Tag Archives: plasterboard

Monday 24th July 2017 – I HAVE JUST MADE …

… one of the best curries that I’ve ever made.

It’s a chick pea and mushroom curry, and I’ve no idea why it should taste so different (or so nice) but it certainly was. And there’s enough for three more days too.

And I’ve been out this morning too. Apparently there was home-made vegan ginger cake being prepared at Roncey so of course Terry needed a hand with the plasterboard in his living room, didn’t he?

So after breakfast I bunged a load of dirty clothes into the washing machine and Caliburn and I hit the streets for Roncey.

I went out there via Intersport. Liz had seen my fitbit on Saturday and was having a play around with it. She asked me if, next time that I was passing, I could pick one up for her.

And it was a good job that I was outside the shop already when it opened its doors, because they only had one left! They don’t have any now!

Terry had fitted the plasterboard but having pulled a tendon in his shoulder, couldn’t reach up to infill the joints. And so I spent a pleasant morning with a pile of pollyfilla (I thought that I had left all of that kind of work far behind me).

There’s plenty of vegan ginger cake left, so I reckoned that the pollyfilla would need a good 20 hours to dry, and I could go back tomorrow morning and sand it down.

Back here, I crashed out for a good hour. Clearly even doing that amount of work was too much for me, but you will be amazed at the lengths to which I will go in order to get my teeth stuck into a slice of Liz’s home-made cake.

So curry for tea tonight, and now a walk. And then a shower (for my nice, clean bedding) and an early night. I need to build up my strength in order to justice to another slice of Liz’s cake.

Tuesday 2nd May 2017 – THAT’S ME FINISHED!

Yes, I’m thoroughly whacked and I’ll be off to bed in a minute, where I’ll sleep until my name changes to Eric van Winkle.

It all started going wrong last night. I’d been too busy chatting and ended up going to bed quite late (for me just recently anyway). And then it took me ages to drop off to sleep. It seemed like for ever.

But sleep I must have done because I was off on my travels during the night again.

There were four of us working in an office. Our job was to oversee the writing of laws for a particular community. But suddenly three of us were transferred to law enforcement, which was not a very desirable job. It turned out that our fourth colleague had “invented” a gadget that had actually been something that we had all worked on, but he had claimed the rights to it and persuaded our boss that it was his. As a result, he was given the department all to himself and he had even gone and had a sign put on his desk that he was “lawmaker” before anything official had even been announced. I took this gadget down to the boss to explain to him about how we had done it but he refused to listen. I was so incensed by all of this that I was all for strangling him and ended up fighting with him like you would fight with an annoying cat.

The alarm awoke me this morning and hearing movement about, I went to join Liz for breakfast before she went off to work. And then I went for a quick trip out, as far as the boulangerie in the village for bread, seeing as how we didn’t have very much.

By the time that I returned, Terry was up and about. And then we set to work.

First task was to demolish a wall in the kitchen here. Terry was swinging the hammer and I was cleaning uo and taking the rubbish down to the trailer ready for the tip. By the time that we had finished, Terry’s mate had arrived so we insulated the kitchen ceiling and then plasterboarded it.

We had lunch after that, and then spent the rest of the afternoon constructing the studding for the plasterboarding on the walls throughout the kitchen.

By the time that 19:00 came round we were all completely exhausted. It took us an hour to recover before we could even put the tea in the microwave.

And I’m supposed to be ill too! I will be after all of this, I’ll tell you.

So I wonder what will be on the cards tomorrow, apart from more of the same.

Friday 9th December 2016 – I HAD MY …

… early night, and I was quickly away with the fairies too. But I was soon awakened by some kid of beastie scratching away in the roof.I’d forgotten all about them, you know, and how they used to scratch away all the blasted time. I did recall how, on my first night asleep in the bedroom downstairs, how deep a sleep I had without being disturbed at all.

