Well I said it “could be done in a year”, I said it would “probably take 2 years” and here we are 2 yrs and 10 months later and the building inspector has finally agreed that my house is a house.

I think I actually wore her down in the end and she signed just to get rid of the loony with a motorbike in the ceiling.

Slinky has added some furniture, made me put one of my motorbikes outside (women know nothing of love) and as long as I clean up after her we have a beautiful house that we can officially sell now 😉

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Proper Planning and Preparation

Which is unusual as normally I just hose into it and work it out as I go along!

Obviously I will be doing this – I haven’t had a personality transplant – but like a good general, I am mustering my men and materials. I’ve ordered the velux windows, the stairs are being made as we speak, big and little Pete wounds have healed

Getting there

Now there have been some complaints as to the house not being finished, but what people fail to realise is that I am a boy, once everything works – ITS DONE. I’m not interested in the skirting or paint or curtains, thats all frippery and nonsense. DOES IT WORK? YES? right we’re finished then.

I have bowed to some pressure and actually emptied boxes I packed 18 months ago to create this beauty….Picture 096

and I proved my status as Olympic ebay contender, by scoring a £926 cooker hood for a mere £8.17. In fairness I did give the bloke £20 because I felt sorry for him, I had just seriously burnt him 🙂

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Now everyone knows there are times in a relationship when a little white lie is necessary, like “No I didn’t eat the last chocky biccy” or ” It’s a retaining wall I promise, I know it looks like a recreation of a first world war trench to commemorate 100 yrs since the out break of war, but seriously that’s a coincidence. I swear, a few climbers and it’ll look like the secret garden ;-)”

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Nearly there….

But of course everything was fine!. In fact the next day we slung the other 2 thirds of the roof on before dinner time (that’s lunch for southerners). In fact not only was it fine, but for my first full slate roof I was well pleased.

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A further  3 days work saw me put all the barge boards, gutter, down pipes and crap on to make it look nice, even though I felt it was finished when the last tile went on. It really is all the titivating that takes the time.

SO the only question now was what to do with the left over timber and slates?

What does every boy need?

A Bren gun? – got one

A Motorbike? – got one

A Snowboard? – yep

Chainsaw? – ahuh

A WOOD SHED – oh yeah

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Now even the wombles would be proud of that, all from left over materials – BOOM SHAKA.

Further to this back slapping came another piece of Flidburn genius.

Go on EBAY – find integrated dishwasher manufactured by SMEG – buy it for £9.99 because it no longer functions, collect, fix in back of van whilst parked outside a job. What have you got?

A complete kitchen with working sink, double oven, microwave, integrated dishwasher, induction hob, built in fridge freezer and Slate work tops all for £1967 . You won’t get that at B and Q 🙂


Here comes the rain

To those of us basking in the early spring sunshine, this may seem like a strange title, but cast your minds back 2 or 3 weeks and you’ll remember it was actually sleeting, raining, hailing sideways with winds up to 109 mph measured in North Wales.

Well I live in North Wales, so I thought ‘I know I’ll take my roof off and rebuild it’

It’s like my Gran used to say ‘ if you’re going to do some roof work, always wait for the first day of the worst winter in history’ – she did – honest!

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Getting it off was easy, bish bosh, not a breath of wind, dry and although chilly, not wholly unpleasant work, all you needed was a hammer in fact. By 6pm it was on and water tight – or so we thought.

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Simultaneously to these feat of joinery and high wire hammer work, something strange was happening inside. The kitchen had started to look like a proper kitchen with the delivery of 3 pieces of extremely heavy slate. Whilst the boys carried these ridiculously hefty bits of stone back and forth, I devised a number of cunning ways to cut them to size and make the appropriate holes for sink and hob – saving myself £800 off the quoted price by doing it myself – and voila, a kitchen.

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Unfortunately my self congratulatory smugness was not to last, about 11 pm, as the wind picked up and the rain started to LASH the house to near oblivion, Tony roused me to show me numerous buckets in his room, which were no longer coping with the deluge through the ceiling – OH. So we got dressed again and went outside into the dark, even someone like myself brought up in Lancashire was surprised by the down right viciousness of the weather, but like Scott and Oats we battled through, affixed more batons and Tony had a dry if not a little noisy bedroom/tent to return to.

The next day the weather continued to attack us and despite over trousers, long johns, 7 layers on our top halves, hats and numerous brews in front of the fire, Tony called a halt at 4 pm as he could no longer feel his hands or talk properly. I was glad he’d cracked before me, I’d wanted to give in earlier but thought moral would suffer if the boss packed in for fear of hypothermia.

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Unfortunately we’d only managed to slate about a third of the roof so Tony had another nervous night, effectively camping out under one piece of roofing membrane 120 slates and some wet loft insulation.

To be continued …………..


Home is where the gun wall is

With the usual rush .. to be finished by xmas! I decided to slaughter all my customers and torture all the muppets who rang up asking for new bathrooms on the 15th of december.

With this in mind I needed quick access to a number of suitable tools for the job.

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Suitably tooled up, I gathered my posse – Big Ted and Panda (found lurking at the back of a wardrobe) – and set off on my righteous spree.

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It was up tiddly up, down tiddly down and home in time for tea and medals, in our case we had to forgo the medals – we need no praise, we do it for love – and just get cracking on a few things before our annual get together. The final “push” saw a vestibule with double doors, settee and chairs coming out of storage and although its not the finished article the kitchen does have a worktop of sorts (loft chipboard flooring)Picture 072 Picture 071 Picture 073

Once Slinky had knocked up her first real xmas tree, all was well and good. All we needed was the spectacular scenery to pull its finger out and we’d be sorted….

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Boom shacka !

Famous last words

Well I last posted 2 or 3 months ago, saying “hopefully the work will pick up now”. Well it did, for my bloody customers but unfortunately not for the church house.

This week though Tony and I braved the cold North winds, floods and Zombie computer games to actually get some stuff done. Coupled with my near manic kitchen fitting and electrical duties over the weekend we have all sorts of wonderful new devices like plug sockets downstairs!

The Creme de la Creme though is the HOB, we haven’t had one for 13 months so we don’t know what to do with it and because its a fancy induction hob (less than half price in reject bucket at IKEA) it won’t even heat the house or burn someone when they drunkenly  fall face down on it – modern technology is rubbish.- PAH

I have even put furniture in its final position (ie where I thought it might go , so hung a light and yeah it looks ok)



With the near complete addition of plasterboard and insulation, its actually beginning to look like a house. Not quite the finished article I’d hoped for by Christmas but what’s a bit of plaster and paint between friends. The  grey look is all the rage in the navy and they’ve been around for ages!

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Thanks to Tommo, we also have kitchen units, cookers, microwaves, the whole shabang . Don’t be put off by the oak country look, once I’ve had a couple of pints, taken out my compressor and spray painted anything that stays still long enough we should have a Tewkesbury grey kitchen to be proud of.

No pictures yet, but we have designated a GUN WALL – I’m so excited.