Reading through the last 6 pages I realise just how much and yet how little we have achieved!It seems that initialy I was over confident about the rate of progress we'd make when we are only spending 4 -8 weeks each year in italy.

We have also had many delays - some of them due to waiting to various Italian Tradesmen who never show up but others due to finding problems with the structure of the house when we move things or remove plaster.

Unfortunately many of these delays were caused by the extremly low standard of building work that was carried out soon after we bought the house.

Very unwisely we chose to use someone who is associated with the house agents and if I'm feeling charitable I'd say that they simply didn't know anything about restoration of old buildings.

When we began in 2005 the exchange rate was £1 to 1.50 euros! Today its more like 1.10 euros ans as well as this we've had a huge rise in the price of building materials and taxes.We don't eat out much now as when a local meal cost us 16 euros with wine in 2005 today it's more like 30 euros.This has put our finances under a great deal of stress.

Things could only get better - the house in 2005

In total contrast to the work we had done on the house when we bought it this year a UK plasterer,Pete Mold came out to Italy and spent 10 days working on our house not only plastering but also helping us to set up a working area where we'd be able to mix large quantities of lime mortar.

Fortunatly lime mortar can be stored if its covered for a very long time so it's worth you making up more than you may be able to use.The quality improves with storage.

The following images show Pete and I working on the 2 final coats in an upstairs room during September of this year.

We were able to find a good local source of marble dust which pete added to his lime putty sand mix.The dust needed sieving before we used it so it was a bit time consuming.

I had already done some experiments with lime/clay paints.I tried some more recipies on an sanded off lime/gypsum plaster.

Lime wash recipe

1 part lime to 6 parts water.

mix putty and water well.If you want add powdered colour pigment to the lime putty before adding water.mix well.

Let Sleeping Dogs lie on my Sand- Shelia, Monty Don and Monty Dog 2011

Nightime in the Piazza, Lettomanoppello when the Porchetta Man calls! Unfortunately being veggie we could not partake but Pete made up for it! Amazingly there is no charge!

The newly laid floor which will soon be bedded in with a lime/sand mix.