It’s been a gorgeous week up here (well, apart from a bit of rain yesterday) – and we’ve been mainly stuck inside with sanding blocks!

So what have we been up to?  David got started with the cupboard on the landing, but Rembrand didn’t have all the wood he needed to finish it, so he had to order some of it for delivery on Thursday, and then Rembrand’s lorry broke down, so we didn’t get delivery until Friday, when he wasn’t here.  In some ways that’s not a bad thing, as what we didn’t realise is that the heating manifold does generate a fair bit of warmth and the first set of doors he’s made have warped – so that’s his first issue to sort out when he’s back next week.  The size is perfect though, I was worried it was going to make the landing too cramped, but I don’t even notice it’s there when I’m walking through.

The skirting boards and dado rails are all on and I can’t believe what a huge difference it’s made to the bedrooms in terms of them looking closer to being finished.

Door surrounds are going on.

David’s attention to detail is wonderful.  Like these little blocks the door frames are sitting on (photo makes it look wonky, it isn’t!) and the way the return for the fireplace has been cut to follow the outline of the stone.

While David’s been doing wonderful things with wood, Mick and I have been turning ourselves into a pair of gargoyles sanding and skimming the plastering.

I’ve also attacked the stairs again.  I think I’m on my 6th sheet for the big orbital sander now, but the wood is slowly coming through.  I love the wear on the top of the newel post from all the years of hands on it.

I gritted my teeth today and plastered the landing.  I’d been putting it off because the coombed ceiling means that I have to lean forwards or backwards slightly to get my head under the sloped bit.  That means leaning over the stairs and my legs start shaking because I don’t do heights!  So Mick put the platform he’d used to get the plasterboard up back together and knowing that was there to stop me taking the express route to the bottom of the stairs if I lost my balance meant I could do the rest of it fine.

However, there was one join that needed doing over the stairs themselves.  I had it all set up ready to go and then Mick called up the stairs, ‘Remember, step off sideways, not forwards or back!’ and my nerve went and I wimped out!!  He’s going to do it tomorrow.

Why didn’t he do it straight away?  Because he was PAINTING!  Yes, we finally have some paint on the kitchen wall.  Only a diluted undercoat (the plasterboard soaks up a lot, so the first layer is 50:50 paint and water), but it feels like we’ve finally moved onto a new stage.  While Mick got busy with the roller, I took the leaflets I’d been given by Riverside Replicas when I was in there looking at furniture on Wednesday, plus a pile of newspapers and magazines, and started to lay out the furniture sizes on the floor.  It quickly became apparent that of the two ranges I liked, only one was going to work for the bedrooms, as the headboards for the beds on the other were too tall to go against the wall on the coombed sides!

Double bedroom – the ‘bed’ is a bit off-centre here, but I couldn’t be bothered to move it all again.  5’0 double bed and two bedside tables, small wardrobe on the fireplace wall, 2-over-3 chest of drawers by the door, mirror will probably go on the wall opposite the fireplace.

Single room – 3’0 single bed, bedside table, 2-over-3 chest of drawers, mirror on end wall by door.  I’ve checked and an average-sized adult should be able to get out of bed without banging their head.  I’ve messed up a bit here, I should have put the power socket and TV/ethernet connection on the other side so I could put the bed under the coomb.  However, it’s likely to be a child sleeping in here when it’s used.

Twin room – this is the one where I was really worried about it all fitting in, but I think I’ve managed it.  Two 3’0 beds, two bedside tables, small wardrobe, 3-drawer chest of drawers and a full-length cheval mirror will go where the black bag is.  (Must take that toilet to the tip – we’ve decided to start fresh).

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