Thursday, 17 January 2008

In Praise of Badigeon

Photo opportunities can sometimes be like the proverbial London buses. Nothing for ages and then they all arrive together. Today has been one of those, all arrive together days. The weather has descended into rain so it’s work indoors time. I’m still trying to tame the dust. The main problem is that as I don’t have any cupboards just open shelving at the moment, not only is every item covered in dust but so is every surface. Still after 3 days of vacuuming, wiping with a damp cloth, washing and mopping the recurring layer of dust has almost stopped.

I’ve finished painting the bit of wall where the first units are to go. The kitchen along with what will be the summer lounge are the original two rooms of the farm. As such they have rubble/stone walls and there is no damp proof course. In fact I don’t think there is a damp proof course on any of the newer build either. The walls have been modernised some time in their life by being given a cement skim. If I had oodles of cash and time I would remove the skim but it is probably holding the walls up and I can’t afford a rebuild. Because of the construction of the walls, I’ve decided to paint them not with modern paint but with badigeon or whitewash.

I have come to the conclusion that I really like whitewash. It’s relatively easy to mix up, lime powder, a smidgen of detergent to help with the wetting and water to get the required consistency.

The stick is to get the powder out of the corners and the whisk to blend all the lumps. You do have to start the mixing carefully otherwise all you get is a large cloud of white dust that will have you choking.

The other reason I love it is because I’m a messy painter but this washes out of clothing and wipes off the floor with ease. Add to that it’s slight disinfectant qualities, that it lets the walls breath naturally and it is so much cheaper than paint. It’s a winner all round for me.

The next bit to be worked on is the inner hall where I’ve started stripping the wallpaper. You can see where I’ve stripped the wallpaper the mould at the bottom of the plasterboard that is encasing the old wall, this would have originally been the outer wall of the original building. I’m hoping that by whitewashing this as well, I will allow this area to breath and therefore reduce the mould. In addition as there is no natural light , white walls should brighten it too.

As I said, it’s been raining so this next picture is for Graham. He spent a good couple of days clearing out this culvert for me. One of the concrete pipes had collapsed and the blockage lead to water backing up on the other side of the culvert and then flowing over the top of the bridge. If left it would have quite quickly destroyed the whole bridge. As you can see the water is now flowing freely, so thank you Graham.

The other day when it rained I did a tour of the fields and saw that the run off was puddling badly in a couple of places, so I set to with the spade and cut a few small channels to assist the water on it’s way to the ditch. What has happened in the fields is that the repeated ploughing has in lots of places built in effect a levee along the sides of the drainage ditches. This area here, whilst still forming a pool is smaller than it was the other day and the water was draining into the ditch.

This is Ashan and he’s soaked (picture is a little funny as it was so overcast I needed to use the flash). Like all the others he is steadfastly staying out of the shelter I built them, ah well at least it is there if they want it.

Final photo for today was this fungus I spotted in the leaf litter under an oak tree. It was a deep mauve in colour and I think it’s a blewitt. I must dig out my fungi book, oh that reminds me, as well as planting some trees with truffle fungus, I can also get them with the cep fungus too. I foresee another trip to the tree nursery.


Stew said...

The rain. Oh! The rain. It's come down, hit the ground , soaked in, risen back up again, had a party with the rain that still falling and then, feeling lonely asked for more rain to come and join in. And, happily, some more rain has come along. And as I look out of the window . . .
it's raining.

dND said...

Only(!) 14mm yesterday down here but a steady mist at the moment that's deposited around another 1 mm

Stew said...

Thanks for the blogroll code.
I like the way the updated blogs appear at the top.
Have you seen "Dordogne Painting Days" blog? The man oozes talent.