Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Is it half term? More school days!

Well you can see what I've been up to, building the playground.  So far I've managed to cover the walls with the stone finish, and give the playground floor a covering of sand.  Oh and start painting the iron railings and the gates.  I've used the deco'art on the railings and gates,  the metallic finish,  they're looking good, but forgot to take a photo.  I was a bit busy...  my vape e liquid didn't come so had to go out to get some, but where from?  

I knew that there was a shop on our other high street, so I went there and... it was shut!   So had to go to Crosby,  but luckily the only other shop I know that sells the liquids was open, and is handily positioned next to the disabled parking space.  I got some extra strong mint flavour,  I used to use the blueberry flavour, but I've gone off the sweet tasting ones.  There are literally hundreds of different flavoured liquids to choose from.   I'm used to the vape machine, or ecig,  I call it a vape machine just to annoy those who start tut tutting about me using it in a cafe,  I just tell them that it isn't an ecig but a vape machine,  that usually confuses them.  I'm not saying that I don't miss the cigarettes,  I still have some cravings but I resist them. 

It has been one of those days when I found it hard to get going,  had to wait in for Mr Tesco, so at least that made me get dressed.  But then all motivation got up and left,  until the postie came but didn't bring my order of e liquid, funny what can get you going,  in my case it was being without any e-liquid!  

Tomorrow I'm going to go and drive up to the erosion, and sit there for a while, just watch the world go by.  Then after lunch I'll put the first coat of paint on the walls, and paint the floor of the playground with some black gesso.    Well that is the plan, it depends on how I feel, hopefully the sun will shine,  that will give me some impetus to get out of the flat for while. 

All for now.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

School days continued

I was confused this morning,  my small bedroom clock said 8 a.m.,  yet the heating was still on...  guess who forgot to alter the central heating clock?   I only had one other clock to change, and my watch.   I wonder how many forgot? 

The school is coming along nicely.  All the pebble dashing has been finished, and the walls have had a couple of coats of paint.  They need one more coat, this time with a dry brush,  and then some weathering.  


 This is the other end, the toilet block.  I've left the bit over the roof,  once the roof is on then I can finish off the stone work.  I had to repaint the quoins after painting the walls.   The paint just got sloshed on,  needed to work it inbetween all those tiny stones.

Here is the school with the 'roof', just temporary until it gets its roof tiles.  There is also a chimney to build.  The windows are all in place, they fitted perfectly.    I will get going on the roof tomorrow, and that thatch roof, which I have been adding to.   Once the roof is done then I can crack on with the playground, which I am looking forward to.  I'll do a dry fit and put the school in, then you can see what it will look like

Petite Properties are also about to launch 'Memory Lane', a small street of houses, shops and a pub, which have already had me drooling.  That will definitely be my next project.   Of course the school has to be furnished,  fortunately you can buy the 'pack', which includes everything a school needs.  

I've also made my swap card,  I used Craft Artist,  but had to do a repair on the program, not sure why but it was refusing to load.  I picked up a couple of free kits from Daisy Trail and made a pretty Easter card.  Well I think it is pretty.    And made progress with the form,  just need to transfer the typed answers to the form, which I'll do tomorrow.

So that is all for tonight,  I hope you enjoyed Easter Sunday, and didn't scoff too much chocolate.  

Saturday, 26 March 2016

More school days

Evening,  it's been a funny old day.  It started off mild,  though very windy then by lunch time it was raining heavily,  but by late afternoon it was starting to brighten up again. 

This is my pebble dash station, as opposed to the glitter station so beloved by card makers.  I've got sand, then the medium coarse ballast,  and the glue. Oh, plus the top of a spray bottle,  or pebble dash/sand applicator.  So I was all ready to go!

I had a practice run on the toilet block walls.  You need a very generous amount of glue, next comes the ballast, which is spread out and pressed down,  followed by the sand.  Excess is shaken off, and it is left to dry.  Then you have a cuppa! There is a lot of waiting around in house building, mind you it was the same when I made cards.    The plain wall is the dividing wall between the two toilets. 

This was as far as I got yesterday.   I was starting to get tired, and I knew that I would have to stop or risk making mistakes.  I also needed to go sit in a more comfortable chair. 

