Category Archives: Housekeeping

Things that are falling apart II

Some might remember that I tried to insulate the kitchen. After all of the material arrived (seems to have been a matter of renaming the stuff without telling the staff) and had their drying time—just while I pondered whether it is dry enough to put on the fine-cast a breath of ozone came upon and reached my nostrils. Still looking for the whereabout of such a nasty smell the faint but distinct noise of electrical discharges resonated within the wall behind the newly laid insulation. To say that I uttered some curses that would have made an old midwife blush would be inadequate to describe the choice of my words but the wall had to be ripped open. And so I did. With hammer and chisel I ploughed my way through the brickwork, looking for the source of the unwelcome odor and—Lo and behold!—it was found: Continue reading

Things that are falling apart

Bergschaden (surface damage caused by mining)

Bergschaden (sufrace damage caused by mining)


Living in a region which saw a lot of mining over the last centuries has some advantages but also some disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is the fact that the similarities of the underground with Swiss cheese are quite astonishing. The holes close after some time but the movement caused by the closing of the underground gaps goes up and breaks houses. It is not much and repairable and the mining company pays for it but you still have all the dirt and the hassle and all the things nobody really wants.
The damage is hardly visible on the picture but you can still see at the top left of the window and the lower right a long, already plastered crack (there were more, off the picture). The walls get a rough-cast and an insulation, all done by me, so don’t expect too much work the the parser for now.
The insulation (no room for it outside, so it has to be done inside, which makes it brutally more expensive) was what it started in the first place. The kitchen has three outside walls and after insulating one (outside) we got problems with condensing water which later caused some mould to settle. Ripping off the wallpapers showed some cracks, not expected, we know where we live. One call and a day later, the cracks were inspected, okay’d and another day later repaired. Not only plastered but glued together by injecting, with high pressure a synthetic resin. That at the beginning of october and the picture is from today. What happened? The first inspection was done by a woman, well known to sit on the money but also fast to decide if the client is okay with the cheapest solution. This client was me, because the only thing I wanted was to get the cracks glued shut to be able to go on with the insulation. So it went fast and after some drying time, I just cut open the first bag of concrete when the phone rang. A colleague of the aforementioned woman wanted to look at it at the next available date. Available for him, not for me and the next date was one week later.
Ohhhhkaaay…
He finally came, looked around, and after waving some instruments at the walls and a short chat he left. I do not know exactly why he did it but I have my suspicions and I don’t think it is something nice.
One week lost.
Ohhhhkaaay…
On with the work and on with the rough cast, or so I thought.
I made the cast from some leftover concrete-mix (the only-add-water type) which was a bad idea: it was probably too old and didn’t harden.
Another week lost.
Ohhhhkaaay…
And it is not the case that this wall is the single thing I have to do, and so:
Another week lost.
And we write the 31st of October now, Halloween.
On a side-note: the final rendering for the insulation is some expensive stuff which I ordered and payed in advance and is still not available. But at least:
No week lost.
Yet.
It is unknown if we’ll have a renovated kitchen before christmas.
And how was your October?

Parturiunt Montes, Nascetur Ridiculus Mus

Let’s see if the Flickr widget still works after all of the changes there. Not a lot of interesting pictures there with the exact number being zero, just a test if it works at all and how.
Oh, my! I just saw that I mistyped “housekeeping” the first time. To change or not to change, that is not a question because it isn’t nobler for the mind to suffer the slings and commas of nitpicking scholars. So it shall be left as it is.