Progress is good with our new house. With the plumbing done and dusted the next big job was to replace the windows. It amuses me how estate agents will describe a house as fully double glazed throughout. Ok, there were double glazed windows everywhere, but they all needed replacing. There were gaps around the front windows that caused a howling draught and the one in the dining room actually whistled when the wind blew.
The front door was a classic style for a 1960’s bungalow. The letterbox rattled in the slightest breeze and I found getting into the house awkward the way the door opened right up against the brick wall.
We’re very pleased with the new door. The glass panels to the side let in lots of light so we don’t notice losing any light by no longer having a full length glass door.
We are now in the throes of having the kitchen replaced. It looked modern and smart in the agent’s photos but in reality it was a cheap and nasty kitchen, badly fitted and with ridiculously bright wall tiles. There was plumbing for a washing machine but not a dishwasher and after three months (three months already!) of washing up by hand, I really miss my dishwasher!
We spent yesterday emptying the cupboards ready for the fitter to arrive this morning to start work on the new kitchen. I shall be really, really glad to see the back of this one – and to get my new dishwasher.
With the old units out you can see what horrors lie beneath. Even though the house is only about fifty years old, there have been several changes to the kitchen over the years. There is an old electricity point showing that the original cooker was electric and positioned right next to the door – I remember that that was what people did in the 60’s and our old family home was just the same (except that ours was a gas cooker). The idea of having a hob in the middle of a nice, functional worktop was unknown then.
I am pleased to say that the old kitchen is going to a good home. Although we hate it, many of the units are in good condition and I was hoping to find someone who needs a kitchen and would appreciate it. The kitchen fitter knows of a charity that provides training for people with learning difficulties and can use our old kitchen, including the hob and oven, in their training. So much better than sending the whole lot to the tip.
We have moved out while the work is being done. That way, the men (who look about fifteen years old) (to me, anyway) can concentrate on getting the job done and not worry about clearing up and providing us with some kind of working kitchen each evening. We also thought it would be a nightmare for Daisy and Hugo to deal with, so Daisy is in her favourite cat hotel (well, our favourite anyway) and we are in this rather cute little cottage with Hugo, just about a mile from home.
It has a lovely country style kitchen and all the usual comforts, including some home made fairy cakes to welcome us. There was also the makings of a nice cup of tea, with proper teapot, sugar, milk and cups and saucers. I had to chuckle at the difference between this and many of the French gites we have stayed in – the welcome pack there would usually consist of a bottle of wine and, if we were lucky, a fresh baguette!
How lovely it is to be in a house that is spotlessly clean, instead of a grubby, grimy building site with cardboard boxes piled up all over the place. I am going to love being here for a whole week, and am making full use of the dishwasher!
Meanwhile, whilst we rush about getting things organised, little Hugo is just getting on with settling in and growing. He is growing fast and his little legs have lengthened, even since we took these photos.
He’s a good dog, learning fast an growing into his name and into his feet. House training (always a black art I think) has been relatively painless and he now has very few little accidents in the house – as long as we keep an eye on him and pick up on the signs that he needs to go out.
He loves going for a walk, loves to play with his toys, loves his dinners and loves everything in fact. His personality is very different from Lulu’s. He’s been easier as a puppy we think, which we attribute to him having mixed with people, cats and other dogs from the beginning, unlike Lulu who spent the first eight weeks of her life, until we collected her, in a barn with only her siblings.
He would play all day long if he could, and if we had the time. Training time has been difficult to find due to the work on the house but he’s a fast learner.
I can still pick him up, just! Which is lucky because although he’s learned to climb the stairs, he doesn’t always have the courage to come back down by himself. I remember that phase with Lulu, who spent hours trotting upstairs and then waiting to be carried back down so she could do it again!
He’s off to the groomers later this week for his first proper trim. It will be lovely to meet the handsome boy who lurks somewhere beneath that mass of black fluff!