But anyway, this scratching went on for quite a while and I couldn’t get off to sleep while all of this was going on. It was so annoying. But anyway, I did finally go off to sleep and was wide awake again before the alarms went off.

plasterboard corner attic les guis virlet puy de dome franceAfter breakfast and a little relax, I made a start. The corner in the attic that had been left open for access to the cables and (whenever it might be) the water pipes for the solar heat exchanger, I cut some plasterboard quickly and screwed it up to cover the gap on both walls. And then I cut a bigger piece for the ceiling to close all of that up too.

There’s a hole too behind one of the beams that I hadn’t managed to fill in when I did the ceiling. I cut some wood offcuts and I’ve blocked that off now – well, sort-of.

All of this involved a huge run-around for bits and pieces of wood and plasterboard. All of this wore me out completely. I had to stop regularly for a rest and at the end of it all it took me until just after 13:00 to do a couple of simple jobs like that. It’s easy to see just how much this illness has affected me.

But one thing can be said – and that is the 500-watt ash-sucker that I had bought years ago with the aim of converting it into a vacuum cleaner. Seeing as how we were having another impressive day, I gave it a run out to clean up the dust and plasterboard. And it worked in spades too. It’s made an astonishing difference to everything, particularly once I’d started to attack the rest of the room with it. I should have tried this before, and I wish that I had more time to do it again.

After lunch, I did a little more tidying up and then went down to pick up Caliburn. And he was ready too. And even more interestingly, the bill came to much less than half what I had paid in Brussels. He had checked the other side too, the one that they had done up there and told me that it was okay and any other sound that I might hear are not anything to worry about.

As an aside … "you’ll get used to these" – ed … I’d enjoyed driving my little Peugeot. Certainly showing her age, but she was still a fun car to drive around in and considering it had cost me just the diesel to borrow her, I had had a good deal.

Montlucon was next. I was early so I went for a stroll around, and then down to the tyre place. Caliburn now has brand new tyres on the rear to go with his good snow tyres on the front, and a reasonable spare too. Two more snow tyres next winter and then two more decent Hankooks in 18 months time and that will do for a couple of years.

With a full tank of fuel, I drove back here. It was 18:45 when I returned.

After tea, I had a relax again and now I’m going to have an early night. I’ve decided to hit the road tomorrow and head back to Leuven.

Friday 30th October 2015 – ALL GOOD THINGS …

… come to an end. And today, the home-made 12-volt immersion heater that I use as a dump-load for the excess solar energy finally ground to a halt.

Mind you, I’m not surprised. What has surprised me is that it lasted as long as it has – about 4 years if I remember correctly. It’s a 500-watt industrial 12-volt water heater element that I can pick up by the dozen in the USA, fitted into the side of a 25-litre plastic storage box and sealed in with rubber gaskets, and a simple tap. The whole lot is stood on a thick sheet of polystyrene insulation, with some of this thick space-blanket insulation wrapped around it, and a plastic lid covered with an off-cut of a sheet of polystyrene-backed plaster-board. Down on the inside of the space-blanket insulation up against the plastic side is the sensor of a maximum-minimum thermometer.

It’s wired in (with a 70-amp fuse) to a 60-amp Solar charge controller that I have reverse-wired so that instead of being “on” and switching off when the batteries are fully-charged, it’s “off” and switches on when the batteries are fully charged – and so when the batteries are fully charged and the charge controllers on the batteries switch off, the current that would otherwise be lost is diverted down into the water heater element and so heats up the water in the immersion heater for washing up, washing, and all that kind of thing.

And so why did it all go wrong?

The answer is that it hasn’t really gone wrong. A year or so ago I noticed that the positive wire to the immersion heater was heating up dramatically, and so I rewired it. But the thread stripped in the connection on the element so I had to find a small nut and bolt. But I couldn’t really fit a spanner into it so that it wasn’t particularly tight.

Today, I went downstairs to the fridge to fetch something to drink, and I could smell the burning plastic. There was something or a record of 37 amps going down the cables and this was simply too much for the bad joint and the wire was so hot that it was melting the insulation.

I hadn’t designed it particularly well – I can do much better than this, and in any case I don’t have any rubber joints for the element which I’ll need to take out and remake the joint, and so that’s a task for next week if I remember to buy the things that I need tomorrow at the shops. However, I have plugged the fridge back in so that something is being done about the excess current.

