Thursday, 24 February 2011

Getting plastered

This isn't a job I enjoy! And I'm always going on about it, and because I'm so slow at it I always seem to be doing it! Taping and plastering. Most of the joints in the plaster board were taped and plastered but some of most of the corners got left so now we're going back  and finishing off  'properly!'  Only not so properly as I'm not very good at it, and after the morning spent in the stairwell on a platform on a ladder I frightened myself by looking in the mirror - and wondered
if Annie Lennox had been doing a spot of decorating when she had this taken.
And while on a messy note, in the afternoon my new bread maker arrived
It's ever so nice, if a little on the large side. We'll have to take turns to be in the kitchen! We shall make it a shelf  to stand on so I can get my work top back! And at around midnight after a somewhat plastery and floury day I produced my first loaf of bread
It tasted wonderful. I know this because I had to have a slice with butter. The ability to make fresh bread every day is not going to be very good for my diet. That's flour on the loaf, not plaster, though in truth there doesn't seem to be very much difference between the two - a small amount goes a long way!

Monday, 21 February 2011

A day off

Yesterday afternoon, we ran walked slowly up the hill behind our house.
 We took lots of rests on the way - to take photos I said, not because I needed to get my breath back.  We looked down on our neighbours, figuratively speaking that is
 There's a peace up in the hills, Not a tin of paint anywhere to be seen, nor a paintbrush, nor planks of wood flooring waiting to be laid nor even a shower room floor needing to be fixed - just silence and views. An incredible feeling of being in another world where house jobs are unimportant and can wait until tomorrow.
 Once there was a forest up here
 gnarled old tree roots, some thousand years old I've been told, litter the ground
Tree monsters frozen in time, some sad
others happier, enjoying the late afternoon sun
At the top we look over to the amazing An Teallach. Did I really get up there last spring! I did, and I really really want to go back and complete the walk we didn't finish. This is a mountain that truly is worth making the effort for - need to eat less and exercise  more
Snow still  stays  on the mountain tops

I should have put the wide angle lens on the camera, instead I took a lens I normally use for close up pictures. A reason to  come back, and all it takes is walking out of the front door and going upwards,  but first I must finish painting the stairwell!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The good and the bad

This is all you need
to do this!
We've known for a while the shower room wasn't right. The smell of wet plaster when taking a shower is an  indication all is not well on the water front! It has been a bit disheartening to take up tiles that were only laid two years ago!  but at least we've found the problem and while some of the plaster board is soggy it is 'fixable' We should have taken more care to ensure the join between the wall and floor was really watertight. I think so much was going on at the time we didn't oversee the work properly. Now we have got a waterproof membrane to put down before re-tiling. Fortunately it isn't a big area to repair. All will be well!
Helen Wonder Woman flew in for four and a half days of intensive 'house fixing.'  She's very good! She has done masses of painting and tiling and gardening and is such a good encourager when we get a bit down.  Is that Niels kneeling at her feet? No, I think he's trying to change the disc on the angle grinder and wonder where the key for it might have gone!
The good bit and the bad bit - I hope you can see which is which?
We did allow Helen time off for hard work and good behaviour. We went for a very tasty meal at the Ceilidh Place in Ullapool with a very tasty bottle of wine which we drank very quickly - or was it just me?!
The weather today has been sunny and 'spring like.' Helen is back home now. She would have enjoyed the sunshine with maybe just a spot of weeding!   It has been ideal walking weather and that's what we should have been doing.
but the next consignment of wood flooring has arrived and I need to think about painting the stairwell before we tackle the stairs and hall floor.
The birds sense a  change in the air. The birdsong has been glorious - surround sound. It lifts the spirit as nothing else can.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Round two

The job I don't enjoy! The job that only needs doing once I keep telling myself! Some of the joints in the plasterboard got overlooked and many of the internal corners didn't get taped and plastered in our speed to get moved into the house by Christmas 2008. Now, the laborious job of making good all the overlooked areas and finishing off.
 Helen gave me these. She's coming up today to do some tiling. These little scrapers  are excellent for filling holes,  cracks and plastering over corner tape.
The rain shower that does exactly what it says on the tin. No fancy settings just warm rain, or cold, should you feel so inclined!
This time next week this will be finished!
If I just stop playing with the camera and get on!
Off to the airport shortly to get Helen. We've bought her a brand new tile cutter which will make her happy!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Walking out

Walking  gives such pleasure, To be out and up in the hills is such a privilege and I never stop feeling grateful that I can.  But, we don't walk enough.
It's just a matter of stepping outside the front door and making the effort
They think so too.
The rewards are enormous
the views breathtaking
Being put in the picture!
But you don't need to go far to see such incredible beauty and  detail nearer to the ground.
How does this happen? A patchwork of pinks greys and greens.
A rich tapestry of colours and textures
I don't think I'll ever tire of the beauty here and the almost casual way it seems to presents itself. There is so much that seems to remain unchanged and untouched - I wonder how long for? People like us move here and however unintentionally, change things.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Let there be light

It's true it was just a bit windy here yesterday, especially towards the evening, but inside it was warm and cosy.  It's difficult at times to hear the weather once in the house because of all the insulation and draft proofing. The house is enveloped in an airtight vapour membrane - A Trelleborg house from Denmark. It's funny to look back and see how the house took shape,  all the blood sweat and tears. The sleepless nights, the worry - but loads of fun too.
And it's still going on albeit at a slower pace - and it's still times! We now have skirting board like normal people have in their houses! Just laid and waiting to be painted - that's my department I understand. Anyway there I was yesterday evening feeling smug and complacent
when all the lights went out. As disasters go  a power failure is hardly worth a mention, and I wouldn't have, but it's a grand opportunity for a bit of candle light blogging.
 This pretty little candle holder casting heart shape reflections on the wall (very appropriate for February!) was bought very many years ago from the Danish church summer bazaar in London.
Good old brass candlesticks. I've had them for so long I can't remember where they came from.
And these. I love these I saw them years ago in a butcher's shop window in Denmark - would you believe it!
We were on holiday with family in a place called Blavand just north of Esbjerg. We stayed in a holiday house and my lovely sister in law Janne bought these two for me.
And these two belonged to my mother - almost certainly from Denmark as well.
My pretty little oil burner from Lochbroom Pottery along the lane.

and although this is cheating a bit, as I didn't light this in last night's power cut, I want to include it as it's almost my favourite candle holder. It was made by Niel's cousin's husband who is a glass blower and lives up in the north of Sealand in Denmark. I had a pair of these and very sadly one was broken some years ago.
When I walked around the outside of the house this morning  all was in order apart from the lid of the compost bin that had blown off and was lying in a puddle a few feet away. It reminded me of this
This caused much amusement! Seen in our local newspaper "The Ullapool News" back in 2007 even before we had moved up here. It was on the front page and I like to think the  owner of the compost bin would have been reunited with his lid!
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