January to March 2003
The continuing poor weather took its toll on the work required to finish the west wall. The rear section of the west wall is a mixture of granite and stone to the ground floor and brick above. Like the rest of the house this had been severely neglected and extreme internal dampness was the result. The only way of stopping the dampness on the rear section was to pebble dash, that was recommended by our surveyor. But before that could be done much preparation and two scratch coats of cement rendering was required. It being imperative that this is carried out in dry weather we awaited good conditions and the availability of help as it is so labour intensive. Finally, by late January we had managed the first scratch coat (done in three sections). We awaited fine weather again. One day the forecast was good and although cold the sun was shining. We began the second scratch coat. All was well until we saw a lone cloud heading our way. It didn't pass us of course and, you've guessed it, it unloaded its store of water on the west wall. We watched in despair as the cement washed off and drained down to form a mess on the ground below. It could not have been more localised; it could have easily missed us as just a few yards either side of the house it did not rain. Then the sun shone again! I took no pictures of this disaster! By the end of March however we had managed the final scratch coat and the pebble dashing.
During the bad weather we managed to finish the ceilings in the bedroom and dining room. And continued work on the en-suite.
The Cottage Kitchen: We also managed to replace the kitchen in the cottage. After we removed the dreadful old kitchen, we found that the floor had been covered with chipboard and a linoleum of sorts. The chipboard was rotten in places and some of the beams below were likewise, so bad in places that we could put our feet through it. So the floor was replaced. The rear wall required much treatment too this being a result of severe dampness due to the neglected guttering that we also replaced. Finally the new kitchen was installed.
At this time we still do not have a kitchen in the house. It is partially assembled but there is much work left to do before we can complete this. We also cannot work on the east rooms as there is severe dampness in the chimneys that we cannot fix until we redecorate the east wall.