A Travellerspoint blog

Frustratingly close to completion

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For the first time during this whole project, which started more than two years ago, we have both felt helpless and angry about the lack of progress. Dave, the builder, promised that everything would be complete in time for the Neville Johnson, the furniture fitters, to arrive in June with one proviso – that we may not be able to get electricity and water connections done in time because these companies had only been dealing with emergencies during the lockdown. As I will be relating, Neville Johnson came and went, we got to the end of June and much of what Dave had promised had not yet been carried out.

So the normally very reasonable Robin and Jane changed gear and gave Dave (via Giles the architect) an ultimatum to complete the work by the end of July or we will honour the contract and withdraw the amount stipulated in the contract for each week that the work is overdue. No more ‘Mr and Mrs Nice’. It’s ‘Mr Nasty and Mrs Nasty’ now!

We still won’t complete by the end of July which is next week, but things have certainly stepped up a gear. So, you are probably asking, what has actually been happening since last I blogged?

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In June, the very smart looking Neville Johnson van arrived with two brothers from Manchester who spent about a week installing all the fitted furniture in two bedrooms, the hallway, living room and study.

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We are very happy with it and here are some pics to show you:

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living room

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study (my corner)

You will recall from the last blog, that one day a garden shed appeared, like the Tardis, in our garden.

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Shortly afterwards I found this crudely written sign by the entrance to the drive:

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“What’s this?” I asked Spencer. “We are fed up with passers by asking what it is, so one of the builders made this.” I suggested to Spencer that they could tell people anything they liked. “Tell, them it’s a sauna?” he replied. “Yeah, if you like.”

Meanwhile, Spencer finished the wall and started laying the patio and drive. One day, after the Neville Johnson brothers had left, there was just Spencer working on the site and no one else expected that day. “Who’s locking up?” I asked him. “Well, it’s me, as usual”, he replied. “I think I’ve become the site foreman – the ‘keeper of the palace’”.

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Spencer and a mate, started laying the drive, brick by brick. “What’s this thing?” I asked.

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“It’s a wacker”, replied Spencer, for wacking down the bricks on the drive. I though “wacker” was just it’s nickname until I saw what was written on the side:

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Spencer has done all he can for the time being until we have a water supply and he can start installing trees shrubs and laying turf which will all require lots of watering.

In the last couple of weeks, a very nice chap called Dean has been hard at work laying the wood oak veneer floor in the dining area, hallway, corridor and study. He then installed all the skirting and is now working on putting up all the internal doors. When I spoke to him this week he showed me an ingenious little device for lifting the heavy door to the right height, a sort of mini whoopy-cushion that is placed under the door and can be inflated by hand to gently raise the door up to the right height.

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Dean

The plumber has also been back, on and off, and we now have our shower installed.

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Where’s the toilet and sink though?

A couple of weeks ago Jane asked me if I’d like to come on a little trip with her to a farm near Radstock to look at rusty stuff in a field. How could I resist? We found this place full of old stuff, from benches, birth baths and bistro sets to reclaimed fireplaces and mailboxes. Jane had her eye on this old cattle feeding trough to put on the ledge outside our bedroom window which she would fill with plants to grow up the fence and hang down over our lovely stone wall. I wasn’t very convinced, and it seemed rather expensive but when Jane gets an idea into her head there is no stopping her. And it was about a tenth of the price of the corroded copper bathtub we had previously envisaged for this spot. I was sad about the bathtub because it had the most wonderful colours, but it was the wrong size and shape and very expensive. So, I reluctantly agree. This week it was delivered, and this is what it looks like in its new home:

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Emily popped over in her lunch break to inspect the progress. Here she is, checking out the recently installed hallway mirror with its bench where oldies like us can sit down to take our outside shoes on and off.

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This morning our neighbour asked how things were going with the house build. “We are still not sure when we will be completed and it’s very frustrating”, I replied. “But we are going in the right direction, which means we must reach our destination.”

Posted by Robin Logie 08:58 Archived in United Kingdom

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Comments

It's looking great! I hope that you will be able to move in soon.

by Judy

I hope you reach your destination soon.
The craftsmanship looks top notch.

by Chris Bowler

Wow - its all going to be fantastic. In a year (or two or three) you will have forgotten all the frustration and simply be full of wonder at your glorious new home. Feeding trough looks great! N & M xx

by Nick

Looks amazing. Can’t wait to see more.

by Marie

Are you sure it's a shed - it does not appear to have a door?
Perhaps its a new David Blaine challenge. I think you will find that the powered tamping machine name plate makers have politely substituted a c for the original n to save your blushes.
The house looks great and trough good enough to have a bath in - one leg at a time.
It's bit bad on the soul when nicey turns to nasty but sometimes it's the only way. Looking forward to visiting in due course.

by Mr. Peter Dunhill

It's all looking good though and it will get finished. Hope it all comes in within budget or your revised budget.

by Ralph Kleeli

I agree with Jane. The galvanised trough is perfect for your exterior shelf.
Will look even more lovely when planted up.
Looks like you're on the final straight to me but no wonder it all feels like it's been a long haul. Hope you'll be in for Christmas!
Much love,
Catherine

by Catherine Kleeli

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