5th July: Progress

The strimming is largely done. Well, I’ve done everything I can as I’ve run out of mix. Apparently, it wouldn’t be good to start putting any old fuel in the can so I’ll leave it ‘til Rich gets back from cocking about in cars. Good job really as this weekend I’ve got an exam and have been lacking somewhat in the revision stakes. Still, there’s always tomorrow 😉 Exams and strimming aside, it seems we’re making some progress, if not in the physical sense then the mental one. (Nice, the dog has just been sick. Thanks for that, Badger.)

 Anyway, back to the progress report. We had a bit of a site conflab earlier in the week – architect bloke, Stu the builder and Barry the groundworks man. First thing Barry did was give me a revised price for the groundworks, suffice to say it’s a loooong way from the original £170K (although that did include the manege) and far more like what we want to pay. I cut to the chase, looked at the final figure and hired him on the spot. If it wasn’t Barry, and he hadn’t known me since I was a nipper, I would probably have kissed him on the mouth.

Stu and Architect-type bloke had some serious sounding discussions about steels, chimneys, tooth-edging and the like and both seemed happy with each other. When the trades are all doing a bit of cock-swinging, it can be a bit of a worry that they rub each other up the wrong way. It must be like when you go speed dating – you’ve got a couple of minutes to set your stall and it could go either way. But at least with speed-dating you know you’ll never see that person again in your life… As the build process is going to take longer than a couple of minutes, fortunately  it went well between Stu/Barry and Architect-type bloke (Stu and Barry work regularly together anyway) so everyone left a happy bunny, having decided how to progress.

So the big plan is that next week, the roof is coming off. Yikes. That’s quite a scary one. Stu (he’s properly lovely, take note Dad) is coming round on Monday with his scaffold man and by Wednesday, he’ll start dismantling the asbestos roof. When that comes off, there’ll be less weight through the building so he can rake out and replace any knackered stone and lintels in preparation for the structural work. We’ve got a load of knitting needle shaped steel with spikes on that are put within the stonework and bonded in to secure the structure (I’m not giving them a plug until they give us a better price on materials) but before that happens, Stu will replace any ‘shit’ stone, aswell as bricks that have been used in the past, especially to close up openings on the gable ends. In ten days’ time, it’ll look like a properly knackered building, instead of just a knackered one 😉

Then, the specialist contractors will come in, put the structural repairs in, and Stu will carry on with the rest. We had a great conversation tonight where Stu volunteered that if he takes the roof off and the whole thing falls down, it’s his liability. I told you Stu was a diamond.

Talking of diamonds, Architect-type bloke has been looking at the blog. How he has time, I really don’t know but anyway. Having been grilled by Stu and, as he pointed out, ‘I’ve had years of builders trying to catch me out, so far, they haven’t succeeded,’ he wondered what kind of suggestions he’d had for a pseudonym. I said ‘None appropriate’ and he reckoned that we should just refer to him as ‘God’. He has a point, having (annoyingly) been right so far. It was then amended as ‘Even I can’t build that back up in seven days, so it’ll have to be Lazy God.’ Lazy God it is. Especially as he realised that all the fancy cars we’ve had haven’t actually belonged to Rich and promptly dropped his cash price. That’s the kind of business we like at the Fenbilly, long may it continue.



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