Sunday 08 March – Soil Pipe Dream

Apologies for not being able to post a blog last week.  I was all ready and prepared but when I tried to upload some images to our website it was obvious there was a problem with our site editor.  Our IT department (David) has found a way that I can post while WordPress sorts out the bigger problem.  As such, this blog will have pictures of where we were last week as well as the state now – I hope it is obvious which are which!

Unsurprisingly, the last 2 weeks have been focussed on one project – Priory refurbishment. We have made progress but, as I guess is not uncommon with projects like this, it feels like slow progress and I’d had hoped to be have completed more in the last 14 days.

The most progress has been made in the, now 2, bathrooms with much of the plumbing in place and the tiling underway.  I mentioned in the last blog I posted that we knew these spaces wouldn’t be enormous but we are pleased that they don’t feel as small as we thought they might.  The white reflective tiles have also assisted in making the family bathroom feel larger.

The smaller, new, en-suite bathroom also feels generous for a shower room and although, not unlike many en-suite bathrooms, it doesn’t have natural light, when that is tiled we think it will also brighten the space.  When building the new walls for the en-suite we have decided to retain some of the original slate, previously hidden behind the old lambris walls, as a feature to highlight the age and construction of the building.

We hope, just one more week and the bathrooms will be in a state completed all bar the decorating.

Where we have exposed slate in the bathroom, we have completed the panelling in the living area to hide an entire wall of it.  When I posted these pictures on our Facebook page last week they caused some discussion as to where they were.  For those who know Priory, the 2 walls we have clad are the back walls in the living space which were previously hidden behind large wooden, Breton, cabinets.  One wall had previously been painted white, the other was slate.  When complete, the previous slate wall will have a smaller table in front so you can see the panels but we will retain the older cabinet.  Both walls however will have new lights incorporated making the space much brighter.

Priory living space panelling nearing completion

The later pictures show the panelling added with filler applied to the screws and any small gaps.  Again, it now shouldn’t take too much to sand, re-fill, sand again and finally paint.  The picture also shows some of the work our electrician, Pascal, has done, installing the new radiators which are fed off a new air source heat pump we will have installed outside.  Perhaps not the most attractive item but no less so then the, now removed, old, ineffective wall-mounted hot-water radiators and far more efficient.

Pascal has worked hard since we started this project as he is re-wiring the entire house and with most walls made of solid slate, we have had to find alternative methods of running cable that doesn’t require huge channels dug out of the walls.  I will show you some of those as we near completion, but one of the larger tasks will happen early next week.  Previously, we had a hall lantern suspended above the main space.  It was one we bought in London when we were planning to refurbish our hall there but never got round to it!  So as not to waste it, it became some of the lighting in Priory.  We have now bought another, larger, suspended light that we will use in the main space, so Pascal has moved our ‘London light’ to the mezzanine dressing area where we think it looks great.

The mezzanine was also a focus the week before last when I spent a day sanding the new woodwork and plasterboard.  This is the area that we think has made the most significant change and will look fabulous when painted and complete.

While I said I feel Priory is progressing more slowly than we’d hoped, we have now accepted a booking for April 25th so we have a drop-dead time limit!  It is a lovely French family from Bordeaux who have stayed with us twice already, once before in Priory.  We hope they will love the changes.  While the progress may be slow, I do feel we are getting to the point that by the end of March, we should have all the ‘big’ things installed and ready leaving only days of cleaning and dusting – oh, and lots of decorating and painting!

More to report next week …