The House That Jackie Built

Saturday, 9 April 2011
I still haven't opened the Champagne - mainly because I keep looking at the accounts spreadsheet and spend too much time scratching the head pondering when we get our financial lives back into a fit state. Building a house is an expensive operation and banks don't make it easy.

We've been living in our dream home for a week now and bits are continually being added. The kitchen is wicked (although the boiler tap and the wine cooler take the wickedness to a new level).

Lighting-wise, we have uplighters, downlighters, sidelighters, floodlighters and all other sorts of lighting shenanigans. The latest lighting to be installed is the rope lighting:

You need to excuse the clothes horse and the patio furniture - we still haven't decided on a sofa for this room!

Our fabulous hall light has also had bulbs inserted - finally. It's tricky taking photos of lights when your technical ability doesn't stretch to working the camera properly, but here's what I managed to capture:

And for a full frontal - with digger and workmen performing the finishing touches:

Of course, it's been quiet for the past week as we haven't had an internet connection in the house. That all changed today courtesy of Virginmedia. We are online once more and have the HD experience to finally look forward to. We just don't have a decent television right now! The house was CAT6 enabled and this is the performance we are getting from the LAN:

Now... that's gotta be pleasing! They promised me a 50mb broadband package and I'm getting 49.95 at the far end of my house through the LAN.

And finally... it really is about time that this blog was "archived". There really won't be any more to say as we have now moved in. It has been hard work, expensive, stressful but worth it. It really wouldn't have happened without the dedication/devotion shown by Jackie - after all, I spend 5/7ths of my time away from home and in a state which renders me useless at making decisions. It's the house that Jackie built and I won't ever be able to thank her enough for what she has done over the last 20 months.

Until the next adventure folks...

Time To Celebrate

Wednesday, 6 April 2011
It seems odd that the weekend we moved in has been and gone with little comment on the blog. But there's a good reason for that. In fact, there are two good reasons for it. And maybe even a third!

First Good Reason
We were too busy moving stuff from one house to another. By 6pm on Saturday, I had NEVER felt fatigue the way I felt at that time. In fact, that fatigue is still with me and it is Wednesday! I am covered in bruises from the lifting and hauling and can feel twinges of pain in almost every part of my body. So tired was I on Saturday, that I wasn't fit to properly celebrate my birthday on Sunday. How many people celebrate their 40th birthday without opening a bottle of something nice?

Second Good Reason
We have no internet access in the new house just yet. That will be switched on this coming Saturday by Virginmedia. It almost feels like I'm missing an arm not having access to the internet at home. I'm only writing this now because I'm back at work in Birmingham and am in the land of civilisation once more!

Third Good Reason
I do have 3G dongles and a smartphone, but the reception at my new house is rubbish. I cannot get a 3G signal on any of the networks I should have access to: Vodafone, O2 and Orange. GPRS is intermittent and even phone calls are very patchy.

So there has been no update until now but the move has happened and the house is better than we could have hoped. There are, however, a few outstanding issues. The kitchen was still being fitted yesterday as the kitchen suppliers failed to meet our deadlines; the electricians will be onsite today finalising the last few items; the driveway needs sorting and we need some new furniture that will be in keeping with the rest of the house.

And, of course, we need to organise a "house warming" party at some point.

No photos today I'm afraid. I've left them all behind on my camera at home. The final photos will be uploaded this weekend and then serious consideration will be given to calling an end to the blog. The "Thank You" blog entry will be the final one!

A sign

Thursday, 31 March 2011
We've run out of oil at our old house - I'm taking it as a sign that it's time to go! Our new house is lovely and we can't wait to get in. Our builder is even lending us his van to move some of our stuff. How decent is that? I haven't mentioned Adrian very much, I'm not sure why when everyone else has had a mention. Maybe I was trying to keep him on his toes :0) At the start of this project I was dreading having a builder that I couldn't work with but thankfully my fears were unfounded. Adrian's "can do" attitude is a breath of fresh air, especially when you have ideas like mine! He makes it easy to ask for what you really want, knowing that he won't laugh (well mostly). He is genuinely interested in new ideas and always gives good advice. Thank goodness he is patient and has been more than generous with his time helping us to get to where we are today. That sounds like a reference! Not a bad one either :0) Right that's enough being nice, off to bed now, busy day tomorrow.

OMG! We're moving...

Wednesday, 30 March 2011
You wouldn't think it would be a surprise to me but it has come as a bit of a bolt out of the blue that we are moving this weekend! Until today we weren't totally sure it was going to happen because the carpets hadn't come in. However, I got the call at midday today to say they had arrived, so they are being fitted on Friday. McAuleys kitchen people are delivering the electrical appliances as well, so its all go. Gerry the tiler has been doing a lovely job on the ground floor. I am going up tomorrow am. to just confirm that the grout (which has been changed!) is to my liking. We are short a box of tiles to do around the bath panel but they will be available on Monday, so there's a wee bit of work there after we get in. The horrible plastic has been removed from the window frames and they look fantastic (make for boring pictures though). Joe has been working away on the patio, it was half completed today so hopefully almost done by now. The guys were working away on leveling the back "lawn" area and the granite kerbs have been put in place. A replacement loo has been delivered for the family bathroom at last, but we have had a wee problem with the shower enclosures, quite bad scratches on them so they need to be returned, but I'm assured they will be replaced tomorrow. A lady is coming on Monday to measure for blinds. I'm scared I will forget she is coming with everything thats going on. Kitchen worktop is being fitted on Monday as well, at least hubby will be there to supervise. Outstanding issues - I still haven't got a post box or a door bell, nor shelving for the larder. Sounds minor but not having a post box is a bit of an issue, we've already had mail returned. Not sure how I have fitted it all in in the last 3 months, mostly on my own. I have had the kids, homeworks (including 11+ stuff), school runs, swimming lessons, housework and food shopping, builders queries, suppliers deliveries and various decisions to make. On top of that I have had viewings for this place and I dare not forget that the hubbys fortieth birthday is looming. Is there any wonder I've been in bed at 8:30 a lot of the time? On the whole it's a bit of an emotional time for me and the wee girls (hubby seems to be immune to it all). Kids were crying this week cos they don't want to go. We have been very happy in this house and we have a lot of good memories, but it is time to go. Time to make new memories in our beautiful new house :0)

An update for the distant husband

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Good progress is being made. I have to choose grout tomorrow and go and pick up more tiles. I really need to get a letter box sorted as well as we are having mail returned.

The lights in the hall, they will light up and down when all the bulbs are in!

Sink has been installed in family bathroom:

Garage has a window now!

Interesting light fitting above garage door!

Kitchen diner tiles well underway: