In the words of Stevie Wonder: "You ask me am I happy. Well as matter of fact. I can say that I'm ecstatic. 'Cause we all just made a pact".
Although Stevie was talking about jammin' in his 1980 masterpiece, "Master Blaster", somehow the words seem to ring true about the master plasterers who have done a seriously good job of sorting out my flat.
On my last trip to Rothesay, my ferry arrival was later than scheduled. A friendly local bought me a vodka on board and provided plenty of chat on the short trip over the water to Bute. You have really got to love the Bute locals!! Despite arriving in the dark, it did not deter Trish and I from making a quick dash up to see the flat.
I was a bit taken aback to be honest. I am not sure what I was expecting, but I don't think I fully understood the degree of difficulty that the flat posed for the plasterers. It was seriously a challenging job to get the walls completely straight and smooth. I had no idea.
But enter Dave, Ritchie and their loyal dog Jet. This trio worked tirelessly to get everything sorted, and were trying their very best to have it finished before I departed the island. They worked long hours over the weekend and every time I popped up to have a look, they were there. Now that is commitment.
I also had no idea that the plaster would look a shade of rust before it dried out. It sometimes feels like I am on a very steep learning curve. Luckily, everyone is very patient with me.
I did very much enjoy seeing the brand new windows when I was there. I am happy to report that they are exactly what is required to both maximise the lovely views and to keep the flat nice and warm during the chilly winters. Don't be put off by the current state of the bathroom by the way - the windows are perfect, but the bathroom will be the last room to be finished. Here you can see Shaun, demonstrating the new window in the second bedroom - which has also been freshly plastered to perfection.
One room that didn't need much attention from Dave and Ritchie is the kitchen. The new walls are up and as most of that room will be tiled, it is starting to take shape. In these pics, you can see Trish at work (in a truly fabulous coat, I might add) and you can see the new walls in place. The kitchen looks a lot larger without the cabinets on the wall, and our plan is to keep that open feeling as much as we can - with a breakfast bar maximising the glorious view. You can also see the roll of insulation in these photos, which has since been installed to ensure that the flat is toasty warm.
It was wonderful to see my bedroom coming together, slowly but surely. The old fireplace in this room has now been covered up, as we agreed that it would take up too much space and that I would rather a writing desk instead.
I did laugh at my rather naiive enthusiasm to purchase an antique dresser for my bedroom on one of my earlier trips - I am sure it is really a massive pain to everyone, although they are at least getting some use out of it as a bench of sorts and it is really considerate of them to cover it up. :-)
And I am so thrilled to bits with the progress in the lounge. Now that the plastering has been finished, I can really start to visualise what the fireplace will look like, once we install a fire surround and hearth. I also know the bay window will provide a beautiful spot for a window seat and the round dining table that I recently purchased (big thanks to Trish and Shaun for picking that up!). I am certain that many wonderful memories will be created in this room with family and friends - and that makes me feel incredibly happy. Dave looks pretty happy with his work too!
Since my return to Australia, Trish and Shaun have confirmed that the Dave and Ritchie have indeed finished the flat and it has almost finished drying out. It won't be long now before the painting can commence - which is incredibly exciting from my perspective! Sage green walls, here we come.
Shaun has also commenced work on the door frames this week, so it is all starting to look much more like a home than a construction site. We are getting there and finally moving into a stage where I feel a lot more comfortable. In these photos you can see how the walls look now that the plaster has dried - as well as the lovely door trims, courtesy of Shaun.
Sadly this week, Trish confirmed that little Jet, the faithful companion of Dave and Ritchie, passed away. He was a lovely dog and it is sad to know that he is gone. Big shout out to Dave and Ritchie, who are no doubt mourning him. I will be sure to visit your pub Dave and raise a glass to honour Jet, the next time I am in Rothesay. Rest in peace little Jet. It is an honour to know that my flat was one of the last jobs that you worked on.