Let There Be Light (and Power): Wk 5 – Day Two

An English teacher of mine once accused me of having a tick in my hand, referring to the number of commas I would dot throughout any page of writing. Poring over the plans at the weekend considering where to put lights and sockets, the tick reappeared. After my colour-coded (different circuits) dotting exercise with dashing lines for plugs we have about thirty electric points of some kind. Luckily for me I wasn’t considering how the space would be lit or powered alone. My cousin Z, camping with us for a while, allowed me to talk it through with her…or rather at her. If anyone stands near me long enough they usually find themselves being drawn into my current thinking..whether it be positioning of walls, furniture or other…and I don’t always need or want a reply. Sometimes just the process of talking out loud can help clarify my thinking. At least that’s what I tell my doctor….

My cousin Z was a particularly good soundboard and offered alternative scenarios and solutions so I was pretty chuffed by the time we had finished. S walked into the room with bowls of steaming dhal after battling stoically with our oven/ring thingy and I asked if he’d like to see what we had come up with.
“Darling” he said sinking exhausted onto the sofa, “I dont even know what a lighting plan is.”
I decided in that case to take full responsibility for the lights myself but I insisted he sit still, no channel flicking, whilst I quickly talked through sockets. I figured as Technology Director this was hardly over and above his call of duty. Its rare though that normal businesses enforce meetings at dinner time.

After my window of attention was brought to an abrupt close by the appearance of Brian Cox on TV (S’s TV crush) we packed it away for the night. Or rather I packed it away from him and took my willing (I think? though perhaps I’m not 100% sure…) companion upstairs where I could continue to seek her advice….this time over the combination of materials planned for cabinetry, worktop and splashback. All things considered I think I got quite a lot of bang for my buck…or rather chocolates, the payment of choice.

I talked through our finished version of the lighting plan with the foreman’s electrician this morning who, unlike the plumber, was very helpful and offered some alternative solutions and ideas. The scary thing is we will be sent the bill after he has conducted the first fix…the lighting part of which has been completed already. But I suppose there’s no point having a new extension and not being able to see in it or always wishing you could plug your radio in just there. So its probably all fairly essential. Trouble is you can apply that argument, and I find that I do, to most aspects of the build.

After my chat with the spark I ventured into the kitchen area to check on progress. We now have a doorway punched thought to our old dining room, which will become a kind of multi-tasking playroom/snug/workstation. Most people tackling extensions of this kind tend to incorporate that room not with the new extension but rather with the lounge at the front of the house so we are bucking the trend a bit. We feel that, whilst we are turning the majority of downstairs into an open plan area, we need at least one room which has four walls and a door. My vision for the lounge at the front is for it to be a sanctuary – comfortable, warm and cosy and free of multi coloured plastic. That will be a challenge (I don’t mean applying the exclusion zone rule for toys though I imagine that will be too) when I come to the decorating scheme as I think it’s the room I have least affinity with in the whole house. I can’t put my finger on it but its a room I go into under duress as opposed to voluntarily. Peeling wallpaper revealing mould beneath might be one explanation and perhaps something Ill be thankful for when I embark on the stripping job down there.

Back to the snug though, we have been able to employ one of the three R’s and reuse part of the existing window. Its PVC frame has been discarded and a timber one made to hold the original pane of glass hopefully allowing a touch more light into the room. It will always suffer from being piggy in the middle but hopefully with some clever decorating ideas again we can make it a comfortable place to be. Thoughts are very welcome….

My job this week is really only to keep ploughing on with this wallpaper stripping and I have started to employ desperate measures. The first was a trick S reminded me of where we wedged broom handles onto the steamer to keep it held to the wall while we used two hands to get some welly behind the scraping. The second was muffling the fire alarm with a sock. It’s reassuring to know that we are unlikely to die of a steam related fire in this house but its irritating to be up a ladder, balanced precariously over our steep flight of stairs and have the thing go off piercingly in my ears. The foreman suggested the sock idea which has been working quite well up until now but I must admit, after about the fourth time the alarm screeched accompanied by peals of laughter from the builders downstairs I felt like using the same technique on them. The third, and most effective measure, was to unashamedly snap at an offer of help from Z. She had barely completed her sentence “is there anything you’d like me to help you with?” before she found herself with a scraper in her hand. She wasn’t subjected to too much advice seeking from me however as I have barely any voice….eroded away by both a night on the tiles on Friday, a virus according to the doctor and dust. I sound like a Dalek powered by a faulty battery, voice cutting out completely in places. Funnily enough though, no-one other than me seems to be complaining that my volume switch is turned down.

the entrance to the snug plus the incorporation of the existing window…the saved glass is yet to be installed

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Putting a sock in (on) it

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Look, no hands!

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2 thoughts on “Let There Be Light (and Power): Wk 5 – Day Two

  1. Have at last caught up with your wonderful blog, a book in the making I think. So proud of you you are doing so well and it will all be so worth it.

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