Friday, 26 February 2010

The Unexpected

Just when you think your chimney has stopped messing about with unexplained and seemingly unexplainable leaks, the flipping render starts falling off in large chunks. I think when Richard sees this he'll suddenly disappear off the face of the planet, as he likes chimneys even less than plastering. But he can't hide, wherever he is, I'll find him.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Well folks, I just got the go-ahead on some work that's been floating around for a while, so no more house for a few weeks. If you're bored in the meantime, you can check out my other blog (which is also to do with work) by clicking here.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

That Ceiling Feeling Again

Using the plaster board hoist Richard left here from Arne's room....

......I could get the whole ceiling plasterboared single-handed. Lucky I remembered to measure where all the light holes needed to go, although I still managed to drill one in completely the wrong place. See if you can spot it.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Goodbye Francis and Phyllis

Unfortunately the plaster where Francis and Phyllis had signed their names all those years ago (just by the light switch in the picture) was in such a bad state it was beyond saving and I stripped it all off. I'm sure they would have been amazed to have seen their names on this blog!

Friday, 12 February 2010

More History

When I stripped the wallpaper off in the main bedroom, I found more fascinating dates and signatures on the wall underneath. On 28 March 1967 I was living in Tunbridge Wells, aged 6 and 8 days. Francis and Phyllis Milton lived in our house, as they had done since the early 1940's. Francis signed in the same place again some 9 years later. Until recently, both were still living in the village.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Detour Into the Past

This was the scene in summer 2002 at the south-east corner of the house. A rotting, leaking, corrugated plastic-roofed porch leading into what was then a small annex (now my studio)

One winter was enough. We knocked it down the following spring and Richard built a new one. It was the beginning of an ugly friendship. Timber frame construction, with a pitched tiled roof and 4" Celotex insulation right through.

Double glazed window and door, guttering, render and a few coats of paint later, and no more -8 in that corner.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Eyesore in the Bedroom

Take a look at the old fireplace from the bedroom. It ain't actually that old, it certainly ain't Victorian, it ain't functional, beautiful or good quality. Interestingly the person who installed it chopped chunks out of the surround (which doesn't match) to fit the top of the metal part in, and chopped chunks out of the metal part to fit that stupid little shelf in at the bottom. I mean, when you're committing DIY crimes of this magnitude, at least be consistent!


Until quite recently our (that's mine and Janine's) bedroom has been the major upstairs repository for all the furniture and other rubbish that's been cleared out of everywhere else. It is now substantially empty again. Much of the stuff went back into Arne's room, but as for the rest.... Don't ask me, I've lost track.

First of all, just painting it a different colour would be far too simple. We have to go making a blooming great mess again by stripping all the plaster off the chimney breast to expose the bricks which we think will look nice.

The fireplace was bricked up and full of rubble.

Clearing that lot out was no fun.....

As you can see, the dust mask which was my first and only line of defense against the clouds of black filth which spewed out every time I so much as poked a cotton bud into the mess, did not stop all of it from reaching the parts I would have preferred it not to.

Monday, 8 February 2010


Arne got a pucker football table for Christmas from his wonderful parents. It makes quite a feature in the room.

The least he could do really is to let us win occasionally....

.....But the fact that he almost always beats me 10-9 or 10-8 leads me to conclude that he's just toying with me.