Apologies for the non-existent posts of the last fortnight - a bust computer and a lifestyle change have both played their part. I'm taking a few (two or three inshallah) months out of work to do other things - mostly house and garden stuff, but hopefully some walking and visiting too.
When I gave up being an employee some years back to go freelance I'd intended to take a break then - having been working full-time for some 30-odd years. But someone offered me some work straight away and I thought I'd better take it - then someone else offered more when the first job finished and so on. I've been fortunate - never actually had to send my CV out to anyone or search for work - which I will be doing come December. My latest project finished last month and it seems a good time to take the long-postponed break.
You'd think I'd be blogging more, not less - but it doesn't seem to work like that. After a day bashing a computer or nailing down business requirements blogging time feels like earned time - after the kids have finished homework. It feels a little odd after all these years getting up in the morning and not having some eight hours of task to perform for a third party - be it boss or (latterly) client. Instead I choose my own tasks - admittedly from a monstrous list. An old house and a large garden offer plenty to do. Fences, paths, drive, convert old kitchen into study, paint the external walls, repoint the inglenook and install a woodburner - and Susan would like a walled garden if I have the time.
Anyway, I'm feeling virtuous (and sweaty) enough for a post or two. Current task is putting a damp proof course in the oldest (no foundation, timber-framing) part of the house. Some genius before us had plastered straight up over the (damp) supporting bricks to the timber frame of an internal wall - then hidden it behind skirting. The plaster has acted like a wick and the timber is damp enough to need cutting out in places. A builder friend took a look yesterday and a two-pronged strategy agreed. Where the supporting bricks are crumbly and damp enough they'll be removed and replaced with new brick, new concrete bed and a proper plastic DPC - but you can only do this to one or two at a time, as the bricks hold the timber up which holds the wall up ! Elsewhere a DPC will be injected into the mortar - won't last forever but better than nothing. Injection DPCs used to be a professional job but the latest products are silicone pastes which can be injected with a low-pressure gun.
All good fun. I've just laid a small concrete bed and there's time for a post while it dries and before I head for Screwfix to pick up some DPC plastic.
Meanwhile, in the UK…
4 hours ago