August 2013

Back room finally cleared, ready for the contractors to start knocking a door-sized hole in it tomorrow. All that’s left is the fold-out sofa-bed for which we need more muscle as its steel mechanism means that it’s hernia material. The marks on the wall are our DIY penicillin farm, hitherto carefully hidden behind filing cabinet and desk. Clever, eh?
It’s jolly slow but it needs to speed up soon. Thurs=Last day of work. Fri= start work fettling Seaford. Weekend=contractors strip 3 damaged ceilings and Hurst painter starts work on paintwork, Monday= other contractors should start to fit new ceilings. We have to be out of here by Bank Holiday Monday so it’ll be all hell and no notion. At least there’ll be a house where we can put up travelling bands from Lancashire if they want to stay

More went right than wrong today; a nice change! Car done. Small bedroom electrically complete, ‘library’ a little closer completion now its ceiling is plastered. Bathroom also plastered, shower tray and new cistern fixed. shower waste pipe in place, cladding started. Last headache is the soil pipe connection. Thank you, Joe.
And thanks too, to Becky Martin and Jack Hogsden and Molly for letting them come, for helping clear the loft. We have a car load of stuff for the tip – and there’s still just over half to go. The house is breathing a sigh of relief having finally shed so much it’s been carrying for the last 20 years. Talking about weight, if anyone is into heavy metal we have a kit-form cast iron bath on our grass patch. Please feel free

Hallway downlights fitted and 85.5% wired in. Still arguing with a 4-cable, 4-connection junction box when insurance repair electrician arrived to complete reinstatement after the water damage occasioned to 2.5 ceilings. Poor bloke spent ages and 4 fuse repairs investigating how the wiring had been done on the 1960’s and adapted by one of our predecessors in the house. A shout of exultation finally announced that he had cracked it. We now have light in the front bedroom-cum-library. (Like Chorlton-cum-Hardy but more southern and lots smaller).
T-off for shower pump now manufactured using end-feed joints (he said proudly despite thir being very un-pretty) and leak free. Just waiting for morning light and courage to cut into the existing feed pipe.
Started dismantling shelving in tatty cupboard. Not an essential part of the fettling process but whiled away the time while electrician blew fuses and cursed. Not his fault, pook guy, and he was so apologetic for something that was no way his fault.
We have to move in a week tomorrow…

A US friend wrote: “My dictionary confirmed my guess as to the meaning of “tatty” and it made clear the meaning of “fettling” but “Pook” and “Like Chorlton-cum-Hardy but more southern and lots smaller.” were beyond my efforts to find their meanings. That and reading all the DIY efforts makes this old fart feel his age … older than dirt.”
Reply: “Chorlton is a part of Manchester and was a name grabbed out of the air to show that I was not using “cum” in any way other than descriptive English. It means ‘also known as’.

Lost count of tile numbers but the bathroom looks really good. Joe is grouting tomorrow so the basin can be attached – to its pipes, not to him. We even now have a way of getting rid of the waste from it (yes, yes: the basin. Joe makes his own arrangements).
Painting under Jon Short’s expertise continues apace and the bedrooms particularly are actually looking habitable. Two bits of shelving have surreptitiously entered the living room and are looking shiftily at each other, as if they almost expect the remainder of the clan to join them soon.
The faulty double glazing has been mainly fixed by Mark from Protec Glass and a further amount of money has been earmarked for replacing the large, failed, sealed dg unit in the living room.
The woodburning stove fixing man had to look after his kids today so couldn’t visit but has rescheduled for Monday pm.
Judy skived off to the theatre in Regents Park (the London one) where Sound of Music was on. Apparently the storm scene (Goat-herd song) happened just as the real rain started so obviously mother nature enjoys a joke too.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. True, it is a flickering light with scary shadows but it is definitely a light.
The painting is now complete. True, there are little bits of touch-up needed but they can only happen once we have time. Jon Short of Hurst College has done a really good job in only 2 weekends of long days and we are extremely grateful to him.
Joe is continuing with the grouting and so on and he, too, can see a light flickering.
I’ve started on installing shelves with Becky and Leon’s help. My woodwork skills are crap, though ont as crap as my plumbing skills.
Judy Wright, Becky Martin and Leon Hogsden have finished clearing out the loft and the car’s already been to the tip 3 times today. It knows its way there now: I don’t have to drive.
More shelving tomorrow, then refitting of doors. And getting someone else to sort the damn shower plumbing!

