Post Stage 2 Saturday


You didn’t think it was over did you? On Saturday morning, D the plasterer came by to apply the render to the external wall of the new conversion. Ruby watched as he masked up the area. An hour or so after he began the doorbell rang, and when I answered it there was D – doubled over with blood coming from his hands and legs. He explained that his ladder had tipped over and he had fallen while he was doing the render on the very top part of the wall. I established whether or not he had hit his head (no) and whether he thought he needed a doctor or ambulance (no), and then applied first aid to his cuts. Both his shins had horizontal cuts and bruises where he had hit the ladder, and the skin on the side of his left hand had been sheared off. The most worrying part was that he thought he had hurt his back. He was also very pale from the shock. He sat down for a while and said that he was feeling a bit better. Then he got back on the ladder and finished the job! I told him he should go home but he wanted to finish it. There was a spectacular hand-print slide on the rendered panel where he must have tried to prevent his fall.


By the time he finished it was a perfect job. It just needs painting now.

IMG_2890I cleaned and organised the top floor bathroom.

IMG_2889The shower looks great and the water pressure is much better than the shower it replaced.

IMG_2893Basin unit with the mirror and shelf I installed almost two years ago when we first moved in.

IMG_2901Then we planted out the garden beds. There are lavender, foxgloves, hydrangeas, weigela, bluebeard, Japanese Anemones, and a Japanese Maple.

IMG_2903I will report on garden growth at regular intervals.

IMG_2905Looking good.

IMG_2899Around the side will be the next area we plant – ferns and perhaps a dwarf rhododendron.




Stage 2, Day 32

On Day 32 T the decorator continued work. I didn’t take pictures as it was mainly more undercoats on the woodwork.

IMG_2634The outside wall got its first coat of render, called the scratch coat.

IMG_2641And P the plumber began the second fix. Radiator in the utility.

IMG_2636Toilet starting to go in.

IMG_2639The little basin.


IMG_2637High-level cistern.

IMG_2640And radiator. I was concerned that this room might be too cramped but it all fits in neatly, making the most of the available space.


Stage 2, Day 20

The end of week four.


Oliver’s official name is Sentabali Top Drawer, but he seems to prefer the easy access to the bottom drawer here. He and his sisters spent the morning in the bedroom again while top floor work was carried out.

IMG_1953The creepy/spooky cupboard continued its makeover.

IMG_1959Plaster bonding coat.

IMG_1969Skimmed. No sign that there was ever a header tank in this room.


This is where, last year, I found the newspaper sheets from 1928.

IMG_1971The cupboard ceiling and wall were skimmed too. Not spooky anymore.

IMG_1977The plasterer even did patching he wasn’t asked to do! Here, just outside the door where the old pipes used to run into the roof header tank.

IMG_1850This wall in the cupboard was just going to be decorated over. You can see the old wallpaper and the original gas pipe for the lighting.

IMG_1970All gone!

IMG_1851Some more old wallpaper from this room. Pre-1928.

IMG_1976The ply was laid in the top floor bathroom.

IMG_1972Wiring for the shower. I have never quite understood why it is illegal in Britain to have electric switches and sockets in a bathroom but they’ll let you stand naked in a metal framed cubicle with water running all over you that is heated in an electrified box three inches from your body. For a country terrified of electrocution they seem to be taking some pretty big risks.

IMG_1975Skim coat to patch the other wall. The shower I bought that was too small is now on eBay. So far I have one bid.


The cats got their first view of the extension this afternoon. Oliver was the first downstairs; he was too busy sniffing the tools to notice the doorway was open.


IMG_1984And first over the threshold. The moment after this picture he leapt into the air when the plywood creaked under his weight.

IMG_1989Ruby was next.

IMG_1996Up on the window sill within moments.


And finally Rose. As you can see the ply hasĀ  been cut for the utility and toilet. A few more screws to be fitted tomorrow and then it will be ready for the tiler first thing Monday morning.


Do you remember me telling you about the men in vans who drive by the skip and scavenge metal? Today I found out from JB what they are called in the trade: skip rats.