Please excuse the pun.
We literally had a major breakthrough today and it was the one I have been most looking forward to: the knocking through of the new doorway from the hall into the kitchen. This is the one structural change which will really unify the servants’ part of the house with the family part, turning it into a modern home. Before this, the only way to the back part of the house was through the door under the stairs, past the tradesman’s entrance and through another door. First a few bricks were removed – see the light coming though?
The hole was enlarged and then the concrete lintel* inserted. More daylight and a hint of green!
For the first time ever you could see the back garden from the front door!
And from the other side – the front door and the street.
Here the doorway has been fully knocked through. It will look smaller when the door frame and door are in place.
When the builders left for the day, Rosie was the first to cross the new threshold.
Ruby was second.
As usual, Oliver was bringing up the rear. He was sidetracked by the Dalek machine.
Here is the view from kitchen into hallway. All the windows are boarded up at the moment, which is why it’s dark.
This is our new kitchen. As you can see the rest of the chimney breast came down today as well. The far doorway which is blocked up in this picture leads through to the breakfast room.
In the breakfast room the higher floor of the servants’ toilet was excavated. There is still more wall to come down when the next steel is put in place.
In other news, the water company came by and filled in the trench with gravel and sand.
Then a special compactor tamped it all down.
Rose and Ruby were very interested in the noisy goings on down below.
It then took another truck with a different crew to do the asphalting. I didn’t witness a single tea break!
Today we also had an installation by the electricity supply company of a PME (Protective Multiple Earth) and a new cut-out and isolator. I say this as if I know what it means but really I have no idea except for the fact that it brings our electrics up to a modern, safe standard. You wouldn’t know it from all the tangled mess under the stairs. In a few weeks we also get new electricity and gas meters.
Ruby here continues the theme of the stress this build is having on the cats. They are very well protected up here in the second floor flat and, as they are indoor cats anyway, they are very happy just snoozing through the day and taking the occasional look out of the windows. I think it helps that I am here with them as well. They then have the run of the house in the evenings before bed time.
* Concrete lintel. I am reminded of the scene from Fawlty Towers where the hapless builder Mr O’Reilly has knocked through the door into the hotel’s kitchen. When Mr Stubbs – Sybil’s preferred builder – inspects the work, he asks Basil “Did you use an RSJ? You know, an iron girder? Or did you use a concrete lintel?” Basil replies “No, a wooden one”. Stubb’s looks alarmed and exclaims “But that’s a supporting wall!” – leading to the comic finale. I am very happy that our builder is a Stubbs rather than an O’Reilly.