LES GUIS - 2013
What can I say about the year 2013?
Only two things really, I suppose
Firstly....It was snowing on the 1st of January 2013. The first snow of the winter had fallen on 27th October 2012. And the final snow of the winter fell on, would you believe, 27th May 2013. We had snow, and heavy snow too, on-and-off during 8 calendar months of the year 2012-2013. That tells you everything that you need to know
Secondly..I told you back in 2011 that I no longer had any reason to return to Brussels now that my apartment was sold. I was not however expecting a rather distressing phone call from someone who had at one time meant rather a great deal to me, and it was with a heavy heart that, at the end of February, I once more hit the road north. And events were such up there that it wasn't until early November that I was able to return.
In other words, most of the year 2013 was something of a complete wash-out.
I did manage to make some kind of start before the year went totally pear-shaped. I told you last year that the new floor that I was installing wasn't working out like it should, and so I had a cunning plan up my sleeve.
The cunning plan was to buy some much-better-quality floorboard and lay it over the top. And then, extend this top layer into the bedroom and the top of the stairs so that there is one continuous, neat and pretty wooden flooring all the way across the first floor.
And I wish that I had thought of that a long while ago.
Once I was back in harness, I set about attacking the shower room. And that is now finished as far as I can finish it until the plumbing is completed.
Watertight plasterboard everywhere, two layers of wooden floor and a shower base. It'll be even more exciting when the composting toilet and the sink unit are built and ready for the off. It'll be a little tight in there but then, there's only me here.
While I was away, I had had a great deal of time to reflect on my situation here, and one thing that was bothering me was the lack of storage space here. I'm not the tidiest of people but I'm sure that if I had more places to put things I could make much more progress.
That, and the unseasnably-warm December weather gave me the impetus to deal with the woodpile that was just outside the door and which kept on tripping me up every time I walked past it. With all of the salvaged material around here, I built myself a huge woodstore to house all of that. The only new material used in the construction of that woodshed was one metal bracket and about 20 screws. Even the nails had been salvaged from discarded and dismantled pallets
Not a pretty photo I know, but where the wood had previously been stored was against a small length of the dry stone wall just there. Usually there are all kinds of things growing in it, but in that particular section, there was not a single weed to be found. A shame to lose the value of that and so I mixed up a pile of lime mortar abd filled in all of the cracks. That'll kill anything that might think about growing in there, and make it look so much prettier.
Of course, the rest of the wall then looked silly and so, considering myself now an expert on stone walls and pointing what with everything that I've been doing just lately, I dismantled it, removed all of the weeds and saplings, rebuilt it, extended it and then pointed it all with lime mortar.
And the improvement is remarkable.
I haven't finished yet either.
As Christmas approached, I turned my attention to the upstairs of the lean-to that I had rebuilt last year . No point in having all of that space and not using it, so I built myself a huge set of shelves out of left-over demi-chevrons and a pile of concrete-shuttering planks.
All of the 12-volt electrical equipment and the stock for resale found its way onto those shelves and the amount of space that I have created elsewhere is astonshing. Much more space to store stuff now.
If I can carry on in 2014 how I finished 2013, it should be an amazing year. But just watch something totally unexpected come along and trump all of my plans.
Forever the optimist, me.
You can keep up-to-date with my antics on a more-or-less daily basis by reading my blog