February – leaps in progress!

So, we’ve just entered March (I know, how time flies) so I am a tad tardy in my blogging posts. To catch everyone up a bit I need to tell you that James and David are coming back to the UK to live and Mariery will be joining us here for an extended taste of British life! This of course has meant that it was imperative that we moved the renovations along apace as no doubt with the influx of people all work will take second place for some time. So, let’s get on with the round up of progress …


After a year of fantastic service the boiler felt a bit faint and so we had to empty the cupboard where it is and boy, what a lot of stuff emerged! Anyway, the wonderful S T Leaning gas engineers came out to check it out again, having previously resuscitated it in February 2015. All well as they fixed they fan but we are living on borrowed time but for now we have hot water and heat.

P1160930 P1160928 Paul Jennison came in and started to plaster the stairwell and the roof void – a big job and high, too! Looking up the stairs you can see that we have a nice arch and the left hand side is done.

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Before and after shots of the roof void and the completed archway – it has transformed the hallways and we are so excited about the progress. Thanks, Paul, good job.


Looking down the stairwell it is amazing to see how very light and airy the space now looks. Still lots to do but a very big boost to our spirits.

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Of course, we are not the only ones building – Madeleine spent several weeks constructing a Motte and Bailey Castle for a school competition. Chris kindly ate a pack of Tesco profiteroles in order that Madeleine could create her hill! How very selfless of him!


We rarely buy anything if we can re-cycle, so we had plenty of paints around when it came to this stage. Notice the astute use of a tea towel.


Looking good, Madeleine.

P1170021 The finished article – it really looks good. Now to get it into school.


Not to be left out, Matthew set about his latest Lego model courtesy of Great Grandma. He follows the instructions really well.


Daisy is just perfecting her raison d’etre – to be completely cute and disarming at all times. Go for it, Doodlebug!


Forward planning and measuring is always the keystone for a good finish. Chris’s notes written on a piece of tile carton.

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Of course, Chris was not idle throughout this time of extra curricular activities with the grandchildren; he was busy constructing an inset bathroom cabinet with a mirrored door – stage one.

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Stage 2 – Insert constructed and hinge and mirror fitted. The mirror was a find in the local charity shop and has had several places in the house already – this is its final position.


Ooops! I seem to be on the tilt. Never mind, you can see the mirrored cabinet in situ. It makes a lot of difference and it has such useful storage.

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I know – what have I been doing? See above the side pieces for a chair that my sister gave me last July – you just can’t rush these things. You can see the task I have ahead of me!!


Hand sanding – actually very satisfying and a good finish too!

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As this chair is going into the ‘grandchildren’s’ bedroom I have chosen grey for the side pieces and covered the seat in red.


A big well done to Madeleine who wrote and entered her 500 word story for the BBC2. Good luck.


I have started to grout the bathroom tiles and I was happy that it went so well. It didn’t take too long either.


Chris putting in the new door frame for the house bathroom. I hope that spirit level doesn’t fall on his head.


We have also had snow.


And Valentine’s Day – thank you, Chris, for my lovely flowers.


We have re-potted a lot of our trees in readiness for garden planning in the summer. Looks very colourful and all are doing well so far.


Congratulations on the upcoming wedding of Sam and Will. We are delighted to be able to celebrate this joyous event with them in April. All our love.

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Chris in his favourite position – ooer, Missus! Reinforcing the stairs as the warmth of the heating has caused some creaking. Now all fixed and quiet again. Thank you, darling.


We are delighted to have these beautiful little Long Tailed Tits visiting us daily – in fact, as you can see they come and perch on the edge of the window frames a couple of feet from us! I managed to snap this photo by standing on a chair with the camera held at arms length until they returned again. We watched them over the next few days and it became apparent that the Tits were looking for a place to build a nest. ‘Chris, I’ve had an idea …’

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‘Would you make us some bird boxes?’ So in his spare time Chris made me two bird boxes – he used an old doormat to create an extra cover for the roof, most stylish. I painted them in water based paint having first checked the risk factors of painting bird boxes on the RSPB site. Hopefully they will like these little homes.

P1160909I thought I would leave this month’s post with a picture of one of our little visitors – he/she is very welcome, as are all visitors to our new green home. As I am sitting here working on this blog a small Blue Tit has been showing a lot of interest in the bird box near our dining room window. Fingers crossed.


2 thoughts on “February – leaps in progress!”

  1. It is good to see that I am not sitting idly by and wasting time. I am somewhat concerned that Stephanie did not get planning permission for the two new residences constructed in the garden – bird boxes! She saw me sitting doing nothing and made me much more productive. I’ve just finished the rear soil pipe and basin/bath waste pipework. That has ended up well although there were one or two hiccoughs to overcome. Next stage…fitting the new toilets, new shower tray and shower and sink.

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