19th April: Plans Afoot

You can all stop panicking about the tracing paper, I did another Google Sketch-up of the plot. I had to laugh though, I got no end of texts about how it works – and they weren’t all right. Perhaps I’m not sailing alone in my ship of stupidity, afterall!

The drive up to Fenbilly Manor

The drive up to Fenbilly Manor

Rich and I have come up with some definitive ideas about what’s going where in the garden – including the driveway, which is actually quite good news. Having come from a house with a five-minutes-with-the-mower-and-it’s-done, kind of garden, looking at our expanse of wasteland seems even more daunting than building the house. As does adding up the cost of stuff. Yikes. Much as we’d love one of those fancy schmancy resin bonded efforts, the lotto win hasn’t exactly been forthcoming, so plain old gravel it is.

The layout round the mancave. Wanna come and hump gravel?

The layout round the mancave. Wanna come and hump some gravel in return for beer?

In the first instance, we thought we were going to have to dig up the road planings that create the existing driveway, but no, good news, we can just use what’s there, add some hardcore to even out the bumps, whacker them down, put some edging strips in (any suggestions?), cover in geo-textile stuff and rake over a load of gravel (sounds easy if you say it quickly). And I mean a load of gravel. I think I may have a gravel moving/rock picking party when the sun’s shining proper, beer, fruit of the pig and some back breaking work. Do sign below if you’re coming, I know, I’ve really sold it to you…

Look, it's green, and it's growing. Hooray

Look, it’s green, and it’s growing. Hooray

In even better news, the blasted grass in the paddock has finally started to grow, woohoo. A downpour of rain, a bit of warmth and sunshine and after nearly a year of false starts, we have a green field. To that end, a very lovely man, Jolly Berry, (I don’t think Jolly is his real name, but he is very jolly so it seems appropriate) is coming to fence the paddock – which means arrival of the horses is imminent. Another decision to be made was what kind of fencing to go for. Options are post and rail – costly to install, horses love to chew the wood, a pain to maintain, Horse Rail – a plastic coated high tensile wire that looks like post and rail but without the maintenance costs, or something called Tornado wire – a low maintenance, high tensile version of stock netting, which, unlike stock netting, is specially designed to be safe for horses. Owing to Victor’s propensity for sticking his legs/head/body in places where he shouldn’t, we’ve opted for the Tornado fencing and will put an electrified tape at the top. The added bonus being that Mr T won’t be able to escape through it, nor will any freezer sheep we may or may not decide to acquire. Win win! But, and here’s the downside, there goes the best part of £5K. I’ve all but given up on the budgeting, poor Rich. Literally 😉

Hopefully, the last time we'll Stu on the roof

Hopefully, the last time we’ll Stu on the roof

Stu and DependaPaul have disappeared this week. They were off at  Jimbillybob and Looloo’s palace to do some bits and pieces, I doubt we’ll ever get them back although Stu has rung to say that, though the coffee is good, it’s not as regular and, as yet, they’ve had no burgers or bacon sandwiches. The boys are back next week to drop the scaffolding (I’ll get my tech monkey to get the whole thing on camera) and then the render board and render can go on. Then we’ll have some more painting to do.

Rich, the hubster. Or, as he's now known, Poor.

Rich, the hubster. Or, Poor, as he’s now known.

Last weekend, Rich and I finally got round to spraying the hall. Good old Wagner came out of temporary retirement which meant some serious masking, and some even more serious acrobatics. I don’t think our trapeze for doing the hall ceiling was strictly safe – especially when I stood on a scaffold board that was already straining under the weight of the Hubster. We heard a small crack and I got shouted at. I’ve been on a diet ever since.

Ever wonder why we named Little Geoff, Little Geoff? He's the other side of the door...

Ever wonder why we named Little Geoff, Little Geoff? He’s the other side of the door…

And what a door it is, complete with wheelchair ramp ;)

And what a door it is, complete with wheelchair ramp 😉

Little Geoff came back and fitted the glazing to the front door – what a cracker (the door), and not having the place boarded up means that there’s so much light flooding the place, even on a dull day, that maybe we don’t need any lights afterall which is probably just as well after the electrical woes. Nah, all is good, The Spark Knight has been back and started fitting some sockets and, dun dun der, the toggle switches. We went for a pearl nickel finish in the end, which look lovely and work in the old part and the new.



The Spark Knight has been incredibly diligent and not only got all the screws on the socket faces going in the same direction, he’s also got some samples of nickel downlighters – he wasn’t happy about not having matching accessories and said a different metal bevel would eventually annoy us. Failing that, we’ll look into using glass ones.

Oh yes, how lovely

Oh yes, how lovely

Elsewhere, I have a load of bits and pieces to do, which is probably why I’m procrastinating and writing this instead. Fast Eddie has been back and finished plumbing in the sink, fitted the hob, straightened up the island, etc.

We went for the Footballer's Wives bling effect. Expect to find more of this in bathroom ;)

We went for the Footballer’s Wives bling effect. Expect to find more of this in bathroom 😉

The kitchen is a triumph although won’t look totally right until we get that lovely Fisher & Paykel fridge in the corner (there’s another £1800) – I suspect we’ll use the one from the ‘van as a temporary beer /milk cooler until we can afford to shell out. The glass splashback should be arriving in the next fortnight – which gives me time to remove those bloody sticky labels from the bi-fold doors and all the windows. Or get Richard Tipper up for a bacon sandwich 😉

Another of Little Geoff's creations.

Another of Little Geoff’s creations.

What else? The ridge is finally on and finished, the brick plinth will go on next week, the electric meter will mean that we’ll have power from Tuesday and I might even finish filling out the water connection forms. As ever, all is good at The Meaden Project, long may it continue. Best have a snifter this evening to celebrate, it is Friday, afterall!


PS Oh yes, the Victoria Plum saga. I think the last time, a replacement pedestal had just turned up. I sent it back, it was marked. They sent another, it was also marked. I’m pleased to announce that the fourth and final one, unmarked, turned up earlier this week. Let that be a lesson to us all!


2 responses to “19th April: Plans Afoot

  1. I am not little. I am on my knees begging the warden to let me out. Did discuss with your husband before I escaped about a possible go-kart track around the garden.

  2. Hi (little) Geoff. Good plan about the kart track, I’m sure Rich’s Fan Boys would agree… However, I best warn you now, I am a demon karter and have the trophies to prove it (well, I was once and will be again après diet)

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