Thursday, 12 December 2013

Is It Really Two Years?

Waiting in the lanes in Holyhead Docks
The 12th of December. It was two years ago today (and probably to the hour) that we completed our heroic convoy trip for 500 miles across the UK and Ireland in the 2CV and trailer and the little Fiat. About now we were arriving at the solicitor's in Strokestown to collect our keys before driving on the extra half hour or so to our front gate. We had driven through the afternoon and evening across Britain and caught the overnight ferry from Holyhead to Dublin's North Wall.

First arrival in convoy. We have MOVED!
We were still at that stage, 95% terrified that we'd done the wrong thing and made a big mistake. The house, once we'd got a chance for a proper "owner's" look round (where we could start ripping up bits of floor and breaking into stud walling!) was not getting any better than we'd feared. It was going to be a big job to get it live-able, never mind 'nice'. We laugh now, of course, at our naivity. We'd looked at the cake-icing "concrete" (Ha!) of the floors and wondered if spongy-lino would cover it. We looked at some wood-wormy floor boards and wondered if a few patches might fix it. (Ha! again). We also laugh a bit about the "survey" which had to pay for for our own peace of mind (Ha!) ; the guy had managed to find central heating (there was none) and had failed to find the septic tank which we had specifically asked him to confirm the presence/absence of.

Horrors uncovered now we are in
Readers who were with us back in December 2011 will know that we engaged Sparks as Project Manager and Main Builder and ended up doing way more work than these first fumblings had suggested, ripping out every bit of wood below the rafters and going down 17 inches into the floor to come up again with gravel, modern thermal panel blocks, and a new concrete floor and floor tiles. We were sometimes in awe of what we needed to achieve but we'd burned our bridges, There was no turning back or running for cover back "home"; the house in Kent was sold, paid work was gone.

It's been quite a ride and we loved that we had this blog, internet discussion groups, Facebook and email on which to share the story with all our friends and the workmates and family we'd left behind. Was that really only 2 years ago? We are now so firmly established here that it feels as if we've been here way longer than just 2 years. Definitely the biggest, most daunting and scary DIY project any of us (including Sparks) had ever engaged in. As we were told at the time - "How do you eat an elephant?....... One bite at a time".

No comments: