Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The Old School is getting dressed

I am really not feeling the love for doing this update right now as I sit here, late in the evening and not having gotten the head start I like to get during the day. It's just crazy busy here at the moment and it's only going to get busier I think. Anyway, while I'm waiting for dinner to cook it is time to get on with this and see how far I can get.

Sunday night

As it to rub salt in the wounds I have some pictures from Sunday so I can't even start straight away on Monday. They are lovely though so it's worth getting them involved.

The moon is getting fuller
The moon is getting fuller
Stirring a mega paella
Stirring a mega paella
So after finishing the update I relaxed with our friends until dinner was ready. It was really nice having them around and we managed to all fit in around the small table so I haven't yet had to move all my model airplane stuff; this will have to be moved soon though; it's a very small table to sit four people around. Dinner was a superb paella and was accompanied by more Status Quo on the record player. Everyone was shattered so it was an early night for all and much needed it was too.

Monday

The early night was very good but I woke up feeling quite discombobulated and under pressure. After much thinking I worked out it was a combination of the excitement of the day before about The House and also just tiredness from having so many people around and so much progress being made. Because of this feeling I decided that, other than doing the morning watering round, I'd not do any more tasks and just take twenty minutes of quiet while A got the men.

It looks like the nuclear explosion that it is
It looks like the nuclear explosion that it is
Looking out at men on the scaffold
Looking out at men on the scaffold
Rambo with a length of pipe to play with
Rambo with a length of pipe to play with
Climbing up with the hose
Climbing up with the hose
Water coming in through the foam
Water coming in through the foam
It was an absolutely glorious morning, though, not really matching my mood. The sunrise was a classic and brought me dashing through the house with the camera to get pictures. The insulation work was going to be delayed a bit this morning as Chaz and Ivan went out to order the materials for same day delivery however the men still got up onto the scaffold and continued to try and remove as much of the original cladding as they could. I helped them out getting a hose pipe up and running and they used it to wet the walls and then tried to bash more off. The window in Room 13 demonstrated just how porous the expanding foam is as the water poured inside when they were washing that wall but it wasn't too bad as they only went over it quickly.

The temporary insulation is removed
The temporary insulation is removed
A basic frame for pouring concrete into
A basic frame for pouring concrete into
Making up some more framing
Making up some more framing
All the concrete is poured in place
All the concrete is poured in place
Inside step finished for now
Inside step finished for now
Outside re-tiled and looking great
Outside re-tiled and looking great
Sally smoothing a wall
Sally smoothing a wall
Finishing touches on another wall
Finishing touches on another wall
Bekir and Sally were getting on with their jobs quietly and efficiently while all of this was going on. Bekir made a start on fixing underneath the balcony door in the bedroom and the experience of the water coming through into Room 13 from the hose pipe shows just how important this will be. He removed all the foam and then pulled up the tiles from outside. We had decided that the hacked-in drain was a bad idea as it was allowing a leak into the garage and Bekir had the same thought and suggested removing it which we agreed to. He then used some metal to add reinforcement and finally poured concrete across the lot before carefully crafting an exterior slope to take the water away from the door. Finally he put some more cement around the outside of the whole window unit to finish it all off in preparation for the insulation. By the end of the day all of this was done and we just had to get the internal step tiled which is a very low priority right now. Sally was down in the bathroom continuing the straightening of the walls. This is a very big task that we weren't aware was required but now it is happening it's looking immeasurably better.

Stacks of materials for the insulation
Stacks of materials for the insulation
The first time the puppies have been playing together properly
The first time the puppies have been playing together properly
Chaz and Ivan playing with the puppies
Chaz and Ivan playing with the puppies
Old owner and new
Old owner and new
Goodbye to Lucy. A sad but happy day
Goodbye to Lucy. A sad but happy day
The reason that there is a gap in pictures for Bekir and Sally's work is I was taken away from the place for a fair few hours as we finally have sold Lucy. A chap from facebook was driving over to buy her and just as he arrived the material delivery came on a huge truck that barely got down the lane. While I was out A got pictures of the piles of materials after they had been unloaded as this was completed so quickly she wasn't even aware it was happening. Many hands makes light work and all that. Rambo's new toy, shown earlier, was proving a temptation for the other puppies as well and at one point Chaz and Ivan got into the act. I missed all of this as I was hanging around in town with the guys who were buying Lucy, and they turned out to be really lovely guys who I hope we can stay friends with. It all worked out, with Dincher the solicitor's help, and we came back to hand over the keys and watch with mixed emotions as Lucy was driven away. There she goes.

Thelma and Louise with the ring
Thelma and Louise with the ring
Thelma hanging on tightly
Thelma hanging on tightly
Rambo joins in the chase
Rambo joins in the chase
Two dogs barking
Two dogs barking


The puppies really have been loving having the extra attention from all the men around and we hardly see them as they are outside demanding attention. A took a short break from her work to play with them on the top bank and they all got involved, Thelma hanging on tightly and then Rambo and Louise barking away. Later on Thelma had stolen Rambo's huge kong and was playing with it down on the entrance path and making a lot of noise. Check the video out.

The first couple of levels gets attached
The first couple of levels gets attached
Lots of men working away
Lots of men working away
Lots of gaps making it smooth
Lots of gaps making it smooth
Smiling worker fixing insulation
Smiling worker fixing insulation
Caught out sitting down on the job
Caught out sitting down on the job
The last picture of the day's progress
The last picture of the day's progress
And so to what is currently the main show; the insulation. Once the delivery of materials was made the workmen stopped playing with Rambo and the puppies and got stuck into getting the styropore onto the walls. First they had to get a good level from side to side and up and down to ensure the whole wall would be flat once it was completed and they used string and weights to do this. Then one worker started mixing and the rest took the slabs of insulation and cut and stuck them to the wall. It was another smoothing job, and probably worse than Sally had to deal with, and we have thicknesses ranging between 3cm up to 8cm in place. They are really lovely workers and so ready with a smile, and they get on with the puppies which is excellent. Asen was surprised sitting down on the job and got Ivan to translate to say "don't tell Ivan I was sitting down!" they really are lovely. When I left to take the men they were still working away and hadn't even stopped by the time I got back.

A developing riot of colour
A developing riot of colour
Moon behind moving clouds
Moon behind moving clouds
Lovely sauteed potatoes
Lovely sauteed potatoes
Chicken with sesame, and duck hearts na skara
Chicken with sesame, and duck hearts na skara
We were heading out for a meal at our favourite restaurant for the night as Chaz had stayed longer than planned and had still not left to go back to their place. Before leaving I did the watering round and the tortoise garden is looking very beautiful indeed with lots of blooms. When we got to the carpark the moon was out and partially obscured by sweeping clouds and I took a few pictures before heading inside. Dinner was, once again, lovely and we didn't rush through it. Chaz headed home afterwards and we gave Ivan a lift back to ours. We were all really tired so he went straight off to bed while A and I had a cuppa before hitting the sack.

Tuesday

Another full on day and, as I begin this section, I'm now feeling more involved in the typing. It often goes like that - it shows that discipline and sticking at something is worth while.

All the materials covered for the night
All the materials covered for the night
The twin room pre-clean
The twin room pre-clean
Much nicer after a tidy
Much nicer after a tidy
The end of the day had been characterised, as has been often recently, by really strong winds so before shutting up for the night the men had covered all the materials with plastic and weighted it all down. I was feeling much more positive and so picked the twin guest room as my morning challenge. The bed being moved into Sassy's room made it even more obvious was a mess it was in there so I sorted everything out, filling a big bag with rubbish. I found some rat droppings that were probably from the one we killed last year; it hadn't damaged anything but this rug will have to be binned once we finish this room; I think it has had it's time.

First chips for the new window
First chips for the new window
He's broken through
He's broken through
It's almost a window
It's almost a window
Happy with the hole he has made
Happy with the hole he has made
And still Sally smooths
And still Sally smooths
We were both very busy again with paid work so getting out to get pictures was quite hard. I did remember to go and check on Bekir and Sally in the morning as the task for today was to knock through the new window into the bathroom. Bekir was there with hammer and chisel and after a few conversations about how high we wanted the bottom of it, he got stuck in and knocked it out very quickly. Sally was still on with the same task, bless, of smoothing the walls with cement.

