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
Using graph paper and measured cut outs we decided on the best layout which would fit in all that was possible to fit
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.