Weeks 13-16

Yes, we’re still blogging, which of course means... we’re not done yet. We’re about 3 weeks over schedule (ie. budget), and we’re beginning to have major sense-of-humour failure. We are broke, and permanently a bit grubby. But luckily the building work has entered a phase of frantic activity with lots of reassuring signs of actual progress. Since we seem to have lost all patience for blogging in the last few weeks, we’re going for bullet points.

High Points

  • First non-microwave meal for 4 months, thanks to newly installed kitchen (steak and chips on Valentines Day, both pan-fried as we blew the fuse on the oven)
  • First bath in lovely new tub, with glass of wine and Guardian magazine (slightly marred by the fact that you have to make a little newspaper pathway from tub to trainers, as the floor is still builder-filthy)
  • First load of washing in the new machine. Goodbye Sparkles Laundrette!
  • Seeing the loft take shape, and realising it’s not going to be habitable purely by those under 5ft. Adult males will indeed be able to move freely in there. In fact, it might just be our favourite room in the house.
  • Seeing the work of our very talented plasterers. They are artists - truly - and they’ve now tackled about two-thirds of the house, overcoming all the challenges of crumbling walls, steel beams that need to be disguised etc. Which means the place is now looking decidedly... housey!
  • Finally scraping the last scrap of stubborn wallpaper from the hallway. Hours and hours of our waking life, devoted to the vanquishing of decorative wall coverings.

Low points

  • Running out of money to pay the builders. This happens about once every 2 weeks, resulting in a short period of blind panic until the bank or a sympathetic relative pays up. We have disabled the ‘running total’ on the budget spreadsheet.
  • Not having a shower yet. Now starting to get paranoid that the Easygym staff have sussed out we go there purely to perform ablutions. Can you get thrown out for that?
  • Taking an apparently fresh jumper from the drawer and discovering it’s covered with black dust from the loft, like everything else in the house
  • Volunteering to seal the stone tiles in the bathroom, in an effort to keep labour costs down. Solvent, scrubbing, hands and knees. Least favourite job, ever.
  • Realising we have the world’s bossiest kitchen. It beeps at you if you forget to put the washing out. It beeps if you put anything on the hob that it reckons shouldn’t be there. Sometimes we don’t know why it beeps. But it definitely has an attitude problem.

Let’s hope our next blog post will be the last.

Because, let’s face it, we all need a bit of a pay-off - and those after photos might just make it all worthwhile...

loft conversion steel beam loft getting floors and walls view of Lordship Lane court from loft scraping wallpaper at the highest point in the stairway kitchen's coming along nicely shower remains