Prior to Christmas, once we knew we wouldn’t be in the barn for the festivities, I jokingly said “oh well, we’ll be in by Easter” little thinking that this might in fact have been a more realistic time scale to work towards. Having watched more than my fair share of ‘Grand Designs’ I was realistic enough to know that the project was likely to run over, but in July Christmas felt like a reasonable proposition.
The last week has brought about a yet more problems and hold ups, and we are consequently now a good three months over schedule on what is a relatively small project. The micro-cement floor was to have been laid last week, but the screed on which it is being laid had not yet been tested with the heating on which is necessary to allow it to expand, contract and crack if it was going to. This procedure ensures that any cracks in the screed can be filled before the final floor finish is applied. If it were not for the fact that we still don’t have a heating system this would not have been so problematical. The story of our heating system is somewhat complicated and very boring, but it does finally look as though we will have a heat pump delivered next week and installed the following week. The hiccups and unforeseen problems I can cope with, but the lack of communication is what really drives me nuts.
Eugh, I’m boring myself with all this, suffice to say that I was ready to see the end of the week as I was feeling pretty fed up and frustrated by it all.
However, at the end of the weekend my equilibrium has been restored by happy time spent with friends and family. One of the pleasures of our nomadic life has been making friends in many different locations, but each move has meant that friendships are changed. Making new friends is hard, and somehow even more so when repatriating and in the absence of an immediate tribe with whom to connect. So, meeting up with a nursing friend from 25 years ago, a really lovely, chatty, laughter filled evening out with two newish friends last night and a family lunch in celebration of my father’s birthday today was just what I needed. I have been reminded that the important moments in life are those spent with our favourite people, and not in the pursuit of finished building projects!
A quick visit to the barn today with family who haven’t seen it since the beginning of the project did allow me to reflect on how much has changed already, and to renew my belief that it really might be finished one day this year – if not by Easter, then definitely by Christmas. In the meantime, I resolve to cherish the weekends like these and will continue imagining many happy times yet to come with friends and family at The Oak Tree Barn.