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How we found our house
The discovery
Druids Lodge
After the find
Back at home
It's now ours!
Most urgent jobs
The rest of week one
Change of plan
Plan two
Sorting our things
More jobs in store
Three into two will go
kitchen renovations
changes to the living room
The dining room
Our bedroom
hall stairs and landing
The outside walls
our old house
kitchen renovations

We got by with a LOT of help from our friends

We had been in limbo for several years through lack of funds and expertise, so nothing had been done to this shambles for many years, however our good friends decided to come to stay with us, and work on it to give us a workable kitchen. They were so good to us, offering to lend us funds to pay for materials, which in the end they actually paid for. They stayed with us for a week, working around the clock, so with lots of effort, hard work and fun, we finally got a kitchen we were proud of. After struggling for so long with the makeshift kitchen area, this was bliss, small though it is, it is great, and we owe so many thanks to them.
We had several mishaps during the week, but none insurmountable, and mostly it added to the laughter, they video taped it, and we had a good laugh afterwards too.
During the proceedings, we had to wash dishes in the bath, cook on a camping stove,  and what time we did get to sit and rest, was done in far from comfortable surroundings.
Yet it was all done with good spirits, and the friendship was enhanced no end.
Many thanks Maureen and Norman, you could give lessons on how to make a silk purse from a sow's ear !

Our friends drove 240 miles to our house, arriving around mid afternoon, the first time they had seen the house, after hearing about it for a long time. After a quick drink they immediately had a look at the 'kitchen' area, to weigh up what was needed to be done, and list the materials needed.
Whist Maureen and I went to the shops to buy materials, Norman and Dean set to work, clearing the floor area before cementing gaps and paving the missing areas. Then we made some dinner, ate and planned the layout and work schedule to begin the next day.
Using graph paper and measured cut outs we decided on the best layout which would fit in all that was possible to fit in.
Day one- Norman plans the electrical wiring ring, and Maureen and I go to buy the extra sockets etc that were needed, whilst Dean makes some snacks to keep the workers going. Then whilst Norman gets on with installing the electrics, Dean gets in the parts of the cupboard units which we were going to fit, they were old ones which had come from my daughter's house, when she had new ones installed. We cleaned these thoroughly as they had been stored in the shed for over a year. Then set about the 'jigsaw', working out which pieces went with which, and how many we could fit into the spaces we'd allowed for them. The same with the worktops. Dean scrubbed the oven and hob which had been a cast off from his parents, and the sinktop, which had come from our other house, when we had another new one put in. You see, nothing is new here! Recycling at it's height.
Next the ceiling boards are put up, and plastered. Now it is beginning to look like a real room!
During the first day, whilst getting something from the trailer, which Maureen and Norman had brought with them, we found that a paint pot had spilledall over the items they had carried in there, things they thought we may have needed, plus tools, so of course it was down tools for us all, and quickly we needed to carry out the mop up operations, luckily we had spotted it in time, so nothing was damaged.
Second day, more work on electrics, and the boards we were using for the walls were measured and cut, then laid out on the table in the dining room, so that Norman could decorate it to look like planks, using his router. Sawdust was everywhere, we had nowhere else to work, so no alternative to the mess. Norman then put the battens on the walls to support the boards, and cut the holes in it to house the sockets.
Maureen and I built the cupboards, with advice from Norman, our 'foreman', and the only one who knew what he was doing! Dean was acting as labourer and chief cook and bottle washer!
Day three- Boards were attatched to the battens, and sockets finally fixed in place. Next the worktops were measured up, and holes cut in for the hob and sinktop. This was then fixed in place, now it really does look like a room!!! The wall cupboards were then fitted to the walls. Norman starts on the plumbing. Today it poured with rain, and someone noticed that the trailer cover had come unfastened, and everything was getting soaked, another mop up job needed!
Day four- Whilst Norman does the plumbing, Maureen and Dean start on the painting, whilst I sort brushes, cloths etc, and do the meals. All three of them working in the small  area of two feet by twelve feet, the only floor space left after the cupboards were in. Not the easiest of tasks.
Now we have the cooker connected we can cook a decent meal, but can't access the kitchen to use the cooker whilst they are working in there, so it was down tools for a little while, just to cook food for the workers. A much needed break anyway.
Day five- Norman has finished plumbing in the sink unit and washing machine, now he is plumbing in the small water heater, which is over the sink, primitive, but much needed.
Maureen and Dean continue painting, giving a second coat to the ceiling and walls. I am chief cook and bottle washer today. Find bits and pieces of materials as required, passing tools back and forth etc.
Day six- Maureen and I go to buy some tiles for the floor and splashbacks, whilst Dean and Norman continue with the odds and ends, time consuming, but not much to show for the hours put in. Norman starts to lay the tiles, we can't walk on them for a bit, so the rest of us start to clear up the rest of the house, getting out and washing the things we'd had in store for years, whilst we had no kitchen to use them in, we found things we'd forgotten we had. Then he tiled the splashbacks, and grouted the floors.
Day seven- They were intending to leave us at midday as Norman had to be up early for work the next morning, and they had a 6 hour drive ahead of them, however, he was still putting the finishing touches to the kitchen until 10pm, and so they didn't get home til the early hours.
Now this is what we call GOOD FRIENDS!!!
All of this work was carried out in the small space, on a very limited budget, using mostly second hand materials, and over long hours, yet it was fun for all, we had a really good laugh at ourselves, and the many mishaps we had. With all of this, a lovely kitchen was produced, making our lives so much easier and nicer.
We are so grateful for them.