Rambo put into forced rest
Rambo put into forced rest
The telephone people come out
The telephone people come out
Wind gusts dust around the mixer guy
Wind gusts dust around the mixer guy
The front of the building is getting dressed
The front of the building is getting dressed
More materials blowing in the wind
More materials blowing in the wind
At some point during the morning I heard Rambo howl and then Ivan came up and got A to go and check him out. We think he had trodden on something as he was favouring one leg quite badly. We decided that it would be best to force him to rest by putting him in the trailer with his bed so he stayed in there for a while. When we let him out he was better, but still a bit cautious. We'll have to watch this. The telephone junction box on the back of the building has finally had some progress; Ivan rang them today, having not received the promised call back yesterday, so say if they weren't out soon he'd just rip it off the wall. Within half an hour a car full of technicians arrived; wouldn't you know. The long and short of it is they need a few days to get a builders team out to dig the cable out. If they are slow, though, we'll do it with agricultural methods. The weather was really bad for high level work today as the wind was gusting right from the start. They had a pully system (actually made with a wheel they had removed the tyre from) and as the polystyrene was being hauled up it was swinging around wildly in the wind. They continued working through the bad conditions, though, and I'm pretty happy with how they did in the end.

Reached the satellite dish
Reached the satellite dish
Just trim a section off, it'll be FIIIINE
Just trim a section off, it'll be FIIIINE
At lunch time I legged it into town to go to the bank and then met up with my friend Venko who had kindly offered to fix up my two guitars that need a bit of TLC as he had time on holiday. It was lovely to see him and while I couldn't stay long as I needed to get back we had a nice chat about things and we're going to go see his band again on Saturday. When I got back I worked until I had to stop and then had a doze and when I woke I heard voices and realised that the internet people were finally here. The satellite dish was in the way of the insulation and we had asked them to come and move it. For some reason, rather than move it and then re-position it after the insulation was done they decided to just get a grinder and remove part of the dish. Only in Bulgaria. It didn't seem to drop the signal though so we'll have to see if this causes any long term problems.

This grass needs cutting, and I have the tools to do it
This grass needs cutting, and I have the tools to do it
Mid mow, with the new wheelbarrow centre stage
Mid mow, with the new wheelbarrow centre stage
All done, and very satisfied
All done, and very satisfied
Eventually these will toughen up
Eventually these will toughen up
I managed to reach the end of the working day and took myself outside to get the second half of the lawn cut. The workmen were so intrigued by this machine and one of them came to have a go. Later on Bekir came down as well and pushed it for a short distance. They all think I am insane as it is hard work but I love it; there is something great about cutting the grass while the sun shines and the scenery is so gorgeous. I did get more blisters, though.

The corridor is really looking well now
The corridor is really looking well now
Bathroom window with lintel in place
Bathroom window with lintel in place
Almost finished; just the top to do
Almost finished; just the top to do
Inside the porch in progress
Inside the porch in progress
Detail work up into the eaves
Detail work up into the eaves
Shortly after this it was time to take the men home which was an easy drive with nothing exciting to report. When I got back (after fuelling Thomas which delayed me a bit) the men were still working away outside but just getting ready to stop. I took a turn around the building to get a picture of the state at the end but it was getting dark so some of them didn't come out that well. We didn't get to seal the new bathroom window so hopefully it won't rain too early tomorrow. Bekir has a bit more to do on it before we can put the plastic over to wait for the window people. The insulation has gone round the corner into the entrance hall, and also along the next side of Room 13 and it's great to see such progress. We just have to hope the weather isn't too terrible tomorrow so it doesn't stop us working.

Pretty much full now
Pretty much full now
The new spud masher gets into use
The new spud masher gets into use
I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of this evening, while I have been updating this. First of all the moon was stunning as I drove back with the men and I waited until it had risen a bit more and snapped it coming over one of the trees in the garden. Lovely. Secondly today A got to use her new spud smasher as we had (amazingly nice as always) bangers, mash and onion gravy. I'm now going to publish this and go and join Ivan with A in the living room for a bit before bed.

Night.

2 comments:

  1. What thickness of insulation have you selected?

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    Replies
    1. 8 cm, with some variation around that to make the wall straight :)

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