Sunday, 27 March 2016

Progress and music

I'm probably going to do this update on and off over the day. I'm sat in Room 13 at 11am ish new time having edited the videos you'll see later on and I've got a few chores to do which I'm putting off by typing this. It's been a corker of a few days, though, so I do hope you'll enjoy reading about it. Right, that's enough delaying, off to empty the humanure again.

Friday

Friday was forecast again to be cold and wet and it lived up to it. It was a bitterly cold day and the men were all wrapped up warm with hats and multiple layers. They got on without complaining though and stuck at it. I had a full friday with no paid work, finally, which was nice so we got to relax and enjoy a bit of down time.

Nasty overcast and cold day
Nasty overcast and cold day
Mesh strips around the edge of the windows
Mesh strips around the edge of the windows
Wrapped up warm in the cold wind
Wrapped up warm in the cold wind
Proud of his work
Proud of his work
Early in the day
Early in the day
Making sure the walls are straight
Making sure the walls are straight
The workmen really like the dogs
The workmen really like the dogs
I was super lazy while A was out collecting the men, though I did drag myself to the washing up bowl and get that all done before she got back. It was just cold and miserable and there was no real impetus to get moving. The workmen were out despite the weather continuing on the front of the building. This is the most complicated part as there are so many windows that need a lot of detailed work to turn around and square them up and that is what they were working on during the morning. The progress that has been achieved in one, very weather disturbed, week is incredible. The other good thing with this team is they are brilliant with the puppies and even Rambo, though he does get his sticks taken off him when he keeps dropping them on one of the builders' feet.

Putting a new cable in
Putting a new cable in
Sally chipping out the plaster
Sally chipping out the plaster
More concrete going on the walls
More concrete going on the walls
Light switch holes and channeling for cables
Light switch holes and channeling for cables
The corridor light switch position
The corridor light switch position
Ivan had to go to the dentist and I went with him as we stopped off at the carpenter on the way back as he had some sawdust for us, and I wanted to talk to him about our doors. Ivan's dentist visit wasn't very long and I had a nice relax in the car outside reading and then we popped past the carpenter. While I shoveled sawdust into bags Ivan discussed our door requirements and the outcome was that he would come out to measure up on Saturday morning. Bekir and Sally had, true to form, just got stuck in with their tasks. I distracted Bekir from chipping out the channels as I had realised, while looking through the pictures to do the update on Thursday, that the lighting cables in the porch weren't how I wanted them. He redid everything very quickly and even thought to put a chain up to hang the light fitting from. Sally was in the little rooms chipping the old plaster and putting new concrete up. He's nearly done all of this job now and only the utility room to begin. Bekir was digging the channels out for the lighting cables and plug cables as well as a channel to take power into the garage. He was at this all day and at the end it looked very much like he would be ready to install the power on Monday.

Drilling and inserting securing pins
Drilling and inserting securing pins
Insulation above the porch, from the small scaffold
Insulation above the porch, from the small scaffold
The gaps between the insulation panels are skimmed
The gaps between the insulation panels are skimmed
Working on the very top of the scaffold
Working on the very top of the scaffold
He wanted more pictures taken
He wanted more pictures taken
Near the end of the day
Near the end of the day
After the trip out with Ivan it was pretty much straight back out the door for me as I took A into town for the weekly shop and went over to the electrical supply shop while she was doing it. The puppies came with us and were pretty good while I was driving without A. I was able to get everything I wanted and didn't have to wait long for A when I got back to Kaufland. Back at the house the workmen were carrying on drilling holes to insert the securing pins and then putting mortar over to secure it all in place. It's been a long week, even with the rain interruptions, and they finished up about 5.30, just before I took the men home.

