There is no saving me; I have become a building bore. Traipsed up to the cottage this afternoon to meet the architect who is acting as the project manager. There was good news. According to the architect, we do not have dry rot, we have wet rot. Apparently, this is better. There was more good news, we can level the kitchen floor. This was a puzzler. The builder left us in little doubt that we needed a split level kitchen. It was a question of joists, ventilation, outside levels and steep steps. Technical stuff. Consequently, we had two different meetings with men from kitchen companies who measured walls and ticked boxes; men who went away to design a split level kitchen. These meetings involved head-shatteringly boring conversations about where to put the Aga and hinges. It turns out these meetings were a complete waste of time for them and us. We are back to plan A - the traditional kitchen on one level. Strangely enough, I wanted to understand for myself the reasons that suddenly all things were flat and possible. The architect explained it to me. Technical stuff - similar to the first conversation but different conclusion. No; not clear enough. Still could not get my head around why we could suddenly rip up boards, pour concrete and not have horribly steep steps to climb elsewhere. My husband had arrived earlier to talk this through. "Just leave it to us," the architect told me, inviting my husband into his very own boy's club of two. He could have added the word "pet" - that would have been worse.
I have let some comments slide by me here and I am not proud of it. Sometimes, if you are liberal and someone says something incredibly un-PC, it takes a minute for your brain to connect with your ears and go "Woh! Tell me he didn't just say that." The conversation moves on and being a namby-pamby liberal you think: "I'll just let it go." You cop out. Warning. Alert. Alert. I am not doing that any more. I am not a visitor. I live here. This time, my fluffy girly brain caught up that bit faster than it normally does. The amount of money we are spending may have helped speed up its Barbie pink and synaptic connections. I may have said I had no intention of "leaving it" to them. I may have used the word "chauvinist". I may have said half the money to do the work was mine and I wanted to understand exactly what was going on. I may not have smiled while I said these things. As an aside here, my husband was, throughout this exchange, admiring the dug-out floor. Assiduously.
I admit I may not have helped by own cause when I arrived and walked in to see half the floor up and piles of hard core heaped up everywhere. I did say: "Gosh, have you found coal?". But I know, our project manager did not hear the comment I made upstairs when I saw yet another wall has come down ( this time between the master bedroom and what will be the en-suite bathroom.) He definitely did not hear: "Golly, this is like shoes - the less you have, the more expensive it is."
Anyway, we got over it. I think he is talented and doing a very good job of overseeing the project. He rescued the space for us and says the wet rot is no big deal. Next time he gives us a bill, I will be interested to see whether my name is alongside my husband's.