We are now a month into the building works for our extension. It has been slow to start due to various factors, one being the difficult access to the building site and the need to carry everything up and down the steps. The builders constructed a pully system a bit like a cable car to move material up and down the hill. Bucket by bucket. The destruction work of the old kitchen was slow because it was built to withstand and nuclear blast. It was also really wet during the crucial weeks in September, when the foundations were dug, making the clay extra heavy. I considered manufacturing earthenware pots for all our family and friends from the spoil.
The foundations have now been poured and a double line of concrete blocks has raised the build out of the ground. This week should see the moving and upgrading of the drainpipes and waste water pipes, the beginning of the timber structure
Whilst all this external work has been going on, Richard and I had to plan our new kitchen. Neither of us enjoyed the process but clever software and a knowledgable designer made it easier. Still, we spent an entire afternoon with the kitchen man and that is after he already designed a draft kitchen based on my extensive email instructions beforehand... for what is essentially a simple white kitchen. I had no idea how many different cabinets types there are! We had to decide which appliances would be worth keeping and which ones needed replacing. Our fridge is about 23 years old I think (we inherited it). More than 20 in any case. It is still working but only just and probably uses the equivalent amount of energy a supernova produces. The microwave works some days but not others. Our oven is temperamental (but not old). We are on our fourth value range one since we had our first flat together, in 1999. I look forward to using a reliable double oven. Our gas hob needs more maintenance than it deserves. Richard was keen to replace it and the replacement will have five rings, which sounds rather extravagant. Other dilemmas: I didn't want wall units, Richard did (he prevailed). I wanted a colourful splash back but the supplier does only have funereal shades. We wanted a microwave that does only that but apparently this is so yesterday. We only wanted drawer units, which comes at a cost. I wanted two larder units, which are eyewateringly expensive. We wanted a recycling drawer that would easily contain our fanatic recycling habits. The placement of the sink and hob were discussed and the need for an extractor fan, which I think are all ugly.... you get the gist.
We 'forgot' to plan for the utility room.... but hope to recycle the remaining current kitchen units, which will save us some money.
We are undecided with regards to flooring. We essentially need to re-floor the entire ground floor, 84 square metres. We still have the original pine floors, which were not meant to be exposed but covered with carpets. The house was built in 1929. The board are worn out now and splinters are not uncommon. They have been cut in many places to allow for re wiring and plumbing work over the past decades. We want a solid wood floor but which wood to go for? It is possible to get reclaimed gym hall floor, which is beech and very hardwearing. Beech is my favourite. The gym floor still has lines on and I am not too sure if I want a badminton court in my living room. There is something about oak I don't like much. It is of course the most common wood for solid floors... Most other floors are too expensive to even consider. We are also looking into bamboo flooring, which is of course not wood but grass. It is very durable and I do like the look of it very much. Oh the choices we have.
The mess has been under control. It is largely outside at the moment. The garden is more or less destroyed and comparable to an abandoned battle field. The courgettes are buried under bricks and a temporary toilet. Inside is cluttered rather than dirty. Our kitchen stuff is in clear plastic boxes, and everything in the backroom has been moved to one corner, piled up high. This is the room with the new wall I mentioned earlier. All our books are stacked up metres high in our bedroom. There is stuff under beds, behind doors, on top of chest of drawers and wardrobes. It is quite amazing how much stuff we own. We have lost a few things but I suppose they will turn up at some point in the future. I lost my small square 6 inch quilting ruler, which is a annoying because I need to square up some blocks for Sam's quilt. My brain is unable to adapt to my large ruler, I have messed up three of four squares I squared up, or rather, didn't square up.
Apart from the building work, life has been uneventful. I am avoiding the news because I can't bear the Brexit talk and Mr Trump abusing women and everyone else who is not of immediate use to him. Annie has not been well and spent the day in bed. I am fairly certain she'll be still poorly tomorrow. To end on a positive note, I am checking the weather forecast for Turkey every ten minutes and I am really pleased with what I see. My godmother is doing some light shopping so we have some snacks when we arrive and has organised a boat trip to explore the coast. I am hopping crazy with excitement. Four more sleeps.
Wishing you a good week. xx
P.S. I am taking lots of photos of the building work but it is ever so drab, trenches, pipes, concrete, all jumbled up in a heap. I can't bear to upload them. Maybe another time.