Well, as I said in the previous post, we arrived back at The Deenery at about mid-day and were a bit shell shocked at what was awaiting us. The builders had obviously been using our kitchen as a lunch/tea break venue which would have been fine, but it was absolutely filthy. In fairness, they did think we weren't returning until the 18th! I do wonder how much they would have cleared up though! The outside looked as if it had been raped and pillaged! Now I know there's going to be a mess, but neither of us were quite prepared with what greeted us.
Before shot of kitchen door and conservatory
and after shot below
With the door open - no conservatory!! You can imagine how cold it is. The 2 doors left were on the inside and are now outside! Jim has sealed the gaps up with carpet tape which has helped a bit. We both just stood and shivered and almost turned round and went back to the UK.
Outside the back door! Thankfully this pile has now gone and the pipes are beneath some stone.
The other important thing was that their first job was to connect up the toilet in our large bathroom as the small shower room with toilet was being demolished. Eeerm, we both arrived ready for the loo - and of course it wasn't connected! During the afternoon they connected it up temporarily thank goodness.
This is (was) the road down to the arboretum and meadow. AAAH!
Joe, the dad of the pair, managed to demolish this gatepost holding up the fence to the arboretum!
The approach road to our parking area.
The back 'lawn' and our bench
The back of our cottage 'before'. You can just see the white gate post on the right and the now removed wall.
and after!! Conservatory and shower room gone, plus gates and gateposts and wall! It looks so tiny and the owners had a family of 5 living in it!
The digger at work, back of the cottage and adjacent barn
Martin working out the sewer pipes. The extension will go right across the back of the house. It is already marked out and the ditches dug for the foundations of the walls. At the moment the new rooms look tiny, but apparently they always do until they're actually built.
Now don't get me wrong, we were amazed at how quickly the work had progressed. Thank goodness we'd been away when the back was demolished! Joe and son Martin are a real couple of workers. It's rained most days too. They are also very pleasant and Buster sits and watches them most of the time!
The following day everything looked a bit brighter. I cleaned the kitchen/diner and bathroom, which made a big difference and as I said, Jim plugged up the holes! Stanley has been working overtime and the house soon warmed up. We are short of wood but will fell some branches in the next day or so. The things we brought back from the UK we have stored in the 'sleeping shed' which is dry, as we don't really have any storage space at the moment.
It's really quite exciting seeing the work in progress but of course the mud is everywhere! Hopefully once the actual building starts, things will get a bit cleaner. For the past few days we've just adjusted to our new, confined surroundings.
I must say it's a bit difficult to work up much enthusiasm for Christmas but I have cut some silver birch twigs today which I will decorate tomorrow and we'll put the tree on the table, away from the animals! I usually have a large 'real' tree, but what with the dog, cats and building work I don't think that would quite work this time round.
Poor Jim was just recovering from a cold when we went away. Now he has brought back another one, this time even worse. He has an awful cough and has been sneezing for England. He sounds as though he's on his last legs but did manage a bit of shopping today.
I brought back lots of presents from our trip and put them on the windowsill in the 'snug'. One of them, from Jason and Sam, looked and felt remarkably like a tin of biscuits so we decided to open it today - lo and behold, a tin of Quality Street. I have to say we have make rather a dent in the contents. Yummy.
Jim's playing Christmas music as I type - how lovely. Oh, and it was the final of Strictly Come Dancing tonight and TOM WON. I was thrilled to bits. In the final they had to perform a 'show dance' where 'anything goes'. The first couple were brilliant and I thought Tom and Camilla had no chance. How wrong can you be? Their dance was quite superb, full of humour, talent, acting skills and brilliance. It was a done deal. Well done Tom and of course Camilla for her superb choreography.
'Christmas time, mistletoe and wine..........' rings out Cliff. Maybe the Christmas spirit is creeping in after all.
Just a few photos to finish for now:
one of our new vehicles...
A selection of pipe joints
Do you think the builder's asleep in here?
The willow fence with piles of muck in front of it! This will be levelled towards the end of the work
This is one of the roads I built as this area was so wet. Oops, back to square one. It wasn't built to withstand dumper trucks and diggers.
Finally, the neighbours complained of course!! One of them pointed out that they couldn't walk up the road in their shoes, or they got dirty. Hmmm, boots anyone?? But Joe and Martin were very helpful and 'sweep' their access road at the end of each day and he says now when they pass in their car they give a big friendly salute! We haven't seen them yet. Keeping our heads down. It'll take their minds of all the flies we send onto their land!