Today I completed the rear wall,  plus the front and assembled the toilet block.   I had to work in small areas,  that was the advice given in the instructions.  I had started the rear wall and the front of the school yesterday.  I'd finished the front, but got half way across the rear wall before I had to stop.  Tiredness was setting in, plus my back needed a stretch and a more comfortable seat. 

I also managed to get the porch fixed into place and pebble dashed.   The toilet block is now almost fully assembled,  I gave its walls the first coat of paint, a mix of grey, paynes grey and white,  just dabbed on with one of my rough brushes.   The doors have also been fixed into place.  It is starting to look the business now.  The front wall is removeable so as to allow access to the school room. 

Yesterday was beautiful weatherwise.  I had to go get my prescription, was lucky to find a parking spot very close to the chemist.   I also had a nice surprise, the pharmacy was quiet.  I'd thought it would be very busy with the bank holiday.  So I just had a ten minute wait, then I went next door to the DIY shop to pick up another tin of glue.   Mr Tesco had already delivered the shopping, so Harvey and I have plenty of food.   Himself is in a bit of a mad mood at the moment, have no idea why. 

I now have my new meds,  took one last night as instructed.  It is a bit early to say if they work or not,  they'll take a couple of weeks to really kick in.   I'm part way through a form I have to fill in, the answers are all typed out on my computer,  got some help with the answers, now I just need to copy them onto the form which I'll do tomorrow.   I do like that all the shops are shut tomorrow,  though I'm sure that there are plenty who will moan,  my friend was shocked when I told her, she had no idea.  Did you know that it is the only day that the shops are closed by law?  I think that should also extend to Christmas day.  I've got a friend who is obsessed with shopping,  she has to go shopping!  I'm the opposite, I hate it, only go when I have to.   Last week, when she came to stay, I allowed her one day of shopping,  and knowing she'd want to wander around umpteen shops I hired the mobility scooter.   She didn't need or want to buy anything, she just wanted to look around the shops, she did buy a few gadgets. 

So my plan for tomorrow is to complete the pebble dash,  just got one wall to do, put first coat of paint on, start filling in form...  watch boat race, oh and eat my Easter Egg! 

All for now,  don't forget those pesky clocks 'spring' forwards tonight.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

School days

The new project:  Little Acorns School,  which was started last weekend.   The cottages are also nearing completion,  I just needed a change from thatching!    Not got a lot done as a friend came to stay for a few days.   I spent the weekend doing all the boring prep work, first task is always to check all the parts, and if necessary just write on what they are.  Next was the prep work,  painting all of the carcass with diluted PVA.  Then deciding on the flooring... 

I did think about floorboards, but then remembered that my old primary school had parquet flooring.  In fact I think all school of that era had parquet flooring.  So I went scouting for a 1:48 free parquet print.  And as you can see, I found one.   I used a piece of 25 gsm card,  let it dry after printing, glued it into place, gave it a trim then a few coats of the glossy mod podge.  It looks quite natty, the colour scheme is pale green and cream, felt that was 'school like'.   There are also two outside toilets.

This is the front section of the school.  I gave the outside a coat of the sidewalk emulsion.  It will all be covered with a 'knapped flint' finish.  

And this is a 'knapped flint' finish.  This is the rear wall of the toilets.  I just wanted a practice, think I need more of the super tacky PVA.  First you paint the area with the PVA, then you sprinkle on the stones,  next you add some fine sand, and then leave it to dry.  It will be painted once it's all completed. 

And windows.  They are two tone.  I painted the outside bit black, and white on the inside.

It's been a very up and down week.  I had my second appointment with the mental health team.  They were annoyed that my GP had appeared to have ignored the fax they had sent 3 weeks ago asking them to change my meds.  On the plus side I have now got a referral to a pain clinic to see a consultant, and for an MRI on my back.   Then on Tuesday I went to the surgery to see if they had received the second Fax, nope!  It got worse on Wednesday when I picked up my repeat prescription to find only one item on the 'script!   Could it get any worse?   By Thursday I'd managed to sort the prescription out, and at last the GP had seen the Fax and changed my meds.  The new stuff also acts as a muscle relaxant and is good for chronic pain.  Amazing that one session with a mental health professional has been more productive than the last 8 years with my GP. 

