Friday 13 January 2017

Planning for the future - if there is one

You might have noticed that not a lot has been happening here of late, but one of the primary reasons is that we don't actually want to do all that much.

We've 'engaged the services' of an architect with a view to extending, you see, so we can't really start making changes anywhere in case we end up ripping them all out because we want an indoor swimming pool and underground sex dungeon... for example. Which we don't. We're not keen swimmers.

And the thing with architects and plans and wotnot is that that kind of thing takes time to sort out, included in which is a tremendous amount of cogitation and chin-stroking rather than spontaneous gun-jumping.

How things currently look

Our architect, Peter, was recommended to us by a neighbour as someone who has been in the industry for so long that he has now retired from it and has little else to do other than play tennis and watch Homes Under the Hammer, so he likes to keep his hand in.
He has been the brains behind a couple of very nice homes in the area and gazillions of others elsewhere - so he knows his stuff - and his rates are particularly attractive because he's no longer a corporate robot with £ signs in his eyes.
He's also a very pleasant chap and recently brought us some cooking apples from his garden which Dawn magicked in to a crumble which she then froze and forgot about. So we have apple crumble in the freezer.

Apple crumble.
I like apple crumble.
I'm not sure where the freezer is and I can't work the oven.

Having never made a planning application before we're completely new to everything from beginning to end, so we're kind of feeling our way along slowly.
We know we want a bigger Kitchen - probably as a large kitchen/diner - and a bathroom which can accommodate both a bath and a person at the same time would be nice too. So that's at least work on a ground floor extension but it would ideally mean a two-storey add-on being built subject to planning and money.

The first plan for a single-storey extension.
There was another one with a secret courtyard but I can't find it.

All simple enough so far, you might think, but a new bathroom would mean opening up the current landing which would give us room to do something with the dangerously-steep Victorian stairs, which in turn might impact upon the existing bedrooms and the Dining Room where the stairs come down in to an adjoining cupboard... etc.

Then there's the outside.
We want the extension to move out the back of The Lodge across the existing courtyard, somehow encompassing the old outbuildings, and doing that would mean knocking down the garage which would be blocking the view to the garden... so we'd need a new garage... so we can't really work on the garden even if it wasn't snowing outside...
...and on it goes.

The net result is that we can't really do all that much until decisions are made about the future of the property.
Yes, there are a few niggly jobs outstanding but nothing important enough to encourage us in to major action (although we're finally going to get round to lagging the loft soon), which leaves us - especially me, because Dawn is distracted by real employment stuff - at a bit of a loose end.

The latest plans for our consideration
(Click to make it bigger)

And the dangerous part of being in Limbo is that I've got time to let my brain run around a little bit.
I'm beginning to think that a Trump-proof bunker could actually be a good idea.


Look at it this way: at some point over the next four years, should the permanently-furious and astonishingly-tactless DJT not end up on a drawer in a freezer, there's likely to be some kind of jolly old knees-up between him, Vlad, Kim, Bashar, Xi and probably one or two other despots people, and we'll all be invited whether we want to be or not.
To update a popular movie reference: "Our intercontinental ballistic missiles will block out the sun." Attribute that where you will.

Paranoid, lying, arrogant, shouty lunatic
So somewhere in the back of my mind I'm digging a great big hole at the back of The Lodge, lowering in a shipping container, filling its shelves with five years' worth of baked beans, covering it up with mud and grass, adding a trapdoor hidden in the floor of a shed and waiting for the sirens. Quite a lot like this (turn the sound down a bit).

Most people would have laughed at the idea a few years ago, but I'm not so sure now.