Thursday, 11 December 2008

my advice....... never build a house

the reason for my absence?
the list is long - grab yourself a cup of tea and a comfy chair.....

right - the hobbling sheep stopped hobbling, which is a good thing
we could not find any girls for rodders so in desperation (boy was he depressed) we popped him in with the girls - the first afternoon he chased and chased them round the field, this resulted in another sheep with a hobble.....
i worried, the sheep worried but still rodders chased with his nose in the air.

the next morning i awoke early and stuck my head out of the window - oh my how things had changed.....
the girls had decided that actually rodders was a rather dapper looking chap and he would "do" for the job......
six girls hungry for love circling round a rather anxious looking ram - hah!

the biggest news is that we are now living in the house - a happy event you would think
think again
we moved in as it had reached the point when we had too - the trailer was swaying dramatically in the high winds and i was not sleeping.
we moved in to the house which had no heat or water or indeed a front!
the large glass frontage is still missing - we heard again today that yet another delivery date has been dismissed - it was all lined up for tomorrow - the delivery company only comes this far up once a week - yet again they are not coming....

the heat was relying on a generator - ours had broken days before so a very large and expensive rental one was put in its place - that is now also broken - the company who own it do not have a replacement and are now waiting for a spare part.... whilst this goes on we have no heating at all - it is beyond cold, in fact i have never felt so cold.
we have a smaller generator borrowed from some friends - it is only strong enough to run the lights for which we are grateful.

so at this point we are living in the house with light but no heat or water - we are still using the trailer loo and washing facilities - i open my eyes in the morning and then have to sprint across a muddy field to the loo - not a pretty sight.
taking a shower takes nerves of steel - clothes off as stepping in to the water and then drying in a split second before throwing clothes back on - needless to say i am not hanging around in there with a razor - i am sporting a more European look of late......

a few days ago water was put in place, the jolly old rayburn was lit and it merrily started to heat the hot water tank....
from cold to tepid - marvelous!
now - the rayburn has a temporary flue system which means that the pipe is sticking out the top room window.... if the wind is blowing in the wrong direction it blows back in to the house.
we are now not only cold and hairy but also covered in a fine film of soot......

the joy of tepid water was short lived as the rayburn decided that it was in fact very old and would go on no further - just as we turned our backs for ten minutes to fix a toilet in place, the rayburn decided to empty its boiler contents all over the kitchen floor - this seeped in to the pantry, boot room and then at our feet in the bathroom....
it was truly the final straw - stephen was on his knees in front of the bloody rayburn whilst i was deciding which animals would fit in the car as i made my get away....

so as of today we have ....
a ram that is trying his best
a rayburn with a hole
no water
no heat
cold dogs
cold cats
cold us
a damp floor
and quite honestly a house that we are both struggling to love :(

i think the only thing that has kept me here, and at a few points i have cried for my mum (yes i know i am 36), is that i cannot fit all my animals in the car and i could not decide who to leave behind!!!!
that and the fact that i am still loving getting up each day and being able to pack pretty parcels for all you shoppers.... goodies are on the way this week - invoices to those waiting coming soon x

if it was not for pets and parcels i would be out of here......

i will return in the next few days with happier thoughts, pictures of our cold damp house and more

here's hoping for better news on the horizon....

t x

35 comments:

The Fairy Glade said...

Bless you both. Been there and done it all!!When we bought our derelict shack we spend 2 years sleeping on a mattress in one room. At various stages we had no ceilings, no roof, no front of house, an outside loo, whippet beasties that ate our sofa and the biggest, hairiest spiders in the known universe. It does get better!

Nin said...

Oh no! You poor things, I wish there was something I could do to help. Hopefully my nice warm hugs that I'm sending your way will still be nice and warm despite coming al the way across the Atlantic. Do you have a fireplace to maybe build a fire to keep warm? I wish they would hurry up and put the glass frontage in, it will be such a huge hurdle in the whole process.

(PS someone should make a film out of this!)

Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Tracy

The number of things that have happened to me over the years which have made me say 'I could write a book' paled into insignificance whilst reading this post.

But, dare I say, I had to laugh. I was there with you, especially with the list beginning with the ram that is doing his best. Please don't be cross - I was laughing with you, not at you. I'm sure you can't see the funny side though.

I bet your Mum wishes she was there with you. You're only a couple of years older than my daughter, so I feel for her. She'll be desperate to make it all right for you I'm sure.

Perhaps an old army bell tent and a camp fire might be a solution?!!

Chin up.
Sue xx

trashalou said...

Poor you.

Hoping things cheer up soon.

April said...

hang in there Tracy, you are such an inspiration to me for having the courage to DO all this. One day you will look back at this and laugh and it will all be worth it.

Hoping you get some heat soon though

April xx

dottie angel said...

i have no wise words to lend in this situtation...i can't even find a 'witty' word to say in the hope of lightening the load...

just sending you a warm hug...and thinking of you :)

Tif x

Debbs said...

Hi Tracy, CALOR GAS HEATERS!!!! I too had the cold house nightmare and they were our saviours. Ours were on wheels so we could move them around easily. Just type 'Calor gas heaters' into google and a ton of sites will come up with all sorts of prices. Or you can get small butane heaters for £19 or so. I think elderly pussy cat will appreciate the comfort especially. If you don't want to buy then type 'hire' in before the above and several sites hire gas heaters out. ~Have you got anything up temporarily until glass arrives? Anything will be better than nothing. My top tip is to to try and keep animals and you in same rooms, move one heater to kitchen or bathroom as needs be and put out draught excluders, newspapers under doors, whatever it takes to get some heat. I used to have 'strip washes' I would boil up kettles and fill a bowl which I would take into bath with me, wash my face first then body then tip rest of bowl over me, also used a chamber pot - essential for early hours emergencies! I had blankets up at the windows and bought a cheap fake fur coat which I lived and slept in. It was a nightmare but an adventure too - the only down side was the day we finished decorating the upstairs my partner informed me he'd found someone else - well that's another story!! We lived in Charing Heath down in Kent (where you moved from!) and had 7 cats and a dog - great insulation on the bed! Good luck hope I've been of some help. Debbs

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I'm so sorry that things are not going your way. Hope you can get some heat soon - that should help.

One day when your new home is finished and you are snug and warm, looking out at your gorgeous views - you will be able to laugh at this adventure.

Sending warm thoughts ...

Mary

Alex Mason said...

Hi, Hope you are keeping warm, living with a builder i have done the no heating, no water thing 4 times so far, i always forget how bad it was, especially the showering bit!! xx

carolyn said...

Oh my God, it's cold here in East Anglia I don't think I can even comprehend how cold it must be so far up North. Quite frankly I think I would probably get dirty and smelly as well as hairy rather than brave taking clothes off!
Hope all those delivery men get loads of overtime so that you get your glass front, spare parts etc.

French Knots said...

Stay in bed with a hot water botttle, with all the pets piled on top you migh be warm.....well perhaps not Rodders if he's feeling frisky he might be better off with his harem!
Hope the work men all deliver what they should so you can defrost.

Katie twinkles said...

Hi Honey, So sorry to hear this. I have flu at present and the thought of no heat and broken things is horrid. Debbs is right. I have a valor calorgas heater and it is not only toasty it is dead reliable in power failures and gives off a reassuring little snuffle every so often. With a couple of these in place you will find life at least bearable until your age can be sorted. Try not to worry and take it a day at a time. xx

Katie twinkles said...

Oh dear that was meant to say aga not age-but -freudian slip?-you did mention your age! wanting your mummy is fine-maybe she will even arrive? or maybe you should go there! for warm baths and treats xx mmmmm

Libby said...

Oh my goodness! It will be worth it in the end I'm sure.
When a Rayburn works it works well and I would not be without mine, soot and all!
The Gaz heaters sound like a great idea and plenty of layers.
Sening warming wishes to you both!

jules said...

