House history

This page is a little history of what the house I currently live in was like when I first moved in. Enjoy. I know I did.
MARCH 17th

After spending several hours at the house last weekend, we were very tired, too tired to take photos of what we achieved; the first few photos below are the results. Today, we spent 6.5 hours, four of us, and it’s amazing what you can get done in that time – photos to be posted next time. Plus there are photos of the garden in its current state which I didn’t take last week.

Next visit will be March 21st when we shall have our first lot of skips delivered to take away all the rubbish. Before that happens, I will take photos of how much we have added to the rubbish piles today (but too tired this evening to take photos!).

Rubbish accumulated last week!

livingroom1a livingroom1b livingroom1c kitchen1 kitchen2

There were boxes and boxes of business advertising material that must of cost £hundreds, now going to waste. Bagging up the decaying food in the kitchen has reduced the awful smell somewhat but until we get that skipped, it won’t go away completely. Nor will it discourage the mice (which are possibly in other areas of the house too).


Once we had cleared all the surface muck and cleaned out the all the cupboards bar one (we forgot that!), you are left with some idea of the extent of the filth we now have to tackle.

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As you can see – mouldy food on the work surfaces, in the sink, mouse droppings in the cupboard and yes, that is a cooker! But not one that is being cleaned, we refuse to, it’s disgusting and barely recognisable as a cooker.

Water tank problem

When having central heating fitted, a very large hot water storage tank was installed which has caused a problem. When full, it is so heavy that there has been damage to the floor joists, causing the ceiling in the dining area of the kitchen to collapse, pulled the shower unit away from the wall in the bathroom. And because the floor boards are missing in part of the bathroom, water has leaked into the kitchen dining area ceiling which now needs replacing.

We have hired acro stands to strengthen the floor joists until we can deal with the problem and to enable us to have hot water – very necessary for cleaning.

bathroom5 bathroom4 bathroom2 bathroom1 kitchen13 kitchen12

The Garden

This is overgrown and just as untidy as the house (surprise, surprise!). However, with a bit of TLC, it will look very nice. It is 200ft long, sectioned into areas by decorative fencing, culminating in a tatty polytunnel greenhouse that needs removing.

The photos below are taken progressively further down the garden from the house, some looking back up towards the house.

garden2 garden7 garden8 garden6 garden4 garden5 garden10 garden11 garden12 garden13 garden14 garden15 garden16 garden17 garden18

MARCH 21st

Firstly, let me show you some photos of the front bedroom that is now clean and tidy. The bookcases haven’t been emptied yet but at least it now resembles a bedroom.

frontbedroom_1 frontbedroom_2

We ordered a skip for today – 8cubic yards – to take at least some of the rubbish that has accumulated in the last two times we’ve been. The plan was for it to arrive at 1pm, fill it and then ask them to bring another one. They didn’t arrive until 3.30pm which is school kicking out time and there is a school at the top of the road.

Our skip driver showed tremendous skill in reversing into a fairly tight space (cars parked opposite the drive), whilst forcing all the parents to queue both ends of the street waiting for us. It took us about 20 mins to fill the skip as we had taken loads of stuff to the front of the house earlier in the day, whilst our skip driver parked a little further down the street to wait for us then he could take it away. Another has been ordered for Friday.

Whilst waiting for the skip, I made a start on the downstairs bathroom which desperately needed doing. There were bottles of rat poison, the bath had a layer of potting compost in it as the bag had split, there was rabbit straw/hay all over the floor and the obligatory clothes.

It didn’t take as long as anticipated (but still 4.5 hours!) and I finished the room by the end of the day. The few bits that are left are staying put for now.

downstairsbathroom_6 downstairsbathroom_4 downstairsbathroom_2 downstairsbathroom_1

We also begun to dismantle the extra room with the toilet in that impacted onto the back living room.

livingroom2a livingroom2b

MARCH 22nd

We had hoped to borrow FIL’s trailer today in order to shift a load of rubbish to the local tip but that wasn’t meant to be (he got stuck at work for most of the day). Nonetheless, we tidied up the piles of plasterboard, wood etc off the living room floor ready to continue with dismantling the downstairs toilet.

The house was so cold that we relented by switching on the portable electric heater in the kitchen and one on the landing upstairs, in a vain attempt to lift the chill from the house (I wore thermal underwear today because it was so cold yesterday).

The remains of the wall to the loo room have been removed, the wood and insulation saved for using elsewhere (more on that later) and electrics sorted.

Meanwhile, I started sorting through the copious books upstairs; there are hundreds about complementary therapies, hundred on equestrianism and loads about other small pets. There are still several boxes under the stairs to sort through too.

I felt like we didn’t achieve that much today but still, necessary work was done. Tomorrow we will be able to skip a load more rubbish and use the trailer to take stuff to the tip ourselves.

MARCH 23rd

First job this morning was to fill the skip that arrived very shortly after we did. Plaster first, then as many bags as we could – pretty much all the stuff in the photos below.

This lot from the front living room:
livingroom1a1 livingroom1b1 livingroom1c1 livingroom1d

And from the back living room:
livingroom2b1 livingroom2c livingroom2d

The kitchen:

All of which almost filled an 8 cubic yard skip. However, the back living room now looks much larger without the toilet impacting on the space:

OH and FIL spent the rest of the day capping pipe work to the two toilets we have removed, sorting out electrics and generally doing house maintenance things.

