It’s the last weekend in August, Big T and Agnes’ last weekend in France and my last full weekend of living alone in a war zone. The reinforcements have been drafted in.
Great news is that we have rented out France until the end of May next year, the house not the country so that’s a big financial help as we can’t afford the luxury of an empty house.
We had a lot of interest and everyone who saw it, loved it. I suspect we could have priced it higher but it’s covering its costs and we’re happy with that.
And so back to Cashworth where we’ve now had to add a building inspector to our payroll (another bag of sand, that’s a grand please, cha-ching!), two structural engineers and a general builder. No one’s been paid so let’s hope the bills come in gradually.
I had a clean up yesterday, things feel better in the two useable rooms and I’m busy procuring showers for the weekend.
It’s been quite an interesting (shit) challenge living without a kitchen or a bathroom but I’m quite impressed with my coping skills so far. I feel I’m almost ready to live off grid or go to war.
I came back from France on Tuesday and discovered the bathroom floor was missing and in its place was sticky residue on plywood. While the toilet is just about working, the whole experience of using the loo is quite traumatic as one’s feet get stuck to the board like a blue bottle on fly paper, everything is filthy and the idea of having a real bathroom seems like a very long way off.
Ironically it almost looked good before…
I went into work this morning at 7am having woken up early and realised there was no point being at home as I couldn’t shower, brush my teeth or have breakfast in pleasant surroundings.
Thanks to the corporate office where I’m practically living, a nice shower, several toilets and a big office kitchen with fridge. I now bring my packed dinner home (salad) to avoid cooking and washing up and this evening brought a thermos of hot water with me to make tea. Now that’s smart thinking!
We now await the delivery of the bathroom drain and tiles next week so that work can begin again and of course, we still await approval on the sodding wall but apparently with every possible question asked and answered (each one ending with a £ and several zeros) the end may be in sight. As if!
Our nemesis and a bit of (bad) mood lighting…
Anyway, despite my tone I am actually coping and have even been forced back to yoga to avoid being in the flat so there’s a positive.
How I’m going to shower at the weekend is a whole other challenge and I suspect I may be trying out a public swimming pool (pubes and verrucas). I’ll be taking flip flops.
And that was only day three.
With the beginning of my second half century rapidly approaching, I had decided I wanted to be in nature and where better than the one place I’d wanted to go for the past few years, Iceland.
Iceland is rapidly gaining in popularity as one of the last few unspoilt places left on earth (albeit one of the most expensive) so it’s good to go before it gets overrun with tour buses.
And so we’ll be spending four days on this hopefully unspoilt island in mid September exploring black sand beaches, waterfalls, geysers and hot springs in temperatures of about ten degrees.
Apparently it’s even a good time to see the Northern lights which really would be the icing on the birthday cake!
It’s not exactly Big T’s ideal destination (being more of a Caribbean at heart) but he’s bravely organised it and it’s how I wanted to welcome my next half century.
exciting Icelandic adventures in a woolly hat coming soon!
We have listed the house in France as a winter rental.
If anyone fancies nine months in the South of France for an excellent price, get in touch, it’s pretty nice!
We need the money to finish (or start) the renovation at Cashworth Mansions which is costing us a fortune so fingers crossed the French house can help us out.
Big T and Agnes will be packing their bags and dragging their suntanned heels back to London in the next couple of weeks as it’s really time to get things moving in London.
Here we go!
It turned out to be a toad in the drain and a dead, decomposing toad under the pool. The smell was awful.
Hard to get a photo of the toad in the drain as we were too busy worrying it was going to jump out…
Here we finally go!
More holes in the floor…
Genuine 20th century rubbish…
Bathroom made of
plywood, sorry, rotten plywoodNo more washing in that bathroom.
Lucky I’m off to France for a shower tomorrow!
Tomorrow, with great fanfare and excitement, the builders are coming. Alert the media, hang out the bunting, we’re about to start work!
Of course, we have no money left but hey ho, who cares? We’ll do what we can and save up to do the rest, you know, like people used to do.
Apparently they’re starting on the bathroom and not a moment too soon as I enjoyed another less than satisfying splash in the sink this morning.
I’ve cleared out the kitchen and the bathroom, everything is stored and boxed, tidied and stacked and ready for a new layer of brick dust.
Of course we still need to order a few more bits and pieces, like a drain and tiles, and a kitchen and then, ta da, the Berlin Wall will come down… once we get the approval, of course… we’re still waiting.
Let the bashing begin!
On Sunday I did my annual yoga class. It took me a while to decide to do it and there was a bit of forcing myself to go but I took an easy class and really enjoyed it. As the yoga studio is only five minutes walk away, I really have no excuse!
I bumped into one of the Welsh Terrier humans and one of the Welsh Terrier dogs and we’re now eagerly awaiting the Autumnal return of Agnes for a WT Reunion in the park.
I may even go to another class tomorrow but let’s not rush into things. Getting in shape for Winter!
Despite the obvious challenges of one’s living conditions, there’s a view from the window which reminds me to stay positive.
The bay tree has come back from almost certain death and is a vision of hope in new green leaves.
It took many days of careful tending and the shape isn’t quite what it used to be but it shows what perseverance, plant food and a new pot will do.
One day perhaps I too will get a new pot (or a kitchen and bathroom?!)
It would seem the 1980s power shower has reached the end of its life and sink washing has now commenced.
This week I have gone back in time and have had to wash my hair in the sink. Luckily the room is a wet room so the sink is also doubling as a bucket enabling a standing bath. Thank goodness it’s still summer.
Hopefully this is an incentive to get going on the bathroom…