For eight years we have talked about the west wing; the first floor (second by US standards) den/recording studio/tranquil space that looks out over the garden and setting sun in the fields of Normandy…
This summer we had the roof done with the big window to have the view…then we laid the subfloor so we could access the space, and NOW we are busy getting the incredibly finely ground 200 year old mud plaster out of our teeth.
Liam spent the last two days busting BACK through the wall from the west wing into the house creating a door-through. Well, he didn’t ‘bust through’ — it took two days to dismantle, stone by stone, avec very old mud plaster, the area of the wall that is now the doorway.
It changes everything!
We can walk into the west wing from inside the house.
The LIGHT that shines from the west, through the door, into the bedroom? All new!
Here’s the current state of affairs.
And it IS in quite a state — we’ve just opened up a very big can of worms…
It’s been a month. Busy, busy, busy.
Let’s see, the hearth is finished and warming our socks.
Liam restructured the west wall of the garage, given the slapping storms that pummel it in the winter, and used all old recycled chestnut planks we salvaged from its former selfdom to fortify it. So it’s now anchored and the roof will NOT blow off in gale force winds.
Dear Friend Roy came in from Orcas Island to lend his blood, sweat and tears to help — talk about a friend:) Thank you, Roy.
Liam’s grounding in his journalism here at the home office and turning stories out nearly every day.
I had back to back work, and finished here near Mont St Michel with a glory week of teaching the work that I deliver.
And we are heading into winter. The last two days have been crystalline sunny clear, blue skies and unseasonably warm. Today the cold grey color arrived avec the wind, and we are tucking in more and more each day.
Liam’s already counting the days til Solstice, the shortest day of the year, at which point he exhales and begins to look forward to Spring.
Personally, even though that’s true? I don’t hit looking forward until the end of February…so I’m busy counting blessings.
Here are some late autumn pix for you!
Maybe we should start with ‘the before picture’. It doesn’t do last year’s winter fires justice — because they are all gone — except in our hearts:) But this is last week, stripping it out.
Liam’s hammering away in the living room. Vacationing neighbors across the lane just came by to lend a hand and heave-ho the massive oak beam we have oiled and sanded, which now becomes the mantle of our new hearth. It is perfect.
T-pipe secured, cap in place…check.
Mortar jimmied betwixt and between…check.
We’ve reconfigured the how-to for laying and leveling cement block on the floor — the new hearth. We’re re-thinking and thinking again. Googling also:)
We’re nearly there…two days ago we measured and cut stone by stone, the underfloor for the hearth. Yesterday we took the puzzle apart, poured mortar, made a roadmap, and put it all back together again. Today, we tile.
So there’s tile and grout to do, the stove to pop into place, all before Thursday morning when we sail to Ireland…Liam will be on Irish soil with his father for the first time:)
Next post will surely be the finished hearth!