Saturday, 31 December 2011

More Destruction

Patience Readers! Enough of the clamouring for me to write more stuff! I've been away again from computer and from mains power for a couple of days so. we've not been able to post. Back no though and in the chair, so bringing you some more pictures of the destruction phase of this rebuild project in Roscommon. You can see that it's mainly about ceilings at the moment, all of which are a bit stained with damp, or worse, and all of which potentially cover hidden dangers lurking, like rotten joists and woodworm.

We have also picked up the Yorkie "Coco" from the Silverwoods. Coco is an 'entire' male and has been battling with similarly attired Westie Maxwell. Mum has always had a hankering for a Yorkie so it seemed the best solution to take Coco on this transfer window and try him out with us. I'm not sure I approve, and have been known to snarl and grump in the car but nobody listens to me anyway, so I suspect Coco will be staying. He got his own bed from Santa for us to take to Roscommon. The only problem is that he, a typical Yorkie, is so tiny and delicate featured that all the humans keep forgetting and calling him "she".

The jobs this week for the humans were some more ceiling wrecking - the back upstairs right hand bed room, the bathroom, the dining room and the living room. The first to were plaster board. The dining room has a bizarre combination of black painted tongue and groove board which seem to be sound and free from any rot or woodworm but this is 'skimmed' with a layer of very light 3-ply painted pale brown and now completely riddled with woodworm so that there is a complete layer of woodworm dust between it and the T+G board. The ply is cut into roughly 4 foot squares and once nailed up has had beading nailed along each of the joints, north-south and east-west. This was a dust-mask job for the workers and all the windows open.

As well as all this ceiling bashing, Mum had at some of the bathroom stuff and we pulled out the sink, pedestal, toilet bowl, cistern and the olde plastic pale blue medicine cabinet / toothbrush panel the style of which Mum can remember from when she was little and living at Steak-Lady's house. To remove the sink, Dad had to hack saw through the copper pipes but this should have been no problem - the place has been unoccupied 15 years and was disconnected from mains water according to local legend, using a Water Board JCB because the aul' fella was in dispute with them over an unpaid fee. Anyone spot where this is going yet? So, we tidied up the day's rubble and retreated to the caravan for a coffee leaving the range going like the clappers, a full load of anthracite in its fire basket.

Returning to the house after dark Dad could hear the dripping of water onto the kitchen floor. With the torch, he found this as coming through from above, the newly gutted bathroom.Mum and Dad could also hear the copper tank attached to the range boiling a bit excitedly. We'd heard odd gurglings before but had thought this was just residual water in what we imagined would be the internal spiral-pipe (inside the tank)re-adjusting. Obviously not. The boiling water was now bubbling out of the sawn pipes upstairs and dribbling through to downstairs. Thank Heavens this is all while we are gutted, so there are no ceilings to sag and collapse. Dad put the Curver bucket under the end. The bubbling copper was alarming enough to stop us wanting to eat anywhere near the tank, so we retreated to the caravan resolving to check on the boiling scenario hourly and to proceed with the put-off removal of the tank as soon as it was cold (in the morning).

We took a day off house-bashing on Thursday to deliver on an invitation to English neice, Mads to bring her down to Silverwoods for the day to meet them and to play with all the Christmas toys and games with the children. Mads (20) is doing a University course on Hotel Management at Birmingham University and as part of this, has a work placement at Dunboyne Castle where she now has 35 days or o left of the year's placement. This was a bit of a day for the driving - it's a 2 hour drive across from Roscommon to Dunboyne, then another hour down to Silverwoods in Co Laois. Same again in the evening. But Mads fell in quickly with the Silverwoods and their children and thoroughly enjoyed her day building Thomas Tank Engine railway tracks, having gun battles with big showy "Air Blaster" machine guns firing foam bullets,playing Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Connect 4 and "Guess Who". She was also well fed and plied with wine. Silverwoods loved Mads and she loved them. Just a shame they didn't get together nearer the start of the placement year.

The copper tank was attacked Friday morning. Dad cut through the first pipe thinking this could only contain the dribble of water in the spiral pipe. Mum was there with the Curver bucket (10 litre) thinking all would be OK. In fact the water came out in a whoosh and kept on coming. Every time the bucket filled, Dad put his thumbs over the ends of the pipe to stop the flow while Mum emptied the bucket. 5, 6, 7 or more times this went on. Apparently there as no spiral pipe in the tank, and the pipes to/from the range must have had access to all the water in there, hence being able to boil it easily and cause it to bubble over upstairs. Ah well, all gone now, the tank hauled out (in the process collapsing through the woodworm infested shelf which had been (just about!)holding its corroded verdi-gris'd weight. The cupboard (hot press) is also gone and so i the last bit of plywood ceiling which had been above it.

All for now

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