Yeah, So…

When I said in the last entry that I’d just get my head down and do the mosaic…

I’ve not done any more on the mosaic. Because it got to the point of being a usable shower, albeit a seated only shower. So I stopped feeling like there was a significant carrot dangling there anymore and moved on to other things, including a WHOLE LOT of not working on the house at all, some of it productive in non-house-related ways and some of it utterly unproductive and very theraputic for that.

I took all of December off from building, in an attempt to finally like Christmas again. Not that Christmas has been unlikealble, it’s been fine, very nice, even, but I’ve sort of struggled to redefine my relationship to it since my life exploded a few years ago, and I hadn’t really had the opportunity to try doing it on my own terms. I’d never had a tree, for example, while living here. So we gave it a go, and it was nice. No more or less nice that the last several years have been, but executed entirely on our terms and that was somehow… important? I don’t know. I used to really love Christmas and since the life trainwreck, it’s had a sort of ghostly feeling for me. I expect I will never quite feel like I used to about it, but it was nice to finally have a Christmas I was at the helm of, in my own home, an opportunity to further build a positive relationship with this house.

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Back to progress report.

Here’s a picture of what I can show you of the bathroom; it’s such a small room it’s basically impossible to get a photo of it in any meaningful way.

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I did eventually start making more progress, and actually, am cracking on something amazing, thanks to my new arrangement with Rae. We both had projects that had totally got on top of us and were just too baggage-laden to crawl out from under, so we decided to become a DIY mutual support group and work on each others’ projects. It’s both motivational and highly productive because we have new and fresh perspectives on each other’s hideous problem projects.

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Rae’s got a house in Blackpool which she’s been trying to finish doing up and sell it, but it has become rather a millstone round her neck. But it looks fresh AF to me, so I’m quite enjoying going there two days a week and working on stuff that has NO BAGGAGE for me. And Rae comes here two days a week and does clay plastering, which she loves to do.

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We are taking the opportunity to put a couple of niche shelf things in, since you can do that with straw.

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Some nice oak floor board offcuts, courtesy of Anthony, are making the shelves.

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Turns out my angle grinder is really good for cutting back the straw.

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We also had great success using the last of the waney-edged siding as skirting boards.

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The niche with shelf attached.

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A niche getting clayed in.

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Damn, Rae is sooooo good at this.

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As well as fast, especially when I do the mixing and she does the plastering.

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I’m good with gak also, filling in holes and making a smoothish surface for her to plaster onto.

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She gets such an excellent finish. She tried to teach me, but to be honest, I’d rather do grunt work at her house in Blackpool forever than even try to compete with her level of skill.

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It’ll take quite a while to dry, but we can be moving on in the meantime and hopfeully get this room ready to be a guest room/airbnb income generator asap.

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Meanwhile, Anthony’s tame scrap metal guy came and took away the god-awful tank I had no idea how to move otherwise. And cut up the remaining caravan and carted it away in a quarter of the time it took a whole team of us to do it during the caravan destruction party. I guess it pays to know what you’re doing.

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It’s so nice to have that area clear. When we get some decent weather coinciding with a day off for Julian, we’ll move stuff around and start clearing that quadrant for Actual Finished Gardening. Amazing. All that south-facing wall!

And lastly, in happy, happy news, a very excellent cheesemonger has opened a shop in Todmorden. It’s truly amazing. We now spend our very small cheese budget there, on less cheese, but    SO    MUCH    BETTER. Highly, highly recommended.

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