Punching Kevin McCloud

You’d have thought the chaos and stress had peaked last week, looking at the photos I shared, but no. Early this week went to another level, and I don’t mean some mildly successful R&B boy band from the early 2000’s.

This week saw Magic Mike and his mates doing all the cutting of the flags to fill in the bits around the edges. Endless noise (sorry neighbours) and a dust cloud suggesting a volcano had gone off not too far away made for a lovely time.

Sporadic rain also made the endless treks of workmen through our kitchen all the more muddy and lovely and all in all, as with any job of a decent size, you find yourself wondering why you started.

They finished (this phase) on Friday and aside from the wall at the back that looks like a bomb site until phase 2 gets done, (avoided in these photos) the results are below.

Clearly, we have yet to make it all pretty and stuff but at least the “construction” phase is complete.

At the same time, we edged closer with the conservatory, with the plumber coming to change our old radiator to a new one. I’m not saying I am an expert at all things DIY, but I had to show the plumber how to refill our boiler. Just before we moved in, the previous owner fitted a boiler just slightly less advanced than the space shuttle and the plumber had never seen one like it before. Amazingly this sharing of expertise resulted in no discount.

The tiler finished the floor last Sunday and aside from blasting the caked-on dust all over the outside of it, caused by the cutting of the flags, we have some painting to do before we can start to move furniture in and begin to use it. Is there any DIY task more soul-destroying than painting a freshly plastered ceiling? By the looks of the first coat that I applied yesterday another 67 should do the trick.

We have one more day for the builder to do next week, finishing off some guttering, downpipes and snags before a job I thought would take a couple of weeks at the end of April might get done before the end of July.

If Kevin McCloud were to turn up now and have the post-project chat with us, at the point he asked us how we were doing versus our original budget, the only response would be to punch him in the face. These last couple of weeks especially have taken it out of us, whatever it is.

We’ve spent the weekend cleaning up outside and painting, driven by the desire to have some normality back in our lives. If we don’t get some decent weather now I may ring Magic Mike and ask him to come back and return it all to how it was.

As much as the new layout at the back of the house looks better, mainly as the dogs had ruined the lawn by peeing on it, and it was a bit untidy and overgrown, the largest benefit beyond having some lovely outdoor space now is that it is one less patch of grass I have to mow. I have a Flymo going spare if anyone needs one? Only used about a dozen times and is useless to me now for the “big mow” on the field as that one needs the petrol thing we’ve got.

So I must leave you now, as I have a date with destiny in the conservatory. That ceiling won’t paint itself another 67 times. Who knows, by the time we meet again next week we may be approaching something that looks like completion. As much as that will be a relief to all of you reading about endlessly, I know I will be significantly more relieved.

Till the next time…….

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