Those lovely tiles are gone, the skip is nearly full, we now have french doors (wonder why they’re called that) where a window used to be, there’s a fine layer of dust over everything, and the builders, electrician and plumber have put a big dent in the teabag / milk / sugar / biscuit supplies. But they have worked very hard.

With a couple of days off work I have been mainly responsible for getting ripped-out kitchen units and various other bits of crap in the skip. Not much of a job, eh? Actually yes, because Adams Towers is located at the top of a narrow lane which the skip lorry couldn’t reach, so the skip is down on the avenue several hundred yards away. And this being England, it’s been raining. A lot. In the picture here, Adams Towers is the house at the top-right. The skip is located where the word ‘Avenue’ is. No, that’s not our swimming pool.

My other job was sorting out the cable to feed the new television – from the splitter box in the loft, through the airing cupboard (following the route of the old analogue cable) and into the ceiling cavity. The electrician took over at this point.

Speaking of the electrician, he discovered some real horrors. He basically condemned some of the outside light fittings, and found an extension double-plug socket attached to the main electrics using lighting cable (which is apparently a no-no). Our fuse board is no longer within UK regulations and will have to be replaced. Up goes the budget again.

It’s now that I realise that the kitchen really is the hub of family life. Although we’re managing okay with cooking in the dining room we feel a bit like refugees in our own house. And I can only start to imagine what it’s like for people who were forced out of their homes by flooding last year. At least this temporary ordeal was our choice.

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