Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Why I have not been very visible!!

Apart from trying to catch up with the 1001 things that needed doing after being away over winter, including getting the garden ready for spring planting, I have been learning how to put in ceilings! I asked a friend last year if he would help me, not knowing at the time what a hard taskmaster he would be!! His day started just after 08h00, with a typical 2 hour lunch break, but then he worked flat out until after 19h00!! During his lunch break, I  went on working to get the garden back into some sort of order. These were  long days for me! When work finally came to a halt in the evening, we would sit down with a bottle of pastis between us, discussing what we would be doing the next day. I would then phone Nigel to let him know how things were going and quite often just fell into bed, too tired to get a meal for myself.

The ceiling, with thick insulation, has gone into our barn under the roof, which will help warm the lower part of the barn, where the lounge and a bedroom are. When we have saved a bit more money, we hope to turn the upper part of the barn into another spare room and two offices, one for each of us. Mine will be for sewing and painting in my spare time (what spare time!).

You can see from the photos how my days passed, and my blog almost came to a standstill from lack of time.
 
This is  how it all looked before starting; I hope this bit will
 become a spare room.
Putting up the stabilisers, to which the ceiling boards will be attached.
In goes the 300mm insulation; great for keeping heat in, but I hate to work with it - it gets into everywhere! Parts of the work here on the right were 6 metres (19 feet) above the barn floor, great care was needed!
Finally, up go the ceiling boards; phew, I did not realise how heavy they are!!
This is the 180 year old roof that will be over Nigel's office
Stabilisers and insulation fitted; ceiling going up.
Showing the beams in 'my office', you can see clearly here that nothing is straight and life is very complicated because of it!!!
 Finally, after 6 days, we had it all finished, and I was a much wiser (and more tired) person at the end of it all.

If you look carefully above on the beam on the right, you will see a small bird sitting there.  It is a Black Redstart; we have two of them who have apparently decided the insulation will make great nesting material!!  They have discovered they can get in both above and below the  main barn doors and have starting removing bits of insulation and scattering it all over the place.  Today we have tried to block off  the largest gaps, but whether we have succeeded, only time will tell.  Dear little birds but..........

Thankfully we had  the ceiling work finished before Nigel flew over 15 April, but it was a very tired lady who drove to the airport. 

We had a visitor soon after Nigel's arrival, and although I have seen the Green Lizards fleetingly in the garden, I have never seen them near the house.  This photo was taken through the glass in the passage door, so as not to cause alarm and flight. We had a good view through binoculars, although the tail was hidden.


84 comments:

  1. I love reading you on your blog !
    It's like tv show.
    Cheers
    Sébastien

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  2. Looks as though you're making progress, and yes those ceiling boards are heavy!!! I suppose there's enough insulation to spare for those birds though?

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  3. You have worked your hiney off girl. I can't believe you've been doing that kind of work. It looks good though. And a good feeling to have it behind you. Your critter is such a bright green. hope you have a good day.

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  4. Well done Diane!

    You are indeed a lady of many talents. I hope you enjoy your time with Nigel.

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  5. Thanks Sébastien, glad you enjoy it. Thanks for the phone call at the weekend. Cheers Diane

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  6. Jan there may well be enough for the birds but they are making such a mess!!!! Diane

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  7. Becca, you are right, I don't think I have ever worked so hard in my life!!! That lizard was beautiful. Take care Diane

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  8. GaunorB, not sure about the many talents but I will give anything a try!! Diane

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  9. Hi Diane, your exploits never cease to amaze me. I couldn't even begin to imagine being able to put in a ceiling in 6 days. I hope on the seventh day you rested! Love the photos too. :-)

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  10. Hi Diane ... Oh my word , what a busy busy lady you have been ... you are better than me , not sure I could attempt to do that work .. so WELL DONE have a wonderful weekend and time with Nige. xx

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  11. YOu are quite a brave girl... I can't imagine doing a ceiling... fear of ladders makes just getting to the high bits on the wall unpleasant. It will be a great office in that beautiful building... lucky husband!

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  12. If only I'd known, I could have sent my Dan to help you, with his myriad skills! Of course, his French is just as bad as yours, but you could have conversed with each other. I'm glad to see you making progress on your ceiling, and hope it's finished soon!

