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Mud, mud, glorious mud!

November 2, 2015

The annual boiler service was due this week – doesn’t time fly etc? Anyway, apparently we still have a problem with the drain close to the oil tank, even though the Oftec inspector now accepts it is a soak away, Oftec themselves are not happy and want the drain sealed. This is not going to happen as it is our surface water drain from both the garden and the rain gutters. So, the plumbers decided to make a mock closing and sealing, photograph the result for Oftec and then put it all back as it was. Another farce brought on by over zealous and uninformed bureaucrats. Time for a revolution methinks – November the 5th is getting close and would seem like an appropriate launch date 🙂

Then the builders arrived and began digging the footings one metre deep – for a single story extension! This seemed like overkill and when questioned they said the building regulations demanded it. The following day the building inspector arrived and asked “why did you dig it that deep – no need to” – I laughed then remembered I was paying for the digging and the concrete to fill it. I really can’t believe they are doing all this by hand but the contractor said they couldn’t get a digger in the back garden. When I pointed out that we had already had one in he swore me to secrecy not to tell the workers! They are also filling the footings with concrete mixed in a small cement mixer and barrowed round to the back of the house – haven’t they heard of ready mix and concrete pumps? Naturally while all this is going on it started to rain so now we have a sea of mud all round the house and venturing outside is not recommended. We also have a driveway full of building materials, sand & gravel, blocks & bricks etc, hardly room to swing a cat, fortunately our neighbours that side are nice understanding people and not even bothered by the portable toilet that is blocking the view from their kitchen window!

Extension 002

Extension 003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In direct contrast our neighbours the other side are definitely several sandwiches short of a picnic. The have three young children and to our knowledge they have not been outside in over a year. All their front curtains are permanently drawn and she (not working) spends all day with the kids in front of the TV. They never answer the door. Tuesday night we got a phone call from them as they were worried that the builders were using the jack hammer to drill into their house walls! Takes all sorts I suppose.

Family research is getting interesting, I was contacted by a guy who was born in the house next door to one of my aunts in Sheffield and he knew her quite well. In conjunction with another researcher with common ancestors the three of us are chasing down some relatives who appear to have emigrated to Canada and then the USA in about 1911 – this problem is being made much more difficult as they appear to have changed their family name just prior to emigrating and one lot appear to have emigrated twice – second time in 1922. The plot thickens!

Work progressed outside and the week ended by them having to dig a new surface drain and fill the footings. To do this they demolish a fair amount of the outer brick wall to the bedroom and use the bricks as hardcore. On top of this goes sand, then a plastic membrane, then 4” thick insulation and another membrane. It will then be filled with concrete and finally a screed of cement for the floor. Naturally it is raining again and the mud is everywhere including in my garage. I have told them they can use one end to store dry stuff but not walk through – they use the side gate and they left that propped open all night. The noise of drills, saws and jackhammers reverberates all over the house and the vibration appears to be shaking dust around inside. June just loves it all!

I finally got the new tap washers and they were a doddle to fit except they rotate in opposite directions to the old ones. As they are clearly marked hot & cold this gave rise to the concern they might be the wrong ones. I called their tech people who assured me that I could change the coloured plastic washers around and use the hot for cold and v.v. This worked of course, but if they are identical why do they bother to mark them? Ours is not to reason why.

The weekend gave some respite to all the goings on; nice Sunday lunch looking out of the dining room window at all the construction mess! However, it hasn’t seemed to faze the birds; the sparrows, blue tits and starlings are back and tucking in to the feeders.

The builders returned on Monday and started to fill the foundation floor with the first layer of concrete; they had told me they couldn’t start until after the inspector arrived to check the preparations so I didn’t need to get the car out early for access to the cement mixer. So, I had just sat down to breakfast when the rent-a-bog company showed up to service the portable toilet so I had to get the car out anyway. It’s a grand life if you don’t weaken!

Cheers

David & June

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2015 13:53

    Sounds as if you are having a wonderful time! It will be worth it in the end. As to the people next door – shouldn’t you call social services? That is not normal behavior and since the children are young they have no way of contacting someone for help if they indeed are not being cared for properly. Better to make a mistake than feel guilty later on if something happens to those children. Just my thoughts.

    • November 2, 2015 14:31

      Hi Jo,
      We have thought about calling Social Services but hesitant to do so. She is known for being a bit weird. We’ll see
      David

      • November 2, 2015 14:51

        I am sure it could be done without her knowing who called.

      • November 4, 2015 12:52

        I did make the call

  2. November 2, 2015 16:12

    Probably, I’ll check

  3. November 5, 2015 07:38

    Very happy to hear that. It was the right thing to do. ‘It takes a village…’

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