And so what else have I done today?

Apart from work on the laptop, which you can take as read, I’ve been tracking down some wood. I went to rescue the wooden box that I used to use to keep my fruit and vegetables in, but I pinched it last year to store my potatoes. But that didn’t work as the potatoes all went off and the wooden box is ruined (but I did in passing cast an eye on last year’s compost and it’s brewing beautifully!) and so I need to make another one.

I found a 50cm pine plank and some 40mm aluminium angle and I’ll be using that on Monday to make my new fruit and veg box.

As well as that, I went to check over the Kubota mini-digger. The reason for that is that the battery in the Kubota tractor is finished and I need a new one, so if I’m ordering one it makes sense to order a second for the digger – after all, that hasn’t run since the end of November last year.

But much to my astonishment, the mini-digger fired up straight away with no difficulty. And so I checked it over and left it running for a good hour or so to warm everything up and top up the battery.

I spent some time downstairs tidying up the ground floor too. It’s now looking as if you might be able to see the floor if I keep up like this. But I need to make a great deal of room as pretty soon I’ll be starting work down there and I’ll need the space.

Last but not least, I had a shower. 33°C in the verandah and 59°C in the 12-volt immersion heater, and so I cleared a corner of the verandah, fetched a bucket of hot water with some cold mixed in, found the pouring jug, and hey presto! Now I smell like coconut. I finished it off with a shave too, so now I’m all ready for the weekend.

But I could have done with a shave and a shower last night, as I was on my travels again. It was Marianne who had the pleasure of my company, going to the airport for a flight to Portugal. At the last minute she asked why I didn’t come with her, so with three hours to go before take-off I nipped off to my apartment for some clothes and the like, and to run one or two errands.

Once I’d done all of that, I had to return to the airport so there I was, driving through North London (flitting in and out of another nocturnal ramble from ages ago) on my way to Brussels Airport. The road was certainly very familiar to me, but I wasn’t convinced that it was the road that I should have been taking. But I arrived at the airport and reached the security gate with just 15 minutes to take-off and I still had a long way to go, not to mention passing through the “security”. And here I was, panicking in case I missed the flight, which was looking more and more likely as time passed by.

Friday 17th July 2015 – WE ARE NOT ALONE!

deer in field les guis virlet puy de dome franceI had a visitor this evening, and peering through the gloom I managed to take a photo of it.

A nice deer has come out this evening looking for food, or perhaps looking for Strawberry Moose – after all, it is that time of year and he does need to get back into practice seeing as how he’ll be off to Canada in about three or four weeks time.

I really don’t understand why anyone would want to kill anything as beautiful and graceful as this.

I was awake once more before the alarm clock, mainly due to the heat, and after breakfast I had another really good session on my wen pages. The trouble is though that the more I do, the more there is to do and rather than catching up, I’m falling even further behind.

I was driven out of the attic by the heat too, and I ended up wedged in a corner in the bedroom with the fan blowing full-on at me. Even then, it was almost impossible to keep cool.

After lunch I turned the house upside-down looking for some more tongue-and-grooving but that was completely unsuccessful. There is now no alternative but to go to Montlucon tomorrow and buy some more.

What i did do was to sort out the plasterboarding in the shower room ready for tiling and ready for finishing off the ceiling, and then to attend to some more outstanding bits of wiring. And that was where I reached at knocking-off time.

I finished off today by having a good shower – more to cool me down than to actually clean me off. And that’s me set up for the weekend now.

All ready for Montlucon, in fact.

23rd June 2015 – WE ARE RADIOING …

… next Monday. I had completely forgotten about it and so I need to get a wiggle on. It’s a good job that I had a few days on it earlier in the month in order to get ahead, otherwise I would be starting to struggle right now.

Consequently this mornng, I sat down and dashed off another 2000 words for our next hot topic. That makes about 25kb, which is about 5,000 words and at about 3kb per 5-minute segment, this is enough for 8 weeks. There’s plenty more where this came from too so with a bit of luck, God’s help and a Bobby, this might do until I return from Canada, with what is already in the pipeline. It means that I just have to do the additional notes and the dialogue for the rock music programmes.

