It's cooling down outside and that means our attention turns once more from the garden to the home. It's time to crack on with the kitchen and that means pointing. The art of pointing is in the preparation and this means the cleaning out of joints between stone work and raking them clean. This means the employment of some brute force and a wire brush to clean off the stone and the horse hair plaster.
There is a universal truth about the horse hair plaster at Pig Row and that truth is that is has all blown. Sneeze and it will fall off. Fart it will fall off. Glare at it and it will fall off. Take a chisel and hammer to it and it will stick like anything that the back end of a sheep is too mean to ditch. Also, all that chipping away reveals interesting decisions, wooden windowsills built below the rim of a window, which reveals why they rotted and plastic looking tiles that are ceramic and more interestingly a cracked lintel packed with newspaper. The horsehair plaster is a mix of crumble and damp, there's black concrete pitted throughout and in the end a crowbar comes out to take off the worst of it.
We now have new windowsills to build out of stone. We've done it before but first we need to point that cracked lintel, which is going nowhere. It cracked a long time ago judging from the newspapers packed in it and the windows have been replaced since then. We need to point around the windows and the area we raked out before raking out the next square metre. We work in small areas at Pig Row because you never know whether during all that raking out some stone work will fall off. So better to work slowly, smartly and getting the area right before moving on.
This area to the right of the large mullion will be cleared and pointed, ready for a new sink unit and that means we can then move onto the windows in the foreground. You can already see the difference between the two, as we can do when we sneeze - doesn't matter if we wear masks - we still sneeze black dust.