Tuesday 31 March 2020

Light hearted afternoon

Darren finished the cladding this morning and it's looking good. Left my phone at home on charge, so photos tomorrow.
We are starting a new project tomorrow, so this afternoon we worked on decorating the terrace.
I can't remember what I have mentioned before about it, but we have artificial grass, multi blue coloured walls, painted pots and spiky plants.

Not finished yet, but a pleasant place to sit out in the sun.

Monday 30 March 2020

Creeping upwards

Another day, another cladding picture.

It looks the same as yesterday and maybe the photo is just reversed? No, and here is the proof.

Both sides gradually appearing.
Hopefully just one more day and then we can move on to a new subject.

Sunday 29 March 2020

Left hand cladding is up

Darren worked really hard all day and the result is that one half of the side cladding is now completed.

The sun was at the wrong angle to see it properly, but work begins on the other half tomorrow so hopefully it won't be too long before we see the overall look.

Saturday 28 March 2020

Taking down the new cladding

Got back on site today and took off almost half of yesterday's cladding. It just didn't look right, so here we go again.
By 3pm it was back up again and moved about 20 mm higher. It looks better, not great but better, and its not coming off again.
I did the top cladding while Daz set to work on the side panel.

It was always going to be difficult, but he set up an ingenious cross section of battens, filled in the base with plywood and insect netting and then started to put the battens in.

I left at this time to join the queueing at the mini Tescos, but apparently it is now as high as he can reach.
Can't wait to see it tomorrow.
I also found a bit of time to start making a roofing piece to even up the top of the roof.

At the moment it is clamped and the glue is drying, so we will see if it has worked tomorrow.

Friday 27 March 2020

What have we been doing for the last week?

Well, we are social isolating on site, and trying to put the cladding up on our back window.
It has been a frustrating time and four days ago we had put it in, then our neighbour told us that we should have put in ventilation and insect screening, so we took it all down again.
Since then we have been working out how to put it back up again, and now it's done!!

These are a couple of weird angles, but this is it from a distance.

We aren't sure if it is neat enough, so might have to do a bit amending tomorrow, but once done then we can start on building the sides up.

Saturday 21 March 2020

Top floor cladding

Another exciting day today as we have finished the cladding on the top floor.
It took both of us working together all day, but really it was quite straightforward and just a patience thing.

Darren was very much in charge and I was the assistant, but I got the hang of the new nail gun and the chop saw although I kept losing my tape measure and pencil all day and then had to chase around trying to find them before the next cut was required.

Very pleased with the result and the colour will fade in the sun over the next few months, and blend in more closely with the bricks.

Friday 20 March 2020

Gardening time

What a cold and wet day it was yesterday. We decided to pack up work early and go to B and Q at Aylesbury for the afternoon.
They had a 20% off offer on all plants and I hoped to find a plant or two for the garden.

We had the whole outdoor area to ourselves and there was so much choice that we filled two trolley loads, and then had to go back round again to buy the compost.
It was great to unload it all at the plot, and we saved so much money by spending so much.
I also bought some bright turquoise and pink paint, so I spent a lot of time today painting basic black plastic pots, and then transplanting our purchases.

Meanwhile, in the real world Daz got on with cladding the top floor and I eventually found time to get upstairs and help him.

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Huge milestone today - watertight!!

The roofers were with us all day and by about 4pm we were officially watertight. Cue drumroll and celebrations.
I don't know what I was playing at, but instead of taking photos of the roof I went round the garden shooting the flowers.
It was also the day my magnolia flowered, which is almost as good as the roof.

Will be a bit more focused tomorrow.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Many deliveries today

Arrived on site nice and early and before I put my boots on the first delivery arrived. It was a stack about seven feet tall full of coily pipes topped off with cardboard boxes.

I got a stepladder to take it apart, and then we carried all of the bits indoors.
Just in time for the next delivery, which was the wood for our cladding all around the house.
The driver got his pallet carrier out and made hard work of trying to get it off the van. I started taking photos because I was so concerned that it might all over balance and fall off. He then changed his mind and we had to unload it all by hand, which took a while.

As soon as he had gone we started lifting it up and passing it on to the first floor through the front window. That took even longer and very tiring, so time for a tea break.

Afterwards I checked that the local tip was open, loaded up the car with rubbish and drove to it.
Got there and found out that it had closed, but is opening again in two days time, so we are now driving around with a very full car and no passenger seat. No, I am not going to unload it all and then put it all back in again.
Then another smaller wood delivery, and then something else in a huge box that was taller and wider than me. Don't know what it is because I haven't opened it, but it was addressed to us.
All this on a day when I thought that things might close down, apart from the tip which actually did, so we have loads of materials and are all set for a long time.

