Sunday, 14 February 2010

June/July 2006 Part 5

25 June 2006
I painted the ceiling in the bathroom and it just took ages as I struggled to reach all the edges and corners with a brush. I would never have been able to do the main part without the long handled roller, but unfortunately the roller kept locking and then left scratches in the paint. This meant taking even longer as I had to keep going over the marks. Sadly it still needs another coat tomorrow; as it needs five hours to dry today was of the question. Later I covered and protected the wooden floor in the spare room so I could work on the walls. I rubbed down all areas where I had re-plastered - white dust all over the place again! I just wish I could work faster as I want to do so much more before Nigel arrives!

26 June 2006
I finished the ceiling in our bathroom, if you don’t put on the light it looks OK!! I painted the primer on the two bathroom shelves then had a shower and went to do some shopping. I came home and sprayed the stinging nettles that were all over the garden, I was feeling quite murderous while attacking them as they had done a certain amount of damage to my legs and arms over the past week or so!! I then moved the double bed and the wardrobe from the lounge to our bedroom. Luckily for me the double bed was bought in Rhodesia when I lived there, at the time it was called Nomadic furniture and it came to pieces for easy moving. I managed to put one coat of paint on the ceiling in the spare room; it still needed a second coat which hopefully I can get done tomorrow. Also did all the primer on the new wood around the house. By then it was 21h45 and I had not eaten yet. I just about had the energy left to do some scrambled egg on toast! I did not tell Nigel that I had moved the bed and the wardrobe when he phoned; I decided to keep a few surprises in store. I just hope that he thinks my rustic work is not too rustic! What else can you expect with a house 200 plus years old and no straight walls!!

27 June 2006
In the morning I painted the basecoat on the wood that I did with the primer yesterday. I then cooked at lunch time so I would not end up like yesterday too tired to do anything, Afterwards I started wallpapering the kitchen, due to the height I struggled a bit but I managed to get up four drops eventually.

28 June 2006
Today I did all the gloss paint on the skirting and door frames in the spare room, also the two shelves in the bathrooms. The second smaller WC is going to be a pain to wallpaper with the shelf there. I did try to undo the screws but they just would not move, I thought it would be easier to paint with the shelf off of the brackets but no such luck. I finished wallpapering the kitchen all but two drops which are relatively easy ones. I eat early this evening which was just as well as I only finished papering at 22h00 with the light starting to go.

29 June 2006
Yippee, I finished papering the kitchen. I then did most of the papering in the spare bedroom. This was pretty easy going with few complications, only one light switch and two wall plugs to work around. I plan on finishing there tomorrow if my back will let me; it was complaining bitterly that I was over doing it today. David came over and gave me his email address and telephone number. He says he is happy to keep and eye on the garden and cut the grass and the hedges while we are away. It really is good to know that someone will keep an eye on things while we are absent.

30 June 2006
I finished papering the spare bedroom and then papered a bit in the hall. I cleaned all the old wall paper off in the second WC only to find the wall was very black behind it. I will have to treat it all with the mould cleaner. Later I went to do some shopping and get a spare key cut for David to use.

01 July 2006
I cleaned most of the old paper off of the lounge last night finishing at 22h30; I then only slept to 03h00!! At 04h00 I decided I might as well get up, so by 06h15 I had finished removing the remaining wall paper in the lounge and had the washing on the line. I then painted the wall paper in the spare room; this is my surprise room as I have still not told Nigel that I have been working in there. The room is now almost finished all but the door which I will probably leave. I still need to clean the wooden floor when I take up the protecting sheets of paper. I painted one wall in the kitchen but my right hand decided that it was time then to give up so it will be finished off tomorrow. It was then time to cook dinner and have an early night to try and catch up on ‘the lack of’ last night.

3 July 2006
I lost track of yesterday so there was no entry!! I did finish putting everything in the spare room and put the folding beds up, it looks like a ‘real’ spare room now. Cleaned the ceiling in the kitchen, usual story it took much longer than planned!! I finished painting the kitchen but the un-papered part needs another coat. I then papered in the hallway until ready to fall into bed. This morning I thought that I would do another quick job taking off the wall paper in the second bathroom. Another funny joke played on me!! It took the whole morning and I had to literally scrape off every single square inch. If it had not been for the special liquid David had given me I would have definitely given up. When I spoke to David and his wife Florence in the evening they said that they were sure that water resistant paper or glue would have been used in there hence the problem. Anyway it was finally all off. I finished using up the mixed paper glue, the hall looks great. There is enough paper left from the kitchen to do the bathroom. The one wall has a crack though that needs sorting out first. I planned to paint the passage wall that I had papered tomorrow, then try to tidy up for Nigel’s arrival on Wednesday. We had used an embossed, texture wall paper throughout the house that could be painted; it was great for covering up any flaws in the plaster! Each room was painted a different colour but they were all light colours as we needed to brighten the house up, previously the wall paper was dark and flowery and the passage was mid-night blue.