Oh my dear and I thought we were cold here, we too have the temporary flu sticking out bt this limits the draw on the woodburner so it really is a bit of a let down. We too have a couple of calor heaters that we move around. I can fully sympathise with you as our renovation has seen 4 winters now and it is just beginning toget easier. The only problem I have now is that wearing so many layers limits my movements so trying to bend down and undo workboots whilst desperate for the loo is not a pretty sight. I'm thinking of you hun, just a thought but while we were on windy Skye we saw someone renovating and they had strapped their caravan to the side of the building is there anyway you could do this. I wish you were nearer so we could come and help it sounds like you need a little bit of good old fashioned help. thinking of you both love jules xx

Kristy said...

Oh no! It will be okay. It will be okay. xxxx

Barbara said...

Oh Tracy! What a catalogue of disasters. You do tell it very well if that's any consolation to you! It's kind of a shame you aren't being filmed for Grand Designs. It would probably make great viewing though I appreciate it's not much fun at all living it. Try and keep warm, it will soon be all done and then you'll forget how awful it was (like childbirth!). Bx

mollycupcakes said...

God it sounds like a nightmare, wish there was something we could all do for you both. My thoughts are with you honey and sending you a little something in the post, i can't promise hot water, heat or dryness but hopefully it will bring a little smile to your face.
Many, many hugs,
Catherine, Ben and the cupcakes.
xxxx

JacquiMcR said...

Things will get better! This time last year we had no heating or hot water either and were sleeping on a sofa in the living room. My kids thought it was great not having to wash quite as much as normal, although I was lucky enough to have my sister close by, for showers, sympathy and washing. I became an expert at boiling kettles for everything and would certainly recommend hot water bottles, knee high socks(for tucking trousers into), scarfs, shawls and thermals. The external work is now complete and we have all the internal decorating, plastering etc to look forward to in 2009. It will be worth it - honestly. Take care - jacqui x

Attic24 said...

Oh my goodness Tracy, how totally dramatic your life is compared to mine! I am kind of half in horror and half agasp with admiration for what you are doing, my goodness girl, how PROUD you are going to be once your house becomes a HOME. And IT WILL, maybe not tomorrow, but one day, you will be making it happen and I know it'll be amazing.
Wanted to tell you that I posted your little embroidered houses to you Yesterday (Thurs) so hope they arrive soon : make sure you get yourself a lovely hot cup of tea and something yummy to eat and spend a moment being mindful for the good things in life, as distant as they can seem at times, there is always love to keep you warm. Hugs to you
Lucexxxxxxxxxx

Heart in the country said...

Oh poor you! Nothing worse than being cold, unless you are cold and damp! I know how you feel, we built our home and rather foolishly decided to have a baby just before we started - although I have to say we didn't get the cold weather being down south. Just think in 6 months time you will be sitting in the sun enjoying the fruits of your labours and laughing about all of the problems you have had, realising that they were all worth it....plug on and chin up you'll get there! :0)

Kx

julie said...

You really are going through it aren't you? You truly deserve some sort of miracle and I hope that one day when your beautiful house is finished and you're snug, dry and happy that you'll look back and laugh about these trials. Hoping that the end is in sight and that you hold on to your sanity. Sending you the bestest of good wishes xxx

tam said...

Oh you poor thing you guys have really been through the muck lately! What a trooper you are! Believe it or not someday you will look back on this and have a good laugh! I know-I have experienced some real doozies-they turn into jolly memories which provide some fun reminiscing and laughter later.
I am amazed that you are still able to get parcels out-what a champ! Hope your weekend gets warmer for you ...somehow...miracles happen!
~Smiles~Tam!

Françoise said...

Oh Tracy. What a tale. Can't someone with a large car come and get you to help with the beasties? It all sounds horrid and i am sure your Mum is worried about you. My own daughter is just about your age and lives on the Northeast coast of the US. As of yesterday 140,000 people had no electricity and therefore no heat in 18F weather. She and her kids are trying to make the best of it but i imagine the three of them coming down with pneumonia. This is why farmers used to sleep with their cattle. I visualize all of the house animals and the two of you sleeping curled around each other in a big heap. I hope you haven't run of of liquid (alcoholic) comfort! Warm wishes to the whole household!

