Month: September 2016

Not another workman…!

If you’ve seen any of my recent posts, you’ll know that the house has been a workman’s paradise.

What with the bathroom, the electrics, the roof, plasterers and even having to make a hole in our in-built wardrobe to put up a curtain – a pretty nifty workaround from Alex! – it has been all go.

Sophie has coped remarkably well with it all but I was worried that last week’s altercation may have drained all her energy…

Gettit? Read on and you will.

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How many ducks

Over the past couple of years at school, I’ve been on a whole host of training courses about Maths teaching, how children acquire Maths and strategies to cope with Maths problems.

Never one to secure a particularly healthy work-life balance, I decided to put my learning to the test on our unsuspecting 2 and a half year old.

With mixed results…

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DIY House Nightmares part 2

Having survived the electrical work, we turned our attention to the prevailing concern of our house…the roof.

Now, our road is full of 1930s houses. The roofs are all exactly the same and have been for the past 80 years. Pretty darn good workmanship if you ask me (and my wife’s Grandad – an ex-roofer himself –  would agree.)

However, when damp is creeping into your loftspace and there’s some sneaky drips on the wall, it’s certainly advisable to get it sorted out – and sharpish.

So, on the first day of the holidays, we watched as the outside of our house turned into a building site. At least this time the work was all external and you were a bit freer inside but it was still remarkably intrusive.


My wife and I were up ladders inside  painting so at least we felt part of the DIY action.

20160802_155448Meanwhile thick-booted roofers tramped around the top of our house, clambering over tiles and chucking down the old broken and unusable original roof.

It looked like a great sport – aim for the skip, ten points if you hit the giant tiger which someone dumped in there – but actually it was much to the dismay of our next door neighbour who quite rightly took umbrage at the shards of tile which sprayed over our wall onto his pristine front garden and drive. Oops.

The guys we got in to do the roof were highly efficient. They arrived at ours before nine, taking down one roof and replacing it with another all in the space of six days. Very impressive. Personally, I loved impressing Sophie by climbing up the ladder and shinning up the roof to the ridge tiles at the summit. Never touched the top of a chimney before! (Wouldn’t dare do it now as I’d hate to damage what has been put on!).


I have learned lots about flashings and clay tiles. I know how valuable lead covering is around chimney breasts in order to keep out the rain. I’ve even tried flogging some old tiles to a local building site but sadly they were having none of it. Eighty years old and nobody wants them. Shame.

I did feel a bit sorry for the guys when the North Western skies opened and the rains began to pour down. Still, I guess that’s very much par for the course when you’re a roofer in this part of the world. A bit like the silly behaviour of children in a classroom after lunchtime I guess!

All done though very quickly and without needing the help of the boss who simply came in at the end to settle up and sweep away all the mess.

Sounds great and for the most part it has been. The roof looks terrific and no doubt they’re hoping the rest of our road will be thinking of tapping up their services. After all, ours can’t have been the only roof on this street having issues with age.

And we thought that it was all sorted, until damp spots started appearing in Sophie’s bedroom again after some particularly heavy showers. A roof over our heads? Yes, but not quite in perfect condition just yet…

DIY House Nightmares

To say it’s been busy at our house since we moved in back in March is a bit of an understatement.

Aware of the looming deadline of baby’s arrival (seven weeks to go!) and the careful advice from our ultra-thorough surveyor Mr Jon B, it has been important for us to get as many jobs done and out of the way as soon as possible.

Easier said than done when things keep going wrong!

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