It is becoming a regular feature that Saturday and Sunday's activities are recounted in a single Journal entry going under the title of "Weekend Round Up". Not wishing to interrupt this evolving tradition here is a summary of this weekend ...
Saturday: Unleashing The Beast
After some non-specific pottering 30% and I headed towards deepest Stourbridge to drop the Land Rover off at The Defender Centre. The car should be with them for a week or so whilst various mechanical, cosmetic and functional changes are made. Under the bonnet the replacement of the dual mass flywheel and clutch will eliminate the judder that accompanies hurried exits from junctions. On the outside Alpine Windows will be installed in the roof which will then be colour matched to the body. On the inside there is a long list of improvements all aimed at making it slightly less van like; heated seats in the front, a pair of tip-up seats in the rear plus trim and insulation /sound deadening. Once finished I am guessing that I will be extremely reluctant to put anything shitty in it ever again.
Back home we lunched and then I took T&M around the Three Miler. The weather is stunning considering Spring has barely started. The down-side to this is that 30% keeps turning off the heating. I will break chronological conventions here by mentioning that being a late riser she is blissfully unaware that the nights and early mornings are still very chilly and that the heating most definitely still needs to be on until after breakfast.
Clambering back on to the linear time track I find myself back at home after walking the dogs. The lawn is looking dreadful after the Winter and I decide to unleash The Porn Mower in the vain hope that a trim will sort things out. This is very much like hoping that sticking plaster is a suitable treatment for accidental amputation and I really need turf, grass seed, exclusion zones and long hours with a sprinkler if I really want to use the word lawn with any credibility.
Sunday: Stair Repairs
After a couple of weeks off we were back at the Rugby Club this morning for a training session. Being conscientious parents we left TP there on his own and disappeared in to Redditch for supplies. The supplies were a large amount of paint, to be applied to the stairs and landing, and a small amount of groceries, to accompany a shoulder of lamb this evening.
As is the norm; lunch was followed by a walk and I then made a start on the refurbishment of the stair case...
... The older parts of The Pile date back to the 1750s and the stairs are most definitely one of the older parts. Building techniques in those days tended to be along the lines of using what was near at hand and as a result there are some rather peculiar construction features to be seen in the house. These are all quite sturdy. They have, after all, lasted more than 250 years but their "finishing" is, shall we say, a little rough and ready.
The stair case is a classic case in point. A couple of weeks ago I stripped the paint from the trim panels on either side of the stairs. These were found to be made of elm and in pretty good condition. The only problem was that the gaps between the trim panels and the stair treads were large and unsightly and these gaps had been concealed with crude strips of 1/2" softwood.
The plan is to sand, oil and wax these trim panels so the softwood strips have to go. I have therefore spent a good chunk of the afternoon cutting replacements from my supply of old, elm boards. These new strips are of a simple design but the addition of a bull-nose to the edges and front corner and the use of very old timber mean that they look to be part of the stair case rather than crude additions. I have cut half a dozen so far from a final total of eighteen. It doesn't sound like many but the strips need to be prepared from inch thick planks and each one needs to be individually sized...
... I wonder how busy I'll be this week?