Hot diggedy doo…

The first few days of the week were like hell on a hot day.

I expect it was the same everywhere but there is nowhere to hide for That There Builder Girl.

We had booked in fixing the garden fence and a few other fiddly jobs for the first two days of this week. The gate needed to be moved so the external rendering can be finished. Neil came back to site for a couple of days and we both melted as we bedded in new fence posts and (mostly) re-used old posts and panels. I want to hide the oil tank and other detritus at the back of the garden so we also built a new fence section that crosses the courtyard. You may not be surprised to hear I decided the painting of these fences can wait for another time when perhaps the temperature has dropped – lets say down 10 degrees should do it.

Inside the work is going along well. Oak newels, spindles, base and handrails are fitted and the stairs look lovely. They need a touch of danish oil but again that has to wait until the temperature drops. Jonathan the carpenter has also started to put up some panelling on the wall alongside the stairs to hide the broken stonework, bricks and an old door opening. We haven’t covered the whole wall though – there is still a lot of original blue lias stone on show. A little feature for those that love their older buildings.

I made a rookie error when priming the wood around the doors and stairs. My head hung low as I admitted my failure to Neil. I forgot to add the knotting oil to the fresh wood prior to the primer. I looked online for recommendations to resolve my mistake and I have been adding some Zinsser B-I-N primer to hopefully compensate for my mistake. Only time will tell if it works. In the meantime I now have a bottle of knotting oil in readiness for the next batch of fresh wood that needs attention.

This is why I am STILL the apprentice.

Nathan is tiling upstairs with all of the bathroom and ensuite walls now completed. The floors will be finished shortly now that the underfloor heating has been installed and a self-levelling screed has been laid. Then he moves downstairs to do the cloakroom, utility and hallways.

Courtney the plumber has been in doing his magic. The cistern and expansion vessels are now sited and my store room looks like something from NASA. More copper pipe needed, along with some other fancy pants plumbing stuff (can’t remember what they are called) to link it all together. Then 40 odd end stops will be fitted on all the open pipe work because I have asked for a fully functioning ensuite to be ready as soon as possible. The delay in plastering means it will probably be another month or more before the full second fix – and I can’t take the heat and discomfort any more. I need a flushing toilet; I need to wash; I need a shower. Me, me, me. Actually, not just for me but for those around me!

The big news this week is I have left Mr. Clooney.

Only at night though. It won’t surprise you to hear that Mr Clooney is ‘hot’ – oh yeah – and it was simply too much for me for a couple of nights. In addition, the seat cushions are beginning to buckle and bend and split as they are hauled around the caravan each day and night to make up my bed and office. This sort of caravan is not made to be lived in day and night and it’s beginning to show.

So I dug out the old inflatable mattress and moved inside the property amongst the dust, boxes of toilets and sinks and bags of tile adhesive. It was still warm but not like sleeping inside an oven.

For those that have followed this blog from the beginning you may recall that the mattress has a slow puncture. I forgot about it.

My first night of using the mattress for nearly a year resulted in me waking up in darkness listening to a slow hissing sound. My heart rate hit an abnormal high as the noise sounded remarkably like a snake (albeit a Disney version). I lay stock still worried that a slithering creature had managed to find its way into my bedroom.

Only as my brain function started again did I remember the puncture and fell back to sleep. In the morning I awoke on a deflated mattress with slightly raised sides. Imagine a bowling alley lane with the inflated tubes they lay down the gulley for the youngsters. Getting up was comical and rudely noisy as the mattress appeared to have a severe case of flatulence.

Nevertheless, it was still considerably more comfortable than sleeping in Mr. Clooney.

The house will be my new overnight accommodation for the foreseeable future. A quick trip to Aldi and I am now the proud owner of a new inflatable mattress (for less than a tenner!).

No more slithering creatures expected – unless they are specifically invited!


Not really a builder. Nor a girl in the youthful sense of the word. Bitten by the building bug and keeping a record of the experience. Know a little but learning a lot!

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