At midday I reckoned that I had done enough for today and so I went into the shower room and measured up the inserts of the window frame in order to cut some plasterboarding. That wasn’t as straightforward as it might have been either. I mentioned the other day that with the house being an old fieldstone house, nothing is plumb and the walls are not parallel. It’s all kinds of shapes and so was this plasterboard that I had to cut. And I didn’t have any pieces long enough so I’ve had to join a couple of offcuts on either side;

I fitted a 20mm batten on one wall, a thickness that last night was perfectly correct. Through the night however, the wall has expanded and so the plasterboard is proud of the piece against which it is supposed to abut. I had a dsperate hunt around in the shed and in the end came across a length of 10mm hardboard from when we did the roof here in 2009. That needed drilling, shaping and fixing to the wall instead of the 20mm batten.

dot and db plasterboard wedged counter battens les guis virlet puy de dome franceAfter lunch, during which I treated myself to yet another electric coffee, I fitted the plasterboarding to the walls. It’s screwed at one end to the battens and at the other end (ap against the window) it’s been “dot-and-dabbed”. I managed to find my plasterboarding cement after all. The glued ends are wedged up to the walls with counter-battens which will give it an “incentive” to stick. It needs to stick well because it’s going to have tiles fastened to it and “dot-and-dab” isn’t the strongest method of fastening it.

Still plenty of time left and so I’ve been fitting the roof rails for the suspended ceiling. I’ve even put an extra longitudinal support in pace because, even though it’s only lightweight tongue-and-grooving that I’ll be using, a span of 1450mm is too long, especially in humid conditions, and the ceiling might warp.

And tomorrow? I really WILL start on this door frame. I promise.

Monday 22nd June 2015 – BACK TO WORK …

… although I didn’t feel much like it. I didn’t have anything like a late night, but it was still difficult to crawl out of bed.

After breakfast, I did a pile of work on the computer again and that took me though to midday. And then I attacked the shower room.

worktop sink tap shower room les guis virlet puy de dome france The worktop is now in position, and all of the plasterboard has been fitted around it (except on the stud wall where the pipes will be running).

And I remembered why I hadn’t fitted the mounting rail on one side too. That was because there isn’t enough room to manoeuvre the worktop into position with both mounting rails in place. I had to take it out, fit the worktop and then refit the rail

But tiling the walls is going to be interesting. According to the plasterboard that I have fitted, the walls are out of plumb bu 25mm over a distance of a metre. So with 18m² of wall to tile, you can imagine what that is going to look like when it’s finished.

There were some bits of blank wall that needed plasterboarding too, and I had forgotten about these. I’ve made a start on them – one part has been done and I’m fitting the studding for the second. The third doesn’t need studding but just a bit of “dot and dab” – I’m sure that I have some stuff for that somewhere, and I’ll look tomorrow.

Water in the home-made immersion heater was really hot – off the scale in fact – and the water in the solar shower was at 32.5°C. 8 litres of water out of the immersion heater into the solar tank took that up to a glorious 38.5°C and I had the best shower that I have had for ages. But the wiring on the immersion heater is heating up again. I’m really going to have to have a good look at this next time we have a grey day.

Later, I made a mega-red pepper and lentil curry, enough for four days. Three says’ worth has gone into the fridge in the vacuum jars and that will keep me going quite happily for the next few days.

But I might not be working here tomorrow. Rob rang up and there’s the possibility of some folding stuff for the next few days.

Monday 15th June 2015 – IN THE 20 HOURS …

… between my going out late last night to take the stats and going out this evening for something to drink, we’ve had a mere 48.5mm of rainfall. and it’s been raining ever since as well.

That makes about 120mm in the last four days and that’s an astonishing amount. We’ll all be washed away if it carries on like this.

