Solidity arrives, and the garden continues

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Work has more or less continued apace. Wednesday was less productive than I might have hoped because of a pointless waste of my life dealing with the American healthcare ‘system’. It seems that between my pharmacy and my insurance company the wires have become crossed, and the pharmacy thinks my meds are no longer covered, or possibly I’m no longer covered. Lord know which. It’s tedious in the extreme. Thankfully the meds are cheap anyhow. But it means I’ll get to waste time on the phone on Monday working out what is going on. Yay.

But no, remind me again how the NHS is a wasteful government bureaucracy.


Mind you, it wasn’t all Costco’s fault. I was slow getting going, then went to the house to measure the protrusion of the windows from the siding with the intention of getting a bit of Z flashing that’d allow us to match the window protrusion on the French door trim (when we make the trim for them). Then I went to B&Q home depot where I realized that since my next stop was Costco, I couldn’t buy the 10′ long bit of flashing (which is the length it comes in), because it’d mean leaving the window open in the car and the flashing sticking out. Then Costco took a while… And when I got to the house I was a bit… well, vague.

I kinda pootled around for a bit staring at the wiring. Trying to work out the best way to run it. Considering options and considering that we need some boards to run the cables along, if I want to make it nice. And then that I need to know where we’re framing the ceiling.

And after pondering it for a while I realized I need to check with my wife before I do that, and that I’d rather that the windows were in and not in the area where I’ll be wielding hammers.

So I decided to wait.

Then I meandered around the house a bit before realizing I could probably put up the crossbracing on the 13′ walls. Which I did… yay :)

And it is astonishing the change. Even at this point the interior walls had a flimsiness running down the length of the house. I kinda assumed it would be that way until we put the drywall on, but adding the (Fine Homebuilding recommended) crossbracing has transformed things. The interior walls – and the bathroom – now feel solid in every direction. Which is good, because the drilling fairy needs to come along and throw in the lighting cables. To do that we need to frame up the last bits of the walls above the hall ceilings and above the laundry room – because that’s where some of the cables will run.

Anyhow, so Kathryn arrived in the afternoon and we got the third (and final) window into the back wall.


The back is now almost ready to have the rainscreen cladding put on (just need that flashing across the top of the back door) – we have an open question with the local planners about the grading of lumber for the cladding. I’m hoping “shop grade” / “ungraded” is sufficient. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be, given that it’s just ornamental. But then I often fail to see why some things are checked and other things aren’t.

I still don’t really see why they have such interest in my plumbing. I get wiring more (although I’m not fond of having it assessed). But plumbing? Seriously, if it drains into the drain it’s doing a damn sight better than it was before.

Anyhow, this weekend we’re hoping to do at least one of the side windows, then it’s just the front windows… and then cladding the entire building, finishing the wiring rough in*, putting up all the drywall, plastering, doing all the trim…installing a kitchen…painting, tiling the entire floor, oh – installing the heating system…

In other news, we’ve been sucked into gardening. The raised bed was just the start; we’ve cut in a second bed at the back (with aronia – which it turns out produces berries you can substitute for sloes in sloe gin), some Eastern European raspberries (groundcover, apparently), elderberries, a type of ornamental wheat that looked very pretty…

We’ve also planted the plants in our herb garden and then had the audacity to start creating a herby/culinary border which is where things got interesting (in the bad way). Part way through planting the rosemary as we tried to dig over the soil we found what we think is a barrel. It’s so rusty and holed that I don’t think there’s going to be anything noxious in it. But we want to know if it is a source of noxious things, because currently our bay tree is planted there, so is our rosemary (although further back now) and that means digging more.

And it may mean renting a digger.


* I realised I’d forgotten to install any network cable. And I want network cable. I’m not sure where the cable will come in, but I do like to hide the media server out of the way and for optimum performance that means having a decent wired network. So I forked out the money today for some Cat6 cable (I know, I could have got Cat5e, but the last Cat5e I got was terrible).


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.