As the days went by and I counted down those remaining until the resumption of the working year the weather remained dreary and dolorous.
The mountain was constantly shrouded by storm clouds and mist. That was a shame because it put a dampener on plans to climb to the top of the mountain and spend time outdoors, but it was good for progress on the home improvement front. Sadly for Mr Shoestring, he slipped over on the back steps early on in our stay and had an enormous bruise on his nether regions to show for it. Resisting all suggestions regarding pain relief and medications, he preferred to treat his bruise as though it was some kind of exotic visitor and followed its progress with daily inspections and admiration of its ever-changing hues. It truly resembled a tropical sunset on some days - perhaps to make up for the sunsets we were not seeing. (I think Mrs Peaceable was rather horrified when he showed it to her late one night when we were enjoying a soak in the hot pools, but she is a very accommodating and tactful soul and made suitably admiring comments.)
Here is the end result of Mr Shoestring's labour. He has created new "floorboards" for the kitchen, toilet and laundry, made from plywood but very authentic looking. On New Year's Eve Mr Shoestring and Lord Raglan had a slight disagreement about the best method for creating these mock floorboards. Mr Shoestring worships and reveres Lord Raglan and usually follows to the letter any suggestions Lord Raglan may care to make regarding carpentry, so it came as rather a surprise to those assembled to hear him disagree with Lord Raglan's opinions on this subject; only time will tell whether or not Mr Shoestring was correct in his approach to this problem. In the meantime Lord Raglan is trying to usurp Mr Shoestring's position as lawn grower, and is constantly sending messages regarding his superior lawn and the fact that tuis are nesting in it (ha, a likely story).
Here is the beautiful little Singer sewing machine hand basin so kindly donated by The Dancing Queen, all plumbed in and ready for action.
Laboriously picked out lettering
Because things took so much longer than we expected he did not do the new flooring for the bathroom but that is a good thing in some ways, because I am very fond of the black and white flooring there and would have been sad to see the last of it.
After all the trauma of the renovations Mr Shoestring somehow hurt his back on our very last morning at the cottage and I am ashamed to admit that I couldn't help thinking what a blessed relief it was that this didn't happen at the start of our stay, heartless creature that I am. Now that the bruise is starting to fade we have the sore back to contend with and I don't think the two conditions together would have made for a very relaxing holiday - not to mention the lack of progress on home improvements.