4 November 2008
The extension is taking great shape now. In fact, it's finished.
Well, I should qualify that. The exterior is finished. The bricks are up, the breezeblocks are done, the roof is on and the windows are in. Just the small matter of knocking down two walls and gutting out the existing living room and kitchen now...
It's been a relatively painless process so far for us, as the builders have worked hard. I'm particularly grateful, however, that the scaffolding which has adorned the side of my home for the last few weeks is finally due down today. Not only is it ugly and gets in the way, but with the garden fence removed for access reasons, I've had nightmares about local teenage delinquents (even sleepy East Yorkshire villages have their share) using it as a climbing frame. Go and play on the pylons, you ruddy hooligans.
The old porch is now entirely surrounded by the extension, so the postman and other visitors have needed to clamber through broken bricks, scaffolding and protruding cables in order to get our attention or drop the bills through the letterbox. All that is also about to change. My postman, of a jollity level akin to that of Courtney Elliot out of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, has told me privately that Royal Mail guidelines mean he and his colleagues are barred from going through building works in order to deliver mail, but he thinks it's bunkum and does it anyway. I am more than grateful that no flying buckets of cement have bashed him on the bonce while he faithfully places more tat from QVC through the door.
We've had very heavy rain lately round these parts, and this has curtailed some of the work the builders have been able to do. Irritatingly, the rain poured down on the day they were sorting out the guttering on the old roof and connecting it to the new one. The result was rushing water cascading through the walls and windows and a mercy dash to the airing cupboard for big towels. Mercifully, it was a brief problem.
So, phase two is about to begin. Aside from the obvious long-term benefits to the house, the extension work has also been handy for conversational starting points with neighbours and getting me out of bed in the morning, as they arrive just before 8am sharp and immediately start bashing away. The dogs are still confused and the cats are a mixture of scared (Harvey hides under the bedclothes all day) and fascinated (Sox and Sidney spent the day at the back door, watching).
All good fun, and hopefully all done in time for Christmas.