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Saturday, 4 November 2006

Never Agree To Anything When You're Drunk!

Boxing Day last year we had what remains of both of our families round for dinner. This consisted of tinned stewing steak and chips. Not very festive, but it was once an annual event that took place at my Uncle house. I thought it would be fun to resurrect this old tradition once more. My Mum found it very amusing, but my wife’s family didn’t really get the joke.

After dinner I was lurking in the kitchen, in a rather happy & mellow state. This was due to the copious amounts of alcohol I had consumed. We got talking about my Dad, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and the problems he now has getting about. Mum mentioned that he doesn’t like visiting us because we only have an up stairs loo and he struggles with our stairs. This is where it all goes a bit blurry as I can’t remember whose idea it was, but by the end of the conversation I seemed to have agreed to have a down stairs loo built onto the back of our house.

Within about two weeks we were knee deep in bricks, sand, ballast, cement and mud. Both my back and front gardens closely resembled a very muddy builder’s yard. It did stop there as the house also became full of mud.

My next mistake was believing that I could hide all the soil and clay that was dug out for the footings. My plan was to hide it behind my shed, which seemed a good idea at the time. There seemed to be never ending wheel barrow loads of the stuff to dispense with. If you look at a 2007 copy of the Sussex Ordinance Survey map you will notice a new hill in the Crawley area. Yes that’s right, it’s my excess soil.

The main structure was complete by mid February and my back lawn still had over a ton of sand on it. I say lawn, but by then it was just a gooey mud bath where once I had lush green grass. What about the sand? I hid that next to the shed as well, but I had no idea what I’ll use it for.

After the roof went on and the floor was laid in mid March I made mistake number three. To save money I decided that I would finish off all the inside work my self. I must have been mad.

That was seven months ago and the toilet suite is still in our back bedroom. I should have learnt my lesson with the bathroom refurbishment, which is now in it’s eighth year! Due to unforeseen circumstances, which I will not go into here, the progress has been painfully slow.

However, there is a glimmer of light at the end of what has become a very long tunnel. Over the last few weekends we have finished insulating the walls, put up the plaster board and today I finished plastering most of the walls. Fingers crossed and God willing, it might be finished by Christmas. Which year? I’m not prepared to divulge that information at this time.


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