house – day 96 – fenced in

This morning, I was woken early by a call on my mobile. It was the lorry driver, who was to deliver the bath, bath panel, bath waste, bath filler etc. He was checking someone that someone would be at the house. I’d spent yesterday morning finding out what had happened to this delivery, it turned out, that because  it’s a heavy, bulky package, the couriers had been ringing the house phone to arrange a suitable time. Unfortunately, there isn’t a phone connected, so nobody had answered the call. I eventually spoke to the local depot and arranged for it to be delivered today. And that was the reason for the wake-up call from the driver. I’d spent most of yesterday chasing up missing orders and tracking down the remaining major items we need.

I told the driver someone would be there from eight o’clock. It turned out I was wrong – he called me to say there was nobody there, when he got to the house (this was at 08:15). I couldn’t understand why there was no one there, so I called Chris. No reply, left him a message. I then called Marc, because he was starting on the plastering today and usually got there early. No reply, so I left a message for him too. Marc was first to call back – he’d been in their regular Wednesday morning meeting – as had everyone else. He said he could be at the house in 15 minutes, I called the depot back and they said they’d send the driver on to another deliver and he’d get back in a short while.

By the time I got to the house, the bath had been delivered. Phew! I didn’t want another protracted round-robin of phone calls again. It was yet another cold wet miserable day, which was particularly annoying as, today, I was going to work outside. The rubbish had finally been removed from back of house yesterday (a day early, too) so now I can fence the back part of the garden in. This will improve security round the back of the house. I measured the fence again and, after talking to Paul who had started on the back bedrooms, went off to B&Q to get a couple of fence panels and a few posts, fittings etc. The steady rain meant loading the fence was a wet messy job, the preserving agent came off on my hands and clothes. Handily, the panels just fit on the back of the truck. With the panels and timber loaded up, I drove off, round to the back of the house. Thankfully, our neighbour at the back had not parked his giant van there so I could get in easily. Whilst I was unloading, a girl had to squeeze past the truck to walk down the ten-foot way. Thanks to our neighbour’s possibly illegal fence, the track is a lot narrower than it ought to be – the Navara is less than six feet wide. She must have got quite wet – when I walked to the front of the truck, I had to squeeze past a lot of soggy foliage and got drenched as a result. (I did ask if she wanted me to move the truck).

As usual, this simple job took far longer than I thought it would take to do. By now, it was raining more heavily so I put on my hi-vis jacket and my hard hat to keep dry. When I started fitting the posts, I found the brand new masonry drill I’d bought from Wickes was useless and barely made a dent in the concrete post I was drilling for the frame fixers. After 45 minutes, I had 1 1/2 holes drilled – and I needed a total of five. Eventually, I got out the big SDS drill (sticking the extension reel under a board to try and keep it dry) and, using the rather too long 14mm bit, I got the rest of the holes drilled in a couple of minutes. The new Wickes drill bit was a complete waste of money. When it came to the free-standing post in the centre of the gap, I then discovered I didn’t have any correctly -sized shield anchors in the shed for the post holder, so I had to go out and get more. Once I’d got them and got back, I couldn’t find the correct-sized drill which meant only two anchors went in tightly. With the posts in place, I screwed up the gravel boards and panels and it was reasonably solid when it was all together. These fence panels have made it all a lot more private at the back and, hopefully, a little more secure. At least it stops this back part of the garden from becoming a dumping ground for everyone. This simple little job had taken four hours.

With the fence in place, I went back into the house. Peter, the kitchen fitter, was in the kitchen and we discussed the arrangement of worktops. Marc was getting on quickly with the bathroom plastering upstairs.

I got on with putting more paint on the shower room plaster and small hall ceiling. This time, using a more sensibly-sized paint roller.

When I finally drove home, I was thoroughly miserable. The weather had truly put a damper on things today.