Excuse Not To Do The Housework No. 832(ish)

Just to let you know why my Colette Zinnia skirt is still a work in progress and why I haven’t started another Skater Dress even though I’ve got the fabric.  We’ve got the builders in.  Well, I say ‘the builders’ it’s actually just one builder and I was very pleased with him until today when he disappeared a bit early and isn’t coming tomorrow at all, leaving me in a miasma of dust and uncertainty. Our old insert fire was showing its age and the faux chimney breast above was cracking badly so we decided to have that knocked out and get a free standing wood burner as we have in another room.

FireplaceRenovSep13 (1)Vintage French red marble fireplace anybody?  Buyer collects

FireplaceRenovSep13 (2)Yes, that’s the sort of thing, now just take out the old insert and make the wall good.  What’s that you say?  The wall to the right hand side has a void behind it so you could take it right back and take out the cupboard in the corner – it would make a bigger room.    Oh, go on then.

FireplaceRenovSept13(1)Aha! there is a wall in front of the other wall and the first wall is crumbly and unstable, shall I knock that out too?  Oh, go on then.

fireplacerenovsept13Back to the original, original wall now, well mostly.  I suppose these things happen when you have an ancient house and we know this and usually don’t tackle anything needing more than a screwdriver or, occasionally, a bit of light drilling.  I’ve always fancied an exposed stone wall so that’s one redecorating decision made.  There was an old doorway behind the cupboard and we plan on keeping the frame and infilling with stone – of which we have plenty – see small sample on left.  At least the flue is now hanging straight down instead of draped across a crumbly wall.  Stan is looking for rodent skeletons.


Ready to start backfilling and pointing up now but the builder has gone and won’t be coming back until the day after tomorrow.  Something about not having the right sand.

Might as well go and finish putting the pleats in my skirt then.

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  1. #1 by Ann Martin on October 1, 2013 - 15:56

    You have my sympathy! Can only imagine the noise and dust, but (as the saying goes) think how nice it will be when it’s all done. Can wait to see the end result… the idea of the stone door frame sounds lovely.

  2. #2 by Ann Martin on October 1, 2013 - 15:56

    Can’t wait, I meant! Freudian slip there!

  3. #3 by sew2pro on October 1, 2013 - 16:04

    Ooh, I didn’t realize we share a builder and he’s gone to do a bit of work in France!

    What, they’re all like that?!


    Hope all is resolved soon. The pets can’t relax properly like this!

  4. #4 by Jan Marriott on October 1, 2013 - 16:22

    Its the same the whole world over…..

  5. #5 by tialys on October 1, 2013 - 16:46

    What I don’t understand is this. If you were working for a company and, just after lunch (supplied by Muggins), said you had to go and drop your wife off at her (non urgent) doctor’s appointment then say you’d be a bit late in the next morning as you had to go to the builders’ merchants one and a half hours after they open(?!) to replace some material that you mistakenly bought and then, actually, as you had promised to drive a mate to the airport at midday it wouldn’t be worth coming in at all, would they put up with it?

  6. #6 by La Mouette au Sec on October 2, 2013 - 12:00

    The story of my life! on the other side of the channel (yours? or may be no longer after 7 years), where I live in a victorian cottage that needed lots done! (and still does!). Good luck! and thanks for sharing- your musings amuses me.

    • #7 by tialys on October 2, 2013 - 13:47

      I sometimes think we must be mad – buying these old houses – no wonder there are lots going to rack and ruin over here as few French people want them (too sensible!!) I popped in to your blog and tested my French! I see you are a lover of Liberty and, therefore, must be a wonderful person with great taste 🙂

  7. #8 by lovelucie1 on October 2, 2013 - 13:47

    What a mess. Rather you than me! Will you be able to find flooring to fill in the gap left by your demolition works?

  8. #9 by tialys on October 2, 2013 - 14:00

    Well, as more of the wall came out than was originally planned, we are sort of designing it as we go which is a bit scary. The wooden floorboards will have to be tweaked somehow and we are trying to source some reclaimed stone paving slabs to butt up against the wall. The sort of slabs you see around when you don’t want them but, when you do, can’t find. But first, we need the right sand – allegedly.

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