And we’re back in the room!

Just one week on from my last blog (this is getting a bit much, can I really keep up this regular blogging lark?) and we have come a LONG way.

We have a floor, and a working oven, and paintwork nearly all finished. We plugged in the kettle and toaster in the kitchen today, after 3 months of them being in the living room, and we had dinner cooked in the oven last night.

And here is the room as it looks today:

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A temporary sink and worktop have been put in, but we’ll still be without a hob for another 3 weeks until the proper worktop is fitted. Trying to work out what we can cook in the oven *without* needing a hob too is an interesting challenge – we can roast veg, but not if it needs parboiling first.

No bechamel sauce, no sautéing onions…but it did occur to me I could make rice pudding if I wanted to – and that would tick one of my ‘autumn comfort food’ boxes, too, though what I really crave is a big home-made vat of winter veg soup, preferably with carrot, butternut squash and lots of cumin in it.

We’ve also had a big success with the finishing work in the garden this week – a new patio and garden path have been laid, a huge improvement on what we had before.

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The lawn has taken a bit of a battering, but a bit of lawn seed and we hope to get it looking better soon (though I have my doubts it will recover much over winter).

I was a little bit aghast when I saw how much lawn had disappeared under the new garden path, but I knew I would love it once I got used to it – and already the trip down the path to the compost bin is much less of a hassle than it used to be. And a good wide, flat path makes a great surface for toddler scooting and bike riding practice.

Also here’s a view of our funny little side return and new back door –

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Actually a lot bigger than I was expecting, I’m hoping we’ll find room for some useful garden storage if I can find something very slimline or compact. At the very least, somewhere to stash a watering can or two.

We also have a downstairs loo taking shape – no door yet, and the loo has not been plumbed in yet, but the sink went in today.

We found a really compact corner sink which still had space for a cupboard below, (somewhere to stash the loo rolls!); I think it’s a really efficient use of space, but we failed to consider whether the wall we were fixing it to was strong enough to bear the load of a wall-hanging sink! Whoops!

Luckily the plumber managed to install it to his satisfaction, so I think it will be OK, but children will have to learn not to hang off it or try to climb it – a lesson there for anyone installing a cloakroom or downstairs loo, I think.

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The plumber also plumbed in the dishwasher for us, and having given it a spin tonight, I am lost in admiration at the shininess of our cutlery (I’m easily pleased…) – just goes to show that our old dishwasher, which I thought of as a reliable old workhorse, was actually ready for the glue factory. (It did have a good innings, though, it was at least 20 years old, if not more!)

What’s on next week? Washing machine arrives (woo hoo!), decorators should be finished, and the patio will be sealed, which I hope will mean we avoid the very annoying flaking off and crumbling that ruined the poor patio in the old garden. Then nothing, until the worktop is ready and the final finish of the kitchen units can begin.

And in the mean time? I’m going to spend a lot of time standing in my kitchen, staring at the lovely view of my garden, enjoying the afternoon light and the sunsets. And maybe knock up the odd rice pudding…

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