This morning after breakfast I carried on with the internet stuff that I hadn’t finished yesterday. I’ve made a list of all of the bands that have impressed me at the Fredericton Jazz and Blues Festivals that I’ve attended, traced as many as I could on the internet, and sent them a mail to ask them if there was a live concert recorded that I could use on the radio. This is something that I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while, and I’ve finally made a start. And already, I’ve had two positive replies.

While I was rooting around with all of that paperwork on Saturday I came across a mirror. I nice bulls-eye mirror with a brass surround rather like a ship’s porthole. Someone gave it to me when I had my first house in Winsford and it’s followed me around Europe ever since. It’s finally found a permanent home on the first floor landing here and good luck to it.

I’ve also extended the light circuit here. On the ground floor where my workshop is, there’s only one light – a 4-watt LED and that’s by the front door. The rear part of the house is quite dark and it’s not so easy to see there when one is working, especially in the gloomy conditions of the last few days.

There was a light with a long lead that I used when I was working in the bedroom before I installed the permanent lights there. So today, I stripped off the plug and wired it into the lighting circuit downstairs. That’s given me much more useful light down there, even if it is just a 1-watt LED.

I’ve found a pine off-cut that’s fine for the upper shelf over the beichstuhl. I cut that to shape and varnished both sides. Tomorrow morning early I’ll put the second coat on the shelf and then that will be ready to fit.

This afternoon I’ve been cutting and fitting plasterboard for the beichstuhl corner. I’ve fitted what I can fit and I’ll do the rest when the shelf is in position. Then, I can take out the worktop where the sink will be, drill it for the sink waste-pipe and the taps and then varnish it. While it’s drying, I’ll fit the mounting rails in the correct place and then install the worktop correctly.

Then, I can start on fitting the door frame.

Friday 12th June 2015 – I DUNNO WHAT HAPPENED …

… to my motivation today. After crowing about it for so long yesterday, that was really tempting fate because all of my get-up-and-go had got up and gone.

I struggled to find the motivation to continue with this radio programme that I’ve been writing. I only managed about 500 words today and that took me right up until lunchtime.

And I had an early start this morning too. Up and about for the usual reasons, as anyone of my age will tell you, I reckoned that if it was after 07:00 I wouldn’t go back to bed. So there I was, eating my breakfast and drinking my coffee at all of 07:13.

I’d been on my travels too during the night. I was still at school but somehow had managed to find a pass to allow me to enter into the local University. The date was valid but the bar-code didn’t work so whenever I went there I had to rely on someone else around to open the door for me. However, it did occur to me that with the date being valid I could get the Secretariat to re-validate the bar-code. However that was running a risk that they might ask for identification and then I would lose the card and the “power” of admission. There was such a lot going on there that it was well-worth keeping the card going. Meals in the refectory were good value too and last night I was there at a table with a group of students. I said that I was going up there to fetch some food, and everyone else asked me to bring stuff back with me. By the time that I returned to my table I was loaded up like a Pioneer’s donkey and performing all kinds of balancing acts.

So after lunch and another crash out, I cut another piece of plasterboard. This needed to be shaped because it is the piece that fits around the air vent pipe, so it took quite a while. But once that was in place, I refitted the rails for the false ceiling. With different plasterboard, a different stud wall by the beichsthul and so on, two of the rails needed re-cutting and shaping and that took a while too.

Consequently it doesn’t look as if I’ve done very much today.

I had a good wash and went to St Eloy for the shopping. But there was nothing special to buy and I wasn’t there long.

I’m going for an early night now and tomorrow I might cut the second shelf for above the beichstuhl. Then I can finish the remaining walls around there and then remove the rubbish.

And I’m glad that I sleep in the bedroom now. There’s a terrific rainstorm crashing down on the roof of the house right now.

Thursday 11th June 2015 – I DUNNO …

… what’s happened this last day or two, but today I’ve had another roaring day with the Radio programmes. In the space of two and a half hours, I sat down and dashed off 2000 words on taxation. And that includes having to read a taxation document written in official French and to translate it in my head as I’ve been going along.

So that’s not like me at all just recently given my lengthy spell of lethargy.

