Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not Dead, Just Sleeping

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.


TDK said...

I sent you an email about your Radio 4 request. Did you get it?

Thud said...

A few different posts such as your post on house renovation will make a nice mix with your usual posts.The Dpc remedy is a bit unusual in a house such as you describe.I renovate period houses for my living so anything you may come across of a problematic nature I'd be happy to help with.

Moriarty said...

I also have the Jeopardising Justice series Laban. (If TDK's is from, it's the same recording)

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Glad to have you back, I was just about to send an "R U OK" email.

Keep up the good work, nothing like a little light bricklaying to bring some perspective to the nightmare that is Broon's Britain.

This too shall pass!

TDK said...

I also have the Jeopardising Justice series Laban. (If TDK's is from, it's the same recording)

Mine is the same.

I saw your request and I downloaded "Sad Sack's" post. I wasn't 100% sure if you were the same Moriarty.

I will assume that you fulfil Laban's request and delete my copy. If you post via then you retain anonymity but 49 people besides Laban can download too

Moriarty said...

The shows are worth keeping TDK, they're an object lesson in how deluded people can get when they ignore reality in favour of an ideal cause. And the interview with Peter Oborne at the end of the last episode is always worth a replay.

bernard said...

I have in the back of my mind that you were/are a man of the trees as well, Laban?
btw, my skinny blister was chuffed by your compliment. Thanks.