Having my friend to stay also helpd, she treated me to a meal for my birthday.  She loves curry so we went to an Indian restaurant, our High Street is packed with eating places so we didn't have to go far.  We were both suprised to find the High Street very busy at 6.30 pm,   in fact it was hard to find a parking spot.  I drove us to New Brighton,  I'd not been there in years.  We were lucky to get a parking spot right outside a lovely cafe were we enjoyed a delicious bacon butty and cups of tea.  Just what was needed to keep the cold out.   On Wednesday we popped into Liverpool, I hired a mobility scooter,  my back isn't up to walking anymore.  We ended up at the Cavern Pub,  my mate wanted to do the 'tourist' thing.   We also wend to Ed's Diner, and enjoyed a huge burger,   we ordered the 'regular', but it was more  like king size.  I had to leave some, just too much.  Four our supper we tucked into brie on a french baton, washed down by a couple of glasses of wine.  I took her back to the station today,  sad to see her go. 

I'll need to rest up for the next few days,  Mr Tesco will bring the shopping tomorrow,  and all I need to do is go pick up my prescription.  The forecast for the weekend is abysmal, so think I'll just stay inside. 

All for now folks, hopefully a bit more progress on the school tomorrow, and over the weekend I'll complete the thatching. 

Thursday, 17 March 2016

And the finishing post is now in sight

Almost there!  Just the top ridge to do, once I figure out how.  I've kind of got an idea, but I'll need to test it first.   I would have been finished yesterday but I went wrong.  So I had to unpick what I'd done, and then start over.  As with all mistakes it actually turned into a blessing and ended up with a better result.  Not such a good day health wise,  too achy, and back unstable, so lots of twinges and near spasms to contend with.

It looks okay from the back, once the roof ridge bit is on it can all be trimmed into place. 

This is the next project.  It arrived at lunchtime, heard a satisfying thud, and sure enough, there was the padded envelope!  Of course I opened it, examined the contents, checked off the pieces... then sensibly returned to the ridge problem.  I think I may have found a solution!   Pics tomorrow, cos I'll need them to explain what I've done.

I had quite a time trying to decide which project to next.  I was tempted to do another thatched roof,  then there was the shop...  there is just too much choice!   But I had hankered after the school for quite some time,  it comes with the playground, think that was part of the appeal.   It was also my birthday present to me,  so it had to be something special.  I will also buy the school furniture pack.  It has to be done as you get the desks, blackboard, the teacher's desk...  So this will be occupying me for the next few weeks.   If, him, the one in the photo, doesn't disturb me too much.   He was a real fidget today,  he didn't seem able to settle for very long.  I had planned to go up to the erosion,  just to enjoy the sun, but the rickety back put paid to that idea.  Then, this afternoon I had a mental health telephone consult,   it was far more intense than the others, so I felt wiped out.   Got another appointment this Sunday, then blow me the GP surgery calls and tells me I made need some B12 injections!   In order to find out I need yet more blood tests...   and that is when I found it that it is Easter next week - how'd that happen?   It seems awfully early,  yeah, I know the shops are full of Easter Eggs, but they have been since Christmas. 

Think that is all for now, need to go find Him,  he headed off for his evening stroll a while ago,  he may wish to come back in to the warm.   I'll be back with a progress report over the weekend.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Just a little bit more

I'm almost finished!   This is how far I got yesterday,  I completed the front half of the roof, and put some thatch on the small canopy. Felt quite pleased with myself.   I think it looks pretty good,  I even like the colour scheme, though it does still need some toning down.   I did mean to get some straws, for drain pipes, and forgot.  Feels like the brain has gone to mush at times.  Anyway, it was all left to dry overnight,  so I could begin giving it a hair cut today.

What a difference 24 hours make.   I've begun the cutting,  just trying to shape round the windows a little.  Don't want it looking too neat either, the thatch needs to look like its been on for years.   I dampened the thatch on the canopy, then bent it over the lip,  it was held in place with some tape for an hour or  so.   While that was drying I glued the rear roof to the carcass,  then strapped it all down with a lot of tape!

You can glimpse some of the tape in this pic.  There had been a lot more,  just needed the glue to 'set'.    I'll keep trimming the thatch until I'm happy with it.  The chimney's also need some finishing touches.

Still can't decided which project to do next.   I was also wondering about doing a glass painting.   I found some templates the other day,  and during the declutter the other week a spare frame was discovered, complete with glass.    I'm hankering after building the little school, which is so cute.  