Monday 16 March 2020

Blue cladding on the terrace

I have spent the last three or four days painting long strips of wood in five slightly different colours of blue and grey.
We have an idea for cladding the inner walls of the roof terrace, and hope that it will blend in with the colours of the sky.
This morning we spent a couple of hours trying out different sizing combinations until we had something that looked right and filled the space.

We then spent the rest of the day nail gunning it to the walls, and just before sunset we ran out of materials.

We have one more fairly small wall left to do, so I have ordered some more wood and then the painting begins again.
We are really pleased with the results so far and think that it will should look good with our artificial grass and loads of plants in pots.

Day out in London

Work on Friday and then a day out on Saturday. We had tickets booked for the Opera on Saturday night, and thought that it might be the last night out for a while, so off we went.
We decided to make a day of it so had a walk along the Thames to take in the sights.

This last one is Downing Street, but apart from a lot of police with machine guns there was nothing happening, not outside anyway.
Then we went for a few drinks with M and D before heading off to see The marriage of Figaro.
I had been looking forward to it, but in the morning I found out that it lasts for three hours.
We had great seats and it was very good, but after quite a long while my eyelids started to droop.
I woke up for half time and was still enjoying it, but I began to seriously flag after that. The plot was complicated and I slept through an important bit so after that I had no idea what was going on.

Unusually for an opera it all ended happily, but if I had been in charge I would have knocked at least an hour off the running time.

Friday 13 March 2020

All England badminton

We were expecting this event to be cancelled, but the All England badminton tournament went ahead yesterday as planned so me, Darren and Elaine made the journey to watch the action.

We sat in slightly uncomfortable seats from 11am until 8.30pm and enjoyed every minute. Thank you to Elaine for bringing the fantastic Marks and Spencer's picnic to snack on so that we did not have to leave our seats.

Not sure what happened to my hair colour in this photo compared to Elaine's, it must be a trick of the lights.
England had one pair left in the mixed doubles, Smith and Ellis and they had a great win against the fourth seeds from Japan. They then split up and played in the men's and ladies doubles and the men got through to the next round, but I think that the ladies were drawn against the number one Chinese seeds, but they went down fighting.
The most famous - possibly - badminton player of all time was in action in the men's singles and Darren took some good action photos.

Unfortunately Lin Dan is a bit of a veteran now so lost to his successor Chinese Chen Long.
Fortunately the gift shop was selling tiny tee shirts of the most famous players, so Elaine bought a Lin Dan top for her cuddly penguin. She also bought a Lee Cheong Wei tee shirt for me and I am hoping that it will fit my childhood Teddy bear.

Ps, if you haven't already guessed we took a day off from the site, leaving our roofers to finish the roof. Unfortunately it didn't turn out that way because the site Health and safety inspector decided that what they were doing was dangerous and sent them home. I am pretty mad about this.

Wednesday 11 March 2020

Woodworking room and working greenhouse

We have split our work spaces in to two and Darren has taken up occupancy of the spare bedroom. It is now a woodworking workshop and is in active use daily.

Today he was working on the area between the balcony and back window and is getting it ready for the windows.

I have got my greenhouse looking lovely and it is a great painting area and I have started growing seeds for the garden.

Monday 9 March 2020

Artificial grass terrace

Exciting day (again) today because the roofers are here to start waterproofing the roof. They made good progress today, but we are guessing that it's almost like a mini swimming pool now.
Unfortunately the minute they left it started to pour down with rain, and seven hours later it's still hasn't stopped.

Also, my sample of artificial grass for the roof terrace was delivered through the post today.

It's a little bit on the small side, but we like what we see.

Friday 6 March 2020

The roof is finished

Today Darren jigged and poked - Dave, I know that you appreciate these technical terms - and the wing part of the roof is now straight and finished.

I climbed on the roof to take a couple of photos for posterity, and it's amazing that when you look back at a picture you realise that you should have swept the floor first.

The above pictures are only of the plywood and the roofers are back on Monday to do the waterproofing and finishing.
It's very exciting and once that's done then we will be watertight.
I can't imagine what that will be like, but the mop will be sent to a very well deserved retirement home.

Wednesday 4 March 2020

Final bit of the roof

Today started well, and Darren has nearly finished the very last section of our roof. It is very high, but we have set up the tower on the balcony and tied it securely to the steel on the top floor.

He has cut all of the cross beams and we have attached them to the edge, but the steels and walls are about 20 mm out, so it will need a bit of jiggery pokery to straighten it out.

Unfortunately, the rain started up just before lunchtime so it has had to be put on hold and hopefully he will finish it tomorrow, weather permitting.