Lockdown has presented us here with the opportunity to do all sorts of tasks that may be weather dependant or that we may not normally have the time or occasion to do.
At the start of lockdown, I realised this and I have been busy painting away to my hearts content. First up was our back staircase, its painted white walls and red floor paint stairs take a beating all the time. Access is pretty much needed them all the time when the business is operational. They also link our accommodation to the main castle and are rarely out of use.
They span 3 floors from the basement and inner workings of the Castle, up to the staff accommodation in the penthouse at the top!
It is generally me who maintains those stairs, and it has been about 5 years since they have had any love. So, first week in, me and my volunteer helper Marianna, decided we would establish a routine and get on with them.
They took us the first week to do. We had to scrape down and sand all the walls and stairs. There are areas where the water gets in, and so during winter the walk suffer damage. We then treated, undercoated and then topcoat. The results are always so satisfying.
On the second week, we decided to tackle the spiral stairs at the top of the tower. They allow access to the roof at the top of the tower and the door was blown off during a storm, so this affected the state of the stairs hugely. These stairs are very narrow, but the walls and stairs needed redoing and it has been again about 5 years since they had been done. Decorating this house is a bit of a never ending job.
This staircase spans the equivalent of 3 floors and took us the week, but again the results are very satisfying.
For the third week, we tackled some staff accommodation areas and my back doors. I don’t generally enjoy painting but by now I am getting into the zone.
Well that’s all the easy bits done. My next project which I have started flying solo with is the windows. I am not sure how many windows we have in the Castle, but I think its in the region of 50-60, I will be able to tell you when I am done. The windows have been neglected over the years, and our west coast weather doesn’t help either. So with the start of our good weather I decided the opportunity was here. I stocked up with putty and paint and some tutorials on youtube. I have advanced now to mastic, and have been armed with the tools needed by my dad. I think just now, I am nearing the 30 window mark!! I am feeling a bit weather beaten and my hands are ruined but I smile when I look at the Castle windows now. They are white!! I should have done this years ago.
Tom has acquired me a cherry picker, and although I suffer from a bit of vertigo, when I have manoeuvred it , I actually feel quite safe, much safer than perched on a ladder.
I have to confess that although a lot of the windows aren’t in too bad shape, there are now 2 which I have pretty much had to putty together. I am delighted to be putting together our new list for next years replacements.
Fortunately for this project, it seems I am going to have plenty time to get them all done. I am now looking at the Rhone pipes and downpipes and thinking they are next…………….