Françoise said...

Hello Tracy, I left you an award on my blog because I have loved your blog and i think you need a bit of cheering. Enjoy! Françoise

Sea Angels said...

Tracy...it will pass, slowly and painfully..but it will pass and just look what you will be left with, the most fantastic home in the most gorgeous place, dreams like this one don't come easily and you may want to pass out in five years time when someone says to you
'gosh your lucky to live here!!!'
You both are made of the sort of stuff our history is made from pioneers...adventurers...you are making a journey not undertaken by many today..you are both so special and strong..I watch on with total admiration...
Warming Yultime hugs.
Lynn xx

Bovey Belle said...

We lived in a building site on and off for 16 years, but nothing quite so drastic as you (we usually had running water, though the time they sprayed slurry by the bore hole stopped us using it . . .). We were always worried the roof would collapse, but we didn't dare put in for a Council Grant in case they declared our house derelict . . .

It WILL come right, I am sure, but at the moment that's probably seeming very remote to you.

Ah Debbs, strip washes. Yup - when necessity calls. Sleeping fully-clothed too, with dogs on the end of the bed as foot-warmers (that in a previous existence . . .)

Knitty, Vintage and Rosy said...

Oooh, your life sounds so "Build a New Life in the Country"!

And your doggies are lovely by the way.

Thanks for dropping by my blog.

I will be visiting you again

Lisa
Knitty, Vintage and Rosy

The Whispering Poppies said...

Oh Tracy! I hope that by now things have turned around for you (and that your sheep and ram have completed their mission)! Lots of warm hugs to you!!!

(It's Beachy - I had to change my blog, this is my new blog name.)

Katie twinkles said...

C'mon, surely you have that house built by now :-)))

(sound of hissing and bricks being hurled south)


lotsLove xxx

Hope you are warm like toast and all is well and please write soon xx

acrossthepond said...

Oh dear....this too shall pass....not quick enough I hear you say.

The mention of Calor Gas heaters took me back to living in Kent. We also has one on wheels, which went from room to room and I also had my own personal one in my bedroom whick was portable and screwed in to the top of the gas bottle. One thing I love about Canada is that our house is a constant 68F in the day and 62F at night. I tell our children stories of walking up in England and the water by your bed is frozen and you can see your breath. They look at me in disbelief.

I truely hope things will happen for the better for you soon. Something has to give--right? Even if it is some milder weather.

I am sending warmth your way and a wish for better days.

Ragged Roses said...

Oh you poor things, I'm guessing that things can only get better for you all. Take care, I'll keep my fingers crossed. Wishing you a wonderful, warm and cosy Christmas
Kimx

elspeth said...

Oh my... and I thought our building-a-housing problems were bad enough... All I can do is say I sympathise and that you WILL get finished, and you WILL sit laughing about it all next Christmas when all is warm and cosy - indeed, you have a good enough sense of humour to be laughing at it all now (some of the time at least, attagirl!). Oh if only I were near enough that you and the animals could pop round and you could have a warm bath and the pets warm up and frolic about a bit... There are few things more miserable than being that cold...
Loads of love
and I'm raising a glass to you both - all - not everyone is brave enough to follow their dream as you have done, and I know it will be worth it - and sooner than you think!
much love
xx Elspeth

Debs said...

All I can say is that is does get better. This time last year was one of the most miserable weeks of my life, it was baltic in our caravan, the water didn't unfreeze til the evening and there was little joy in anything to do with building a house. The children didn't complain but when I look back I feel like crying at the situation. BUT we're in our house and its great, yours will be finished in 2009 so keep the faith and you will be SO proud and SO pleased....the days are getting longer again!

acrossthepond said...

Hope everything is ok and things are getting better? Please post soon!