Let Them Eat Cake. And Onions.

The rewiring and replumbing works at Hotel H have had an expensive domino effect on the rest of the house. There’s a gaping wound in what was the kitchen where the old boiler was ripped out. New pipes and cables sit behind what have become free-standing kitchen units. Artex ceilings, in the style of a sludgy snow scene complete with swirls round the ceiling roses suggestive of sledge tracks, have had to be replaced for practical as well as aesthetic reasons. The bathroom – always an eyesore – started moulting tiles in its haste to be reborn, and the carpets – never the house’s strongest selling point – have been buried under Pompeii-alike layers of dust and plaster. ‘It will be lovely,’ we say, through gritted teeth, scouring the internet for bathroom and kitchen bargains. But, gosh, it’s quite scary punching in the pin code for yet another payment with cries of, ‘Well, we’ve gone this far...!’

Our workmen have been terrific; arriving at the Crack of Doom and working like demons on a diet of bacon sarnies, chocolate and an impressive amount of cake. Once they’ve finished the ceilings and downstairs lighting (ever tried taking out your contact lenses in the gloaming of a couple of Poundland LED press-on lights?) it’s down to me and Tom to do the rest of the work. Gulp.

Still, we can always escape to the beach and even in the height of the holiday season, we rarely see anyone else when we go for our morning swim. The garden’s coming on nicely too. Just as well, since we’ll probably have to live on our vegetable patch for the rest of our lives. Here’s a few photos to show what’s going on.

The epainting’s by Tom, ‘Swim at Penbryn’.


Flowerpot said…
Glad to hear of such progress though it must be hellish living with all that disruption - still will all be worth it in the end! Love the idea of your secluded cove for a morning swim.....
Debs Carr said…
I remember those seemingly endless days of dust, broken tiles and building work. How fantastic though to be able to go to your own beach for a swim each morning. Bliss.

Liking the sound of those bacon sarnies and may just go and make one now. (Anything not to have to tackle this synopsis!)
Fennie said…
It will all be worth it. And there must be half a dozen novel chapters and/or characters moving in and out and around the rubble.
Pondside said…
Ah the joys of living through a reno. Never again! At least not until I find another perfect house that just needs a little 'tweaking'.
Calico Kate said…
Oh I have sooooo much to catch up on & catch up I will, tho it might not be tonight! Sorry not to have visited recently. Haven't read many blogs lately and there are many I forgot about which I am so enjoying remembering and rediscovering HTW being one :)
Back soon!
Leigh Russell said…
Sounds like you could do with a Scene of Crime Officer protective suit!
Frances said…
Chris, I do love that cake and onion combo! You and Tom will soon have all this dust and wire and other stuff well behind you. But that gorgeous beach will still be there!

Meanwhile, I know that your novelist mind is just absorbing and rearranging all that is going on.

I do like Tom's Swim. I can see it.

Preseli Mags said…
Oh that brings such memories of our previous house - rewiring, artex and asbestos, new boiler and new radiators. We finished it, then moved and are now doing it all over again. My bathroom hasn't had a wash basin for three weeks and even R is complaining now about having to clean her teeth in the bath! It WILL be worth it!

Fabulous veggies and garden though. Your last house was gorgeous but I'd rather have an improvable house with a good garden.

PS: I waved at you and Tom in Carmathen Tesco car park last Thursday (You were getting into your car and I was en route to Devon with an awful cold.)
elizabethm said…
Sympathy from up here. Kitchen stalled a bit as we have had grandson to stay so getting quite used to taking trays of dirty dishes out to the outside utility. I also see you have taken to veg growing in a big way. That looks familiar too!
Chris Stovell said…
FP, it just keeps getting worse, but you're right. It will be worth it in the end... I hope! Yes, thank goodness we can escape.

Debs, it's a bit gutty, isn't it? I'll be glad when I'm looking back rather than in it!

Fennie, oooooh. More than just new ceilings emerging from this lot, I can tell you!

Pondside, you're supposed to be encouraging me! Still, the house is lovely for all its blemishes. A little surgery and it will be beautiful!

Kate, I'm just delighted you found the time to visit. I appreciate how busy you are and welcome your comment. Good to see you.

Leigh, I think they might be hard to come by after recent events.

Frances. I'm glad you liked Tom's painting. He's really enjoying using a different medium. Yes, I'm sounding spoilt moaning about the work when it's something we're doing for ourselves. I feel very fortunate to be where we are.

Aw, Mags. Sorry to miss you - we were probably in Renovating Mode and not thinking about anything else. You're right though - I wouldn't swap this house for the old one. I love it here for all the hard work. Being able to grow our own veg is an absolute joy.

Elizabeth, kitchen is next on the list and I think our utility is about to become kitchen then bathroom. Should be fun! Yes, we're very pleased with our vegetable patch!

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