The day has a surprise for us
The day has a surprise for us
This country never ceases to amaze
This country never ceases to amaze
It's curry night, and we love it
It's curry night, and we love it
After such a completely dreary dull and grey day there was an amazing surprise right at the end of the day in the form of a glorious sunset. I spotted it as I was driving back up the hill after dropping the men off and I paused to snap a shot on my phone from the road before carrying on as I thought it may go before I could get home. I was wrong and was able to go onto the roof terrace to get some pictures and then come back down to get A up to check it out too. Stunning. Chaz had come back over during the day and popped out for a bit with Ivan and when they got back Ivan cooked up the awesome curry Chaz'd brought with him. It was very tasty. We sat up chatting until we were all tired and then bailed to bed; it was going to be a busy start to Saturday.

Saturday

It was set to be a better day on Saturday, weather wise, and also to be a really long and busy one. It turned out to be both. Onwards.

Parents' hotel through the mist
Parents' hotel through the mist
Best of furry friends
Best of furry friends
Sassy in her old position
Sassy in her old position
Rotated to a temporary home
Rotated to a temporary home
The carpenter was due to arrive by about 10am and before that there was a list of tasks to be completed. We woke up at a normal time and I got up to make brews then went outside to start sweeping up around Sassy's cage in preparation for moving it. It was a brighter morning with haze in the valley and the sun trying to break through when I went out. Sassy was up and about hopping around happily while I was sweeping and Louise went to say hello and they had a good long nose-to-nose sniff. Once I'd swept and cleared the cage I got help from the workers to shift it round 90 degrees away from the wall so they can get to said wall to insulate it.

Working together to fix the corner
Working together to fix the corner
One man on mixing duty
One man on mixing duty
Rambo loves his little black kong
Rambo loves his little black kong
The kitchen, before we cleaned
The kitchen, before we cleaned
All the stuff moved, the rubble shifted. Space.
All the stuff moved, the rubble shifted. Space.
A few units in place; two sinks in left gap, then cooker
A few units in place; two sinks in left gap, then cooker
The workmen, having helped to shift the run, went back to doing the insulation. Their plan for today was to get the first skim on, with the entire wall covered with the mesh reinforcing. First of all they applied the corner pieces and then the big skim began. Inside A and I had a brew and then we got stuck in clearing the kitchen of building rubbish. The reason for doing this is we will definitely need some extra units making and we needed to work out exactly what we would require. It didn't take long to clear and then measure and position a few existing units around gaps for the sinks and cooker, and then get the chalk on the floor to work out where the island will be. I was so amazed at how much space we will end up with in there and we'll have loads of storage too. We spent time showing Ivan and Chaz around in a virtual tour and I think they were both impressed.

The men get started applying the first skim
The men get started applying the first skim
Not that long later and it is almost completed
Not that long later and it is almost completed
It's an amazing transformation
It's an amazing transformation
With the first coat dry, they start putting the second on
With the first coat dry, they start putting the second on
Getting towards the end of the day and the second coat is nearly done
Getting towards the end of the day and the second coat is nearly done
Outside it was a day of astounding progress. The men started skimming and fitting the mesh at the far end of the wall and in the sun they went really fast. Not only that but the render went off so fast that they made a foolish promise and told Chaz they would get the second coat done as well. They weren't wrong and by the end of the working day the two skims were complete. At one point, while we were in the kitchen, you could see the render literally steaming it was so warm. The other thing that went on during the morning was the visit of the carpenter. He came with his son, who spoke some English, and we measured around for all the doors we want him to do. There was some discussion about the way we wanted them but then we agreed a price, shook on it and I paid the deposit. At some point in April we'll have all the doors for the back corridor as well a replacement for the dodgy sliding door on the guest suite bathroom. He's also measured up to replace all the doors in the top corridor but I didn't want to delay the installation of the kitchen doors so I'll give him the go ahead on them once the first order is completed.

