Saturday, 28 January 2012

Short of time

OK, so this may be a bit quick and condensed looking, but I will expand on this soon. The situation is this. We have had a good week (and a hard one) getting floors laid in the Roscommon house and we are briefly at Silverwoods just for a quick shower, laundry and 2 nights of overnight before we head for England on Sunday, on a mission to offload the 'posh' car back to the Main Dealer. The car is lovely, as well as smart, fast and reliable but it's on one of those main dealer semi-lease deals where all you ever pay for is 3 years of depreciation (and servicing, tyres, etc); you never actually own it. Get to the end of three years and you have a car on which you still owe a big lump of money, so you choose whether to buy the car at this stage, hand it in and walk away, or start another 3 years with another nice shiny new car. This is great and works well if you are in a well paid job, but it is expensive per month and we can not now justify owning 3 cars including a posh new one, while both Mum and Dad are effectively unemployed. So back it has to go to the Main Dealer in Rainham who have agreed to buy it back and clear the debt to the finance company (all be it with Dad shelling out yet again to cover the gap between the 2nd hand value and the outstanding "early surrender" value).

Never mind all this money wrangling. To us it means being left with the Silverwoods while Mum and Dad head off to Dublin Port and the Ferry early Sunday morning. They will then drive across the UK back to Daimond's to stay there, Dad will sell the car on Monday, on Wednesday they will attend the funeral of Diamond's John's aged Dad who passed away at a ripe old age some weeks ago. On Thursday they fly back, car-less but into Knock Airport which will be a new experience. Knock is Roscommon's 'local' airport, being only 30 km from the Roscommon House, so they will get a taxi across to the house where they will re-unite with the remaining cars and Sparks, who will have been getting on with those bits of buildering he could most easily do on his own. This will be their first chance to see, and to walk on, the new floors.

It was a good week up at the house, starting with the arrival of the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) to connect us up to the mains. This is brilliant. We suddenly have some real warmth in the caravan; an oil filled radiator running on low all the time. This pumps out dry heat with no water vapour, so warms and dries the caravan like it has not been warmed before, as well as being able to dry clothes, tea towels, boots and so on. The little generator, which served us so well across the intervening weeks is now silent and waiting in reserve. On the same day the phone company and broadband boys also showed up to wire us up, but BB is still a couple of days off. Also this week, the Rosco Water Supply people came back to cure our low pressure. It turns out that the farm may have had a cattle drinking trough just outside out wall which was removed but the pipe merely cut through as everything had been turned off at the road. The guys just had to find the open end and terminate it.

For us the week was all about getting ready for the arrival of the concrete (ground floor) floors on Friday. The three rooms had to have the remaining 804 crushed stone whackered down, then an inch or so of sand spread over and levelled and smoothed. On this went the 6 inch thick, 8' by 4' insulation boards, with offcuts used to complete the jigsaw. Expanding foam went into the remaining cracks and crevices and 6 inch square 2.8mm steel reinforcing mesh went down on this. On Friday, 804 Pete came back with his floor-laying mate, Maurice the Midnight Joker, plus 4 and a half cu yards of concrete and screed. Dad and Sparks barrowed the concrete and then the screed in to Maurice while he levelled and smoothed floors, while Pete made merry with the mini digger spreading 804 on the drive, clearing the mud and grass off the cattle yard, opening up our outflow ditch, battling the bramble patch behind the caravan and pulling out the bramble-grown scrap metal which we'd offered him, including some bits of railway line.

More detail on this in future posts, and some pictures.


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