Monday morning and I had to return to my normal job. Danny was still on holiday so only Paul, the sparky, was on site. Before I left for work, I recounted the weekends’ adventures in glorious technicolour and he nodded sagely, agreeing that it was not his favourite job either. After a brief consultation of the wiring layouts, I left him in peace to get on with it. This turned out to be an uneventful week, full of normal work, followed by evenings fitting Rockwool and painting doors and windows. There’s not really much to say about it so I’ll tell you about some things that happened over the previous weeks that I forgot about. How about the temporary outside tap that I set up for Danny with the faulty fitting that blew off, flooding what was left of the kitchen ? This could only happen when there was no one in the house or on site, of course. There were two strokes of luck here, however. Firstly, it happened about five minutes before I arrived home and secondly, the kitchen floor boards were up, which meant the flood water poured into the concrete sub-floor and drained away. Or how about the day I came home to find one of the cats locked in the downstairs toilet. It had destroyed virtually everything that wasn’t nailed down in a desperate bid for freedom, including, bizarrely, attacking and shredding a perfectly harmless toilet roll ?
These incidents would pale into insignificance, however, with the revelation that we were hit with on the Sunday of that week. To give it some context, a little more explanation of the reasons for the build may be necessary. I shall condense it as much as possible. In 2006, my mother and step-father sold their own home and moved in with me. A common occurrence these days and the arrangement suited everyone involved, financially. At the time, I was single. Later in 2006, I met my future wife. In October 2007 after a long illness, my step-father passed away. Even after this event, it was obvious that more space and privacy was going to be needed for everyone to co-exist. Therefore, I conceived, designed, financed and built the extension you have been reading about. My wife-to-be and I got engaged in February 2009 and set a date of 10th October 2009 and, as I said, everyone involved was fully consulted and apparently happy. ——- That is until Sunday 23rd August 2009, when my mother chose to tell us that she was moving out.
The reason given ?
I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in.
At no previous point in time was this “unsettled-ness” ever mentioned. You would think maybe at design stage in December 2007 ? How about when Planning Permission is granted in 2008 ? Ok, when the architect is at the house measuring up in January 2009 ? No ? How about when the Building Warrant arrives ? Still nothing ? Ok, how about when a procession of builders turn up to give quotes ? No ? I know, here’s the one. When the JCB arrives on site on 1st June 2009 and starts excavating a bloody great hole in the garden ? Nope. Still nothing.
No. See, what you do is wait until the house is re-mortgaged, warrants and permissions in place, builder contracted, £50,000 extension actually built and the whole thing is so far beyond the point of no return that it can’t even be seen with the Hubble Space Telescope and then you announce that you’re moving out and the whole thing was unnecessary.
I cannot describe here the feelings that this news caused and I cannot describe the orbit that my fiancée launched into either. The financial implications on the build and the future viability of the whole thing were thrown into disarray. The financial implications on the wedding alone were a nightmare. The dress my fiancée wanted had to be cancelled. The reception had to be cancelled. The caterers had to be cancelled. The entertainment had to be cancelled. The honeymoon had to be cancelled. All the wedding plans had to be scaled back to the bare minimum. We considered postponing the whole thing but we would have lost even more money. We ended up having to make do with planning a registry office ceremony, with everyone then coming back to the (hopefully) finished house for a big party although we didn’t feel much like partying. All of those decisions had to be thought through and made that Sunday evening. Did I mention my fiancée was also suffering from a lumbar disc herniation at this point, was only able to walk with crutches and had just lost her job because of the credit crunch ?
Now, anyone who may have read this blog up to now will hopefully be aware of my attempts to impart the humourous side of building.
Even I struggled to find the humour in this “development.”
It was not one of the better weekends of my life but as a well known saying goes….Shi….er…Stuff happens.