I had a very late night as well and struggled to leave my bed this morning. For the first half hour or so I was all ready to go back to bed, and that’s what makes this morning’s efforts all that more remarkable.

composting toilet beichstuhl fitted installed shower room les guis virlet puy de dome franceI’m glad that I chose light oak for the preparation of the surfaces of the oak worktops that I bought in Eching. I shudder to think how it might have turned out had I bought mid-oak or dark oak.

For the kitchen, I’m going to try to find a transparent surface treatment if I can. The stuff that I have is nothing like as good as this stuff that I bought.

But it has turned out rather well – you can’t deny the quality of the stuff. And here’s the worktop for the beichstuhl all in position with the fitted hinge on the lid covering the sawdust container and also with the bracket and peg to hold the lunette in position.

It’s all worked out rather well.

This afternoon I’ve been plasterboarding, spending much of the time trying to extract the plasterboard sheets from the back of the pile. But anyway, they are out and I’ve now plasterboarded the back wall and half of the wall to the left on the stud wall.

I’ve also fitted the shelf for the “bathroom books”

Tomorrow I’ll hopefully finish the plasterboarding in that corner and then I can start to empty more of the rubbish out of the shower room.

That will give me much more room to work.

30th April 2015 – NOT ONLY DID I …

… finish the plasterboarding around where the beichstuhl will be, I have made further great progress today.

First though, I had a rummage around in the barn looking for plasterboard. I can see me being short of decent plasterboard for the shower room if I’m not careful, and around the beichstuhl will be a good place to use a few offcuts.

So once that had been done, I attacked the major task that needed to be done, and one which I am never happy when I have to do it.

tiling beichstuhl shower room les guis virlet puy de dome franceWallpapering is a job that I detest, as you know, but one that I am never happy tackling, much as I enjoy it, because I’m rubbish at it, is tiling.

However, supposing that it all sticks to shere it’s supposed to, it hasn’t come out too badly. Thats mainly because I managed to make the consistency of the paste just about right, but also to the Rawlplug electric tile-cutter that I bought for peanuts from a car boot sale years ago. It’s cheap and basic, and the design could be improved in a million ways, but it cuts tiles a thousand times better and a thousand tiles quicker that I could ever do and it was well worth every penny that I paid for it.

I had fun cutting the hole for the breather pipe, but luckily it’s near the edge of a tile so I cheated with a deft little technique with the tile cutter

Now I know that I have said on a million occasions that I hate white, so why the white tiles? The answer is that when I lived with Laurence and her daughter Roxanne, and Roxanne’s school was making mosaics, a friend of a friend gave me “some” waste tiles – “some” being enough to fill a Ford Escort estate. And there were plenty in there that were certainly serviceable, so I put them on one side for jobs such as this.

So that’s a nice job to finish off the week, as it’s Bank Holiday and so a day off tomorrow. No alarm, and no working either. I could do with a few more days like that.

29th April 2015 – TODAY IS ANOTHER DAY …

… when I smell all coconutty.It was a much better day today and the temperature in the home-made 12-volt immersion heater that I use as a dump load for the excess solar energy reached 64°C. Consequently, when I knocked off at 18:30 this evening, I put some hot water in a bucket, cooled it down with some cold water, and then had one of my patent “jug showers” in the corner of the verandah. And wasn’t that lovely?

So today, I’ve varnished all of the woodwork that I cut yesterday. So far it’s had two coats on either side but tomorrow morning it will have the third coat on the outer side.

That is, apart from the pine board that will be the front of the beichstuhl. That’s had three coats ion the other side, and nothing on the inside, and for the simple reason that I’m going to tile all of the inside of the beichstuhl. If I’m having the fittings for the composting toilet in there, it needs to have a wipe-down surface and varnished pine boards don’t work.

I’m even going to tile the floor in there too – something that I said that I wouldn’t do, but cleaning has to be the thing with a composting toilet. Consequently, I spent about half an hour going through all of the odds and ends of tiles to find enough for the job.

I’ve started to refit the plasterboard too, which of course I’ll need to do if I’m going to do the tiling.

