What’s next?

I have now been left with no gas which means no heating or hot water for the next two days (apparently).

The only thing left is the electricity having now had our windows blocked, the gas turned off, no kitchen, a handicapped bathroom with a design which can’t be agreed upon and threats with legal action from an outstanding bill which predates us.

It’s probably fair to say that I’m not exactly having fun.


Scaffolded, boxed, scuppered and gutted

What a difference a week made. From the installation of the new fireplace, to the installation by a neighbour of scaffolding right outside our living room window.

Let’s step back a month or two.

We had discussed with an upstairs neighbour their wish to install scaffolding to renovate (one of their two) flats in the building. Unfortunately the scaffolding would be right outside our window for about six months. SIX MONTHS!

We reviewed the plans and elevations and understood that this would be the path of least resistance for the majority of the building however we would have reduced light in our already light-challenged lower ground floor flat.

We had only been in the building a couple of months so we did our good neighbour thing and reluctantly agreed to scaffolding with an access platform from the street.

Coming home on Thursday this week, I was horrified to discover a giant plywood box installed outside our window blocking every last vestige of light and sky. We had been boxed in. It wasn’t exactly a platform with access to scaffolding as we’d been led to believe.


It goes without saying that we’ve been scuppered. We certainly didn’t agree to a giant box being installed above our heads and in front of the window for SIX MONTHS. There was a certainly economy of information by our very strategic neighbour who has screwed us royally.

The room intended to be our living room is so dark it’s like the middle of the night and it goes without saying that I am completely gutted and will be for the next SIX MONTHS.


I can only hope that plastering and painting help improve things.

Lying in bed

This is my view.

It’s a bit like being in an insane asylum especially the patch of “insanity green” I haven’t managed to get off yet.

The worst thing is, it’s become normal and I don’t notice it any more.

Better get things moving or we’ll be living like this forever!

Trying to continue the momentum

After all the progress yesterday with the gasman finally leaving at 8:30pm but now with a working gas fire, I was keen to try and keep the momentum going.

I was up with the sodding lark, off to the laundrette, back with two bags of wet washing to hang dry, walked the dog, washed the dog, collected the dry cleaning and dropped off some more and then it was time to start sanding.

I spent a good hour sanding and chipping old paint off the front door so we can paint it before we get new locks. Frankly it looked just the same as it when I started.

I then spent another three hours chipping off the remains of the wallpaper in the front room. And here’s a surprise, it looks just the same.

How can a room have twenty layers of wallpaper that are all brown?

I cleaned everything up, chipped a bit more wallpaper off in the hall and I can’t see I’ve done anything.

One positive thing though, having cleared out all the rubble yesterday, we now have the brown room back complete with Christmas plant, broken window and flowering camellia.

To celebrate, Agnes did a wee on the carpet.

All fired up

After ripping out the fireplace, the logical thing was to put one back in, so that’s just what happened today.

I took the day off work to get some stuff done and by lunchtime had cleared out all the rubble with a waste collector. I hadn’t planned on helping but as he showed up single handed, it was the only way. That was fun.

So with that done, the fireplace was moving along nicely.

And finally by 8pm as the gasman was running late, we were all fired up and ready for a sit down.

So here it is and what a massive improvement! I love the clean Edwardian design, perfect with our simple coving and sympathetic to the building.

Just a bit of plastering and painting to do!

Another day, another fireplace

I came home from work and ripped out the fireplace in the living room… as you do!

The plaster is buggered and literally fell off the wall and the original Edwardian tiles were lurking somewhere under soot and glue but not worth trying to salvage.

From here:

To here…

To here:

I have a busy day on Friday as a fly tipper is coming to clear the latest pile of rubbish, the chimney sweep is coming to hopefully install the new fireplace and the glass man should be coming to replace the broken window.

It’s all go!

The Good Room

I’m not sure if I’ve actually posted any photos of the good room.  It’s a lovely room with a view of large magnolia tree in full blossom. We’re delighted with the colour, a brand new Farrow & Ball colour and while it’s our future bedroom, it makes a really nice temporary sitting room.


We’ve now hung the curtains and replaced the door. It is an oasis and once you go in, the temptation is never to come out again.


This was where the carpet of cremation was.


We moved the radiator from half way up the wrong wall and got rid of several metres of copper pipe.



I do love a good before and after picture and this room shows the potential of the rest of the flat. Only six more rooms to go!