Tag Archives: house

Shed day tomorrow

Three weeks into the new bungalow and things are moving forward at a steady but sensible pace. It takes ages to get some of these things sorted but others progress a bit more quickly.

Last weekend was the last Bank Holiday before Christmas and I was able to put the extra day on the weekend to good use. Despite only being a 2 1/2 bedroomed bungalow, our new home had two WCs, one in the main bathroom, and one off the hall opposite the front door. Given the small size of the kitchen and distinct lack of room for a washing machine and tumble drier one of the decisions taken since moving in was to sacrifice the second WC and convert the room into a utility room.

So, in the space of an afternoon (and an hour on one evening during the week), the room went from this…


to this…


Since the photo was taken, the walls have been made good, the flooring has had the trimming added to the perimeter and the whole place looks a lot tidier. And, yes, that is the washing machine sitting next to the lovely avocado loo. It is powered via an extension lead from the hall. Goodness only knows how long the old lady had her machine set up like this, but you can see the pressing need for a proper utility room…

Once we can get the electrician round – tradesmen are expensive, hard to come by, take an age to respond and then need at least a week or two before they can “fit you in” – the rest of the room will take no more than half a day to complete and we will be able to do the washing and drying (if necessary) sensibly again.

The “study” has been created, even though it hasn’t been decorated. With the boxes and boxes of photographs on shelves, and a desk courtesy of my friend Roy “Are you looking for a desk? I’ve got a spare desk. I will sell you my desk” it actually works very well. One day we will get round to stripping it and repainting the walls but for now that’s not a priority.


The kitchen is the most serious job that cannot be DIY’d. A joiner is to pay us a visit during the week to prepare a price which isn’t just a “dry fit”. I hadn’t heard that term before either, but basically it means that he will take the new kitchen cabinets, worktops trim etc and fit them. He won’t do any plumbing or electrics. “It won’t work” were his exact words. So, he basically tells you a price for half a job over the phone, then comes round to tell you what the whole proper job will cost.

It’s like pulling teeth. Or waiting for your CT scan results. Everything takes a fortnight’s wait.

Tomorrow, the new shed arrives. When ordered, the confirmation said that it would be delivered some time between 06:00 and 19:00. Very useful, that is… This evening, I received an email from them to say that it would be delivered between 13:53 and 17:53. I suppose that’s something and it gives me the morning to break up the old shed that lies in a pile stacked against a wall in the back garden. Must choose a decent colour to paint it. A nice light National Trust green I think, the days of stained sheds being well and truly over.

Oh, and I have submitted a planning application to both convert the garage into another reception room and insert french doors into the west-facing wall in the dining area. If we get that work done, it will make a huge difference to the amount of light in the room, which is a bit dark sometimes, even during the day.

So, now that we have been here three weeks and done an awful lot in that time, how am I feeling about the move? Positive, I am pleased to say. The shorter journey to work is a real boon, even though Ann has further to drive when she goes to work. Fortunately, the traffic has been kind to her so far, but there will come a day when there is a problem on the motorway and she will have a difficult time getting home. Let’s hope that isn’t too often.

The village is a nice place to live and the neighbours very friendly. There are some nice walks from the front door and the pub has a decent food offer and decent beer.

I did get an email from The Marsh Cat yesterday, advising to book early for Christmas (I don’t think that all the children have gone back to school yet, and the Christmas emails have started…). It begged the question, “Do you miss The Marsh?” In all honestly, I can say “No”. We used to go a lot, often once a week. The people there were brilliant and the food very good. But, towards the end of our time there, it almost became a habit, rather than something of a treat – a nice problem to have, of course. But since we moved here, despite the fact that we do not have a fully functioning kitchen, we have only eaten out twice. I have found that interesting.

A weekend in the garden beckons.

Never again. Moving house is just no fun at all.

They say that alongside divorce or the death of a spouse, moving home is one of the most stressful things that you can do, and of the three, it’s often one that is done willingly. Unless you’ve been planning to divorce or kill your husband I suppose…

Never having experienced the other two events, I can concur that moving home is not really a very pleasant experience. Last time, 22 years ago, we “sold” the property four times before actually moving. We had a buyer pull out the day before exchange of contracts. The woman that bought the house gave us an ultimatum to complete, such that we were homeless with two young children for a fortnight (she was a teacher too…). Part of our contents that had been in storage never quite made it to the new house, taken away from the storage in my Granddad’s old wheelbarrow.

This time, however, is on a whole new level of complete nonsense.

The house will have been on the market a year in August. The couple buying it first saw it in November and made an offer in the spring. We viewed the property we are buying at the beginning of April – 4 months ago – after receiving a second offer from our buyers, the first offer only lasting 2 days.

We have only just exchanged contracts.

At the request of the people at the very bottom of the chain, we agreed to a completion and move date in August. I was pushing for a mid-July completion, but others in the chain were not willing to accede to that. We have been in a position to exchange contracts for over three weeks now. It could have been done if the will were there, but we agreed to go with the August date.

It is difficult to describe the stress that this ridiculous situation puts you through. There is absolutely nothing that you can do about it. You have to let the chain move at the pace of the slowest member, even if that appears to be deliberately slowed for reasons that our solicitor cannot understand. He has never known anything like it in nearly 20 years of conveyancing.

We have now put in motion all the necessary arrangements with removal companies, gas people, electricity people etc. and started to put valuable items in boxes. But to have got to a fortnight from completion and actually moving home and only just having the contract in place strikes me as a completely unacceptable situation.

This will be our last move. Next time, I will be the one in the box.