Thursday, 17 July 2008

Positive Progress

It was exciting to step out of the car on yesterday's visit and be able to see changes immediately. The garage roof is almost done. Ian has sourced second-hand slates. They look wonderful. The architects had mentioned new ones in their spec. I wonder why. They seem a bit behind the times. We are still annoyed that they can't get their heads round modern developments in ground-source heat-pumps and advise us. In fact very few people can, except those selling them. Anyway, the garage looks fab but after Ian's remark that it looks like a chapel of rest, we can't get that out of our heads!

Richard and Ryan are busy fitting out the kitchen. This photo doesn't do justice to the cabinets which are solid ash - not melamine as they look here! The carved detail on the front doesn't show either. (Sack the photographer!) I am thrilled at the amount of cupboards and drawers. Although the room is consderably smaller than our current one, there is far more storage space.

Peter finally got the pond-liner. By the time we arrived on site, he'd laid it, emptied a huge bowser of water he'd got from a farmer into it and was in the process of topping it up with a hose. In the meantime, he set off to Ripon to collect a new part for his lawn-mower. It still wasn't anywhere near full by the time he got back. He's full of ideas of what to plant where in the garden and I realise I will have to take a back seat. Much as I'm itching to do it myself, he knows what will grow and what won't so I'm having to be patient. There's little point arguing with him when he's made a decision because even if you telling him not to do something, he will find a reason to do it and then explain after the fact! I shall ask Bill and Jill how they deal with this. He's too good to lose so I expect it's a case of biting one's lip.

The last photo shows the view from the garage showing the re-planted cedar, which is still hanging on in there. For some reason Peter wants to remove the 3 bushes to its right - between it and the pond - and replace them with something similar. Why, I'm not sure but he has his reasons and to ask would be to listen to half an hour's explanation. Peter knows a lot but is not the most coherent speaker. The ground has been rotavated and weeds sprayed. He's not an organic gardener, alas, but I'm working on that. Once the wilderness is tamed, I shall try and insist on it but we shall see. The new hawthorn hedge he's planted on the field side is growing well and I've asked him to introduce a few other plants to 'get it going' as a mixed country hedge.
And if all this sounds too positive, then there's still the problem of the staircase which is holding things up. Flaxton Forge aren't even bothering to chase the foundry that's casting the balusters.

Anthony (electrician) is coming next wek to first-fix the garage and do the final chapel fix. The plumber will be back too to fit sanitary ware. Steve will start tiling the bathrooms. So far, so good. But when we'll have a staircase is anyone's guess.

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