Bookshelves in hall nearly done. Wood ordered for shelves upstairs (ow). Shelves in living room now nearly complete. Stove now going in on Thursday… long story!
Tile on roof replaced and a broken one due to be repaired on Thursday. Not by me, I don’t do heights.
Bathroom and landing lights (i.e. the lights on the landing; we don’t intend to open as an airfield) now installed and working. Still a lot to do before Grand Moving Day – Saturday. Thanks to those who have volunteered to help and I hope you still area able to. I’m about to message you!
Got home to find that bloody TalkTalk have again managed to foul up our broadband. Connection is only possible again using mobile. Grrr.

Well, it’s moving day tomorrow. And the day after. Maybe Monday too. (Don’t worry, all you volunteers. We should be able to manage after the main loads are down there tomorrow, though any volunteers appearing at the door will be welcomed with open arms and a cup of tea).
We have a house that’s ready apart from…
– No water in the shower (Coming Wednesday. We’re probably best avoided at close quarters from Monday onwards.)
– Leaks from the bathroom basin – should be sorted tomorrow when I have the right tools.
– A gas leak by the hob – which has been isolated. To be done on Monday.
– A kitchen that currently doubles as a tool depository and store.
– No internal doors anywhere, even the loo.
That’s why we’ll be sleeping, eating and showering at the College until the last possible moment! Seaford, here we come. Watch out.

The bike passed its MOT! Tom Harvey please note. And despite having to take it back to Southwick ‘cos I’m too skinflint to pay when I can get a retest free, I didn’t fall off once. The traffic through B’ton was bloody.
We now have a loo door. Believe me, that’s an achievement. We also have a working wardrobe (and I don’t mean one that responds to whistles and rounds up sheep). The kitchen is starting to look like a kitchen and less like a disorganised workshop. On the other hand the library still looks like a carpenter’s shop, escept when it’s being a bedroom. Talking of which, good night.

We have found the garage floor – or at least some of it. Some boxes were taken to the house and books crawled from them, shook themselves grumpily, and climbed onto some nearby, newly built shelves for a proper snooze. The remainder of the boxes now adorn the sides of said garage and are in some sort of order, even if the piles do lean a tad. If you hear sounds of breaking glass and crockery from the Seaford direction, accompanied by much wailing and gnashing of teeth, you’ll know the reason.
Elsewhere, shelf building continues. Who knows, perhaps even today carpentry will finish and I can get a desk installed in the library/bedroom.
In other news, we visited Tom Harvey last night. Now transferred from ICU to a ward he is in the process of a culture shock (to quote Sue Harmer), in that the constant flow of care is over and he is ‘just one of the patients’. The upside is that he’s no longer seen to be in danger and is well on the way to his recovery to rude health. Do I use that word advisedly? Surely not – not with Tom.
Hasn’t medical science advanced wondrously? Not many decades ago a brain haemorrhage would have been an automatic death sentence. Now, if spotted for what it is (well done again, Sue, and MOST of the health professionals they encountered), it’s treated so quickly and effectively that the hospital stay is less than for a broken ankle.

Ladies & Gentlemen, we have a library.
True, the carpentry is less than the standard seen in National Trust properties, the shelf spacing is arbitrary and requires constant adjustment, and last but not least there are few books inhabiting it, yet a library it is.
There is even a desk, though the computer it was intended for has yet to surface. Who knows what tomorrow might bring?