Monday, June 12, 2006


Doesn't the kitchen look really nice all lit-up (and without flash)?...


Nearly three months in, Tony and his team have completed the work on the house toward the end of last week, and on Saturday, we had the cleaners in, and a jolly good job they did too. Now, we actually have a clean fully working kitchen/dining room (img1-3), and the dining room table has now been assembled again and is sitting in its prime location (img4-6).

IMG: The all-clean kitchen from the dining room.

IMG2: We can now use this wonder of modern life that is our gas hob.

IMG3: Another view of the kitchen.

The lounge is also looking a lot more cosy now that it’s had the mop/hoover/duster treatment (img7-9), and we can now enjoy watching TV (or the world go by since we don’t currently have any blinds/curtains) in much more comfort than in previous weeks.

IMG4-5: The dining room table as it was, and as it is now.

IMG6: Two become one: the dining room and kitchen as one.

IMG7: Sean enjoying a bit of that footie-worldie-cuppie thing that's going on at the moment...

IMG8-9: Dust-free lounge.

Tony will be back in a few weeks just to get the last bits and pieces sorted, and the carpet is not due until another couple of weeks, but this is very much the end of the big work, and it has been all worth while.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Came back home this evening to find the lounge all floored up and looking nice and lovely (img1-2). We haven’t reached the stage where we can move back in quite yet, and there is still work to be done in the room, but we are certainly getting closer to get the place back to what it is destined to be, that is a perfectly functioning lounge. We are looking forward to be able to watch TV elsewhere than in bed. In fact, the bedroom has become our main living space in the last week as we don’t currently have any table to eat on either.

IMG1-2: The wooden floor in the lounge

Although the kitchen/dining room is still pretty busy with boxes and some of what used to be in the lounge, we have been able to use the hob and oven for the first time at the weekend (img3), and this continues to improve our standard of living in the house. There is still a layer of dust on kitchen utensils that aren’t being used and on most of the visible work surface, so this weekend coming will be spent cleaning, cleaning and cleaning some more… If Anthea Turner is free this weekend, she’s more than welcome to come and give us a hand… I promise to be civil toward her! Now, that’s an offer or what?...

IMG3: This is an almost fully-functioning kitchen


Simple pleasures can be very satisfying… This is what I am currently experiencing, what with the kitchen sink being in perfect working order (img1), it means that I can actually do the dishes without having to go and fill a bowl up in the bathroom. This may not sound like the greatest advancement in history, but it makes a real difference to me, thank you for asking.

IMG1: The kitchen flamingo being put through its paces.

I was actually busy with breakfast dishes this morning when I looked up through the window and thought that the view was rather pleasing (img2). For a while, I observed a dove feeding on the garage roof while a cat was doing its morning clean on top of another garage roof in the distance. Definitely beats looking at a brick wall!...

IMG2: The view from the washing up observation post.

Since the grass was mowed at the end of last week and the crap that had progressively filled it has been removed, the garden is looking positively better (img3). The guys have also cleared the garage now (img4), so we could actually (almost) start using it to park the car again.

IMG3: Paparazzi-view of the crap-free, freshly mowed garden.

IMG4: The garage hasn't looked this 'tidy' for a while.

The floor in the hall was laid on Saturday (img5), and the lounge should be done sometime this week, as soon as the last coat of paint has been applied (img6), which means that we are getting near completion (TETC (Tony’s expected time of completion): Thursday). The banister is now finished painting and varnishing (img7), and all the doors upstairs have got brand new handles (img8), so we don't run the risk of getting locked in a room with no way to get out, as it happened to Sean the other night!

IMG5: New floor in the hallway.

IMG6: The lounge looking a lot fresher than it did before.

IMG7: Close encounter with the banister.

IMG8: No fork, just handles.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


As announced earlier today, the back window and back door have now been fitted, and the back part of the kitchen is now flooded with natural light (img1-4). This actually makes a rather striking difference to the kitchen/dining room as a whole. Plus, it is nice to see the sink area decluttered and free.

IMG1-2: New observation post...

IMG3: The new door

IMG4: Out with the old...

Tonight was actually the first time I took a proper look at the kitchen sink (img5), and it looks quite good. The tap is rather camp, looking like a cross between a shiny coin and a pink flamingo…

IMG5: The kitchen flamingo

Talking of sink, the one in the bathroom has finally got a waste pipe, which means that we can no officially use it (img6). We went for a shallow wall mounted sink, and today, we filled it for the first time (img7-8). Now, that’s some excitement, I can tell you!

IMG6: The bathroom flamingo and its shallow pond

IMG7-8: The bathroom sink... Nice, isn't it?


We had, until Tuesday, one room, the lounge, left untouched, albeit very messy and extremely dusty (img1). This is not the case anymore. Monday, Sean and I shifted whatever was in there (clothes rails, boxes, kitchen utensils, table… you name it, we had it stored in that one room), to other rooms so the guys could get started on it.

IMG1: The subtlety and entertainment value of the old iridescent wallpaper is lost on picture.

Now, the (vile) wallpaper’s gone, the walls have been plastered and are now drying off gently (img2-4). The carpet, which was in dire need of ripping off, has been ripped off and is now sitting outside, waiting for a skip to materialise (img5). The new floor should be laid down as soon as the walls and ceiling have been painted, which should hopefully be early next week. This means that, apart from the two bedrooms, we do not have any other room properly finished.

IMG2: The lounge looking rather more empty than in recent weeks.

IMG3-4: The thing under the dust sheets is not, as one could think, a piano but a couple of settees.

IMG5: Carpet: burn!

Annoyingly, we are still missing waste pipes in both the kitchen (img6) and the bathroom (img7), although this is due to be fixed imminently (today).

IMG6-7: Pipes to nowhere.

The hole in the back wall of the kitchen should also finally be filled with a brand spanking new window (img8), and the back door changed by the time we get home this evening, which will bring us a step closer to completion. Hurray!

IMG8: The wooden window is due to be replaced with a glass one - what a novel idea!