Snowing solidly for three days

Snowing solidly for three days's like Little House on the Prairie

the kitchen taking shape

Friday, 3 December 2010

In at last and warmer than we've ever been! The water connection was delayed for a week much to our irritation so didn't move in until Nov 23. Turned out to be just in time as it started snowing a week later and hasn't stopped. Snow over the top of my wellies now and I can hardly walk across the fields - there's too much of it. Ordered the sledge just a day too late as I got it from amazon on Monday, but there's been no deliveries since then.
All that insulation has really helped - it warms up quickly and stays warm. The woodburner is fantastic. Big relief to have finally completed something.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

too much water in the wrong place

We moved into the rented house to escape building work and have a warm place to stay until the barn was ready. But the kitchen is now awash with water as the flat roof has started to leak all over the place. An electrician has been to dismantle the electrics and I am mopping up dripping water from every surface!
Ironically, we can't move into the barn yet even though it is almost finished, because there is no water connection. At least the barn is watertight and feels warm even without heating - it is so well insulated. Our rented house is now damp and cold and feels miserable. As soon as that water is put in this weekend, we are moving out.
Had a big bonfire on Saturday. There was lots to burn and one of the builders does fireworks displays. We used the builders' barn for food and drinks. A good way to repay all those people we've upset with our building work over the past year

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


The earth moved last weekend - in large quantities! Amazing how different it all looks now that the site is levelled off and the mounds of earth cleared. Starting to get some sense of how it will be when finished. Loads more space.
Everyone working so hard and til late to get it done. I just make the tea and cakes - preserved ginger is a good one.
It's a hive of activity this week with the phone and broadband installed, worktops in and TV set up. The windows have arrived for the south barn and are now being put in. That will make it look more homely. I screwed up on the measurements for the bathroom window though and it's too big. A new one has to be re-made which is an expensive mistake.
Might be able to use it again, or sell it on ebay. Since we sold the abandoned scimitar for £156 on ebay, I'm now putting all the old farm machinery on there.
massive bonfire ready for fireworks night.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Big diggers

Big earthworks to dig out the patios have left the place looking much tidier. All the straggly weeds have gone and its a bit lunar landscape. But this weekend is for the more dramatic stuff with a big excavator coming and massive dumper trucks. All the earth and debris is going to be buried in one of the fields. Sheds to be pulled down for the new-build have been cleared by unemployed teenagers.
Water now due to be connected on November 12, worktops on Tuesday, doors all in and the woodburner on Nov 1. Time to arrange a moving date. Can I drive a 10-tonne dumper truck?

Thursday, 30 September 2010

The bath might look good, but the feet don't fit on properly and the plumber can't get a trap to fit underneath. That's the difficulty of buying from the internet. I've bought a trap from the same site, but the delivery man apparently couldn't find anyone to sign for it - even though it's a building site with eight people working there. Will wait up there for him tomorrow.
The extractor fan now installed - looks like something from Nasa space control and so it should - it cost a fortune.
Work on the south barn now stepping up, but we have fiddled with the plans so much, there is a bit of confusion about where the windows are going. I am the one who briefed the window people so I hope I've got it right. Windows are nearly finished and should be installed soon.
Just waiting for the water to be connected to the first barn and then everything can be tested and we can think of moving in. The utilities certainly work to their own time scale, it's a year since we first contacted them. They're not bothered whether we have a bath or not.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The man from Jewsons offered me a job at a builder's merchant as I was helping unload 50 sheets of insulation. He doesn't realise the power of yoga!
Work on the south barn has started and north barn almost finished. The kitchen is nearly installed - all black units with a few cream ones thrown in which I think is effective, but the builder is more sceptical. I've ordered an extremely expensive extractor fan that comes up like a computer screen from behind the cooker when needed - a downdraft extractor. This is to get round the difficulty of extracting the cooker from the barn roof. The building inspector has agreed to it, but no-one has seen one before so not sure how it is installed.
The laminate floor stretches down the corridor and all the lights are working. The bath arrived today - cast iron, so very heavy, but the builders carried that.
Need to work out proper addresses for these barns as all the utilities are getting confused, but am trying to avoid anything too twee.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Working out where all the cables and pipes go is a bit of a headache. We keep thinking of extra branches to add while the trenches are open. The two barns will share a garage, so they need to have a branch cable to provide the electricity in their own half of the garage rather than end up paying for someone else's power.
Telecoms wires have to come from a pole at the end of the south barn which means digging another trench. Gas is all in even though the traffic lights are still in the road, much to everyone's annoyance. That is a big achievement though, it's about a year since I first contacted the gas company. Water pipes are also in but not turned on.
EDF inspected for the power connection to the south barn on Monday, but can't put that in for another six weeks. Trenches need to be filled in as it is difficult to get in and out of the site. The electrician's van slipped into the trench last night and took a while to push out.
Bathrooms are looking fantastic although the tiler did not think me saying it looked like a hotel was a compliment!