Michelle Gallen's Picture

Michelle Gallen

  • 25 posts

We know the wooden-framed, single-glazed windows in our house need to be replaced when possible. We're currently researching our options for new windows - weighing up traditional vs modern, PVC vs wood, cheaper vs horribly expensive. Although the current windows were probably installed in the 1980s they are in reasonably good nick, apart from the attic bedroom. The top pane of glass had been broken at some point. The only way to fix it properly is to erect scaffolding to reach the third storey...which is apparently an expensive undertaking. Which is why the previous owner simply nailed some plastic in place instead. Because the window

Read more

It looks like we have original Lincrusta running below the dado rail from the front door all the way through the hallways from the bottom of the house to the third floor attic room. Lincrusta is deeply embossed wallcovering. It was launched in 1877 by the British man who patented linoleum and rapidly replaced the painstaking plasterwork previously used to ornament walls and ceilings in houses, mansions and railway carriages. Lincrusta is made from a paste of gelled linseed oil and wood flour spread onto a paper base which is rolled between steel rollers to imprint a patter. This stuff is tough and only gets tougher

Read more

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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more