We’re up, we’re down, we’re up, we’re down.

The conservation architect from Acanthus agrees to meet up with us at the weekend. We’re up!

She tells us some unexpected news: a building warrant, which we need to start work, only lasts for 3 years meaning we have to finish the work within that time. We were planning to work more slowly, saving the money as we go. We’re down.

She tells us that some nice planning officers count re-roofing and re-pointing as ‘repairs’ and, if our local planning officer agrees, we can begin this work without a building warrant. We’re up!

But we should basically budget for £1000 per square metre, meaning the whole renovation will cost us roughly £190,000 for just one barn. We’re down.

Need to go back and crunch some numbers and probably speak to my financial advisor again. In the meantime we chopped down lots of trees which were growing out of the stonework, tidied up a bit and built a big bonfire for all the rotten wood. Ross didn’t wear gloves so that he’d develop manly calloused hands. He feels very inadequate next to our rugged next-door-neighbour.

The swallows arrived this weekend and swirled over our derelict roof looking for last year’s nesting spot. The good news for them is that they’ll probably be OK this year while we sort out the flood system and do the re-pointing.

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