beach cottage, bEAching, drEAming, general chit chat

We’re on the move…

Well at least our possessions are…at last they are going in to store or into the skip.

Today I had a phone call from Wendy – she works for ChemDry and  she has been absolutely brilliant through our flood saga making appointments for people to visit and arranging for the key to be picked up when required.  She is so efficient I haven’t had to do a thing.  I was surprised to find that she had also accompanied the man from ChemDry to go down to our cottage to list and pack away the contents that have survived and remove the rest for disposal.

She phoned me at work to check a few things, which was very good of her – it made me feel as if someone was actually taking good care of the remains of our possessions.  She even apologised as she had intended leaving us a couple of cups so we could get a cup of tea when we go up but they had inadvertently got packed – but I was pleased at her thoughtfulness.

 I showed you the outside pictures of the flood but I don’t think I have shown you inside – so here we go – you may need your wellies on and tread carefully the surface is slippy.Flood 5

This is what we saw when we went inside the day after the flood – no water left but just a layer of very slippery mud all over the floors.

The Bedroom

Flood 2014

Looks quite normal above floor level doesn’t it? –  the settee was in here temporarily whilst we decorated the living room.  The water here was just above skirting height but everything got splashed by the Fire crew going in.   I managed to salvage this wooden side table and have cleaned it down – as it was painted even on the bottom the water had not got into the wood.

Flood 2

The bottom of every cupboard had been flooded.

Cottage flood damage

The Conservatory

Flood 3

The conservatory was the worst hit – the water here reached up to the line on the tablecloth about 2′ high.

Flood 4

Our new bath was being stored in here under the pink sheet.  Someone had tipped the chair up on end to try and save it but the water has got the cushions – so all this here is for the skip.  Below is a more recent picture now the mud is drier.

Conservatory flood damage

The Living Room

Cottage Living room 6

The bed from the small bedroom was in here whilst we installed the Velux window – it was brand new but destined now for the skip.   Smaller items had been moved around by the water.  The little bookcase which was in the bedroom alcove was from Ikea but has been water damaged at the bottom – I particularly liked this and cannot replace it now as it is discontinued.

Cottage Living room 5

Because we were still decorating the living room the wooden floor had not been laid – so this is still the concrete covered in mud.

These are the earlier pictures when we put up the boarding on the walls and painted it…

Cottage Living room 3

then added the French Doors through to the conservatory where the window was…

Cottage Living room 4

…everything had just had the last coat of paint and we were ready to finish the electrics…

Cottage Living room 2

I am not even sure yet if the specially made doors will survive and the next step is the stripping out  –

when all the boarding will be pulled off together with the plaster and the doors!

It is beginning to feel like running a film backwards!

beach cottage, bEAching, cottage garden, drEAming, general chit chat

It never rains but…

…when it does it is torrential here!

Doesn’t everything always happen at once – we are feeling a bit overloaded at the moment and probably due to the relentless stress of the past few months I have finally succumbed to a nasty flu-like virus and lost my voice as well so this week I have been off work and off everything including blogging.

Since my last post we have been busy both here in this house and at the cottage.  The insurance claim for the cottage is advancing very slowly – our unaffected contents are about to be packed up on Monday – only 9 weeks after the flood!!   When we go up to the cottage to tend the garden we are having to stay in a bed and breakfast – down by the harbour in the village and ironically looking across to our cottage!  Our only means of heating a kettle of water to make ourselves a cuppa is on a camping stove in the garage as the electricity is still turned off in the cottage – not sure what we will do when the weather turns cooler as the garage is not a warm place against the cold winter winds.

At the moment we are concentrating on putting the garden back together.  It took me the whole of one day to clear out the debris swept down with the flood waters which collected in the privet hedging – the pebbles covering the little border under the Fatsia had all disappeared and been washed away under the privet – so I had to grovel about for hours picking out pebbles to be able to put them back in place.  But now it look as before.Birdhouse

The 8 foot privet hedge by the log store that was badly damaged and laying on its side has been cut down to two feet and hoisted back into place – now we can only wait and pray for its’ revival.L1030040

It is going to be a slow job.

Having a major flood in your life does make you think about your possessions in a new light.  When they go to pack up our unaffected contents for storage on Monday they will also be removing the damaged ones so we will be saying goodbye to a houseful of items all hit by the flood water – this will include everything from wardrobes, beds, duvets, chairs, tables, settee, cooking dishes and smaller items – books, ornaments and garden machinery.  All will go in a skip – we will never see them again – some we cannot replace if we wanted to.  It is like a sudden bereavement a loss on a grand scale.  And then when all our possessions are taken away the contractors will go in and remove all the fabric of the house – our lovely painted boarding, kitchen units, bathroom suite, floorboards, skirting boards and doors.  It is like building a house in reverse!

I cannot get precious about my possessions anymore – in fact I have decided I do not want to have things in case I lose them again.  With this in mind we have been undertaking a major clear out here at home and pairing down to the absolute essentials.  I may even become one of those people able to live with only 100 items.

On the good side our bathroom refurb is advancing – we have a bath installed and a shiny new chrome towel rail.  The tiled floor is being put down now as we speak then it will be ready for grout.   Once this is done the basin and toilet will go in and we can get the electrician back to put in the fan and lights.  It is looking so different to what we had before – I can’t wait until it is finished now.

 So that is my update for the moment…back soon x