Monday, 29 March 2010

loft conversion update

It's getting quite exciting,really.  The cork underlay has been stuck down with PVA glue to stop it slipping.  I bought a couple of rolls of cork, and it's so much thinner and more fragile than the cork tiles I've handled previously!  It tears more easily than paper - hence the need for an adhesive.  Without any it would have torn to shreds as we walked on it to lay the floor!

The reclaimed oak tiles presented more of a problem than we had anticipated - no surprise there, then!  There are about 5 different sizes/thicknesses, not to mention the blocks which were trimmed to fit the factory floor.  But we like a challenge, oh yes, we do:-)

We discussed various styles of laying them; initially I had thought I would have a simple "brickwork" style, nice and simple, I thought.  No, not with all the differences it wasn't.

Eventually I decided that a simple block pattern of 3 x 3 would probably be best, so that's what we did.  However, there were insufficient blocks in any one size to complete the whole floor area - of course!

Necessity being the mother of invention, so they say, David suggested laying a border of the longest blocks around the patterned area.  How sensible!  And it looks good, too.

The oak blocks had been painted when they covered the factory floor, so now the really messy part was due.  We looked on the internet to see if we could buy a second hand floor sander at a reasonable price, but, as is sometimes the case, nobody was selling just what we wanted at a price that seemed reasonable.  So - David decided to try using the hand sanders to see if they would do the trick.  We have a couple of belt sanders and also those shaped like an iron, the detail sanders.

The dust!!!!!!!!  Oh, the dust!  All my lovely magnolia paitwork is begrimed with the stuff, and those ultra expensive Velux windows are shrouded in it.  I can't bear to think of how I'm going to clean it all:(  Hoovering the floor is easy, but the walls, ceiling and windows, it's not a pretty thought!

But aren't they looking wonderful?  Such a warm, glowing shade:-)  And, fortunately, the hand sanders are coping with it - though poor David's back would rather it was all over with, I'm sure.

Along the back wall, under the fire-escape window, we're running a bank of simple cupboard doors, which I picked up for 50p each from a bankrupt sale warehouse about three years ago.  They're not fixed as yet, but you can see what they will look like - ish!  I think  they're stunning, but then I would, wouldn't I?

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

where does the time go?

Where does the time go?  Who steals it away in the night, never to replace it?

I'm approaching the end of my three years as a mature student at UCLAN in Preston.  I am so very glad that I took my courage in both hands, phoned them up and attended two interviews to persuade the two heads of department that, at my advanced age, I was capable of returning to a learning situation.

Once my place was confirmed, I tendered my resignation from the post of Bursar in a school where I'd worked for nearly sixteen years.  I began working there on my daughter's ninth birthday.  The hours were perfect, not starting 'til nine thirty, which meant I could still drive her to school, and finishing at quarter past three, giving me a quarter of an hour to drive across to collect her from school at three thirty.  Only two days a week initially, but soon increasing to three days a week as the dreaded computerised system entered the education office!

So, another era comes to an end.  I've enjoyed telling people that I'm an undergraduate student when they've asked what I did - some people find it hard to believe that anybody would want to take early retirement to return to school!!

If you're thinking of doing it yourself - go for it - it's great fun.

I've always loved reading books of all sorts, but especially fantasy and long, involved series of books.  Now I have learned to read in a manner I hated whilst at school - trying to read between the words that are printed on the page, reading what is NOT written, as well as what is.

Working through this degree course has enriched my life, and given me a great deal of satisfaction. 

Had I not been attending my seminars, I would probably never have gathered the courage to send off a couple of stories to the local newspaper for publication.  Then I would never have experienced that unimaginable emotion that floods through when the message comes through that a story has been accepted - and then the other one as well.

Yes - it's enriched my life, and I shall miss it.  But hey, I've an exam to pass yet, and results to wait for, then the Graduation ceremony in July.  It's not over yet, so I'll enjoy it for a little longer :-)