Sunday, 15 December 2013

Normal Service Will Be Resumed As Soon As Possible

It seems like an age since we were last in the fells, but then that's what happens when you start doing home improvements.  We'd always said we'd make some changes to our little bungalow and the manic run up to Christmas seemed the perfect time to do it...

Home improvement photos aren't nearly so picturesque as fell top photos but I know many of you have been following our journey into our new life and this is just another step along the way.  Normal fell top service will be resumed in the new year.

The kitchen lino was the first thing to go.  When we pulled it up we found a copy of the Daily Mail from 3rd June 1977 - Embassy cigarettes were 55p a pack.  To be fair it may be grim lino but it lasted well!

Next up was installing a log burner into the lounge.  The guys who did this were brilliant and well priced so if you're thinking of having the same thing done drop me a line and I'll pass on their details.

So cosy & toasty!

The next thing on the list was the bathroom.  We inherited a wet room when we moved in and we've always hated it and longed for a bath - but the wet room wasn't going without a fight.  When they pulled up the lino the floor was rotted through and we had to replace the entire thing, joists and all before we could do anything.  It's only been finished for 48 hours so the novelty still hasn't worn off yet and I keep finding excuses to go in there just to remind myself it's finally over.  The plasterer and the bathroom fitters were utterly brilliant and really well priced - again very happy to pass on their numbers if you're in the market.

Bad news

More bad news

Repairs in progress

At last, a bath!

Plaster on the walls.

Ta daa!!!

Then there was the downstairs windows, new front door etc.  We have a large undercroft and eventually plan to create internal access to it to give us extra living space - but for now the windows will make a big difference. Fair to say it created a bit of dust...

Once we do the rest of the house improvements the stairs will go.

And while all of this was going on I thought we may as well tackle the garden too.  We're charting that adventure separately with Abi & Tom at Halecat and you can read about it in detail here, but in the meantime here are a couple of photos of what's been going on. (No idea why this bit won't align to the left like the rest of the blog...)

We haven't been in the house the whole time but we've only had time to do the walks we need to do to meet our writing commitments.  No huge bank loans have been involved in this at all, we've worked and saved hard to do the work we've done and now need to start saving again ready for the next lot.

Once it was all over we went away for the night to see a talk by Alan Hinkes and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet in a pretty little B&B, we also took the opportunity to revisit the beautiful Smardale Gill.  When we started out there were clear blue skies but within an hour or so we were soaked to the skin and very glad to be scampering back to our log burner and nice new bathroom.

Later next year we may tackle the rest of the work that needs done but for now there's just time to finish off the little bits that need doing before Christmas.  I made some bramble gin earlier in the year, heaven knows how I've resisted it this long, but now seems the perfect time to curl up in front of the fire and raise a glass as I blow the dust off the christmas presents and crack on with some wrapping.  Cheers!

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