One of the jobs I can do whenever I have some spare time is to pick concrete render off the walls.
This is essential, as the concrete stops the limestone breathing, and traps moisture inside the stone. This means any moisture in the stone has to escape inside the house, and eventually the stone could even dissolve if the moisture can't escape.
It isn't a job I feel totally confident in; in some places the concrete is firmly attached and often brings away a layer of stone when it comes off. This is always worrying. It can also be hard work in those places, and requires a fair amount of persuasion with a chisel or pick. In other places it has 'blown' - detatched itself from the wall so it comes crashing down in large sheets with very little encouragement.Today, (I am writing on Bastille day) being a quiet day, was a day where spending an hour or so chipping away at the walls seemed the most appropriate activity. It meant I could avoid painting windows, anyway.........