11th July: Moving On

It’s been a busy few days since the last update. I can’t believe where the time has gone – must be the ‘Billy vortex effect, lots of things to report, but not much to look at. While Rich has been at Classic Le Mans having a very jolly time indeed and living the high life in a chateau (like you do), I’ve been multi-tasking – juggling many balls, dropping most.

I spent the weekend doing exams which were the result of two years of studying equine shiatsu. It may sound a bit whacko (because it is) but I’m totally relieved that I can a) rest easy that the theory bit is over b) start building up a client base and actually charging real live money. If you’ve got horses and want to give it a try then drop me a line. Honestly, it’s brilliantly weird and has some great results.

In other news, the builders are starting tomorrow. HOORAY! I can’t wait. Salt-of-the-earth Stu came round with his crack team last night to finalise some details. It was a little bit Last of the Summer Wine, little bit Golden Girls as the team rocked up. I kid you not, the median age is probably somewhere in the mid-sixties. But, as Stu explained, you won’t get more experience than this on a job anywhere. I don’t think he was being ironic either. Perhaps working on the ‘Billy will have a Cocoon- like effect…

Joking aside, Stu’s policy is to put a team together who’ll do the best job possible and have a positive attitude. If that’s old boys then so be it. It gives us both great heart that such a physical job can still be done by people who should have, in practice, started to put their feet up. Actually, they largely have, but get bored at home and would prefer to be picking and choosing the builds that they’re working on. I’m told that Ivan (works so quickly, he needs two young labourers to keep up the pace) does go on quite a lot of cruises though 😉 Rich’s dad (retired roofer, similar ethic, works like a trojan) will be impressed, and probably on the first train up here to join them.


I thought we’d better do a little video of the house before any work gets started. I spent a number of weeks clearing the place out last summer – it was full of plaster, walls, leaves, owl shit, etc but with nothing better to do, I came and spent some time getting rid of the old, in preparation for the new. Not only did it save some spondoolies, it also means that we’re now able to concentrate on building the place back up, rather than wasting time in clearing the site.

So, by all accounts, the scaffolding will be up by Friday, ready for the major off. First job is to take the roof off, take the timbers out, have a small fire and start on the stonework. Brick will be replaced, the window and door openings made good and oak lintels to the exterior replaced. The chimneys will come down and then go back up again, the back wall will come down and be rebuilt in block (it’ll be covered by the extension) and we’ll use the re-use the stone so we don’t have to buy any more in and the roof will go on in preparation for the thatch. Once that’s all done then the structural steelwork goes in to tie the whole lot together. It’ll all be re-pointed and look fab in preparation for the groundworks to the new extension and the construction of the SIPS panels. Simples. All being well, it should take about six weeks. I’m going to hold my breath…


2 responses to “11th July: Moving On

    • Ha ha ha, okay then – let’s give ’em six weeks starting monday (scaffold will be complete by then). They may be old, but they is speedy.

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