4 July 2006
I went around the skirting in the lounge with polyfilla. I then painted the hall so far as I could and put one coat of paint on part of the ceiling. I had to fill some holes in the other wall where a partition had been taken down, so it could only be painted when the ‘filla’ was dry. I zapped around the garden with the weedeater (strimmer) and threw a bucket of water over the car which was still covered with bits from where the builders had been working! I generally cleaned and tidied up so it looked tidy for Nigel’s arrival. My back was not feeling very happy today just hope it holds out till I get back to see the chiropractor.

5 July 2006
So much for my plan of a good nights sleep! I went to sleep at around 21h15 with thunder rolling around only to be woken up at 21h55 thinking that the whole house was going to come down on me! Even by South African standards this was a horrendous storm. I think the thunder went on for well over an hour non stop and the lightening was also continuous with it. It was like having a huge light on all the time with a slight flicker to it. Thank goodness for the shutters, this at least kept the flashing lights from inside the house. I had to get up and close the bathroom and toilet windows as although they are well under the eaves a gale was blowing through them causing the doors to rattle like mad. Water and leaves came under both back and front door but not a huge amount. The barn door did not appear to be a problem which was my main concern as the wall paper was stored in there. The barn roof though was a different matter and along the top of the ridge it was leaking quite badly and the new floor in the barn over the second bedroom was very wet as was the insulation over the hatch. There were also quite a few other damp spots but nothing I could do at that stage. Eventually I went back to sleep only to wake up with a strong smell of drains in the bedroom. The drain from David’s house at that stage was not far from our bedroom window and was overflowing!!! He has since put in a new septic tank and that problem is now solved. In the morning all was peace and calm and the water had drained away. I opened all the windows in the house and allowed the fresh air through; it soon cleared out any remaining smells and dried out the necessary areas. There were lots of branches lying around in the roads when I went to LeClerk, where I bought some air freshener among other things so we could control any possible repeat of last nights smells! Nigel sent a text to say the taxi he had booked did not turn up to take him to the station but he had managed to get another one and was on the train heading for the airport. A further text arrived to say he was at Southampton and checked in but due to the weather all planes were late.

My back was feeling much happier today so all the exercises I did last night must have paid off!

Having not driven to the airport at Limoges before I missed the turn off and had to go many kilometres before I could turn around. I arrived at the airport with no time to spare but the plane was 25 mins late so I had a chance to get my act together before Nigel came through the exit. He had a quick look around the house when we got home while I cooked the dinner. He seemed to be suitably impressed with all that I had done.

6 July 2002
After breakfast Nigel started sanding down the barn doors until the rain put a stop to his activities. We’d had no rain during the day since I had been there; it had obviously waited for Nigel to arrive! We went to the hardware to get some more belts for the sander but they did not have the right size!! We did buy a couple of boxes of wine (essential part of meals in France) from Leclerc before coming home for lunch. Meanwhile it was still drizzling lightly. We then headed in the opposite direction to anther hardware in the afternoon and managed to get the correct sanding belts there. The builder phoned to say he would only get to see Nigel tomorrow morning and as we leave to drive home the next day, yet again the few jobs he still had to do will obviously not get done.

The diary went some how amiss over the last day as we rushed around. Nigel managed to finish rubbing down the barn doors and succeeded in getting one coat of paint on them for protection. We then packed up the car ready for our return to the UK on the 8th.

I plan to return September 1 for a couple of weeks on my own, simply to take over another car load of items to be moved and to paint as much as I can while there.


  1. My goodness I feel worn out just reading about your work. I really admire you. I was hoping to hear that Nigel was overjoyed with your efforts but I guess men are not that emotional.

    1. diane Nigel was in fact always appreciative of what I had done, it always upset him though that I was doing the work here, while he had the relatively cushy job of sitting at a desk earning the money we so badly needed. I could never have earned a salary like he could being a professional. I did enjoy the work though so it was no real hardship, other than rubbing down the ceiling in our very high bedroom which I hated, I was snow white for days with all the dust :-) Diane

  2. You've really worked hard but I know you are enjoying the results!

    1. Lavender Dreamer, the results have been worth every bit of effort put into it. Thanks for the comment Diane

  3. You are truly a hard little worker bee! It's so interesting to see what you and Nigel are accomplishing! :)

    1. It was all worth it, we love our "new" home - well 12 years now!!!! Thanks for the comment Diane


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