In other news, I’ve made advances with the electrical system here. Having had a test-bed in the barn with the old internet Livebox running on 12-volt DC non-stop for 10 days, I’ve set up the new one in here and that’s now running on 12-volt DC instead of the mains and an adapter. It took ages to set up, but the situation was greatly eased when I remembered to switch on the Livebox.

But this is yet more progress around the house.

And on my travels during the night, I was joined by someone else with whom I wouldn’t aprticularly care to pss any real time. I was in my car and explaining to the aforementioned about MP3s in car radios with either memory sticks or SD cards – an invention which hadn’t, apparently, penetrated into the depths of darkest Crewe.

But all of these unwelcome people turning up in my nocturnal voyages. Whatever is this all about?

Friday 24th April 2015 – APART FROM HAVING …

… to leave my nice comfortable bed for obvious reasons during the night, I had the best night’s sleep that I have had for a century. It was wonderful.

I was out like a light, and was off on my travels too. I was at a Gothic cathedral somewhere in the UK auditioning singers to choose one to front a huge concert and trade show. And after having listened to all of them, I had the very disappointing task of announcing that there wasn’t one of them sufficiently good to be given the task. That was not a popular decision by any means.

From there, I went with Liz to the Trade Show. It was in a new all-glass exhibition hall and was on several floors, and packed to the gunwhales with people. We spent our time wandering around the mezzanine between the first and second floor looking at all the technology stands.

After breakfast I finished off the rock music radio programmes for the month of June, and then attacked the shower room. I’ve assembled the stud wall and screwed it into position. And I was right too – it’s much more solid than its predecessor.

I had to cut down a sheet of plasterboard while it was standing upright. I didn’t think that this would be very easy at all, to say the least, but clamping a long and heavy straight-edge in position where I wanted to cut – that simplified the task considerably and it’s not all that much more difficult than cutting it when its lying down on its back. It’s amazing how your technique adjusts itself when necessity is driving you forward.

So having screwed the first piece or two back on, I’ve made a start on constructing the new beichstuhl. This is going to be a permanent fixture instead of a “thunder box”, but the container can lift out and be taken downstairs to be emptied all the same.

I went to St Eloy for shopping this evening. There was no-one there whom I knew, and it was a comparatively cheap trip (apart from the fact that I treated myself to a couple of things in the “reduced” box).

And that is that. I’m off now for an early night in my lovely comfortable bed. It really is the business and I keep on sticking my head in there during the day, just to admire my handiwork.

That’s definitely a sign of contentment and, strange as it may seem to say it, I’m glad that I didn’t do it earlier as my technique a couple of years ago was nothing like what it is now. This is one of the reasons why I’ve dismantled the shower room and started again, and I do wish that I could restart the attic from scratch. Compared to the bedroom, the attic is something of a shambles.

I would love to do it all again.

Tuesday 14th April 2015 – THIS MAKES DEPRESSING VIEWING;

plasterboard taken off back wall in shower room les guis virlet puy de dome franceYes, if you look very carefully at the back wall of the shower room, you’ll see that the plasterboard has been taken down.

And that’s not all either, for half of the plasterboard on the side wall has gone too. And when all of that is sorted out, half on the other side wall will be coming off.

You may remember that I did the plasterboarding in a hurry in 2013 in between trips to belgium, and I really wish that I hadn’t, because firstly, it’s a total mess, and secondy, the studding is all wrong.

I have to fit a variety of shelves in here, and it would have been ohh so easy to have fitted them and then done the plasterboarding around it like I did with the stairs, but that’s far too simple an idea. When I was looking this morning at how to fit the shelving in, and not seeing a satisfactory solution, I thought “sod this for a game of soldiers”. It was quicker to take off the plasterboard and start again.

I don’t know how I’m going to find the space to cut it down to the new shape, by the way, but I’ll worry about that in due course.

shelving bracket for composting toilet shower room les guis virlet puy de dome franceThis is what I should have done before I fitted the plasterboarding.

Here’s the shelf mounting for the top of the composting toilet and it took me about an hour and a half to make it, including searching for the wood and changing a few light bulbs in the barn. However, it took about 5 hours altogether given all of the messing about. And that’s sad news. You can see what I mean about having done it first rather than last.