I really like my cowboy boots
I really like my cowboy boots
During the afternoon we all headed into town to look at paint for the walls. We chose two shades, right next to each other, and got a small quantity of each to test on the wall so we can decide. We also took a turn around the market which was nice to get out for. Other than that I had a lovely relaxing afternoon playing my game and chilling out. Our evening was something that we have looked forward to all week as we were going for a meal with SandS and then going out to the Jazz Bar again to see Venko's band play. Sadly this was the last ever gig to take place there as it has been bought by someone else and they are converting the entire ground floor into a humongous 600 seat wedding venue. So sad, but never mind. When it came time to get ready I made a snap decision to wear my cowboy boots out so I gave them a scrub (they were truly filthy) and they came out OK so I wore them.

A very tasty Salad of Boss
A very tasty Salad of Boss
The Iskander kebab; superb
The Iskander kebab; superb
After we'd eaten; happy and full
After we'd eaten; happy and full
We had chosen to eat a little earlier to give us more time to relax before the gig and this turned out to be a really good decision. We reached the restaurant a little before SandS and ordered drinks but they were there after that and we settled down to a wonderful meal. A and I ordered the "chefs special" salad which seems different in every restaurant and this time it was really lovely, drenched in balsamic. After that we had the Iskander kebab which consists of toasted bread soaked in yoghurt with beef pieces over the top, and two different types of rice. There was also some very strange green stuff on the plate which I avoided. There was of course space for the super special desert and all the time we had good conversation and a great time. We left pretty much exactly when we had planned to get to the gig but there was no sense of rushing which was perfect.

This bassist is really very good
This bassist is really very good
The two fronting singers and the keyboard player sing together
The two fronting singers and the keyboard player sing together
This lady has a wonderful smoky voice
This lady has a wonderful smoky voice
Crooning away
Crooning away
Happy, and well they should be. They put on an excellent show
Happy, and well they should be. They put on an excellent show


And so onwards to the gig. Ivan was driving which was nice as it gave me the chance to have a few beers and not worry about it. We parked up easily and walked in to find that someone had sat in our reserved seats and wouldn't move when the landlady asked them to however there was just enough space to turn three empty seats into four and we settled down. The same band as had opened the gig the previous week were playing and they were on top form. The room was really busy and everyone was having a lot of fun, singing along and laughing and joking. Both of us snapped pictures through the gig and I also took a great video of a rather superb version of the band singing "Hot Stuff". It was just right, the volume was not too loud and the song choices were perfect.

The guitarist from the second band; a bit of a maestro
The guitarist from the second band; a bit of a maestro
Venko with his wife
Venko with his wife
The bassist stayed to play on this as well
The bassist stayed to play on this as well
Ripping out the riffs
Ripping out the riffs
An enthusiastic reception
An enthusiastic reception
Venko singing before he got on stage
Venko singing before he got on stage
The group photograph
The group photograph
After this band finished there was a short break while a new guitarist plugged in and then we were off once again. It appeared that this was going to be the same lineup as the previous week as it was the new guitarist who came on stage. This week there were fewer technical issues (a broken microphone on one amp caused some on stage sound problems but was resolved quickly) and the set was brilliant. It was substantially louder, both in volume and style content, compared to the first band but the crowd lapped it up and so did I. They even played a couple of Whitesnake songs and a Deep Purple track. Brilliant. At the end there was a bit of a speech again about how the place was shutting after five and a half years of fun and then a group photograph was called. The bassist from both the first bands asked us to take some pictures for them which was nice; it may only be the third time we've been but we are already recognised and accepted in this crowd. I hope they do find another venue, and soon.

Venko is quickly into his stride
Venko is quickly into his stride
The really lovely bassist leads the clapping
The really lovely bassist leads the clapping
Playing guitar and singing
Playing guitar and singing
Leaning into the beat
Leaning into the beat
Grooving with fast hands
Grooving with fast hands
Venko, front man of Olden Beat
Venko, front man of Olden Beat
Wearing his martenitsa still
Wearing his martenitsa still
I'm sticking my belly out here, honest
I'm sticking my belly out here, honest


The band finished and cleared off and Venko's group got ready to take the stage. Once again this week was just superb and they played out of their skins. Everyone was singing along and there was even dancing several times in the set. We had planned to leave at midnight but when we finally looked at our watches it was 1.30am and the barman was ready to leave so asking for us to pay the bill. The bassist from the first band gave us contact details so I can send the pictures to him which I have done while doing this update. It was a superb night and the puppies were even OK having been left that much longer than planned.

