Tuesday, 5 September 2017


Saturday was mostly spent peering inside beehives, and counting bees (answer: lots, broadly). They're definitely slowing down, now, for the end of the season. To help prepare the hives for that, I've prototyped a beehive cosy, which, once tested and refined, I'll be making a set of, to help keep them warm, and also protect the hives from woodpeckers (who correctly a wooden structure containing insects that are highly nutritious, and sometimes attempt to break and enter).

We managed, also, to finish painting the window frames, which is a job we came to a bit late, this year (as in, in August), but went really quickly. We've even managed to get a couple of coats on the new windows in the gable end of the preservatory, and everything's looking much smarter. However, we're struggling to get the bike shelter roof/lid painted—the primer isn't priming very effectively. Further effort will be applied.

In the garden, the lawn's been mown, which sets of the late-summer garden much better, and we pruned the apple walk's trees. There are several, now, that have reached the apex, which is great, and the structure is really obvious now. There are even a few dozen apples to pick.

Today, we got on to a job that's long been awaited, and started work re-fitting our downstairs toilet. First out were the green/brown suite (vintage 1978), which have been much disliked by us for each of the eight years we've been here. Astonishing, therefore, that it's taken us so long to get to doing this room. (In truth, it's been too useful as a room with a sink for mixing plaster and washing paint brushes: now that those jobs are mostly done seems time for the re-fit.)

The 1978 suite (© Ian 2017)

The suite came out remarkably easily, actually—I was expecting a bit of a battle—with only slight difficulty with the basin's pipes.

It is gone! (© Ian 2017)

I could then set about removing the tiles. They've been easy enough, too, with SDS chisel. There's some making-good needed around the window, and some of the plasterwork is inevitably damaged.

Radiator off wall, tiles gone (© Ian 2017)

Next is the floor (you can see I've started), which I ran out of time for before we had to load up and get the debris to the tip. The floor won't be quite as easy, but there you go: I hope once I get started, I can get the chisel under them. Once they're up, I can figure out what to do: might need a levelling screed if we re-tile the floor, but if we decide to put wood down, it'll just need a ply base. Decisions, decisions.

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