First and foremost, we'd both like to say a big, huge, massive 'THANK YOU!' to Ali, Darren and Gavin for all their help in building, and to Dan for helping to carry all the heavy stuff around and helping me lug 2 ton of aggregate from the front to the back garden by bucket. By hand! I know! When Mr G and I were pulling our hair out, wondering how on earth to remedy things when they had gone wrong, between them, they sorted the job to completion in three days. Took an objective look at it, told us what to buy, we bought it, they sorted it. Hard work, late nights and plenty of panads. As Darren would say 'Shell, what's the twentieth letter in the alphabet?'. It's 'T' apparently... oh, right, tea... Brilliant friends and family. Also, we'd like to thank their wives for letting us monopolise their men.
So, the exterior is done. The interior, in time, needs insulating and panelling off, before the winter sets in. We want to put some flooring down, something that is easy to clean and should any water get to it, it won't ruin, so we're probably going to go with lino. Our friend Helen came round for a coffee the other night and mentioned that she had bought a new sofa and armchairs, and did we know anyone who wanted a two seater leather sofa and a recliner chair and footstool. A bit weathered and worn, scratched a bit by their dogs on the sides, but free of charge, only could they take it asap as it was currently stuffed in their kitchen. We did know indeed! Weathered and worn was perfect for what we wanted it for, to fit right in and look cosy, like it's always been there. Her Mum has offered to make us some curtains, so we need to find some material or old curtains that can be doctored. The next job is Mr G's bar. Yes, a bar. Yes, I know. I'm used to it after fifteen years. He is halfway done already, that will come in the next post. Here's a few photos to show you the start to finish!
In the beginning there was a summerhouse. Which arrived six days late. A day before our party. And when it arrived, we couldn't even start building it, because the floor that we'd also paid the company for? To erect the summerhouse on? Well, they didn't send that. So they had our floor and our money. Couldn't we just go out and buy another one elsewhere, while we waited 2 - 3 days for our money to be refunded? Er... looks like we'll have to won't we, a$$holes! But that means our party has to be cancelled, because our garden looks like a building site, bits of wood everywhere, the weather is changing and raining so if it's not put up like... yesterday, it's going to ruin! And it's cost too much to let it ruin, and get wet and warped! And I can't organise, cook and host a party, and help erect a 12 foot by 10 foot summerhouse, can I?
Everything then went swimmingly until we came to put the roof on. Ah yes, this is the roof that already turned up with two roof panels damaged, a large corner broke off on both of them. And for the size of the summerhouse, the roof was utter crap. Really thin. There was no way on this planet that it would support a grown man up there, to tack it in to the felt. The tacks they sent were so crap that they were only barely piercing the felt, let alone going into the roof. One rogue gust of wind ripped all the tacks out and tore the felt. So we had to go out and pay nearly £100 for a new roof, about three or four times thicker. Oh and the felt was crap, and my God, if they hadn't measured it to the millimetre - there wasn't enough to cover the original roof. So we had to then go out and pay nearly £80 for two rolls of decent roof felt.
Mr G has coveted one of these for ages, his beloved 'shedpub'. On a smaller scale though. The kids wanted a playhouse, you know one of those on stilts?. But have you seen the size on those for the cost? You can't stand up in them? The may be 'high' when you measure it from the outside, but they're only a few feet high inside, what could they feasibly do in it without being cramped? It would be completely redundant in a few years, if that! So we took into account the cost of a summerhouse for him, and a shed as opposed to a playhouse for the minions, and decided it would be better to get a big summerhouse, and everyone could use it. The children could play in it, Mr G could have a beer in it and watch his rugby on his tablet, and I could go there with a good book and a bottle of wine. The children have already decided that this summer, when they camp in the back garden, they don't want the tent up, they want the hammocks going in the summerhouse! I might even join them!
So, the hard work is done! Now we're busy adding the finishing touches, some of which we've picked up over the years and some of which will have to come over time. The important thing is that I can relax and plan my rescheduled party for next weekend! I can spend the next few days baking and freezing, and tidying for my visitors, and the only thing that can go wrong is the weather. And even then... it doesn't matter, does it? :-D
Part two to follow...