This week our architect has been on fire!  Within three days, he has sorted out the look and layout of our revised elevations; he will be meeting with our builder at the site, tomorrow, to see first hand where the house needs to be positioned on the plans; and he will send everything off to the planners for approval on Friday.  Then he goes on vacation.

Our builder popped around, today.  (We live in the same town and he’s a face-to-face kind of guy.) He figures that once our planner has the papers it will take about three weeks for her to give the okay for the lateral movement of the building site…which is just about when our builder returns from vacation.  This is a much better timeline than the three months I was expecting.

Still, I don’t think I’ll hold my breath.  You shouldn’t, either.


Just when we think we are making progress…

Word has come back to us from the planning office via our architect that if we want to build the house 8 meters from where it is currently situated on our drawings (so that it will be on firmer ground, not near the well, not sitting under trees and over tree roots), we will have to re-apply for full planning permission.

Full.  Fucking.  Planning. Permission.

Yep.  I said ‘Fucking’.  Not clever and not pretty, but it certainly sums up how I feel right now.

Ah, my friends.   Hello.


Yes, our site has been scraped and roughly levelled.  The lady with the GPS-thingy and the neon paint has been to mark the corners of our buildings onto the dirt as they relate to the plans signed off by the planners.

Which brings us to the first hitch:  the house and the garage, as marked on the plans, are too far to the North-East, sitting almost on top of the well and definitely on top of lots of lovely, large tree roots.  We agree with our builder that everything needs to be moved 8 meters to the South-West; however, he needs permission from the planning office to do this.  *sigh*  (Would we have to go to the planners for such as this if building in Canada?  I’d love to know.)

This is certainly a delay for the builder, as he wanted to start pouring the foundations for the garage this coming Monday.  In the big picture, though, since this problem did occur, it’s good that it has occurred now.  We have to go back to the planners, anyway, because we have changed the look of the outside of the house.  We have removed a few windows and added a few more, and — on the advice of the builder — we have increased the height of the porch to bring it up to the second storey, allowing us to move the upstairs bathroom to this space, giving us more room for storage.  Remember:  UK houses don’t have basements, so storage is at a premium.

We go back to the planners via the architect, rather than the builder at this point, but he was on a motorcycle trip this week . We’re hoping he can send off the changes to the planners by the end of next week.  When will the planners get back to us with a decision?  I’ve been told perhaps three weeks.  Do keep your fingers crossed for us.

making memories#






Me: “The lilacs are blooming at the croft…”




You: “Wait.  WHAT?  Is that a backhoe behind those lilac bushes?  Are those the actual lilacs at the actual croft?  Does that mean….?  Oh.  I’m feeling a bit faint; I need to sit down.”


You almost won, moss.  You almost won.  You managed to stall the gas-powered lawn mower twice and, for that, you have my respect.  We are still at war, however, and it is autumn: the ideal time for scarification.

You have been warned.

In Scotland, lawns grow moss.  If unchecked, it creeps in just under the grass, making your lawn look lush and green.  Never before did I see this as a problem.  Moss?  It’s green.  It’s springy.  Bugs like it.

But then I tried mowing my lawn.

Moss is the devil.

Moss will stop the mower blades of a small, electric mower.  Moss will not be cut by the German-made hand mower (with the fuck-off hardened steel blades) that was recommended by the American push mower crazy person enthusiast whose review I watched on YouTube.

Moss laughs at me.

Well ha!ha! to you, moss: tomorrow, I borrow my neighbour’s gas-powered mower.  Tomorrow we see who has the last laugh.

Three days ago, I sent the girls to school in dresses and tights.  Dresses that a) didn’t clash with the tights, and b) didn’t clash with each other.  Not only that, their hair elastics matched their dresses.  They wore these outfits because — I’ll be honest — these were the only clean clothes in their wardrobe.

The butter side up bit?  Three days ago also just happened to be school picture day.


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