On Saturday we collected Daisy from the cattery, thinking that the most destructive and noisy work on the kitchen had been completed and it would be safe for her to return home. She had been in virtually solitary confinement for two whole weeks, being the only resident in the cattery, and she was really pleased to see us.
While we were at the cattery the lady that owns it warned us that heavy snow was forecast for overnight on Saturday. We were glad she mentioned it as we had not seen the forecast and had no idea that snow was coming.
The cottage we have rented is not far from where we live but is on higher ground on a little used country road and, from past experience, likely to be inaccessible if it snowed a lot. We could end up snowed in at the cottage with Hugo while Daisy remains by herself in the house. What a state of affairs.
So, we decided to make a temporary move back home for the night. At least from there we could walk to the pub, the little Spa shop and the bus stop if we were snowed in for very long – which is in fact one of the reasons that we bought the house in the first place – its location is good for the worst of the Derbyshire winters.
We did a quick clean up of the bedroom and bathroom and spent the night there. Snow did indeed fall to about 3”. Neither Hugo nor Daisy had ever seen proper snow before and had a great time playing around in it. We had laid in enough provisions to keep well fed for a couple of days and while we were there we made a start on cleaning up. On Sunday we were able to clean out some of the new cupboards and put away some of the kitchen stuff we had piled up in the dining room and elsewhere. Snow continued to fall all day so we spent Sunday night there as well.
On Monday there was no sign of the kitchen fitter or any of his team so we carried on with the work.
It felt really odd to be almost camping out in our own house but at least we could see that the kitchen was taking shape. There was still a lot of finishing off to do and we couldn’t use about a third of the cupboards as they were full of the fitters tools and kitchen components.
When the fitter turned up on Tuesday morning we vacated the house again and left him to it. Nick pops back to check on progress and do any fetching and carrying of materials, also to give Daisy some company. I am staying in the cottage nursing a horrible cold that started on Monday, which happened to be my birthday.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, or at least we think so. Latest prediction is that the kitchen should be finished, except for a bit of grouting, by Thursday evening. That’s assuming that the appliances (oven, microwave and extractor hood) turn up today – and that the fitter does not have to dash off somewhere to deal with some problem with one of the other kitchens he has on the go at the same time – which is why, it appears, in the three weeks our kitchen will have taken to complete, for four days no work was done on ours at all.
We are due to move out of the lovely, warm, clean, neat and tidy cottage by 10.00 am on Saturday. I’m hoping that by then the fitter and his team will have kept to his promise, the job will be finished and we can have the house back to ourselves. So that then we can get on with the cleaning up and make the place comfortable for Christmas. Spending Christmas in a building site was not something I relish but we’re not ruling out the possibility.