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  13. Nice work! It sounds exhausting!

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  14. Fantastic look and love the bird. I think they are scouting for a nice place to warm themselves in the wintertime. Glad you found some time to write down. Have fun with your work and enjoy!

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  15. It looks much better and of course will be warmer in winter, cooler in summer.

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  16. Hi Dianne,so nice to see you posting again! My,you have been working hard! I think you are going to have great times working in your new office!

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  17. Wow! You have been doin a lot! Congradulations, it looks good :)

    I have been away from blogging too recently, and am now back in business :)

    Feel free to reply on my blog :)

    Cheers,

    Yasmin

    www.tickle-your-tastebuds.blogspot.com

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  18. Froggie I am still waiting for the seventh day, it has not happened yet!! Diane

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  19. Thanks Anne, hope the weather keeps up as we have friends coming for a barbecue. Maybe I will get a change to relax while Nigel does the cooking!! Diane

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  20. lostpastremembered, heights do not worry me. Strange as my Dad hated ladders so not sure where I got it from. Nigel being very tall is also not happy with heights as his balance is not fantastic, it is a good job I don't have a problem!! Diane

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  21. Marjie I could have done with Dan's help. He can come over and help me with the stud walls please :-) Diane

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  22. Thanks Elle for your visit, yes it was exhausting to say the least of it!! Diane

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  23. Hi Sailor, the bird is really cute and I would have let them be but the mess they made was incredible. Each day the floor in the barn looked like it had been hit by WW1. I have enough to-do without cleaning up behind they twice a day! LOL Diane

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  24. Nadege I hope there will be a huge improvement in temperatures. Being a stone building it takes a lot to warm it up so I hope the insulation helps. Diane

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  25. Liesl still be sometime before we will be in the offices. Floor still to be done, electrics and the walls!! We will get there eventually. Diane

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  26. Yasmin, I hope to get back to normal quite soon but while Nigel is here my blogs may be on a 'go slow'. Diane

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  27. Hi Diane... I can't believe how hard you have worked not only in the garden but putting up the ceiling insulation.
    You definitely deserve some pampering and a few glasses of something cool and pink!

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  28. Craig I can't believe how hard I have worked either LOL. Now looking out over the garden I see the grass needs cutting again despite the fact we have had no rain. It never seems to stop!! Diane

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  29. My dear Diane,
    I love this loft!
    I wish you great courage and patience!
    Sorry that, until to the end of April, I will not visit your blog, because will traveling.
    I wish you Happy Easter!!!
    Amitie

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  30. Magda, Have a great Easter and enjoy your travels. We will be in touch on your return. Take care. Diane

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  31. Quelle réalisation. Je suis admirative devant tout ce travail accompli. BRAVO!!
    A très bientôt.

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  32. I love seeing the blow by blow of your ceilings. My husb and I are painting our bedroom at our beach house. One way to spend your Easter hols but it is going to be oh so French when we finish.

    Thanks for visiting Rome. Italy's a mad place, esp Rome, but it is a place to see!

    Denise<3

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  33. What a beautiful emerald lizard. What is his name? :) Diane, you and your husband are quite heroic with your roof building. Here, I'm serious.

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  34. I guess you got a job done and probably well-done at that. I have been in, around and through barns of all types over here and fell out of them but never thought of making one into a home. Talking about drafts of wind -- wow. I used to climb the beams when I was a kid to get squabs for the dinner table. We also got the adults who were sitting on the next when they began to fly I'd throw up a grain sack and they'd fly into it and then fall to the hay where I got them. I would only do this when my mother said she was hungry for some meat and we had no chickens to eat.

    Times were hard for those of us, in Ohio, during the War.

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  35. Bravo Diane pour cette entrprise qui vous donnera bien du confort ! Mais quel travail, vous avez bien du courage. Et le lézard vert ets une belle récompense! Moi je ne vois que lorsqu'ils sont déjà bien cachés!
    Bonne fêtes de Pâques en famille.

