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Archive for June, 2011

We have returned from our really great holiday in England, very excited to see the progress made on our little Laube house whilst we were away.  However, as you can tell from the title of this post, things were not as we expected.

We have employed, (on recommendation), a guy called Thomas.  Who assured us that he would begin work on the 6th of June and that the new floor and roof would be completed in three weeks….  We gave him a very large amount of money to pay for materials he needed to work on the Laube whilst we were away.  We arranged to meet Thomas at Fichtewiese today, he assured us that he would be there from 9.00 am.

Well, we arrived at about 10.30 am.  No Thomas.  No floor in the Laube and still the old roof.  Lots of wood and other materials, stored around the Laube area.  But we both reckoned that Thomas had spent no more than 3 days working there….  So, we decided to do some work on the surrounding garden area and wait for Thomas to arrive.

At around 12 noon, there was still no Thomas.  Robert tried his mobile phone, but he didn’t answer it.  At around 1pm, Thomas rang Robert to say that he wouldn’t be coming today!  Robert asked why Thomas hadn’t done the work he had promised to do by now.  He was given a load of poor excuses.

I am very worried and upset.  Thomas has now also told us that he won’t be able to continue with the work on the Laube until the 4th of July, as he is scheduled to work somewhere else first!

Robert and I are not happy.

Here’s a nice picture from our English holiday to cheer this post up a bit…

Lymington Harbour at Sunset

Lymington Harbour at Sunset

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So, a huge amount has happened since I last posted.  Robert and I have continued to work on the house and I’ve also started work on the surrounding garden area.  This has produced a few surprises….

Robert has removed all the ceiling tiles, wall panels and even an internal wall separating the kitchen from the main room.  This has really opened up the space and has also made the chimney and stove area, more of a ‘feature’ (can you tell I’ve been reading interior design magazines)!  I do feel that we are claiming back the house from nature.  When Robert removed the wall panels and internal insulation, he discovered two very large ants nests, complete with hundreds of larvae….  Euch!  Just thinking about it makes me itch!  On removing the soaking wet floor boards from the back of the house, out crawled a very big toad!  Here’s a picture.

Big Toad

Isn’t he a big boy?!  He didn’t hang around and hopped off under the remaining floor boards.  We’ve also encountered various other animals and insects.  Obviously, there’s Ricky the Raccoon, who appears regularly around Fichtewiese.  We also found a bird nesting in one of the outbuildings, there were two wasps nests, (one which is still remaining in the roof), we watched a bird of prey swoop down and carry something away from the grass in the centre of Fichtewiese, Robert saw a crane fishing in the Havel, our neighbours Olivia and Christian, have seen two grass snakes in the area, we regularly listen to the birds singing and the woodpeckers calling.  I think I shall have to buy a nature spotting book, so that I can figure out what is what!

Back to the house, we have employed a friend to do the major work on the house.  Thomas is starting with replacing most of the floor boards, re-insulating the walls and putting in new internal wall coverings, then he will replace the roof….  He started work yesterday, the 6th of June.  I am really excited, as progress will be quick now!  Thomas is hoping to have the majority of work done in three weeks.  Here’s some pictures of the current condition of the house.

Robert working on the house.
Robert working on the House.
The ceiling
The leaky ceiling.
A hole in the floor boards
A hole in the floor boards.

Here also is a picture of the hut at the back of the house.  The hut is split into three, with one room being for a toilet, (more on this to come in the future), the central room being for tools and storage and the final area being a woodshed for storage of fuel for the stove.

The hut at the back of the house.

I’m rather excited about the stove…. I do love a good real fire!  The stove we have, appears to be from the 1970’s and even has a flip top, so that you can place a kettle on the top to boil water.  Fantastic.  I’ve bought a whistling kettle to place on the stove already! 

The outside of the stove.
The outside of the stove.
The inside of the stove.
The inside of the stove.

I’ve also been slowly clearing the surrounding garden area, just to give a little more space around the house.  I don’t want to change things too much, as we have some beautiful trees surrounding us. 

One of the fir trees around the house.
One of the fir trees around the house.

More to come about the garden in my next post!

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