Stairs (check), potatoes (check), shelves (not-check), Volvo (check)…

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So, yesterday I actually got a fair bit done. Which was an about-time/pleasing situation. The Volvo’s been waiting on this small plastic part which I wasn’t sure if I could get new or was going to have to fabricate in some way myself (I was bracing myself for getting a brazing torch out and asking John if I could borrow his lathe to make a metal version of it).

Thankfully, Renault who clearly care more about my V340 than Volvo still sell the parts for the engine. I’m guessing the B14 engine was used in something later than our late 80’s volvo, but I’m not sure what. It’s always difficult when you go to collect a part and they say ‘what car is it for’ and you say “I’ve no idea what Renault it’s for, I ordered it based on a part number, but it’s going in to a Volvo 340”.

They look at you for a second, then wander off trying to find your small plastic part.

Anyhow, it arrived and I ran it across to the garage where our partially disassembled Volvo has sat for a couple of weeks. Hopefully we should have Chester back (and actually running properly), possibly even today. Then I did the shopping for the week.

I stopped off at the wood recycling place to see how much it would cost for them to build a box shelf for the wall from scaffold planks. The answer is ‘more than I want to pay right now’. I think I’m going to end up getting scaffold planks and sanding them again, which is a bugger. It’s a time issue though. I want to unpack that room and need to do it before Kathryn’s Dad / his partner come over, but to do so need some shelves to unpack into.

To make the shelves requires wood.

To make the shelves I’d like to make requires wood and an awful lot of sanding sheets for our poor, much abused sander. I’m trying to work out if I have time to make them or should just suck it up and buy the box shelf from ikea. My concern there is that it won’t match the desk, the shelves on the other side of the room or the chaise. I am however starting to think that in the name of getting the room in order, perhaps it would make more sense to buy the ikea box shelf. I’m not that fond of the shelf, but it’s better than no shelf, and also would take much less time than me sanding and refinishing scaffold planks.


Anyway, it won’t fit in the Minor without the roof rack, so it can wait until Chester’s back.

Next up was continuing progress on the stairs. I’ve let the chopped up ikea Expedit shelving unit in under the stairs, and have now slathered the surrounding low quality wood in low quality hardboard. Once I’ve bought some more glue (because I’ve run out of glue) I’ll finish covering the door and we can move on to filling and painting. Yet again I was reminded how appaulingly inaccurate the statement ‘instant grab’ is on the adhesive used for this job. Anyhow, there’s a bunch of seams to fill in, and once that’s done I can paint it all. I also need to put some shims under the centre join of the expedit shelving units (since there’s two of them stuck together) because our floor and walls have as little to do with 90 degrees as it is possible to have. Whilst I’ve supported the back end and they are screwed and sort-of-glued together, the centre join is under more stress than I’d like.

Pleasingly, we can cram another expedit unit in under the stairs offering more chances at organisation. This is good, because storage is one of our major challenges.

Having done what I could (and run out of glue) I moved on to planting potatoes. My mum sent me some very non-native potatoes (Peruvian) and they were ready chitted, so into the potato pot they went. A second pot was filled with earth for some of our ‘First Early’ potatoes (which should have gone in at the beginning of the month). Then I took the opportunity of being covered in mud to prep the pots for the tomatoes, which contrary to our early fears have managed to struggle on (despite our neglect). Having repotted them I’m hoping that they’ll prove that this early enthusiasm will produce plants worth planting. Which of course means that we need more wood to build the greenshed.

Which is all well and good, except I’m going on a 2 day course (only in Bath) in June, for which I need to do some revising. This is, of course, traditional. Lots of work on the house, a course to do and one of Kathryn’s parents coming to visit. I’m getting a distinct sense of déjà vu.


Kate's allegedly a human (although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise). She's definitely not a vampire, despite what some other people claim. She's also mostly built out of spite and overcoming oppositional-sexism, racism, and other random bullshit. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, she's here to reassure that it's all fine.