to see the red of the car’s rear reflectors to the left. I don’t understand your comment about the ‘convex’ though – have I missed something? Thanks for you Spring wishes – cloudy and rainy this morning…have now turned the heating off but have brought out the wooly jumpers again!

      • convex – the hobnail boot print looks like dimples instead of indentation.

        cars: when I lived in town, one hot day I reversed the car out of drive and swung tight right to get it under big tree shade on wide nature strip of a street which only had houses on my side. Other side was cemetery fence no access, or footpath, no nothing.
        Ballarat plod wrote me a $125 fine for “parking facing wrong way”. Front door was open, all lights on in house. They could have come in and warned me. I saw them and went out “but I am on my nature strip”
        “doesn’t matter, you must have been on the wrong side of the road at some point”.
        wishing him a slow death.

  2. I Feel guilty not contribution to your works. I get sooo much pleasure out of watching this wonderful old home having new life breathed into it. Go go go Scott the Builder!! Xxxxx

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