I, on the other hand, started cataloging the piles of books upstairs which took far longer than expected; at the end of 3 hours, I had only gone through half the books.

We are taking the weekend off as much needed rest. The gas is being reinstated Monday which means finally the heating can be put on to keep the house warm.

MARCH 26th

OH travelled down the M-way to the house today on his bike to be there for the British Gas engineer coming to fit the new meter so we can have some heat.

Only it didn’t happen because, according to the BG engineer, the white meter box was so badly damaged by the bailiff’s when the meter was removed, it is unfit for use. He called Transco who told him the a new box was the responsibility of us (or rather OH). No way and not happening.

After a very protracted phone call with BG who kept OH on hold for about 35mins of a 45min phone call, he was told to call another department. He duly did who then gave him an invalid number to call. He rang BG back; they apologised profusely and tried to sort the matter out. We are now having a new box fitted free of charge to us April 7th which means no heating for this coming weekend but something to look forward to.

MARCH 31st

A very hard and tiring day’s work by one and all today.

OH commenced with kitchen cleaning, whilst I decided to tackle the garden by clearing up some rubbish. There must have been 8 kiddies balls in the garden of varying kinds, wine bottles, food wrappers, assorted plastic bags, empty tins and so on. Back and forth 200ft of garden, bending down behind very tall bushy shrubs to get rubbish behind them is back breaking. I even got stung on my rear through my jeans.

I ventured into the polytunnel greenhouse at the bottom of the garden and thought I’d walked onto a film set for Day of the Triffids! Overgrown vegetables everywhere. But, the greenhouse is not in that bad a condition and could be made to look like a greenhouse once more. I did notice that the fence is missing at the bottom of the garden. The biggest issue with the garden overall is the sheer volume of brambles that really seem to have started to choke it.

After chucking out four bin bags of rubbish, I ventured into the kitchen to assist OH with the cleaning. FIL arrived shortly after, removing the extra toilet in the cupboard under the stairs, plus the sink in there and the one in the front room. As my BIL and family are arriving next week to do the garden properly for us, I set about putting all the excess stuff in the front room, clearing the back living room for them to occupy.

We are back tomorrow for more cleaning.


I thought the cleaning would never end! Small person and I went to finish the attic room but when I moved the sofa, there were porn magazines underneath along with much more rubbish; loads of rubbish and coins under the sofa cushions. Took at least another 3 hours to finish the room off. Brother in law and family are staying from Thursday to do the garden, so need to make some rooms clean and tidy for the baby.

Finished cleaning and clearing the front bedroom so that baby could sleep in there, putting all excess stuff in the back bedroom. Hoovered everywhere upstairs including bathroom floor.

OH had spent part of the morning cleaning kitchen cupboards but when he dad arrived, they took the cooker, washing machine and dishwasher to the skip plus more bags of rubbish. We all carried on cleaning but by 5pm, enough was enough and we prepared to come home. The kitchen now resembles a kitchen: the worksurfaces are clean, the window is clean and free from dead flies, the cupboards inside and out are clean, and the ceiling has been hoovered to remove the huge number of dead flies and cobwebs.

Small person and I are back down there Wednesday to clean the kitchen, rear living room and hall floors in preparation for in-laws coming to stay.


On April 5th, my BIL and family arrived to make a start on the garden. Today, we were there principally for the gas board who were coming to fit the new meter, but we saw the progress already made in a day and a half.

The top section of the garden closest to the house has been pruned back and tidied, already resembling a garden not a jungle of bamboo. The back yard has also been cleared. Gradually they are working their way down the garden but today spent considerable time on the polytunnel and area around which is very overgrown with brambles and nettles. These had been 2/3rds cleared by the time we left late afternoon and the polytunnel was started to look like a greenhouse once more.

When my BIL leaves next Friday having spent a week there, I will post fresh photos of the garden once it is all completed.

My FIL removed the bath from the downstairs bathroom and one of the handbasins, ready for creating a utility room as well as a toilet.

Next job is to remove all the items from the house that we are keeping (eg books) and rabbit hutches galore from the garden, so that painting can begin. I’m hoping to hire a transit van during the week and then next weekend, I can begin painting upstairs whilst building work is going on downstairs.

APRIL 22nd

My BIL and wife have now finished the garden and boy what a fantastic job they have done. I asked for maximum effect with minimal effort but, looking at their results, I think they put in maximum effort :)

So, here are some after photos of said garden starting at the back door and working down to the bottom of the garden, 200 ft away:

The backyard:
garden1 garden51

Then End of the House:

The first third of the garden:
garden21 garden81 garden71

The Second third of the garden:
garden9 garden101 garden111 garden121 garden131

The bottom third:
garden141 garden171 garden161 garden151

Small person and I spent time preparing the two main bedrooms for painting by dismantling the book cases in the front room and chucking away more stuff.
bedroom1a bedroom1b landing

Meanwhile, OH tackled the bathroom by starting to remove the bottom two rows of tiles to re-attach but then discovered that the plaster behind the tiles was damp. On removing more and more tiles, we discovered more dampness that extended quite a way up the wall.

On closer inspection, the tiled wall of the shower that separates the shower cubicle from the heating equipment, isn’t even a studded partition wall, it’s only wooden slats – no way strong enough to take the heavy tiles and the entire thing has been pulled away from the wall. To do the job properly, all the tiles need removing, as does the shower cubicle, that slatted wall and then re-plastering and a proper wall installing etc.

bathroom11 bathroom21 bathroom3

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