‘Safe as houses’

On 23rd February 2017 gale force winds raged for 5 hours and wreaked havoc across our part of England. Two of our polytunnels had their polythene ripped off their frames and our mobile home rocked gently during the biggest gusts. It was too dangerous to be outside unnecessarily, so the photo below was taken the following day when we had the forlorn task of cutting up the shredded polythene sheets and gathering the battens together. But the new house has walls that are so thick and windows that are so well insulated, we couldn’t hear the wind at all. We really were ‘as safe as houses’ while we worked in there.

The house is progressing slowly but steadily now that nursery work is once again taking priority. When the top half of the hallway was plastered, the temporary mezzanine floor was no longer needed, so for the first time we are able to appreciate the scale and beauty of the full height entrance hall. A banister wall separates this from the upstairs lounge and we have fitted a shelf inside this and inserted a plant trough. Hopefully some houseplants will get enough light to thrive in it.

Our electrician has been back and has successfully located all of the wires for the downlighters and smoke/heat alarms, so we have numerous wires dangling from holes in the ceiling, resembling some strange alien invasion!

After 3 weeks of work, interspersed with a 3 week gap, the plasterers finished their task, and out came our paint and the colour charts. We knew that we couldn’t leave many walls white, as I don’t like bright light and I would have to walk round with my eyes scrunched up all day. But we hadn’t realised that we had chosen kitchen cupboards which don’t really seem to match with any shade of paint! Eventually we decided on one which is vaguely mushroom soup coloured. By coincidence it is also similar to dried mud, so wet dogs can wag their tails to their hearts’ content and the dirt won’t show up too much!

Painting round the edges of rooms is one job that I do better than Martin does. So in the past, he has covered most of our walls and ceilings using a roller while I have done the fiddly bits with a paintbrush. Now, however, he is busy fitting out the kitchen, so I have had to rapidly learn to use a roller. This weekend a friend kindly shared her experience and expertise with me while her husband had the important job of making sure she didn’t fall off the platform! Teamwork at its best!