Out of the ground!

Saturday was a landmark day. It marked the end of what seemed like endless digging out of earth inside the church to create this house. It marked the end of having a digger in the ‘living room’ (after 4 years!). It marked the end of picking our way over boards to get to the bathroom and kitchen sink. Saturday was a joyous, if an exhausting day, as it was the day the concrete slab was laid.

The days leading up to it were frantic. Clearing the whole of the floor area of the ‘house’ was a daunting task in itself (especially for Karl, ha!). Darren, Mini and Jeff (and Karl when available) worked so hard lifting flagstones, digging, wheelbarrowing tonnes of earth, leveling and installing service pipes. Insulation boards were laid over crushed limestone. Over that were clipped down the snaking pipes of the underfloor heating. What has looked like a building site for so long began to look like a house and a very warm one at that!

At 7.30am on Saturday the troops (including Chris, thank you!) were assembled to await the arrival of the concrete lorry. Even the boys got up at the crack of dawn to help the men. So proud. It was wheelbarrows at the ready as in a reversal of the last few days, weeks, months it was time to barrow in. By 10am it was all over and we were left to marvel at our wonderful level floor. I never knew concrete could look so beautiful!

Huge thanks must go to Darren, Mini, Jeff and Chris for all their hard work making this happen. It was tough doing it in one sharp hit, especially having to live here through it all. We had to evacuate one day to escape the diesel fumes and for 4 days we were cut off from our regular route to the bathroom and water supply. Luckily we were able to access it by walking round outside to the far side of the tower. Cooking meals took twice as much effort and time. It helped to pretend we were on a camping holiday!

Now we need to think about putting back all the flagstones and tiles to really finish the floor. But the joy at being ‘out of the ground’ is quite overwhelming!