home improvements

Well it looks like the weather’s just changing here; the last couple of days have been very in and out and the temperature’s definitely cooled. Not that I suppose you care if you’re reading this in the UK after the summer (winter?) you’ve had there. But the good weather’s allowed us to catch up on some much-needed work in the garden and the house.

In the last few weeks:

– the builders have finished the work on the extension, repairing the huge crack and laying in the huge plug of concrete to prevent any further damage. They also completed the  the new pathway, replaced all the damaged roof tiles and repaired the crumbling chimney stack. The extension now looks great and the repairs are almost imperceptible:

– we’ve repainted all the external lower level of the house so it looks clean and fresh again;

– internally we’ve decorated the guest room which was looking very sad as the walls had suffered from mould problems whilst we were back in the UK. It took C and I to scrub every surface with bleach to get it all cleaned off but the results are great (even though our hands still reek of ammonia);

– following the completion of the work to the extension we at long last reclaimed our great dining room with its beautiful views and  again scrubbed off all the damp/mould infestation with strong bleach, filled all the internal cracks and have just finished redecorating and restoring all our prints and paintings. After 2.5 years of enduring problems like this:

it’s sooo great to get this resolved.

– we’ve got the pool back to normal after a lot of cleaning work. The water’s sparkling clean again and we’ve used it every day since getting it sorted. Here’s a view of it now:

– you might also be able to see that around the pool  (and also at the back of the house) we’ve dug out all the big tough clumps of grass which only get bigger and stronger when you try and strim them. My good friend Mike would liken these to the tufts of hair I used to have on the top of my head. We must have dug out nearly 200 of them and still have a way to go to rid the garden of them all. But once removed we were able to take the top layer of scrubby grass off too so the soil’s being tilled ready for landscaping hopefully later on.

– we’re now reclaiming the laurel bushes which have been over-run by brambles and weeds and creepers and are re-siting them as a screen around the pool end. Digging out the baked-hard clay soil to re-plant the laurels is a bloody task Hercules might have baulked at but we’re getting there.

– our neighbour P has just had all the rubble and mess at the back of her house buried in but before doing so we wheel-barrowed loads of it up to our place to fill in the deep gullies on our drive-way. I’ve now got arms like bloody Popeye.

– we hope to get another 2 or 3 rooms decorated before a pile of friends come out later this month and during October.  At long last the place is feeling more like our home rather than the mass of problems we bought from someone else. It’s a good feeling to compensate for the weather turning iffy. And maybe that rain will soften the soil eh! Every cloud….



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