Settling in to something of a routine now, with Monday often the most productive day of the week for me as Arthur does not need taking to nursery. Inspired by the lovely bread this weekend I set to on a baking binge, making a mixed flour and spelt loaf (one for now, one to freeze) and some orange and spelt loaf cakes, as well as a veggie stew with cheese and herb scones for tea.

While the bread was rising I set to work on the flagstones in the larder. Having ripped up the old lino there were still some stubborn black patches of old glue. I also wanted to try out cleaning the flagstones to see how they came up. I made up a bowl of warm water with some detergent in it (I ended up using a tsp each of Bio-D detergent and nappy cleaner) and set to with the scrubbing brush bought at the local agri supplies business Tarff Valley. Actually, I think it might be intended for grooming horses but it’s a nice shape to hold, made in the UK and has good sturdy bristles.

This did a good job of getting up the grime but not getting off the sticky black stuff. Cue what has to be the most versatile DIY tool ever – the paint scraper. The cleaning solution combined with the scraper and a bit of welly got it off in no time. In fact, I’d done the whole floor before the bread dough had proved. There is one stubborn patch which didn’t get completely cleared as the stone in that area is quite pitted so I’ll have to think of an alternative method for there, possibly involving the sander.

Next decision – how to seal the floors once cleaned. I don’t really fancy the chemical sealants on offer and had heard you could use linseed oil but am a bit worried about that turning rancid. Suggestions and experiences of sealing stone floors or tiles much appreciated!

The final task of the day was going to the open evening at Arthur’s nursery. Iris and Matt had not seen it and Iris seemed to particularly enjoy seeing what her brother gets up to. She also saw old pictures of her school friends who used to go to the same nursery.

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