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Moving forward in our own way

Well that’s one job finished at least. It seems like forever that I have been labouring away in the smallest room, putting tiles over… well everything, the floor, the walls, even around around the window. And the job is finished at last. In almost exactly one month we have finally done all we can to one room in the house, getting it to the state we want it. All that remains is to fit the toilet, the shiny new beast that currently sits nonchalantly in front of our television, and putting this in its correct place is something our builders will do in a few weeks time.

So it is time to move on to the next job. I pick up my largest hammer and Kate points me at the thing we laughingly call ‘the fireplace’. Fireplace beforeThis substantial construction was built many years ago largely as a ‘feature’, we think, as the house currently has no usable chimney. It is a part of the house that has clearly undergone several evolutions in its lifetime, the latest of which was put together in the same way that one might a nuclear shelter, great blocks of stone cemented together with real intent although strangely the structure turned out to be barely attached to the wall behind. If weight were an issue, the house would be leaning in towards the end of the room where it all lies. As it is the feature just sits there and tries to look good. In reality, though, it is like a library without books; we have a fireplace without a fire at the centre, just a blank space that looks as though it is waiting for something to arrive. So, looking for inspiration, we have paid a visit to a local Fireplace after some demolitionfireplace showroom and, with a minimum of modification…

…yes, we think we can fit something in there. The neighbours are less than impressed by the heavy banging (those bricks were built to last) which shakes our foundations and theirs but in the end we have a pile of rubble in plastic sacks which goes to join the old toilet in the garden.Fireplace after more work

Although we never think of our house as old, this particular job has been a bit like going on an archaeological dig. We find ourselves opening a way through one fireplace only to discover another lurking behind it then inside this, is that the outline of yet earlier fireplace, a piece of pipe leading away into the wall, some dusty wallpaper and even a narrow chimney ascending to the top of the house? We peer fascinated into the hole, brushing away the ancient cobwebs and try to imagine what sort of heating machine might have stood here once before. But we don’t linger as we know that this is the domain of giant arachnids who have been awoken by the modifications we are carrying out to what has been for so long, their house. More than once we have seen spiders as big-as-yer-‘ead lumbering away into dark unreachable corners, eight legs pumping energetically up the wall. The house spider’s body must be able to stretch itself thin, like that of an octopus, so that it can disappear from sight through the thinnest of cracks and then peer out at us, laughing no doubt. There are, of course, many metres of well insulated cavity space for them to live in behind our walls. And we are quite happy for them to stay just there.

Proud parents

Whilst all this de-construction is going on we discover we are proud parents of a burgeoning pop star. Bang Bang Romeo’s new single features our son Ben playing guitar.

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