Tuesday, September 30, 2008


OK I am trying to catch up on some web/ marketing stuff, and thought I'd kick off this spanking new blog with a basic rundown of key events and things we've done from start to now. Here goes (in reverse-chronological):

  • 30th Sept 2008: Tonight, on (hopefully) the last day of Ramadhan, I've bought a new dual-iPod dock ('special price') to take to the house next time I go.
  • August 2008: The entire exterior of the house is now repainted (same colour) and looks much brighter/ fresher! Also roof woodwork re-oiled. I get the hang of Google advertising (Adwords etc) and hopefully this will pay off in terms of some extra business in the low periods during 2009..
  • July 2008: We get to come and see the house in full summer (relative) splendour. A longer stay this time, and we get more stuff done and have some fun as well. The arch window at the end was replaced with a nice single-pane double-glazed unit; we put in a new Velux window in the east side of the living room roof to get the morning sun; the gable wall defective render is completely hacked off then allowed to dry out & re-rendered. We wanted to get our own TV aerial but with uncertainty over when Nebo/ Arfon mast will go digital or the analogue signal will cease (we can't get Llanddona reception where we are), we decided to get a FreeSat dish & receiver which gives great reception and is better against the wind that a big high-gain aerial. Replace the old TV with a new skinny LCV TV on the wall to free up some space. Re-arrange some furniture and potter around a lot for a couple of weeks.
  • April 2008: Grading time again: Our grade is bumped up from 2-star back to 3-star again in recognition of the improvements we've made to the house. Just in time for Easter visitors.
  • February/ March 2008: The entire interior of the house is repainted (magnolia) and looks much brighter/ fresher. I think this was when we also got the rainwater downpipes re-routed to outside of the garden wall so that the rain didn't fill our patio..
  • January 2008: We visit again after stopover in Jordan and Christmas (first in UK for 5 years!) in Aberdeen: Replace the electric cooker, replace most of the beds & mattresses, fit proper Velux blinds to the Velux windows, arrange for new blackout blinds throughout to replace the old curtains, and some minor mods. We also got some A0-size canvases printed up in Muscat with photos, and got them stretched over a frame in Oriel Cemaes, they did a great job. But this is getting expensive.. By this point, the 3-star grading we were awarded in April has also been downgraded to 2-star following 'harmonisation' of the Visit Wales grading system with the rest of UK.. Got some cool stone plant pots from Stermat.
  • Summer 2007: Our first season of letting was a busy one, fortunately for us we 'inherited' some of the O'Briens' previous guests, and our website gets a few hits. Rosie has baby in midst of cyclone Gonu. The White Eagle re-opens after being closed for ages..
  • April 2007: Visit Wales came over for a grading visit and we set up our website- ready to let! Mam is looking after the house and guests. We also got the dodgy plywood 'fake chimney' removed & restored the roofline; got a lot of the roof joinery replaced; replaced the failed velux window; and installed insulation above the ceiling.
  • March 2007: We come and stay at Y Stabl for the first time; Rosie is 6 months pregnant with 'future-Eira'.. Apart from the downstairs bedroom, the house is in reasonable condition and OK to let out. We fix up the downstairs bedroom (redecorate & restore the wooden floors), tidy up a bit, arrange for some roof/ joinery repairs to be done, and just work out where things are..
  • January 2007: Completed the sale on the property; very chuffed with ourselves- but what to do with it now (seeing as we live about 8 hours flight away)? For starters we immediately crack on with internal damp repairs (chemical injection damp course and membrane barrier) on the gable wall and sides. The new plaster needs a few weeks to dry out.

So the next updates will be more gradual..

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