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  36. Nadji, Merci, c'était difficile travail mais le résultat final est bon, je pense. Diane

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  37. Denise, I hope you enjoy your Easter going French in your Beach hut. I hope you will put some photos on your blog when you have finished it. Take care and have a good Easter, Diane

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  38. Olga that lizard was stunning. I always have to do any work that is up high, Nigel is very tall but has no balance. He stays away from ladders!! Happy Easter. Diane

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  39. I would be exhausted! My kids would be so excited to find a lizard in our garden.

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  40. Honest Abe, I can just visualise you catching food for the table in the barn. My father always told me if you are going to do a job, do it properly or not at all. I hope I have always followed his advice! Diane

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  41. Nous avons de bonne chance à voir le lézard vert. Bonne fêtes de Pâques en famille aussi. Diane

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  42. The lizard is fantastic! Glad he enjoyed posing for you, Diane! :-) Lots of work on that ceiling, but it's done now.

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  43. Pam I was excited to see the lizard. I have never seen one so still for so long. Pity he was so far away but he was beautiful. Diane

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  44. JM the lizard was a good reward :-) Yep the ceiling is done, but we still have the floor and the walls to go in once I get an electrician here. The ceiling was the worst though. Diane

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  45. The work on the barn looks fantastic. I hope it continues to go well for you. I remember from our own conversion a few years ago about the fortitude of French workmen.... Yes, a two hour lunch break, but no stopping for the rest of their day!

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  46. Diane! I got tired just from reading you, my God you have worked! And with such great results. I fuuly understand your problem with the birds, they are so cute, but can be quite dangerous too, the always nest in the most unpredictable places! I loved the lizards, so so green! While you're starting to enjoy "le printemps" I walk into the loveliest sof autumns. Kisses from the South

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  47. It looks like the barn will be a bit warmer now! You guys did a great job!

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  48. Wow Diane, now i know how you keep so fit! Your one busy person with one project after another. I should do the same 'cause I'm getting heavier every minute with all this cooking! Thanks for the reminder! Cheers!

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  49. Ian I have never worked so hard in my life. It was flat out and also manual labour with all the lifting! I am glad the the ceiling if nothing else is at least finished! Diane

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  50. Pamela, I am sure your winter is not as bad as ours, I know from when we lived in Johannesburg winter was light by comparison though we did get snow on a couple of occasions but it was short lived.
    The birds are really very cute but they just made such a mess. I decided that they could find their bedding elsewhere. So far where we have blocked up seems to be working :-) Diane

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  51. Peggy I hope all the work we have done will also warm up the two rooms in the lower part of the barn. Take care. Happy Easter. Diane

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  52. michelangelo, keeping fit is one thing but hard labour is quite another and that is what the ceiling was!!! Even digging the garden is light work by comparison. Keep well, Happy Easter. Diane

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  53. Yep!
    Something we also had to do when we moved in!
    Nothing is much more tiring than that for the back!!
    I guess you must have swallowed Panado (paracetamol) like mad!! LOL!
    good luck with the job, be careful, don't fall!
    Have a great day!
    Cheers!

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  54. Good to see you back again - looking forward to hearing about what's happening in your neck of the woods!!!

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  55. Noushka I don't waste my time taking Panado as they do not help me the slightest! The Dr has given me tablets for my back. I have to be careful with it as I broke it in a horse riding accident when I was 16!! Happy Easter. Diane

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  56. Cate I hope to be back to normal soon but still lots to do around the house and garden!!! Diane

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  57. Diane, it was great to see the photos of all the hard work. Well done, you must be so pleased with yourself and the results. Happy Easter

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  58. You most certainly have worked hard. I haven't been blogging either for a while, but that is because I am tidying up, making patchwork curtains, sorting out boxes, trying to get organised. At least you can see the roof now done, and it will be lovely to get your own space in which to work. Getting my own space is a long, long, way off!

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  59. Linda I am pleased with what we have done but there is still much to be done before we will have the rooms in use!! Happy Easter to you as well. Diane

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  60. Vera having got to the end of the ceiling there is still much to be done before I get my own space. At least the insulation (I hope) will help warm the two rooms underneath. I also brought much over with me this time and I still have a lot of unpacking to do and then try to find places to put it all. We are short of cupboards everywhere except the kitchen at this stage. We should be getting our built in cupboard in the bedroom soon so that will be a start. Happy Easter. Diane

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  61. I am extremely impressed with the fact you have been working on ceilings, I have only painted them and that was hard enough! Well done. I must say that crooked beam is gorgeous and I enjoyed your story of the little birds :) Happy Easter to you and Nigel

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  62. I get tired when I see how much work you have accomplished. I hope you'll get a bit of rest this weekend. Have a wonderful holiday. Blessings...Mary

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  63. The gecko looks beautiful. Oh project, not fun at all.. We have one coming up.. Pocket draining lol.

