Friday 22 February 2013

The Yank's House - Back in the Saddle

This week the weather has improved and there is a touch of spring in the air even if the temperatures are still very low. The days are getting brighter and there is a great stretch in the day as we say here in Ireland.

Encouraged by this Pat and I took one-day leave from our day jobs to spend working at the Yank’s house. It is always difficult when we go back after being away from the house for a while. What tools do we need to take with us? Will the paint have gone hard in the tins over the winter and how well did we clean those brushes last time? Pat had some carpentry to do – there is no end to it really. So he was pulling out timber he had wondering what he would need.

We made lunch and headed off early. The sun was bright and everywhere looked lovely on the drive down especially Lough Ennell as the sun danced on its waters. I should have stopped and taken a photo for you - next time I will. When the house came into view it was like seeing an old friend for the first time in ages. It stood proud in the landscape telling us all had been well in our absences.

Last time we had been down we had turned on a storage heater we have installed in the basement so the house felt warm on entry. Everything looked just as we had left it. Our lovely neighbors on watch as always had kept it save. Have I mentioned our neighbors before? If not I should have – they are the best. No one gets in or out our lane unnoticed. Even if I send someone down to work on the house they ring me to check on the car. One of the lovely things about the Yank’s house has been the people we have met.

It is always a bit hard to motivate oneself on a first day back – where do you start when there is so much to do. I need a new list – that will give me some achievable goals. But this week I had no list. I had a look at the floor that I intend to tackle first. I have taken a few photos to show you the state of it.

I will need Pat with his carpentry skill to repair it in a few places then I think I will hire out a sander and see how it goes. I would need to have two days together to start this and make it worth my while hiring out the sander.

The last time I was down I had finished tiling and grouting the surround on the bedroom fireplace. This fire surround is made from scraps of timber I got at work when some shelves were being taken out and some simple wood brackets from the local hardware store.

I sourced the Mexican tiles on the Internet and had them delivered. The fire inset was already there and I just cleaned and spray-painted it. Finally Pat asked a friend to make the black trim around the fire opening. I am really happy with how it has come together and it has cost practically nothing. I think it looks really well against the blue paneling.

The old door into the room has been filled and sanded and I have now given it several coats of paint. It will never look perfect but I like it as it is. Again I painted the hinges and have removed the lock for my brother-in-law to have a look at. He might be able to fix it and get it working again.

So first day back is over. I got a bit more painting done and carried out an assessment of what needs to be done next. I must work on that list over the weekend. A bottle of red, feet up, a pad and pen in hand and Pat and I can talk and plan for the Yank’s house for hours. Life is good – we are back in the saddle.

No comments:

Post a Comment