During the six months that Pat had been in trouble with his back we had left the house closed up and hadn’t even paid it a visit. To be honest I had stopped thinking about the Yank’s house completely. I had gone from dreaming about the house and letting it fill so much space in my head and in my heart to not thinking about it at all. Then when Pat was back working and feeling better he suggested we should go down to the house one Saturday. I didn’t want to go – to be honest I only went because Pat said he wouldn’t stay long.
Pat made up some lunch for us. Packed a few tools in the car when I wasn’t looking and we headed off. I guess in the back of my head I blamed the house for Pat’s back problems. When we got there and went into the house it was exactly how we had left it – like a faithful friend waiting for our return. It is hard to explain the atmosphere in the house. From day one I have felt the house wrapped its arms around me and embrace me. Now I was feeling this embrace again.
Pat got the tools out and gradually we started doing a few small jobs around the place. That evening he had to come looking for me to see was I ready to go home. The day had passed so quickly. I was in love again!
Before the saga with the chimneys we had started the indoor plastering. I was able to help apply the scratch coat and Pat applied the finish coat. I had a go on a few smaller spaces but a full wall was a bit heavy going for me. This all came to a stop however once Pat hurt his back and afterwards we decided we needed help.
|This is the chimney going up to the attic - an example of my efforts at plastering
We lined up a man to come in to plaster the chimneys, inside walls and to do the ceilings for us. But the delay in sorting out the chimney had also delayed the plasterer from starting and by the time we were ready he had a regular job and didn’t have time to do the work for us. I was very disappointed. He did come one weekend and plastered the two chimneys but we had to look for someone else to finish the inside work.
The original ceilings had been lath and plaster. But these were beyond repair, suffering from nail fatigue and damaged from rain when the roof was off the house. We decided we could use plasterboard for the ceilings and finish them with a skim coat. So we hired a plasterer to come in and do this part of the job for us.
|Small bedroom - top floor
We were finding it hard to get someone who was willing to work with lime. Then our daughter’s boyfriend David offered to come and help over a few Saturdays. David had worked summers with a plasterer while he was going to college and we were delighted with the help. He had never used lime but Pat and I were there to show him how – between us we got the job finished eventually.
|The Parlor in the Yank's house - lovely white walls
Once the walls were plastered I followed behind with the limewash and soon the whole place was bright and clean with lovely white walls. The different spaces were really starting to take on a very homely feel and we started to see the result of many years work. The Yank’s house was starting to look like a house again.