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  64. Insulation, makes my skin crawl to think abot it. Worked with it once and lived with an open ceiling to our attic for almost a year. Yes, birds occassionally flew through.
    You are going to enjoy these new living spaces and I look forward to updates.

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  65. Sounds like lots of work was going on there. Hopefully it's all done! Take care & Happy Easter Day to you & your family. Have fun!
    Blessings, Kristy

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  66. Joyeuses Pâques et à très bientôt.

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  67. Dear Diane - I feel exhausted just reading about all the work for the ceilings. Perhaps you could think of this as a pre-gardening work-out!

    The results look amazing. I hope you are now relaxing and getting Nigel onto the physical stuff while you supervise the work (between a little cooking and eating).

    Happy Easter, Michelle and Zebster

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  68. Happy Easter Dolly. It was hard work and I feel like the worst is over but still lots of work to do before they rooms are habitable!! Diane

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  69. Mary we are trying to rest but there is so much to be done. One day I hope we will sit back and enjoy it all!! Take care. Happy eEaster. Diane

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  70. chubskulit, you are right it is pocket draining which is why it all takes so long, we do bits as we can afford it!!Happy Easter. Diane

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  71. Mya the worst for me with insulation, no matter what I do, is it gets in my throat. This is the 3rd lot I have done and I think this was the worst. I will be glad when the rooms are finished but this could still take some time. We do bits as we can afford it. Diane

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  72. Kristy I wish it was all done but I guess for the moment it is finished. Happy Easter. Take care Diane.

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  73. Michelle, Nigel will only do physical stuff if it is at ground level! Anything over our heads is my problem. Hope that you have a very Happy Easter. Diane

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  74. Welcome back to the blogosphere and Happy Easter Diane. It was worth the wait to read about what you have been UP to and Down to. Ceilings, garden soil, all suggests that you have been tending carefully to the edges of everyday living. These physical "edges" in our lives are often overlooked even though we might unconsciously think of them as sources of comfort and stability. More importantly they define the space that is truly our own in which we hold sway. Strong roof and insulating ceiling above, and good fertile soil beneath our feet to till and make productive. Pardon the pun but...I can dig it.

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  75. Simplifried, thanks for the welcome back, love the pun LOL. You are so right, a good roof over our heads and good soil beneath our feet is really so importantt in our lives. Have a good Easter. Diane

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  76. Wow! You are one impressive lady, Diane! I hope Nigel realizes how lucky he is to have you! You're amazing; I can't imagine being up high like that doing a ceiling. It looks like you did a fantastic job and I'm wondering what you will be doing next!

    Your green buddy looks pretty cute. Happy Easter!

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  77. Pam it was fun to a certain degree doing the ceiling but it was also mighty hard work!! We were delighted to see our green friend so close to the house. Diane

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  78. Hi Dian. Happy Easter to you. I have recently changed my comment settings and I had difficulty finding which Dian and finally checking my site traffic log found it was you. Please paste the URL of your blog when you post a comment and it will show your latest post feed in my blog. I know that it is a pain but I would like to give back links to all my friends who comment in my blog and get traffic. I hope you are having a good day today.

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  79. Sorry Sailor, have tried putting them details in again. They disappeared the after the first time I did them so I was lazy afterwards!! Diane

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  80. Wow, that's a Lot of work. Yet how nice to have the work space you've worked so hard for. Cute green lizard.

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  81. Gaelyn it was hard work but it will I hope be worth it eventually. The green lizard was lovely and hung around for a while. Diane

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  82. You are one tough lady. What a job, well done.

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    1. diane Not so sure about being tough, sometimes I think I am just plain daft. If I want a job done, then I decide it has to be done right then and there!!!!!! Diane

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