Sunday, November 10, 2019

Winter Droving 2019

Penrith, Cumbria. Saturday 26-October-2019.

Our fourth Winter Droving in Penrith. The usual fun mix of craft and street food stalls, live entertainment throughout the day with acts on several stages and itinerant performers.

An innovation this year to encourage the wearing of masks all day - a checkpoint with fast track for those wearing masks and winding barriers for those bare-faced, policed by suitably officious border guards.

Our friend Kate had no problem at Mask Control!

Lunch was some very tasty lamb merguez in a bun from the jolly staff at Hallsford Farm.

Live music at the bandstand, one of several acts we saw.

Lots of laughs at a regular feature of the day: The Drovers Cup featuring the tray-of-beer relay race, the hay-bale and sack of potatoes relay race, and ...

...the egg hurling.

The highlight of the evening is the giant lantern parade.

Groups of marchers.

Illuminated brass band.

Drummers and the giant stag.

Supper was in a newly opened tapas restaurant La Casita which warrants a return visit. After supper our friends went for a nightcap at Fell Bar but we peeled off and went to bed after a full day.

Looking forward to The Winter Droving 2020.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Benson Row - 07

Penrith, Cumbria, UK. October 2019.

There has been much progress since the last visit. Following advice from our builder the wall between the front bedroom and bathroom has been moved and made good on both sides.

Boarded and plastered. Not only did we gain a meter from the bathroom but also from the corridor; the old bedroom door is now a meter back from its previous position.

The builder put a single base coat of white emulsion to help keep the dust down for the brother-in-law's visit, his asthma is triggered by, amongst other things, dust. It will also make the re-decorating easier for me, one less coat to apply.

The new alcove takes the Ikea shelving which frees up space for the cot-bed that we had purchased for the alcove in the middle bedroom which we lost to accommodate the stairwell.

All ready for our next visitors.

The bathroom now looks like a normal sized bathroom with the moved wall lined up with the bath. The old tiles had a narrow, dated looking border. That and the row of tiles next to it have been chiselled out and replaced by some modern mosaic tiles. A simple trick to make a stylish improvement. Oh, and we replaced all the dripping taps with new ones and installed a new heated towel rail and downlights.

Under the stairs work has begun on preparing the space for the plumber to install the loo and shower.

Boarded and plastered. The shower cubicle will be straight ahead.

The loo will be off to one side.

The plumbing in the cellar is being boxed in (apart from the gas pipe which under current regs must NOT be boxed in). To cut a long story short almost every piece of heating pipework, cold water supply and electrical cabling throughout the entire house has been replaced.

The kitchen is all plastered and given a primer coat of emulsion. Now all the white goods and cabinets are delivered it is getting a bit busy in there. My job is to give is a top coat of wipeable kitchen paint before the kitchen fitter does his stuff.

The stairwell now has walls and a ceiling. Before you could see right up into the loft space were they had to replace the rafters and install a firebreak between us and the flying freehold. The temporary handrails will go and there will be glass panels and new handrails but these will only be fitted right towards the end.

The middle bedroom is now definitely a single as we had to steal an alcove to accommodate the stairwell. Still it is cosy enough.

Just just when we thought the Money pit had a reached Australia our builder said “there is a bit of a void underneath the hallway”. So we had a look and it was space under the cellar stairs that had been bricked up.

So we bashed open a hole. We had a peer and said that will make a handy lockable storage space.

Bashing complete revealed a handy space with stone steps. We will have a small antechamber and door fitted but maybe not just yet.

What this shows is looking up at the underside of the cellar steps. They are made of great blocks of solid stone set into the walls either side. Pretty chunky!

Next visit we should see something more closely resembling a home, apart from the kitchen,