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The Barn Conversion

 

November 2010

1st November

Start work on the barn for the first time in 3 weeks. My task, should I accept it, is to get the sandblaster working. The compressor starts up without too much trouble. It takes a bit of trial and error to get the tap washers I've got to seal the joint for the air line. But I cannot get the blaster to work. It has an air feed along the small yellow pipe. This goes to the gun which has a hole (where the air is coming out). By closing the lever the ait hole is closed and the air is redirected back to the unit via the small black hose. This is supposed to open the valve to allow air down the large pipe which goes past a valve on the bottom of the sand tank, picking up sand as it does. 

I decide to give up with it. I could spend days messing about with it and it still not work.

2nd November

Take Lynne shopping as she's not up to going on her own yet. On the way to the supermarket we go to Brico Marche and buy some wire brushes for cleaning the oak beams. In the afternoon I decide to miss work for the rest of the day. I think I'm suffering from delayed shock - or just laziness.

3rd November

It's our wedding anniversary today. Unbeknown to Lynne I've booked a restaurant in Laval (about 30 miles away) for us and a friend. I start work in the barn using my large power drill. I have two battery powered drills (and a few more that don't work well) and one mains drill. It's a big bugger and great for drilling holes in thick steel or brick. I also have an SDS hammer drill. Problem is I do not have a lightweight power drill suitable for a wire brush. So in the afternoon I'm off to Brico March to buy a lightweight mains drill. A good look through what's available and I'm getting a bit confused. So I start again. Ignore the prices and find the lightest drill. It turns out to be a Bosch 500w item. It also turns out to be the second cheapest at 60. The cheapest is there own brand at 45 but this one is nearly as heavy as the one I've got. What happened to the 20 China items? 

Back home and I give the new drill a trial. Fantastic - I can use it one handed and it's doing the job really well.

I also announce to Lynne that she shouldn't get any supper out as we'll go out. Play it down and suggest the local place. However I do say that she should dress up a bit as this will cheer her up.

We get ready and leave at 19:15. We drive into Pounce, our local town. She is a bit confused now as I'd said we might go to Chateaubriant to the Italian. As we enter Pouance I turn sharp left into a side road. "Where are we going she demands" I don't answer as I pull up outside our friends house. "When did you arrange this", "when you were in hospital". We set off and I drive out to the main road to Laval. Camille says "are we going to Reneze?" and I mumble something. Lynne then joins in and wants to know where we're going. I just say "You'll see"

We get to the restaurant in Laval, and as if by magic, there's a parking place right outside the front door.

As we sit down at the table I excuse myself and Lynne assumes I'm visiting the loo. I'm really arranging a bit of a surprise. We order our starters and main courses. The entrees are bought out and Lynne's arrives with a silver cover over it. The lady serving us then makes a dramatic flourish and removes the cover - to reveal a small gift wrapped package. Lynne's face was a picture, she was not only speechless but a bit shocked. She opens the small package and reveals a pair of diamond earings.

We had a really fantastic meal with an excellent bottle of wine.

4th November

Back to scurfing oak beams with a small lightweight electric drill complete with a wire brush.

5th November

More scurfing. I also visit Brico and buy a 25 litre drum of wood treatment (too kill the woodworm and preserve the wood) and some dark brown stain. I was going to get the beams I've done sprayed before finishing, However I come in about 4 o'clock for a cup of tea and fall asleep in the armchair.

6th November

Spend the morning with a small drill in hand. I end up at lunchtime on the 3rd upright support. I want to get this finished by nightfall. However it starts raining after lunch and is very dark. So I stop scurfing (the uprights take ages due to the "tree" at the top which is fiddly to clean). I decide to spray the beams I've done so spend an hour with the airline (from the garage compressor) blowing of the dust from the joists (which haven't been scurfed as they will be covered). The fill the garden spray with the insecticide stuff and get up the ladder and spray. By the time I've done to the second upright I'm soaked with the stuff (I have a mask on but the goggles keep misting up so they're on the top of my head). Call it a day and get into the shower.

7th November

Have a day off watching Wednesday win their first away cup game for 10 years! Then the Grand Prix. The Strictly - well I've got tgo let her watch something!

8th November

It's pouring with rain and very dark so decide not to do any work today. By 11 am it's dry and sunny. I'm just typing this up and will have to decide whether it's a day off or an afternoon at work.

 

After this I was taken into hospital and the following day so was Lynne. We went back to the UK in December and stayed until July 2011. The full story is on the House Renovation pages click here

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