Friday, 28 November 2008

No smoke without fire

Or, in our case, very little smoke with fire.

Its gotten cold so we've started using our fab new Nestor Martin (model IT33) woodburning stove.
Have stove, need fuel! Since we don't have our own sustainable wood source (i.e. a forest) on our doorstep (yeh, this is the fens, all the trees died off years ago to form the very land we live on!) we needed to buy in some seasoned wood. Many suppliers only do local deliveries or collection, but several do nationwide delivery. But it aint cheap. Some wanted almost the price of the wood again just for delivery!

Whilst searching for both a supplier and a good price, I came across various other fuels for stoves. So, we ordered a trail pack of Agrol Heat Logs and they are fab! They are small, dense blocks made from 100% sawmill waste. No resin or glues or anything to bind them, just pressed into dense blocks which burn slow and hot, with greater heat output than wood and much less ash waste. So, we've just had a pallet delivered (and it took me an hour to unpack it and stack all the packs in the garage). Costwise, it should work out cheaper as we get more burning time and more heat per cubic meter than we would from wood. Lets see how it does over the winter!

Just for Sylvia!

We have a follower! Welcome to our dear friend Sylvia. This post is dedicated to you.
Sylvia was the first to start following us online, the first to post a comment (and always happy to point out my carp spelling - get it!) and now the first to sign up as an official follower (whatever that is!)! Thank you Sylvia.

And just for you Sylvia, here's a couple of photos of the much talked about boot room! Sorry they ain't anything special, but it is a small room and getting a decent photo ain't easy!

I think if you click on the images they get bigger.

Top is the door from the kitchen in to the boot room and the back door (which will be our main entrance, hence the reason for the boot room in the first place).

Middle, again looking from the kitchen doorway to the outside window. Boilers aren't the most photogenic of things are they. Excuse the pile of sheepswool in the corner (and no, I'm not from Yorkshire or Wales).

Bottom is looking through the outside window.

So Sylvia, not much to show you of a room measuring little more than 1.5m x 2m. But its looking like it will be a great space for us to mess up to save messing up the kitchen and the rest of the house!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Week 20

Work continues but we are nearing the end! This week saw lots of small jobs being fettled - skirting, door handles, bathroom vents. Matt and Ging tiled the downstairs shower-room and, the kitchen was started at long last. Matt put the sassy brown floor tiles down and the kitchen units are going in . . . slowly. The kitchen supplier hasn't supplied everything so this is as far as we have got by the end of the week. Thankfully our new Siemens appliances arrived in time.

Above, the kitchen is in what was the old kitchen and ground floor extension of no. 3. The door goes into the second reception (sitting room - Steve's old office) and the corridor leads to what was no.4 with doors off for what will be Elsie's (Liz's Mum) bedroom, shower-room and through to our main living room.

Below you can see the kitchen units running down into what was the old extension, now with new vaulted, windowed ceiling and the folding/sliding doorset.

Meanwhile, outside, Jon was busy making our new front door canopy. Its loosely modelled on what would have been here when the cottage was built in early 1900s.

Below, with the last of the muck pile taken away, 16+ tonnes of gravel has gone down on to the drive. Oh what a difference it makes!

And some views of how the house is looking from the great outdoors.

The main build is over, and this is the last we saw of the four guys together. We have a week of Phil the plumber and Danny the sparks while the boys move on to another job, then Jon will be back to finish off the kitchen and do some general fettling. And we'll begin decorating! We havent even finished what was no.4! Still, we have the downstairs to fo over the next 5 weeks ahead of Elsie arriving for her xmas hols with us.

So, its fitting we say thanks guys, you've done a brilliant job turning what looked like a lost cause into a fanstic pad for us.
And to Ging and Sean - have a great time in Les Arcs. Enjoy the skiing ;-))

A shot of the motly crew that is, Jon Avory & Sons. From left to right:
Sean (Porn Boy) Avory (or is it a Bee Gee?), Jon (its all good) Avory, Ging (the Ginger Lover) Wilson and Matt (Yo! Westwood) Avory.

And dont worry, there'll be more updates until we are pretty much done! Hey, you'll want to see the finished kitchen and Sylvia has already put in a special request for photos of the boot room. Its always been full of rubbish and its a wee bit small for getting a photo of, but Sylvia, we'll try. Just for you!