Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

News in brief



Since moving in to the house for some reason I haven't felt much like blogging, and Lord knows it isn't that there's nothing to say. Since the world's longest festive holiday we have had exactly 8 hrs of builder time - that's in over a month - for reasons unclear. Could be that we've stopped paying bills until the work is "finished to our satisfaction" as those bills say at the bottom ;-)
However Adam and I in typical style have responded by cursing our tradesmen on one hand and flailing around with rollers and tools whenever we can, on the other. Some DIY has been more successful than others...
- Last weekend Adam and me hired some tools and clad the entry porch in crisp larch, very nice from the house to see it
- We still await various bits of cedar interior trims mysteriously languishing in someone's barn - rumour has it they arrive Sunday
- A nice tiler, the first in the Yellow Pages - is underway already in the bathroom
- The woodburner install now needs a prop under the cantilever - I'm told it won't show - as it's so heavy (I keep asking why the engineers forgot this, its one of those things you lose energy pursuing). I now accept that the stove will probably cost more than the kitchen in the end...
- Speaking of kitchens, the Corian saga goes full circle and we're back with the real thing cos its the only thing they can actually do the sexy moulded sink in
-I have ordered a disgustingly expensive sofa which takes 10 weeks to come, at least the cats might be out of here in time not to ruin it
- And finally I have updated the budget, though in the present climate it all seems dangerously like Monopoly

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Filthy lucre

Anyone who knows us will guess that it is with very mixed feelings that we let out the Shack this year for holidays. But a self-build without a mortgage is not at all easy, and needs must.
So www.lakedistrictloveshack.com
has been born and awaits bookings.
I confess I have rather enjoyed doing the website, which has included looking at a lot of other cottages' websites and recoiling in horror at "luxury kitchens" of wall to wall 1986 MFI units, maroon carpets and orange pine bedsteads. Not being someone who self-caters much, I hadn't realised how bad it had got out there. My family had a holiday home on Arran for decades and it resolutely stuck at its very basic slash eccentric end - a 60's homemade kitchen, a baby grand piano and a lot of unmatching porcelain.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I name this house

I thought that renaming our house officially to The Love Shack would be fairly simple, but it turns out you need to have it approved by the Council before the Royal Mail say yes too and they might deliver the odd letter.
When everyone agrees it means your address is 'official' and you can get your stationery printed.
The origins of The Love Shack as a name are lost in the mists of my memory, but it quickly stuck and even found its way onto the Council's documents, to my amusement. It's written all over the building's components too.

The shack's current name is "Argent Close", which as someone in the Council's Building Control said last week, sounds like a whole row of houses in a mining town, rather than a tiny log cabin in a wood.

Apparently the whole point of the Council's Naming & Numbering Dept. is to clarify things like that. No-one there mentioned - at first - concepts like 'appropriate' - a word much favoured by the Lake District Planning Authority and used fast and loose in any context which requires them to quash stuff they don't like.

So after a pregnant pause from them I received a message back:

"We would like to receive your second choice of house name."
Me - "Why, is there a problem with 'The Love Shack'?"
"We would like to receive your second choice of house name."
Me - "Yes, but why?"
" Something that reflects the local area is usually good. We will then check that there is no duplication before going ahead."
(Duplication, of The Love Shack?!) I then -to them at least - begged that the quirkiness of the house deserved a quirky name. And that it was Christmas.
Privately I raged against the local Taste Police, irate that even the name of your own property was controlled by the Council, was there no end to their attempts to derail us?! Would it have to be called "Fluttering Leaves" or "The Cabin"?!

Then this morning came a quiet email from the Council in my Inbox,
"I have a note on my desk stating that your house name has been accepted".
Not exactly a warm reception but a small triumph for freedom! And no, we're not big fans of the B52s actually.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday night at the shack


The move was of course unspeakably hellish - it's one thing carrying all your building materials up a steep hill manually but when it comes to one's worldly possessions you really do start to question whether you need more than two mugs and a toothbrush. I even began to wonder if the cats could be shackled to small paniers to move their cat litter and food bowls uphill. The worse thing was having to move the 6 ringbound folders of Shack admin up the hill, as we can't risk storing it when there's all the VAT return to do and bills to organise.....
Anyhow, very unfinished but very cosy, here is Adam relaxing for once waiting for the builders to return this week. We hope / dread.