It’s such a slow, ongoing process, this home improvement thing, particularly with other calls on our time – namely the sheep and chickens, work, wanting to go out cycling and other jollies, and dealing with serious health issues (himself – stable now). However we have now made a bit more progress in our kitchen – the previously blanchmange pink alcove (was it a window or a chimney?) is now a mostly white alcove, sporting a new bespoke (we made it) free standing unit with reclaimed wood counter.
No mean feat. The alcove had a huge layer of cement and many, many coats of gloss paint on it, all designed to hide the water feature behind… The incredible damp was dried out, the mud removed and the stonework repointed, the original brick hearth was found – yes it was a chimney – the original one we assume since the kitchen has another one, complete with the remains of a (sort of ) filled in bread oven, and a lot of soot. The chimney had to be insulated and capped off – more so than the previous owners efforts with a plank and a bit of fibreboard (no wonder there were so many drafts).
We had a bit of a break then, re the health issues and a think about what we are doing, decided we like what we are doing, and picked up home improving again.
Just before Christmas the aforementioned water feature made an appearance. It turns out if the gutter becomes blocked, the rainwater overflows and pours directly into our house wall – the walls being somewhat not straight – and the water turns up as a mini waterfall in the kitchen at the back of the alcove – hence the slight yellowing of the clay paint. This has been going on for decades, hidden behind the cement and gloss paint barrier. So we shall solve this problem from the outside and repaint then.
And now we have a nice open fronted unit – open so the damp can continue to dry out, and I have put my nicer pans there (the more disgraceful ones can hide in a cupboard). I love the counter – made from reclaimed wood from a packing crate. It looks shiny as I have just treated it with Danish oil, with built in wood stain.