We’re at the end of August here…the pumpkin and corgettes have gone mad in their bed, the farmers are collecting their baled hay from the fields on camions way too big for these roads, and we press ahead with the west wing.
I think the pictures will tell their thousands of words about just what we’ve been up to…
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…
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!
It used to be a mud-floored, galvanized corrogated roof with a dark, dropped wood plank ceiling ‘garage’ to the right of the house…
I could show you a picture of that but imagine your worst case scenario.
We threw everything in there, including the 2CV in the winter but it finally came time to upgrade the space, as it was a hugely utilitarian place where if we got it together, we could use it as our workshop for all projects henceforth.
So we got it together.
Two weeks, actually, of backbreaking work. Liam dug out the floor, ax picked out the rocks from it, leveled and laid concrete. He did the bulk of it while I washed his dirties and kept him fed… save one day with dearheart friend Ronnie came over to do the actual pour. That took a day and then some.
It’s done! Well, except for the windows..
He’s out there tinkering on his bikes, getting things in order. Light is pouring through the translucent rooftop… the door opens into the garden and the setting sun — and it’s a better world.
A man needs his space:)