Not been a good day,  it is my birthday, and one of those 'big' ones.  But I haven't been interested.  I got lots of really nice cards,  many hand made,  which will be treasured.  Yet my heart wasn't into it.  I do still miss my mum,  it doesn't help that she died so soon after my birthday.  I'm also doing battle with some form filling,  I'm at the point were I need some help with it.   The fatigue is also getting me down,  I woke up several times in the night, then woke up again at 7 a.m.,  I fed Harvey, he popped out while I had some tea and toast.  After he came back in, around ten minutes,  I lay down again, the next thing it was after 9 a.m.,  and I still felt shattered.   Staying in bed too long doesn't help my back,  but getting up is so hard.  Yet I know that no matter how much sleep I have, I will still feel tired.

I'm now off to bed,  early start tomorrow, got some blood tests at 7.30 a.m. 

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Just another Saturday

I'm still thatching!   Not much more to do, the front part of the roof should be finished by tomorrow.   That will just leave the last bit... need to take a pic to show you what I mean.  The front part of the roof lifts off,  that means that there is a join between front and back roof, that is the part that will be the really tricky bit as it must blend in neatly with the lower bit of the rear roof. 

In the meantime, here is Himself,  this was taken not long after I adopted him.  He's a little thinner in the face, bit of a chubby chops now. 

See what I mean?  Actually he is now at his optimum weight, he was way too skinny before. Mind you it has taken a while to discover which food he will eat.  He'll usually eat about half a packet of food,  and he gets fed 3 times a day.  In between he gets a few treats,  no more than three 'sticks',  which he likes to chase after.  I've also stopped giving him cat biscuits,   he gets a few to keep his teeth clean.   He's still very playful,  loves his piece of string, which is the old shower pull.  He won't chase a ball, but does like his catnip toys.

And he does like helping me make the bed!   This was from a couple of years ago, but he still joins in.   Mind you these days bed making is a real struggle,  well everything is a real struggle.  I am tired of this fatigue, and trust me on this, but fatigue is different from being tired!  Fatigue means that no matter how much sleep you get, how much rest you take, you are still knackered.  I just hope that the consultant can get to the bottom of this mystery. 

Yesterday I drove up to the erosion,  that is what we call it round here.  It is just part of the beach, but you can park really close.   Once upon a time I would have been able to walk from the flat all the way to the erosion,  we're going back around ten years now.  The walk was about 3 miles,  I'd reward myself with a sit down and a cuppa, then do the return journey.  Now,  I'm lucky if I can get down onto the beach!   Yesterday I did manage some fresh air,  and a ten yard walk to the fast food van for a cup of tea.   Then I sat in the car watching the world go by.    I like people watching, there were also quite a few anglers about,  the tide was in, thus they were taking advantage.   Didn't look like anyone had caught anything, but they all seemed happy to just sit and watch their rods.  It is a busy place,  a lot of folk pop up there to spend their lunch time enjoying the sun and sand,   well...   though it was sunny yesterday!   I've seen a few famous ships sail up the river,  Britannia,   QM2,  tall ships, which are my favourite.  More usually you see the IOM ferry, and a few container ships.   And on really clear days you can see all the way over to Wales. 

Today it was grey and drizzly,  I got as far as the corner shop for milk and a paper, via the car.  We had that horrible mizzly rain,  and my snails pace I'd have been soaked, so I used the car.  Of course when I got back I bumped into my neighbour, who told me off,   he was on his way over to the shop and would have been happy to get any bits I needed.   I just don't like asking.  So that was me told.  Then I settled down to watch the rugby,  Ireland won, so that was a good start, next up it was England V Wales,  plus Everton V Chelsea in the FA Cup - could I hope for a hat trick?  Yep,  although Everton left it late and England were almost caught by Wales.  Phew...   Looks like England could do the Grand Slam, and Everton are in the semi finals.   I was thatching at the same time, so I had a few distractions... 

Fingers crossed I get the thatching finished tomorrow,  and can make a choice on which house to build next.   See ya tomorrow.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Now I'm a thatcher!

Not been blogging much this week because I've had a lot of aches and pains.  My back has been really sore, not sure if it has been down to the cold weather.    I've managed some thatching, this was taken at the end of play on Monday.  I'd put another couple of lines of thatch on,  then began giving the thatch a hair cut.   Tuesday, nothing much got done,  had a blood test which was cancelled cos the doc failed to say what he wanted tested!  But on the upside my hospital appointment was sorted out by the surgery, as was the reason for the blood test, which will happen next week. 

