We started the month in the link, finally installing lights in the ceiling after years of darkness. As winter is rapidly approaching we're setting the lights' timer to come on earlier and earlier in the evenings, no doubt soon to be mid afternoon.

Meanwhile, outside we're preparing for a big electrical project, as we're relocating the temporary power meter box and installing final wiring to our consumer unit. It's taken so long that the power company we worked with in 2004 has been taken over and renamed twice, and the rules have also changed. Consequently we cannot finish the power as originally planned, and will have to come up with a revised scheme to satisfy the new regulations.


Our preparations started by digging up the service trench where power, storm-water and sewer connections enter the property. There is conduit in place for the incoming power and also a section running under the link to the kitchen wall where it enters the house. Having exposed the conduit we can get the power company to move the meter box and we can run new cables through the conduit to the house.



Back inside the link we've had a bit of remedial work done on the injected damp proofing, as there have been some signs of moisture creeping through. Damp John (not his real name) came to the rescue, stripping back plaster then drilling into the stone walls through the lime mortar. He injected some magic cream concoction that disperses through the mortar then cures to form a waterproof barrier layer. After a couple of days John re-plastered the repaired patches so there's no sign he was ever there. We also dealt to the buttress outside to ensure it is damp-isolated from the dining room wall.







The lounge was also showing signs of damp ingress, where the patio outside is a few hundred millimetres higher than the inside floor level. Again John came to the rescue with a long drill into the mortar, followed by injections of foam spaced at very close intervals. After curing time the holes were capped with fresh lime mortar to make the repairs invisible.

While we were checking all the stone walls for signs of damp, we exposed the back corner of the lounge that has been hidden by old furniture and building tools for several years. Now that we've rediscovered the space we can plan a wine storage rack and bar.




The big project of the month was in the garage: we've been in need of storage space and the garage had an unused ceiling space, so it was time to build a mezzanine. We took delivery of a truck load of 6x2 joists then spent a weekend cutting, bolting and hammering the 3 metre by 3 metre frame together. Once that was done the chipboard flooring went down very quickly and we gave the brick walls a coat of white paint.



The following weekend we refilled the garage, stowing boxes of 356 parts and tools on the mezzanine and reclaimed timbers stacked below. Porridge now has plenty of parking space with walk-around room, surrounded by sheets of insulation to ensure we avoid any bumps and scrapes.