The roof, after 1 month is on. The second storey is in its basic state but the inside is for winter. There is chipboard covering the window apertures. The ceiling inside the second floor will be vaulted so there is full standing height even for the tall members of the family. We still have to put in a staircase which means rejigging the hall and downstairs bathroom. We will be making the bathroom into a wetroom with just a toilet, sink and shower. It has to be very functional for us and the dogs. The Danubian Plains change from dry dirt to quagmire with alarming speed at the smell of rain.
It has felt that we’ve been doing the roof for ever but taking into account the fact that Terry has never done any roofing before let alone building a second storey and has completed the external work within 3 months is nothing short of a miracle. I am so ridiculously proud of him. His team of Paul, Ian and Declan have worked so hard, often working late. In return I have been the head cook and bottle washer for about 8 people.
Dani and Alfie have been helping too. Not just a holiday but a working holiday. They have cleared a huge section of the jungle behind the pool so that next year we can dig it in and have a patio around it. Alfie was also pulled into the roofing team as well as helping with the scaffolding. Ami had just enough time before leaving for Brighton to work in her garden. They are good kids and we feel very blessed to have had the ones we’ve had this summer. Next year I’m sure the others will come too, education and work notwithstanding.
Terry of course had to put Dani on the digger and I’m happy to report she was as frightened to death as I am of the jolts and jerky actions of what I like to refer to as our urban giraffe! Alfie just got up there and started using it.
If I haven’t mentioned it before Dani is the crazy cat woman so when we told her we had a cat she was made up. Ted our ginger Tom cat kitten is a sweetheart. He couldn’t give a toss that Vinnie (aka the ghost faced killer) and Bodie, Voula, Soula and Royston may not have the best intentions. He boldly walks up to them and knocks his handsome face against their jowls. He lays down in the kitchen when all the dogs are awaiting food. That kitten has kahounas the size of the Empire State building. Ilias came down not long after we got Ted with a womans shopping bag. I expected to find tomatoes in there but no there was an adorable ginger and white female kitten cowering in the corner. Dani had that kitten out of that bag quicker than a rat runs up a drainpipe. Ilias who realised he wasn’t going to have to take the kitten home scarpered before anyone changed their mind. But it only took a couple of hours to realise “Tilly” would not last in our household. She was petrified of the dogs and ran at every opportunity. The dogs were after her in a trice, smelling fear. Fortunately Declan had been looking for a kitten and took one look at the tiny morsel of love and took her home with him.
And on a final note, we had a small 3 night 2 day break in Greece. Just like that and we took Dani and Alfie with us. We had some news that had been so stressful for everyone and the results of which we had waited for since February came back as good news. We don’t often celebrate but given the slog of the summer and the wait for news we pushed the boat out. It was a long drive to the Sithonia peninsula of Halkidiki in Greece and the rooms we booked were pretty basic but the sea was in sight of the balcony. We spent a day on the beach which we have never managed before. As official workaholics we don’t tend to sit still for long. But boy we did and swam in the sea too. I love Greek food and to my absolute joy it was well received by everyone else. The second day we rented a small boat and went around a small island including the blue lagoon which was worthy of a postcard picture. Azure sea, fish swimming and no tides, glorious. We then drove to the village under Mount Olynthus and had a truly spectacularly meal. We dropped off Dani and Alfie at the ancient site of Olynthus for Dani to release her inner geek whilst we headed for a snooze on the nearby beach.
We dropped Dani and Alfie off at Sofia airport about 4 hours before their flight was due – little did we know that their flight would be delayed and what should have been a relatively short journey turned into one of those nightmare journeys. The flight was delayed and then Terrys Mum and Dad had the journey from hell picking them up from Luton. They endured lashing rain, thunderstorms and lightening. We were glad that everyone got home early. We had put Vinnie and Bodie into kennels with our friend Ian. They were in fine fettle when we picked them up but we received the cold shoulder treatment thereafter!