So on Wednesday, after Mr Tesco delivered some food, and the heat pads for my back, it was back to cutting the thatch.  I needed to cut it at an angle,  this was my attempt to make it look like real thatch.    I just kept snipping away until I was happy.  I also managed to make a start on the front part of the roof. 

Today I still felt very achey,  so much so that I went back to bed for a couple of hours.   I felt better by lunch time and managed a bit more thatching this afternoon.   This was today's effort.  I'm almost near the tricky bit,  thatching round the chimney.  I used the brick mask on both of the chimney's,  it was exceptionally fiddly, but I did it. 

Just for a bit of fun I put the front half of the roof on the house and took a pic.  I think it will look okay once it is all finished.  The thatch needs to be 'weathered', or toned down,  not sure what I'm going to use yet. 

I've got the hang of it now.  Even cutting it is easier,  I use a very large bulldog clip to hold the end,  this ensures that the thatch doesn't fall down in a mess.    There still is a mess of course,  thank goodness for the hand held vac! 

I've had a few more pics of my new great nephew, he's now at home, ruling the roost of course.   I got him a present,  wasn't sure what to buy him, a teddy was the obvious choice but you end up with loads.  So I chose a little fire engine made of building blocks.  Too old for him right now, but he'll be able to play with it in a few months. 

The weather forecast says it will warm up at the weekend, I hope so,  I've been in agony with the Raynauds,  it is now really affecting my hands and feet.  The other day I had to soak my feet in some warm water to get some warmth back into them.  The flat is warm, but I just seem to be feeling the cold more,  the heat pads helped,   as has the sunshine pouring in through the window.  I think even Harvey is feeling his age as he has become something of a sun worshipper.  These days he is picking out the sunny spots, which he never used to do.  He's also enjoying his 'senior' food, really tucking into it.  He's not so sure about the delivery man,  he scarpers as soon as he hears him come up the stairs.   I did have to go to the corner shop today, took the car,  which I hate to do but needs must. 

I think I'll head off to bed,  a good nights sleep may help.  

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Nearly there

Yes I'm still thatching.   I took this pic yesterday after I'd finished for the day.   I do have to admit that I had been somewhat distracted by the tennis - Davis Cup, this time we're defending champions.   Doesn't that have a nice ring to it,  'defending champions',  makes a change for us to have won something at tennis.   And the team won this weekend,  they were playing Japan, with Kei Nishikori, who is the top 6th player in the world.  Great match with him and Andy today, with Andy winning - just.  It was a bit of a nail biter.

So before starting the next line of thatch, it was time for a trim.   This isn't the final trim,  but I needed the excess for the next line.  This does give an idea of how it will look at the end.  It will be cut at an angle,  hoping that will make it look realistic.

This is the 'after' photo of today's work,  just one more line on this part of the roof.  This is the lower part of the rear roof.   I should get this part finished tomorrow, and maybe able to start the other half of the roof. 

I'm also a great aunty again.  My niece finally had her baby,  she went two weeks overdue.  She's now the proud mum of Gethin David, who was born yesterday.    I've been looking for a nice teddy,  and in the end I chose a Welsh Rugby Teddy,  Gethin's dad is a mad keen rugby fan.  
And here is 'Himself', getting warm on his bed.  Just as he does on my bed, hogging the hot water bottle.    Mind you last night I got too hot, no idea why as it was freezing, but I woke up feeling as if I was going to be sick.  Once I'd cooled down I felt much better,   then I had a cup of tea at 3.30 a.m!   I would have liked to have had a lie in but guess who had other ideas, yes, Harvey.   He kept on whingeing to go out,  so he got his wish and I went back to sleep.  I woke up about an hour later to hear Harvey howling to come back in.   He was one very cold cat.   I had to laugh at him as he went up the stairs,  he meowed away,  it was as if he was telling me off for leaving him out in the cold!     He must be feeling his age,  he's now will be 9 this year,  he's now on senior food which he seems to enjoy, and which is filling him up.  

Well I did hope to have half a thatched roof by today, but I'm almost there.   I know why I'm struggling at the moment,  today is Mother's Day and I've tried to avoid it, not that you can.  I remember the first year after mum died walking into the supermarket and seeing this huge display of cards, it took me by surprise, so much so that I walked out again.   The trouble is my birthday follows Mother's Day,  now that is followed by the day mum died.  So March is no longer a happy month,  perhaps Gethin's birth will bring a change, I hope so.  

