Well. It was my 37th birthday yesterday. I have a distinct memory of sitting upstairs in my daughter's bedroom in early February, then being used as a kitchen, and wailing ' I just xxxxing well know I'm going to turn 37 sitting up here with no back on the house!'. It's lovely to be proved wrong.
It's not finished, by quite a long stretch, but we moved the furniture back in on the 14th ( I recommend OIS 'Green/Eco' Removals in Herne Hill by the way - cheap, polite and uncomplaining about the millions of boxes of books.) We had a brilliant weekend unpacking stuff we hadn't seen since July 2006, luxuriating in the underfloor heating and well and truly christening the brand new kitchen. Saturday 15th was incredibly serene - three of the builders were plastering in around the new sliding folding doors ( open in the sunshine), finishing off the Siberian larch cladding and drinking coffee with us while I unpacked the kitchen stuff. Marvellous. I wish I could bottle that feeling - you need to have lived four to one room for nearly eight months with no proper facilities to really appreciate the joy.
We still can't stand up in the shower - the white glass splashback that has been on order for months arrived on Thursday to great excitement. Much muttering in Polish ensued, always a bad sign - it turns out the suppliers have drilled the holes in the wrong place. Doh.
Our house seems to be on a local sightseeing tour - every time we go to put the rubbish out there seems to be at least one congratulatory onlooker. It's very affirming - I feel like we've made a positive contribution to the London streetscape, if nothing else! We certainly haven't made any money on the deal - I think we've ended up paying more than if we'd just bought a proper house like normal people, but it's been a real labour of love. The magnolia I planted the week the builders started has flowered brilliantly and amazingly - I can't quite believe it as it was under a layer of assorted insulation boards and lumber for most of the winter.
Loads more to do over the next few years - we need to do something about the master bedroom's horribly cracked ceiling, damp patches and avocado ensuite for a start, and the garden is a rubbish-strewn moonscape, but as we're not planning to move until the kids have grown up I'm hoping that means this house will satisfy my renovation urges for the next fifteen years or so.
I need to go and drive past our old house. For nearly two years I haven't been able to, as just getting the photos of it out was enough to fill me with dismay. Maybe in April after the front garden's been tidied up...
I'll put some photos up in the next few days. Thanks to everyone who sent me cheery and encouraging comments - it really helped!
New Year 2014 in Phuket
4 years ago