Sunday

Woah, well that took a long time, what with some distractions and me also editing down the pictures for the facebook post. It's nearly time for dinner so I'm just going to sweep through today and try and beat eating time.

Workmen outside while we sip brews inside
Workmen outside while we sip brews inside
Ivan painting the test squares on the wall
Ivan painting the test squares on the wall
Thelma playing with Rambo's toy again
Thelma playing with Rambo's toy again
Louise managed to get pigging again
Louise managed to get pigging again
Happily drilling more holes
Happily drilling more holes
Asen getting started on another wall
Asen getting started on another wall
And here we have it at the end of the day
And here we have it at the end of the day
We had a real long lie in after such a late night. The puppies weren't locked back up in their cage and they didn't disturb us at all through the night. We weren't even disturbed when the workmen started before we were up and about. We slept so long that we slept right through the tidying time and so that hasn't happened. I did empty the humanure, as I mentioned earlier, but that was about the extent of my efforts. The men were out really early and were getting on with the tasks left over for the week. There was still work to be done around the windows; the windows have really slowed us down. Mid morning we went out onto the balcony so Ivan could paint the samples on the wall for us to check out. It was not the warmest outside and I had to put a jumper on which is very unusual. The workmen were having a short day today but they still got a fair few more pins put in on the wall round the side, tidied up a few places where the skim wasn't quite right, and even started putting insulation on the wall of the flat roof. They finished up about 3pm and have enjoyed having some time off since.

A wearing my wellies
A wearing my wellies
The two options. Which do you like?
The two options. Which do you like?
Mud removed; it's not very big
Mud removed; it's not very big
Chopping it up for eating
Chopping it up for eating
Ivan put another coat of paint on the sample squares just around lunch time and it was starting to drizzle a bit though now it has cleared up nicely. We left this for a while then, just after Chaz headed back home for the week, went walking out into the orchard to look at the colours. I think we've made our decision but I'll keep it a secret for now; it'd be interesting to hear what you all think so please pop a comment below with which you would choose. While we were in the orchard it was wonderful to see that all but one of the trees has green growth on it, and the only one without is in the deepest shadow so will be the slowest. While we're on the subject of produce we'll be eating our swede in our dinner tonight and I am very excited about this.

Beautiful spring sight
Beautiful spring sight
So I've managed to beat dinner and I'm going to publish this now and any further pictures will come in the next update. I'll leave you with this lovely photograph of the flowers in the tortoise garden.

Ciao for now.

10 comments:

  1. Large area so I'd go for one on left (less glarey) BUT I think if you go for the other it will be colour of left one with a few years aging

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    1. That's the one we picked... We're being told about 2-3% change a year on the colour...

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  2. Hmm, those two must really be close shades, as they look identical on my phone. I never imagined you to be a yellow kinda man!

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    Replies
    1. They are next to each other on the colour shade chart... In person they are clearly different though :) they are gold rather than yellow so a bit warmer, hopefully :)

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    2. OK, now that I've seen the image on a proper display, there's a definite, if slight, difference. I'd also go with the left one.

      Still, I somehow imagined you gonna go all deep bordeaux, graphite, white or earth brown color :)

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    3. it's an even clearer difference now, after the two patches have dried for 24 hours....

      We wanted something that would glow in the sun, and be warm when it isn't sunny... White attracts insects around here as a friend found out :D

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  3. one on the left - richer and deeper. just my personal preference!

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    Replies
    1. CORRECT! (But you already know this)

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  4. Nice that you doing a schoolbuildning good for the children.

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    Replies
    1. Haha it is a house; the school has been shut for many many years.

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