All for tonight,  another cold night ahead.  Stay warm folks. 

Friday, 4 March 2016

Still thatching away

Still thatching,  the first effort wasn't quite up to scratch.   But I realised what I had been doing wrong, so this is take two.   I'm using longer pieces,  I found it was easier to work with that way, and roughly trimming it as I go, so the (currently) scraggy top strip will be trimmed near to the edge of the roof when the glue is dry.   And the glue does dry clear.   It is slow going,  but I think it will be worth it when it is all finished.  The floor and work space is covered in straw,  as was Harvey yesterday! 

 Talking of Himself, here he is, lying on my fleecy dressing gown.  He's not happy with this cold weather,  yesterday it was sleeting and rather windy, so he only just poked his nose out the front door.  Today he got a bit further,   but didn't stay out long.   He was a bit poorly yesterday,  for some reason he was sick.   He was a bit quiet for a while, then trotted back to the kitchen to let me know that he was VERY hungry.   He's been fine since, and is wolfing down his food.  He's now on 'senior' food,  and seems to be really enjoying it.  Today he was treated to some fresh chicken,  which he thoroughly appreciated.

This is the glue I'm using,  it is actually cheaper than the mod podge, and does the same job.  If you leave it for five minutes it becomes really tacky.   It is great for the thatching, giving me plenty of time to get the thatch straight. 

Yesterday I went for my ECG and blood tests.  The nurses were really nice,  and tried their best to put me at ease.  Sadly it didn't quite work as my BP was through the roof.  They took it a few times, but with the same result,  it is usually normal.   The ECG came back 'within the normal range', but I had a very slow pulse!   So have to go to GP to get checked,  plus they weren't happy that I was getting some chest pains.  Until now I've just put them down to the anxiety, which they said still could be the cause, but it was best to get checked out.  

After that I went to our housing office to see if I could put in a bid for the flat downstairs,  and guess what?   I can't,  not because I couldn't have it,  but because you have to register first!   I asked if I could register and then bid,  nope, the bids close this Sunday.  Then the assistant told me, which she shouldn't have,  that my neighbour's son had handed the flat back last week.   I was furious,  he had promised to let me know.   So much for being a good neighbour,  they'd asked me to keep an eye on the flat until they could get the place cleared,  and one of the other neighbours had said he'd take care of putting the bins out,  and we've not had so much as a thank you.   So no move this time, but I have now registered to bid on other properties. 

Today it has just been another miserable and cold day, was expecting a friend to come for the craft stuff, but she'd had to go see a friend who wasn't feeling well.  The weather also put a stop to a visit from my cousin,  she lives in Wales, and while we'd had no snow here, they'd had plenty were she lives.   And my niece still hasn't had her baby!   They've given her till Sunday, and if there is no sign then they'll induce her.  She is getting fed up,  but we all keep telling her to enjoy the last of her freedom,  soon her life will be turned upside down, in the nicest way of course. 

Well that is all for tonight,  fingers crossed that I have a complete thatched roof,  er, no, half a thatched roof, to show you by Sunday!   Stay warm.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Now I'm a thatcher

The thatching began yesterday.  This was my trial run.  Wasn't sure how to thatch,  looked at the instructions and it seemed straightforward... mistake!   Mine,  the roof used on the instructions was 1:12, I was doing 1:48,  a quarter of the size.   I wasn't finding it easy to use the spray glue on the small roof, so I tried some sealant as another website suggested. Well it was sort of working,  but it was also very messy. 

So I stopped and left it to dry.  Today I discovered a big flaw in using sealant, it can peel off.  So back to square one.  I popped round to the DIY shop,  and found some super stick PVA. Back at the ranch I gave it a go, and after a bit of fiddling, I began to get the hang of it.  The PVA is much easier,  I learned to just leave it a few minutes to get really tacky, and was using a spreader to tap the thatch into place.   It is looking mess at the moment but all will be okay, she hopes!   No, it will need a haircut at the end, so the mess will disappear. 

I have two huge bundles of thatch, plenty to do a lot of tiny rooves.    I prefer to use what is now regarded as the old fashioned term for the plural of roof,  but 'roofs', nah...   doesn't work for me.

So more thatching tomorrow,  or I hope as my cousin is popping over but snow has been forecast, just have to see what the weather brings.