Ahoy there landlubbers, back onboard after a one week journey to get here and unfortunately three weeks ahead of time. I feel like Dr frigging Who and it has been a clusterfuck of a ten days.
The leave started with great promise as MrsB and I sorted out emptying the kitchen ordered the glass for the eyebrow windows (lead in time 5 days) as well as the whole back window /door assembly (lead in time 6 to 8 weeks) and the Warmsler 1100 cooker range and boiler (lead in time 6 weeks) We also laid out where the tractor shed wall was going to go and dug the footings and laid in the shuttering for it.
I have to say that walking more than 50 meters was a bit of a pain with the dodgey knee and so I will admit that perhaps clambouring onto a ladder rested on the dorma roof (so I could waterproof the planned lounge log burner flue) was probably not a great plan.
When my good leg got cramp and my iffy one slipped off the rung the project nearly came to an abrupt end.
With my tail between my legs (not an easy task on a ladder I can assure you) I eased myself down to terra firma and “had a word with myself” In fact it was several words and most of them were sweary.
When MrsB dropped me off at Rennes airport after a week at home I was relieved to think that after the keyhole OP (removing a bit of damaged cartilage) the next day it would herald an end to several months of increasing pain and decreasing mobility. I had put it off as I rather “blokeishly” hoped it would “just sort of get better” with rest but all that happened is that it became worse and I piled on 5 kilos as I couldn’t exercise it off.
As I stood at the auto ticket machine trying to work out how to retrieve my ticket, someone shoved a gun in my back and demanded my money!!!!!
I did what any normal person would do in that situation which was to turn round and say “Fuck right off matey”.
It is not that I am some sort of super hero with special kung fu wonder skills or that I consider myself to be a “hard case” or that I have a death wish, it was just that I recognised the voice of my nephew Will (we had big hugs and laugh at my slight flinch as I felt the gun/ finger in my back) who was just back after a weekend in Hamburg on the lash with his mates and had arrived at the same time. I tried to organise getting him over to do a weeks work with the renovation and we parted at Dorch where he got the 31 bus (top deck front seat) to head back to bridders and I had the pleasure to attend the SkaBQ organised by Mark and Claire Hymas, where I had great time reminiscing with old friends listening to some great music and having a few beers.
At 11.30 on the morrow, off to the knee clinic I did go.
At 1pm they put me under and I limped out at about 4.30 with a gert big bandage on one leg and white surgical stocking on the other (toenails resplendent in their usual summer livery of “Cherry red”) and caught the train up to the Southampton airport hotel and flew back to Rennes the next day.
I must admit when the local anesthetic had worn off it did sting a bit but what miffed me the most was that my earlier understanding that I would be able to get some light work done after a week or so proved to be what I ‘wanted’ to hear as opposed to a reality. The scary reality was that I would need at least 4 weeks before I could bear any great load on the knee and worse still 6 weeks before larking about up ladders and scaffolding, but that was from the nurse, physiotherapist and surgeon, so what do they know huh??
After a week of hobbling about, being a crap patient although succumbing eventually to the tender administrations of MrsB nephew Will arrived and he started by fitting the windows in the eye brows and then moved onto making all the frames for the work surfaces as well as constructing the window bench that will hold the gas bottles for the gas hob. Later the next week son Zak turned up sporting a beaujangler of a beard and with his new van that he is converting to live in. he got stuck into the last bits of insulation with his Ma and then helping out wherever needed in between bouts of working on his van and the gadding off sailing and gliding with Will.
Realising my knee was taking longer than I had planned I convinced Will to stay for another week so having them both there would help move the job along and then out of the blue on the Monday morning comes a call from my company “Can you come back asap”
And here I am, plans and logistics in tatters but Z & W and MrsB put in a sterling effort and we actually managed to achieve quite a bit. WE have several deliveries waiting in the wings such as the Warmsler 1100 Cooker range/boiler, a Neff 5 burner LPG gas hob, a large Neff electric fan oven and a double fronted stainless steel catering fridge that has a 250 liter capacity but is “under the counter” design. We have tender out for the stainless steel tops for the work tops in the kitchen and we have the main parts of the rest of the plumbing including 250 liter expansion balon, 300 liter hot water twin coil (solar and thermal store) immersion, laddomat units and various pumps and piping and three way valves and other stuff associated with plumbing, (and two gorgeous old school industrial /maritime spot lights) all paid for and waiting in the wings to be delivered so so its just case of sorting out the logistics for when I get home in early November and installing it all.
Big days and big leaps forward ahead.
Love and Peace