There needs to ne another shelf bracket fitted to the adjacent wall and I’ll finish that tomorrow – I’m well on my way to doing that already.

blossom on trees les guis virlet puy de dome franceIn other news, the blossom has finally arrived on the trees. 3 weeks later than usual, but it’s here nevertheless. And it does look pretty too – well worth the wait.

And you can see how nice the weather was – another beautiful blue sky all day long.

199.3 amp-hours of surplus solar energy (and wind energy too because we’ve had a nice windy day) went into the dump load – the home-made 12 volt immersion heater. The water temperature in the dump load was off the scale (over 70°C) by 15:00 and when I went to fetch hot water to do the washing up at 22:00, it was still not back on the scale again.

I’ve finally fixed the data logger too – the new one that I bought a few months ago. And this is what I call accuracy. I checked it tonight with a 1-watt bulb and it showed a discharge of … errrr …. 1 watt. I rigged up a few other low-powered items and the discharge was 9 watts. Switching everything off again went straight to 0.

I’m well impressed with this.

I was back in Crewe on my travels, with some people who figure more in my nocturnal adventures that they do in real life which is just as well as they aren’t people whose company I would appreciate for real.

We were in one house – a Victorian semi with waste land at the side that was a zone of special scientific interest – a marshy wetland. A car driven by a woman went past, did a U-turn across the marsh, went across the drive behind my car, and out across the lawn and back onto the Highway. This had caused a huge pile of light-grey gravel to be pushed into the marsh and had totally dried it up.

Then, I had to take one of these people to see his father, and he gave me directions. When we came to what he reckoned was the house number, it was an empty plot of land in Delamere Street where the little old school used to be. Now it’s been 23 years since I last lived in Crewe, and yet I could tell the difference between Delamere Street and Flag Lane, even when I’m deep in the arms of Morpheus.

Thursday 19th March 2015 – YOU MAY NOT BELIEVE THIS, BUT ….

empty tidy bedroom les guis virlet puy de dome france… the bedroom is empty of everything apart from a set of steps and the tools that I need to lay the flooring.

Everything that I don’t need for the foreseeable future is now downstairs on the ground floor, as are all of the plasterboard offcuts. The things that I don’t need right now but which I’ll be requiring in early course are now stacked up on the stairs so I’m bound to trip up over them and break my neck before I’m much older.

That left three sheets of plasterboard and that was something that I was not looking forward too. They were too big to go down the stairs, my idea of a trapdoor didn’t work, and there was a scaffolding outside the window that I would have to dismantle.

One sheet was easy to deal with. This was the waterproof plasterboard for the shower room. I needed two full-lenght strips to finish off in there so by the time I’d cut them off, that left me with a full-length strip about 35cms wide and I could pass that down the stairs with no difficulty.

The second sheet was one of those that I bought years ago, one with the 40mm of insulation backing. That however was cracked across its width roughly halfway down so I reckoned that I may as well complete the damage. The tow halves of that went down the stairs with some degree of difficulty, but much less difficulty than dismantling the scaffolding.

This left just one sheet. And I thought to myself “sod this for a game of soldiers. I’m not dismantling the scaffolding for this” and I cut that in half too.

That resolved all of the issues at a stroke (of the plasterboard knife).

This gave me just enough time to sweep out the bedroom prior to lunch. And it does look nice in there.

After lunch I went round to Cecile’s. She and her mum are leaving tomorrow and she needed help to load up her car and to do a few other things too. It gave me an opportunity to rescue the floorboards that I had left there when I needed to unload Caliburn in a hurry a couple of years ago.

On the way back, I went to see Simon. He has a machine for fitting floorboards and he had offered to lend it to me. So I went to pick it up. It’s similar to a stapler, with an automatic magazine for the nails. You have to hit the piston with a heavy mallet to get it to work, and if you have the machine in the correct place, it punches lost-head 3-inch nails right through.

I forget how many times I’ve clouted myself with a hammer fitting floorboards, and if this maching works as well as it looks, I’ll have this floor done in no time.