So a month and a bit before Christmas we decided to ask some builders to come and take the top layer of our house off.
I don’t think we’d really thought it through, well we had in the sense that we’d got six quotes and planned it throughout September and October, and there were plans all agreed with the council.
But we hadn’t really appreciated how much it would cock up our lives in the run up to what can be the busiest time of the year.
This is what our bedroom ended up looking like…
So other than working, keeping our toddler alive, and managing the build while living through it, squashed into our front room, neither I nor Mrs B have really had time to think.
I’ll do a separate post about the loft as we’ve learnt a lot that other would-be grand designers may find helpful.
For now I’m feeling happy that we have a roof again and ceilings in our and Little B’s current bedrooms and the dirt is no longer coating everything we own.
I don’t know why we choose to do this kind of renovation just before Christmas but we did the downstairs last year so it seems to have become a tradition.
Thankfully we managed to escape to Grandpa’s from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day and the builders have clocked off until 4 January so we’ve had a respite from burly men arriving early in the morning and starting the banging and crashing.
We went to a carol service where Little B attempted to wreck the nativity scene, had an amazing lie in on Christmas Day, ate and drink until we were replete, and Little B very much enjoyed riding on Grandma’s lawnmower: “Tractaaaaar!”
So when we got home we were ready to face a bit of tidying and cleaning.
It’s very unnerving watching people knock your home to bits, even though you asked them to and you know it’s for a good reason. We had to move out for a week and then I spent a few days camping out on the floor in the living room, with no heating or hot water.
This was very brief but it really made me think about what it must be like not to have a lovely cosy home, especially at this time of year. It’s a cliche I know but at least our problems are middle class ones. I’ve been keeping and eye out for folk in need of some hot food and drink on my way into work and bunging a few quid toward the Crisis Christmas Appeal in an effort to salve my conscience.
Because whatever inconvenience we’ve had it will be brilliant when it’s all finished at the end of January. We’ll have gained two rooms; a bedroom with a shower room for us and a small box room over the bathroom.
I’m starting to feel excited now about moving up into the loft and eventually Little B – who is nearly two (how did THAT happen?) – moving into our current bedroom and having space for all his toys that are currently distributed in piles around the living room.
That’s quite a big new thing to start the year with and I am so very grateful not to be moving house to get more space. After fourteen years in rented flats we knew that this first house had to be one that could grow with us.
Which brings me onto the second new thing for the new year.
Yes, despite being well over the hill and only just emerging from sleep deprivation, we’ve decided to do it all again.
Little B will be getting a new baby brother in the Spring – and that’s partly why we needed to crack on with expanding our house!
They’ll be almost exactly two years apart. We didn’t expect it to happen so quickly so that’s another thing to be very grateful for.
I hope you’ve had a rest over the past two weeks and are ready to grab 2016 by the lapels. Wishing you all good health and fortune in the year to come.
And while I still can, and the house is lovely and peaceful, I think it’s time for a New Year’s Day nap!