It seems an age ago that we we began planning a major change to our house. Having somewhat reluctantly sold up in Spain last year, we decided to invest in a project that Francine has wanted for years: knocking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room to create one large open-plan space. Repeat after me, “yes dear”.
Enter the dastardly Covid-19. A builder had been lined up for our knockdown and what we got was lockdown instead, on 23rd March. We’d seen this coming and mercifully no destruction had happened. We still had a functioning house and we pulled the plug.
Slow forward to early June. Even though the UK was still racking up 1500 or so new Covid-19 cases daily, the UK motto seemed to switch form “Protect the NHS” to “Protect the Economy”. A quick mental adjustment was necessary to gear up for all systems go.
Orders have been placed and deposits paid. Francine did a sterling job of emptying the cabinets while I amused myself [NOT!] stripping emulsioned lining paper from the dining room. I also found myself stripping emulsion itself from ouronly plasterboard wall, which was a world first for me; if soaked, I seemed to be able to peel it off in elastic chunks. Bizarre.
We managed to move our existing fridge into the conservatory to which we have essentially decamped, armed with a single induction ring and a gas BBQ/grill. Food will have to remain simple.
This morning our friendly builder turned up and swiftly began ripping out my beloved kitchen – beloved because I’d fitted the majority of it myself … twice over. It took our two hard-working guys about two hours to rip out what I had spent a month or so fitting. My units were out and the tiling was off the walls. My trusty old kitchen was stacked on the driveway.
Francine and I went out for some R&R and left them to it.
Returning at 15:00, my kitchen was still stacked on the driveway. A skip was supposed to have been delivered but hadn’t been. The ceilings in both rooms were now down. The flooring had gone.
Jacks arrived to support the ceiling so the load-bearing wall could be removed. Power tools fired up. We thought the wall was coming down but it was “just” plaster being stripped off. Spotlights hung down like eyeballs on optical nerves. Our fellows retired for the evening.
The sink and water supply remain, for the moment, though Darwin knows how we’ll use it.