Monday, 23 February 2009

Hi everyone, we're back!

After a week away buying some new materials and analysing other facilities we were glad to come back to the factory today. The floor and wall had dried well. I spent the day catching up with the post, answer machine, emails and admin - now why was it we went away again???

We bought two oven housings and two base units from a well known furniture store. Kev put them together and into position. Unfortunately they do not come with legs (I didn't know to look for legs!) The reclamation yard will be open tomorrow so Kev will be able to buy some suitable timber to get them finished off.

It's good to see things start to come together. With the units sat in place along with the dishwasher we can start to see a shape emerging. The silver tables have been brought through and cleaned, along with the fridge/freezer. It turns out that the best place to put the fridge is where the hand drier is - so that will have to be moved!

We will need to pick up the work surface later in the week. Hopefully, by the weekend, this should be a functioning production area.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

We finally managed to get some paint on the floor - hurray! Kev started by repainting the wall from yesterday. It needed a second coat and looks much better now it is done.

It was great fun crawling round the floor to paint the edges first. I put on some overalls over everything else - even my big, chunky work coat. George said I looked like sumo! This is why you have children I'm sure! The majority of the floor was painted using a long-handled roller.

I was wearing my good boots so Kev very kindly fashioned some suitable foot covering from a couple of carrier bags and masking tape. Not very pretty - but did the job. I couldn't sneak up on anybody with these on!

Murray kindly took some photographs while we were working as I left my camera at home today. I didn't really get Kev with any paint - honest!

We felt that Kev probably needed food by this stage - he's just fading away! He thought it was a probably a problem with the transporters.

We worked hard to get the floor finished. I don't think Kev quite worked out the plan first though!

There you are, the finished product - one painted floor. Hideous yellow - banished forever.

Friday, 13 February 2009

After some discussion Kev decided to paint the window wall in the production area. As we still had some of the stone coloured paint left from the offices he decided to use that. He got about half way along and felt a drip on his head. Although he pretended that it hadn't happened, it did happen again and Kev was forced to look to see what it was. It was the same joint as yesterday so this time it had to be stripped down and redone.

Once the painting was completed it was possible to turn our attentions to the floor. Kev tidied up the tools. We moved the other bits out to the retail area to have a completely clear space. The floor was then brushed and mopped. Well, most of it was mopped. I had bought a nice, shiny, new string mop and bucket. I started off in the far corner and decided that really I could do with an extension on the handle as this one was obviously built for someone the size of Joshua. I made a fair start and then Kev continued to mop. It was nearly done when he killed my mop - it is beyond repair - the head fell off!!!

It was good to see how well the floor came up and we are really looking forward to getting the grey floor paint on tomorrow. This will have a massive impact on how the space looks. As we are away next week it will give the area a good chance to dry out before we start to set it up properly.

I have to say a huge thank you to Murray who did a sterling job today. He brought our new office pc and spent the day sorting out and setting up with the various paraphanalia that we need for the business. I took this photo at the end of the day when the job was done, and he was upset because he had been so busy.

The children are on spring break today so we had the delightful presence of both Rebecka and George. Rebecka was a brilliant help during the day. I think George was having a meaningful conversation here!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Firstly - an apology for not updating yesterday. Both George and I were off with a cold and so didn't come in to the factory. That isn't to say that nothing was done - far from it! Kev completed the electrics so the production area so that is now live. From here he has moved on to the plumbing.

Kev has worked hard to reuse any of the original pipework possible. The beams have caused a few problems with getting the water where it needs to be. Poor Kev had to grovel his way through the loft space again in order to turn the water on. Murray and I were put on 'fountain watch'in case there was a leak. The cold water was turned on and sprung a leak in the production area - this has now been fixed. The hot water was perfect first time!

There are four drains in the display area. Kev routed the plumbing from the two sinks in the production area, through the wall, to one of these drains. Of course, you have to be sure that these things work. Kev turned the tap on - the water went down the drain and then came back up again!!!! Not a good result. To say that this resulted in consternation would be an understatement. The drains were traced back and appeared to not go anywhere - not helpful!

The drainage pipework had been routed through the wall under the window - for which Kev had to cut a 42mm hole in - as it turns out, unnecessarily. We walked round the problem and threw a few ideas round to come up with the best solution. There is a sizeable grid 1.7 metres away from the wall. One suggestion was to remove a channel and set a drainage pipe in the floor.

The solution we have gone with is to surface mount the drainage pipework in the production area and hide it in a cupboard over the drain. From here we can create an 'L' shaped kitchen space with the two cookers and cupboard space on one side, and a washing up/dishwasher area with stacking space on the other side. Will it work - you'll have to wait and see! There's nothing like a cliffhanger to keep you reading........

And what of the four drains in the display area? They will be concreted up and painted over when the floor is painted and no-one will know they were there.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Today was bitterly cold again. By 4pm it began snowing and the skies were grey. There is a definite sense for me of work coming together. Some long term advertising for the company has been finalised, along with work towards our wedding exhibition at the end of March. Gillian has been working hard and we currently have 29 exhibitors so far. I have been investigating the best way forward for advertising and will make an informed decision when all the information is together. I like to be organised (stop laughing!) and have booked the date for the 2010 exhibition for Sunday February 14th - how perfect is that - a wedding exhibition on valentines day?!

Kev worked to complete the electrics today. The production area will require additional sockets as there was only one in there originally. Four double sockets have now been installed to provide all the power that he will need in there.

The hand drier has been installed near the handwash sink to comply with Environmental Health guidelines. It is only small, but very efficient - this is the third location that this drier has been installed!

The sockets are surface wired and covered with trunking. Kev will couple the production area electrics to the main system tomorrow morning.

It is still a bit of a roller coaster shifting somewhere between very exciting and very scary - normally a combination of the two.

Monday, 9 February 2009

To say that today was cold would be an understatement! My feet have been frozen all day and are only just thawing out now! George and Kev went back this evening to continue with the electrical work.

George was put to good use threading wires through a very narrow loft. The wiring was installed for the sockets and the cookers and hopefully by this time tomorrow it will be finished. If not we may be icicles!
George took the photographs shown here.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

George was apprentice today. In the good victorian tradition we sent him up in the loft as we didn't have a chimney at hand! Kev ended up in there as well. All that could be heard was a low mumbling of "I'm too old for this" and "I'm too old to be grovelling round in a loft!" I think George enjoyed his work more than Kev today as you can see from the photo. They isolated some wiring and re-routed the cooker wiring from the kitchen to the production area. We are looking forward to some plumbing and electrics before getting to paint next week.

Friday, 6 February 2009

It was another snowy day here. Kev had to dig the car out so we could get to the factory today. Rebecka and George were both off school so they were roped in as well.

Kev put George to good use. They fitted the panels underneath the window, added extra uprights and insulated the space. It look really smart now, and is just waiting to be painted.

Speaking of paint - it finally arrived - a week late! It was starting to be known as the 'p' word. The blue seems to have suffered in transit with some of it being in the box rather than in the tub!!!! Nice colour though.

I managed to take some photos of this years collection of cakes. Most of the photos didn't come out - probably because I was cold! This is 'splash' because it is decorated with white ruffles and white chocolate splashes.

This is 'dotty' for quite obvious reasons really! It reminds me of Audrey Hepburn and polka dots.

This is a pretty cake where the design followed the topper. This was bought from the Black Isle Show last year.

Finally we have 'Ruffle'. This cake has made quite a stir when we have had it out at shows this year. It is built round a five tier cake and decorated in handmade belgian chocolate ruffles. There is an additional 4 kilos of chocolate on the outside of the cake.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Along with most of the UK, snow fell heavily here overnight. We checked this morning and school is closed today so Rebecka and George are staying home. It seems that we have more snow than elsewhere in Moray as both Forres and Lossiemouth schools are still open.

It started snowing last night and judging by the depth it didn't stop!

Our car is under there somewhere!

The council have done a sterling job with snow ploughs and gritters working their way through, and our bins were collected this morning. It is difficult to drag the wheelie bins through 5 inches plus of snow.

I don't think anyone would want to sit on our garden bench today!

Everything is covered in snow! Never mind, I am going to spend the day washing, although I don't think it will be worth hanging my washing out. Mind you, I don't think I could get to the line anyway!

The weather report says the snow should move away during the day, so hopefully everything will be back to normal tomorrow.

Kev says that he is going down to the factory later on to make sure everything is ok, but at the moment the roads are too bad to move. The A96 is incredibly slushy.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

We felt that today might be a bit of slow one. Having been to the reclamation yard yesterday we did not have much to do. Nothing to build, no paint here yet. And then, at 10am we had a delivery. The guys at Lochpark Challenge delivered our door, window and wood.

If you need any wood, windows, doors or reclamation I would definitely recommend you visit Lochpark Challenge at the Chanory Industrial Estate in Elgin.

Having bought an 8ft 2in window, we needed to make the big hole in the wall even bigger! Kev worked out a way to remove an extra 5 inches which would create a space big enough for the window and supporting uprights.

Having decided on a plan of attack Kev used his super-duper grinder. He nearly got more than he bargained for when grinding at the top, the sparks bounced off the beam and burned the top of his head.

The grinder made short work of the job and the hole was expanded.

Kev used the reclaimed wood to build a frame and uprights.

When we saw that it took 5 men to carry the window in it became more than apparent that we (as in me and him!) were never going to be able to put the window in on our own. A phone call to Jo and Brian and bodies were recruited.

A special thanks has to go to Brian, Si and Chris for their manpower. Within 10 minutes the window was lifted, turned and in place.

Wow!!! We have a fitted window and ....

the makings of a viewing area.

So what looked like a day where not much would happen we went to having a hole in the wall to a viewing area.