'Littlest house on the East Side, I claim you in the name of England!'
We have our own piece of America guys, 4000 square feet down, 263,450,879,996,000 to go. I got your back Tom.
We could have bought something spick and span and totally move in ready. I could have listed 'cook's kitchen' on my wish list, we could now be sitting in a house with walls.
But that would be far too easy. Added to the fact that we've had a bit of a rocky start to the year, discovering that on top of the planned (and budgeted for) new kitchen cabinets, countertops and a few responsible homeowner upgrades (gutters as a focus of lust... who knew?), we didn't actually have any support beams above our kitchen. We did have a 300lb cast iron bathtub sitting on top of it though.
A chance and minor leak coming from the bathroom dripping into the kitchen, had us remove a small section of the ceiling to access the pipe and discover we were moments (and Charlie's insane ration of good luck) away from dying a watery-splintery-bath-falling-through-the-ceiling-then-straight-through-the-kitchen-floor-because-oh-yeah-that's-not-got-any-structural-support-either death. (We actually knew about the basement but it sounds so much more dramatic this way).
Anyway, once we knew about the problem we couldn't really avoid or ignore it lest we fancy dicing with death every time we ablute. I did joke that if we jumped up and down in the bath whilst wearing full on protective gear, causing the bath to full on fall through the entire house and destroy everything in its wake it would definitely cost more than our house insurance deductible. I said I JOKED. Mostly.
That not-entirely-serious-but-if-Charlie-had-been-keen-then-likely plan was thought not to be the best course of action so in with the professionals.
Three weeks, a lo-HOT-t of dust and (what turned out to be) half a ton of ceiling later, we are structurally safe and have new plumbing to boot. As expected with old houses, and any sort of renovation in general, a couple of other nasties were found upon ripping out the rest of the ceiling, but it's done now and all I can say is thank goodness and what the fuck was the last guy thinking?!
We are now on a cooling off period, the important stuff is done, but it's too cold to be replacing windows (oh yeah, we're doing that too). So we've got a nice little reprieve before more bashing and crashing.
Come sunnier, warmer months we'll be tackling the rest of the job (and by we I mean our awesome builder will do all the important stuff that might kill me if I get it wrong, then I'll fanny about with a paint brush and a glue gun making things pretty).
For now we have what is approximate to one step up from a field kitchen (we have a working stove and a plumbed sink) but one step down from something you'd find in a normal family home (WE HAVE NO WALLS).
It's just enough to do some cooking, and being that we have neither starved nor is Charlie on a first name basis with the pizza guy, it must be alright.
(There will be some cooking posts soon I promise!)