Michelle Gallen's Picture

Michelle Gallen

  • 23 posts

And so the days become months... We've had a long break from blogging to accommodate: A lovely first family Christmas in our wreck. Recuperation for me after finishing up my old job. The new family routine required for my new role in RCSI. A business trip to Amsterdam (Mehdi, not me). Installation of polycarbonate double glazing Flu, flu and more flu. Potty training. and the rest... It's been weeks since any of us have had the energy to tackle things to be done in the house in any coherent way. I've only had enough brainpower to scrub stuff clean on the days where I've had the

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Day 85 - Curtains as insulation

While learning about insulation technologies from various chaps, I wondered why curtains weren't much mentioned. Curtains seem to be thought of as some kind of household accessory - something to accent a room (the curtains that were here when we moved in certainly lent moods to the rooms). But no one we spoke to seemed to rate curtains as insulation. This struck me as odd, as I know the importance my mother placed on well-lined curtains in the house I grew up in. We drew the curtains as soon as dusk fell, and we were told that this 'kept the heat in'. So off I went

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Day 84 - what hit us in November?

Photo by Philip Swinburn / Unsplash Well a load hit us...work, travel, DIY...but here's a quick summary: First week in November we were in London as a family to catch up with old friends and visit old haunts. That Saturday Mehdi said goodbye to us in Liverpool street station, and myself and the boys got the Stansted express for our flight to Dublin, while he flew on to San Francisco. I arrived in time to heat up the house a bit for our guests (my sister, her husband and 3 kids) who arrived Saturday evening for a flying - but really fun - visit. My

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When I stepped out my front door at lunchtime today I was ambushed by a burly, sunshiney window cleaner who was cleaning our next door neighbours' windows. He offered to do our windows (front and back for €25). Mehdi was pleased, shrugged and said yes. Which was a bit annoying, as I wanted to haggle on price. But now that the windows are clean I'm super pleased at just how much brighter the light is inside the house (they really were filthy...). The downside is that I can now see all the dirt on the inside windows. Last time I tried cleaning them, I ran out

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Day 49 - Approach to restoration - coming to agreement

I feel it's important to note how Mehdi and I came to agreement on how we manage a huge slow project like this without going insane. We both grew up in big old houses in the country, with big gardens, where everything needed a tonne of work done, all the time - every time my parents ticked something off a to-do list, 3 other things had been added. In Mehdi's family, his father's approach was to do everything he could himself. While this approach can be cost efficient and means you're sure of your finish (for better or worse...), it has huge drawbacks, particularly if -

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