Fitting Perfectly

Connor and Josh completed their work on our floor this afternoon.

The last stages had them working on different locations alongside each other, and finally together as the work was completed in the vestibule.

Connor’s fitting of the tiles round the WC bowl and macerator; and his joins at the corner of the doors fit perfectly, and the link between the hall and vestibule is a seamless operation.

After spending some time putting things back together again, I scanned the next three of Charles Keeping’s exemplary illustrations to ‘Dombey and Son’,

‘There was a labyrinth of scaffolding raised all round the house’

‘The afflicted foreigner remained clasping Miss Tox to his heart’

‘Mrs Skewton smirked at her cadaverous self in the glass’

This evening we dined on second helpings of Jackie’s wholesome, well-filled beef and onion pie with accompanying vegetables, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2019.

A Masterclass

This morning Connor and Josh prepared the boards they had laid yesterday by “feathering’ them with a mixed cement-like material and leaving it to dry while they went on to another job leaving me in charge of their powerful


The skim was then smoothed in preparation for

fitting the tiles, which is what they call the laminate strips, onto a further layer of glue.

The joins around all the corners and skirting boards of the rooms could not be tighter.

When they finish tomorrow Connor will have laid all the floors throughout the ground level of our house. The first image above shows how today’s work runs seamlessly through to the kitchen; the second through to the sitting room.

As we watched Connor showing Josh the ropes, we considered that we were witnessing a masterclass.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef and onion pie in crisp short crust pastry; firm boiled potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower; and tender cabbage, with meaty gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Merlot.

“Would You Like To Photograph Connor Doing Something In The Bathroom?”

Connor and Josh from Crestwood arrived promptly this morning to carry out the first stage of the final flooring project. We are most fortunate to have enjoyed Connor’s work on all three ground floor jobs.

First the original floorboards were smoothed and swept.

Some of these required screwing down to form a flat surface for

boards carried in by Josh, measured, largely by Connor, and fitted neatly to form a base for the final strips of Karndean Pale Limed Oak textured laminate which have served well in kitchen and sitting room.

Connor in particular is most obliging when it comes to suggesting pictures. In the first of the screwing pictures above, he held the pose for my benefit after he had finished the task. When asked by Josh whether I would like to come and photograph the expert doing something in the bathroom this didn’t seem something I should refuse. What he did was measure, cut, and fit like a glove a template for the boards.

The boards were then nailed flat.

A smooth screed was settled over the concrete floor in the vestibule, and left to dry overnight. As can be seen, Richard’s new door will have to be cut. He had anticipated this possibility. The men will continue tomorrow.

This evening we dined on succulent roast lamb; crisp roast potatoes and parsnips; firm carrots and cauliflower; tender runner beans; and mint sauce, followed by ice cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Merlot.

The Holly And The Ivy

Our white sofa, being a sofa bed, is extremely heavy. In order to avoid damaging the new flooring, this morning Connor called upon

Mark to help him lift it into place.

Jackie ventured into the garden on this much brighter day than yesterday, announcing “I am going into the garden to photograph some loveliness.”  Her results included

raindrops on oak leaf pelargoniums,

on nasturtiums – only the red ones -,

on roses including Hot Chocolate,

Winchester Cathedral,

and pink carpet variety,

on vinca,


on cyclamen,


on camellia,

and on branches of Japanese maple,

weeping birch,

and the stems of Félicité Perpétue.

She also pictured primroses,




cyclamen leaves,

weeping birch bark,


 winter flowering cherry,

and generous pansies sharing their trough with next spring’s burgeoning tete-a-tetes.

Finally she thought her collection would not have been truly seasonal – not that much of it actually is – without

the holly

and the ivy.

The blackbirds have eaten all our berries.

Apart from working on this draft, I wrote out a batch of Christmas cards which Jackie posted later.

By the end of the afternoon, Connor was working on the final corner, which he soon finished.

One of the benefits of not being able to get into your kitchen for three days is that you can eat out in one of your favourite restaurants each day. This evening it was the turn of The Family House Chinese at Totton where we enjoyed our usual M3 set meal with Tsing Tao beer.