Let's have some aga-saga then, shall we? SheWeevil asked about it and Mitey Mite is conscious that she has been Blogging Remodelling for the last six months - it's time I updated you about our Kitchen Shennanigins.
The Background - we were moving house. And then at the last minute, we were not moving. Remember?
It was all very stressful and upsetting - but since we now have a baby to play with, I am not so keen to have a million pigs and goats and sundry livestock; so we have decided to stay put for a bit - two or three years at the very least - and in the meantime, to do a little re-modelling of our own. To this end, I have been trying to buy a solid fuel stove, that will be the 'heart of the kitchen', that we can cook on and that can be plumbed in to the existing horrendously expensive oil-fired central-heating system and solar/oil domestic hot water system (via a Dunsley Baker Neutraliser) to help us be more carbon-neutral and allow easy jam making on a regular basis*.
We have been slightly hampered in this mission by the whole 'Bones Of Our Arse' issue (as B's dad, Vic, so charmingly puts it). A new solid fuel rayburn would be somewhere in the region of two or three thousand quid. This is oh-so-not-possible. So I have been cruising eBay with a vengeance and we are now the proud possessor of not one, no, but TWO non-functioning solid fuel cookers. One is a Rayburn Royal, which has a crack in the top and needs a replacement - you can't weld it because of [some very boring and technical reason to do with not being killed by carbon monoxide poisoning]. I have been trying to source a second hand top, with little success.
So. I bought a Hunter. This appeared to be in good working order and the seller was really communicative and very nice on the phone. However. When it arrived, despite being a pleasing shade of fire-engine red, it had a broken door catch, rendering it unusable as an actual cooking device.
'Bollocks!' I said, under my breath, as I girded my loins to tell B I had once again bought something expensive and useless on eBay; and also to open a dispute with the vendor; who offered to refund my money and take it away but wasn't prepared to pony up to refund my transport costs**.
So. That is where the aga-saga is at the moment. The main thing that I have neglected to mention is that these renovations involve moving the kitchen from one end of the house to the other. The house is about fifty feet long; and B wants to put in a separate ring main for the new kitchen, so we are pulling cables through today - if they arrive from Screwfix. Also, all the drains are at the wrong end of the building. This has involved drilling out through the twenty inch thick granite wall, running the waste pipe along twelve meters and then drilling back in twenty inches to get to the soil pipe, which the people who originally converted the house thought would be ideally situated in the corner of the kitchen tucked behind a breeze-block wall.
Oh yes, we are having such fun.
Yesterday B and Vic took down a little stone seat-arrangement which had been built in to the partition wall that the people who lived here immediately previously to us had put up, sloppily, to separate the living room in to two parts. The seat turned out to be part of the original walls of the house and be composed largely of dressed stone boulders. It was immensely entertaining. Oh yes.
Today they are channelling in for the ring main - only they can't get stuck in to that with the industrial-strength channeller I have hired them because the only thing done properly in the entire house is embedding the wiring deep in the walls; and the little beebly-beep machine B has to tell him where the wires run can't pick them up. So we are having to hire an industrial strength beebly-beep machine this morning to suss out the existing cable runs in order that we don't cut through them and a) electrocute anyone and b) make all the wall sockets in the entire downstairs unusable.
I am getting to know Huw at HSS very well indeed. He and his wife are expecting a baby in a few weeks and he's very excited about it all.
Our aim is to create a living space at the north end of the house that will be an eleven foot by twenty-five foot kitchen / diner / living room. We will then use the existing kitchen as a utility room - washing machine, dryer, freezers, beer fridge, brewing stuff, space for all the empty jam-jars - and reinstate the downstairs cloak-room that the people here before us took out. This will also give us a nice hallway that will act as an air-lock for the shedding of dirty boots and wet coats. We are planning on confining the cats to this area at night, as the dead-rodent problem and the random wee-ing is getting on even my nerves now. And it will leave us with a little room to use a snug and guest sleeping-space.
Time to get the baby up and pour some tea in to B. He and his dad went to the pub to watch the Liverpool game last night and since they won 4-0 I understand there was some celebration.
Wish us luck.
* Which reminds me, I need to make some marmalade - we have had LOADS of citrus fruit with the veg box for the last three weeks and it's sitting in the fruit basket drying out nicely.
** Some of the nice chaps on downsizer.net have offered to come and fix it though; apparently it shouldn't be too difficult. But it's still the PRINCIPLE of the thing, isn't it?