Cellardyke … the royal visit

Blimey, we’re exhausted! Today was our third visit to the house in Cellardyke this week, and it was really beginning to show in our energy levels. Having already visited Tesco, the local Civic Amenities Site (the dump!), WH Smith at the Gyle (shopping centre) and B&Q (affectionately known in our house as “Bob & Quentin’s”… but it would appear it really stands for “Block and Quayle”. I digress…) we met my Mum off the bus and drove her to Cellardyke.

Cellardyke Kitchen
Mum and Jane in the kitchen at Cellardyke, following our first heated lunch in the place.

While Jane cracked on with painting the lounge walls, Mum and I explored the cellar (discovering what looked like a treasure chest, but containing only blankets and sheets) and the garden, which will need a lot of work done to it in the Spring. I am still delighted each time I climb the garden and can look out over the roof of the house to the Firth of Forth and the Isle of May. I don’t think I shall ever tire of that view.

The filler in the small(er) bedroom had dried so I began to rub it down in preparation for painting, only to discover that not only did some of it need re-filled I had also missed ten rawlplugs buried deeply in the opposite wall. How do you remove them, without also removing chunks of plaster? The only way I know how to remove them at all is to screw in a fresh screw, and with a pair of pliers give a healthy yank. More filling. More waiting. I went to make myself useful in the kitchen.

Mum had gone for a walk by now, so I turned off the gas fire, cranked up my personal CD player (through speakers) and began to rub down the kitchen wall with a wire-brush in preparation for … guess! That’s right: painting! The wall — which is at the front of the house — shows signs of damp. Some paint was flaking off, in other areas the paint had a chalky texture. I consulted my Big Boy’s Book of Interesting DIY Things and it helpfully advised us to treat the outside wall with something like Thompson’s Water Seal… during dry weather. In Scotland?! They are surely taking the piss! And the inside with some kind of anti-damp primer sealant fixer stuff. I’ve just spent a good few minutes checking out the Thompson website, and I have to admit getting quite excited about water sealing products. Sorry!

We finished the evening at the famous Anstruther Fish Bar for fish and chips, before a long, weary and wet drive to Selkirk and back. A fine day.

Tomorrow, we stay at home!

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Former Scrum master at Safeguard Global, Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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