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Building continues (a bit) under lockdown


So how is the building going under ‘lockdown’, you may be wondering. Well, some things have ground to a halt whilst other things are continuing. We have booked a company called Neville Johnson to built fitted furniture, including wardrobes and a built-in study, in five different rooms. Unfortunately, a couple of days before they were due to do the final survey before building the units, they contacted us to say they had closed down for the duration of the lockdown. So, even if the house build is completed, we will still be waiting for Neville Johnson to return to work, build the stuff and them come and install it before we can move in.


In addition, Dave, the builder has decided to ‘furlough’ (that word none of us knew a month ago!) his own men to reduce the risk of them being infected. But he is still offering work to his subcontractors (plumber, electrician, kitchen fitter and Spencer, the wall builder) as they are more likely to lose out financially if their work dries up. However, he is allowing only one person into the house at a time. So, the building worked has generally slowed down but is continuing. It means that we now have no idea when we might be able to move in.

So, to pick up on the story where we left it last time, about six weeks ago, in late February: The next job was to plaster the walls. First to nail on the plasterboard. For the ceilings, this very simple device was used to hoist up the boards and hold them in place during the nailing process.


I have admired plasterers for many years, ever since I had a go at plastering myself and found that it wasn’t nearly as simple as it looked. This guy clearly knew what he was doing…


And then important decisions had to be made about the way in which the tiles would be laid. Are we going to go for ‘straight lay’ or ‘brick bond’? Eh?! Here’s Jane discussing the possibilities with Dave and Giles.


Decision, decisions! We went for the ‘brick bond’ in the end.


We now have a bath and some tiles. Yeah!


And the kitchen has started to go in. We have kitchen and utility room units, a kitchen sink and an oven.


Everything looks blue because the windows are now covered in blue plastic to prevent people seeing inside. Jane was worried that the colour of the units was too dark but, when she realised it was because of the blue filter, she was happy again. As my mother often reminisced, when she was an adolescent and was fretting about something, her father would say, “I wish I had your problems!”

This week we popped into the house, first making sure there was no one else inside for social distancing reasons. All the light switches and sockets are now installed, and I counted 16 sockets in the study. 16 sockets! On the way home I found myself humming a tune and realised it was an old song - Sixteen Tons – that we used to sing at camp:
You load sixteen tons and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.

However, in our case it would be:
You install sixteen sockets and what do you get?
Another ‘lectrical device and deeper in debt.

Meanwhile, Spencer, the dry-stone wall man, carries on, stone by stone, unaffected by the virus because he can work and keep his distance from everyone. Never mind “sixteen tons” - we have now had 40 tons of stone delivered which Spencer is methodically working his way through, showing off his spectacular collection of body art now that the weather has warmed up.


People keep stopping to admire the wall and it seems to have become a bit of a talking point amongst the neighbours. Now that they are allowed only a short distance from their homes, they must be saying, “What shall we do today? Well we could go and see how the wall is coming on.”

Wishing you all the best possible Easter you could have...under the circumstances.


Posted by Robin Logie 10:40 Archived in United Kingdom

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What a blessing to read a bit of adapted normality! Looking great, particularly The Wall. Tantalising when you are starting to see bits installed. Well they say half the enjoyment is in the anticipation...

by Peter Logie

Glad to hear it is coming along, however slowly. :-)

by Sue Warren

Great to get the news...that things are still continuing, even if slowly. Did you meet Peter McFadyen yet? He is the brother of a very good friend of ours, living in Frome, and knew immediately who you were or at least which house you were building. He was an independent councillor and he, and friends of his, seem to have done a lot of good stuff in Frome. I think you'd like them - maybe you have already met... Good luck with it and I hope it wont take too much longer

by julia nelki

All looks very exciting. A little tantalising to be so near, yet so far from being finished given the current crisis. Most important - just stay safe and well!
We're all fine here and send our love to you all.

by Catherine Kleeli

Great to see the progress. Brilliant that work continuing during lockdown. I love that wall!
You must have a record number of sockets in your study!
Love to you both
Chris and Sheila

by Chris Bowler

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