There was one very major and noticeable crack in the ceiling, with a lot of smaller ones scattered around. The ceiling texture just looked all around lumpy and it looked like there were pieces of plaster ready to break away. As of now a lot of the loose plaster has been taken down and the cracks are being filled and tapped. Plastering the ceiling is scheduled for today and sanding/priming/painting is tomorrow.
As I mentioned before, the dining room (and I am sure other areas of the house) has seen its fair share of paint and plaster over the years. This is what was coming down off the ceiling. Its probably hard to tell from the photo just how thick this is and how many layers are to it, but look at that colour! I don't know if that is a paint colour from years back or if it is something else that was applied to the ceiling? Whatever it is, I like it, the colour that is, but on the ceiling? That may be a bit much! The dining room is a bit on the dark side, since there is only one window and it has all dark wood trim (and dark wood floors), I think light colours will do best!
PS Buster cat was terrified this morning, he was confined to the bedroom and was shaking under the duvet. When the plasterer left for lunch I let Buster out to stretch and all of a sudden he got real brave! He took off for the dining room to investigate, getting right into the middle of things. He then refused to go back upstairs! Since our guy is back to work from lunch, Buster has returned to cowering under the covers!