You know those homeless people you sometimes see pushing all their worldly goods around in a shopping trolley? Well we're a bit like that at the moment except that, instead of a shopping trolley, we've got the car. There wasn't time for us to take all the possessions that we need while the new house is being done up, and everything else is in store, up to the caravan in St Andrews for safe keeping so we had no option but to cart it around with us.
Things are progressing well with the building project. We got three tenders back from builders last Friday and, after studying them carefully, interviewed two of them at the house in Framlingham on Thursday. We then followed up their references and spoke to satisfied customers. The tenders were within a whisker of each other on price and the references were excellent for both so it was a very, very difficult decision for us to make a choice. We eventually opted for the one who is located closest to the property. He seems to be a really nice bloke and we're looking forward to the work starting in early August.
Earlier, on Wednesday, we visited a kitchen showroom in Bury St Edmunds and came away with a great design for the kitchen diner and just need to agree on a price before we give them an order.
Yesterday we had a visit from the suppliers of garden studios and put in an order for one of these. There's not a lot of room in the new house and we wanted somewhere that I could use as an office and a base for my writing and my metal detecting stuff. We checked out loads of companies and visited a few stands at both the Ideal Homes and Grand Designs shows and decided on Studio Plus from Finnish Log Homes which seemed to us to be the best value for money.
Talking of Grand Designs, after the salesman left we headed to Woodbridge to visit an interior designer to talk about the interiors of the new house. Although her address included the word "cottage" you could have (without a word of exaggeration) fitted about six of our new house inside the magnificent new building that would have merited an entire series of Grand Designs. It was an absolutely fantastic place and the very charming designer told us it had won an RIBA regional award. We felt a bit out of our league with our little place but she's going to give us a quote and we'll see how it goes.
We paid a quick visit to our new neighbours yesterday. They are very nice and have fitted their house out beautifully which was encouraging for Marion as ours is currently such a dump. That big tree in our garden is a Leylandii and it completely blocks the light from the back of their house. I am amazed that they hadn't got into a big dispute with the previous owner of our place as it really is a blot on their landscape. I've asked a tree surgeon to come and have a look at what can be done for them. It may score us some Brownie points before we start to live in our new location.
And speaking of our new location, we still love the little town of Framligham and hope that we feel the same way in twelve months.
We’ve spent the last few nights (and will probably be spending the next ten too) in Days and Premier Inns and have eaten in the sort of places that normally gravitate to them – Vintage Inns, Frankie and Benny’s, Nandos, Ask – you know the sort of thing, we treated ourselves to dinner in the fabulous The Salt House hotel on Ipswich Waterfront the other day. I sampled the local seafood and it was delicious.
Oh well, better get on the move. Today’s Saturday so that means we’re off to look at new bathrooms.