If you keep in mind the fact that we had previously owned this house, plus two fully furnished flats in Portsmouth, and we
had now to fit all of this furniture into one small house, you will understand just how full our house now was.
decided at this stage just how the house would end up, for example, we weren't sure whether we would keep the kitchen and
dining room, or whether to change the dining room into a decent sized kitchen, and use what was now the kitchen as a utility
room. We also weren't sure if we wanted to keep the three bedrooms, or convert them back to the two original rooms. Therefore
we didn't know exactly which furnishings to keep, and which to dispose of, so we had to keep most of it, just in case we needed
it later. We had duplicates of many things too, such as microwave ovens, electric toasters, kettles, and also numerous items
of crockery and cultlery utensils and pans etc. We decided to keep all of these, so that we had spares, with no salary coming
in now, we wouldn't have funds to replace items which broke, or became worn out over time.
We are also avid readers,
so had box upon box of books to find homes for.
The house was full to overflowing with our possessions. We didn't know
where to start.
We first put all of the spare things into the loft space, putting a chipboard floor down in order to
enable easier access. We stored many things in the sheds, making sure that they were the kind of things which would not suffer
from the damp. Some things we gave to neighbours, who had a small room which they'd made into a bar, so a few of our things
gravitated in that direction.
Over the following few months we managed to find room for most things which we intended
keeping, and got rid of the rest.
By this time, we had the re- wiring finished, and so it was much safer.
the work done on the doorway between the kitchen and dining room, and were thinking of our next, most important job to undertake.
When the electrician was doing his work, he uncovered the rotten flooring, so that was urgently in need of work. The ceiling
in the dining room and one bedroom were also in poor state of repair, so we decided that we would get those things replaced
as the next job. So the builder was called in to replace them, at this stage we could stand in the dining room, and could
see right up into the loft, as there was no ceiling in either the bedroom or dining room, and no floor in the bedroom above
the dining room. The plaster in the bedroom was also blown, owing to a leak in the roof the previous year, so we removed all
of the bad plaster, uncovering the granite walls. One wall was also of lath and plaster, and there were patches of lath showing
through, so that too had to be sorted.
It was during this time that we had some heavy rain, which kept coming in through
the rotting window pane in the bedroom, we stuffed the holes with polythene, until the window company could fit in the new
window. We had wanted to have wooden window frames, in keeping with the age of the house, but by this time, it was quite apparent
to us, that we had more work on our hands than we had originally thought, so we had to resort to the standard plastic framed
double glazing, it being cheaper than the wooden kind.When the window company came to measure up for the window, they found
that the lintel above, was rotten and needed replacing. The builder wasn't free to replace the lintel at that time, so he
propped the lintel with acro props, just to keep it from falling, bringing the wall above down with it. It seemed like the
whole room needed work done on every aspect of it.
This house was beginning to become a money trap for us.