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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Citizen Me: Let's Go Outside

It was important to us that we dig out the earth from around the cellar. Although we had a damp course we felt it would help to keep the apartment dry and free from the musty smell one often gets in basement apartments. Also there was a driveway located very close to the side of the house and by tiling the area around the house we would provide a place for the children and a terrace for other activities such as sitting out and even barbecuing.

 So a recap. Here on the left is where we began the Big Dig-Out! Below left is Andrew, age 3 and the newly created doorway and door -- and lots and lots of rubble -- most of which was saved and put to use in other ways later on. On the right are the new French doors which will eventually open out onto a patio. As you can see there is a lot of sand. Southport is built on sand hills -- which contrary to many peoples belief is very good to build on -- as long as there is no seepage or way for the sand to get washed away...

The Man now had to learn how to use a stone cutter. I can't remember if he leased one or our builder leant him one -- one thing is for sure -- he had his work cut out for him!! 



Directly above, a great feeling of accomplishment! The stone was removed from the basement floors before the damp course was laid and the dark tiles were 'donated' by the local council when they put in new footpaths.


As you can see from the picture above, the side of the house is yet to be cleared. But still the sand was swept away enough to find some enjoyment for the little boys.

We were fortunate that that summer was warm and the boys were able to enjoy the benefits of a paddling pool. And before long things were appearing -- on the outside -- quite civilized. What is it they say about appearances being deceiving?!


The final  photographs show the  area along the side of the house after it was finished.




And a reminder of the back 

44 comments:

  1. What a huge job this must have been. My problem is ( well, one of my problems... ) that I can't actually imagine, or visualise changes to buildings....let alone imagine how to go about actually doing the work. It looked brilliant when it was finished ! J.

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    1. This was where The Man and I worked quite well together! I could see a lot of possibilities -- he was able to figure out the 'how'!

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  2. Hard work...great result!!

    Cranky

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  3. What a project to take on! You and your husband have my over-awed respect! I'm dying to see the photos of the finished job...what a beauty! Smiles - Astrid

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    1. The external appearance is still pretty much the same -- except rose bushes have grown up beautifully along the driveway... Cheap ones too -- from Woolworths (when we still had one :-( ) cost all of 1 pound!

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  4. A remodel is difficult enough to deal with when one lives above grade and there are only two adults. I can only imagine how much it was for you.

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    1. At times it was quite maddening!

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  5. That's a project which would have needed six men, two boys, and a dog, with a woman to supervise. You did it with one man, two boys and no dog. Huge undertaking, but it looks so delightful at the end. Well done, all of you. (Who? Me? Envious? I will neither confirm nor deny. . . . .)

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    1. Well, times were interesting -- and you know what the Chinese have to say about that!

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  6. Wow! How complicated and exhausting for your man and the entire family. My hat goes out to him and to you for your patience and supportive attitude.
    Congratulations!

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    1. Well, I was supportive -- most of the time ;-)!

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  7. Naked children in pools in summer. Nothing sweeter. All the rock work is impressive as well

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    1. So funny to look at those photos and realize one was 3 and the other around 12 months! They are now 31 and almost 29!

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  8. An unbelievable transformation from the first picture to the last. So much effort, but how beautiful it looks.

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  9. Dear Broad, . . . the thing that amazes me is that you and your husband saw the possibilities in that house when you first viewed it. You saw what you could make of it. That's astounding to me. I'm so glad you have these pictures to post because I'm sure I would not have been able to visualize this without them. Peace.

    PS: I’ll be absent from the blogging world during the month of April. However, I’m going to schedule reposts of stories I posted last May and June when I had only a few readers. I suspect, Broad, that you've read all these because when you started reading my blog you went back to the beginning. That's always touched me--that you did that.

    I regret already that I’ll be missing all your April postings. If you have several you’d like me to read when I begin again in May, please go to my blog mention the postings that are particularly important to you. Or e-mail me.

    I’ll start reading again on Tuesday, May 1. See you then!

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    1. Enjoy your sojourn, Dee. I too will be away during April but am hoping to be able to continue blogging while in the States -- I'll be back here on May 3rd (The good Lord willin' and the 'crick' don't rise!)

      One thing is certain, your early posts are just as fascinating as the later ones -- well worth another read on my part, that is for sure!

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  10. What an amazing job of restoration. I know it is hard work but you are now reaping the rewards. Keep well Diane

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    1. We are, indeed, Diane! And The Man still has his work cut out for him, too!

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  11. What a super job! You really transformed that place. Hats off!

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  12. G'day Broad. What a fantastic job you and your hubby have made of it. It looks wonderful. I applaud you. I can imagine all the hard work that went into it, but the end results are well worth it. Take care. Liz...

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    1. Absolutely, the end results have definitely been worth it. Thanks, Liz.

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  13. Makes me break into a sweat just looking at the pics!

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    1. I know just what you mean! Thanks for dropping by...

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  14. It turned out fabulous! When my children were little we put in a pool. The closest the spouse and I ever got to divorce was over that darn pool. The kids enjoyed digging in the hole as much as they enjoyed the pool when it was finished. The house we live in now doesn't have a pool...there's a river in the backyard.

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    1. I suspect that if The Man and I ever got a pool -- which we would like at the French house -- it might very well end up being a bone of contention! A river in the back yard sounds a nice solution.

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  15. What a huge amount of work but then what a result!! Think you deaerve a medal [and the man too ;-)].

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    1. When I look back now, it amazes me how quickly it all got done -- especially considering The Man had a full time job at the time. It also had a lot to do with the development within me of a commitment to the U.K. Though I didn't realize it at the time.

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  16. Gosh, what an undertaking, Broad and you're all to be congratulated on the fantastic result. A paddling pool for the children is just the icing on the cake. :-)

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    1. Those pictures of the boys make me smile -- everything looks so 'back to normal'!

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  17. I am behind in reading – about your post Citizen me of 17 March – I have a French accent which I am afraid I won’t lose – if I speak to anyone that is the first thing they ask me ‘where are you from?” and I have been living here for decades. If you felt some people were not pleasant to you because you are American you should have been French when Pres. Bush started the war in Iraq…. It was almost scary to have a French accent! I also have no friends here in Georgia so I enjoy having virtual friends on the internet.
    I enjoyed your post about the work on your house – what I retained though is that you have a cellar… I wish we had one or a basement because there are so many tornadoes our way. Last month people who were not in basements or cellars did not fare well. You certainly did a wonderful job on your house. Thanks for coming to my blog. My daughter installed a program on my computer in 2009 that let me do my collages – since then the program has been cancelled so I am pleased that she installed it then. Have a good trip to the US.

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    1. I never imagined you to have a French accent -- in my mind I read you as sounding just like a Georgia peach!!! How soon some Americans forget that if it weren't for the French we might still belong to Britain! If it weren't for the French selling us the Louisiana purchase our country might be half the size it is!

      It would seem that not many houses are built with cellars anymore. Thanks for the info about collages -- too bad that program is no longer available -- I really like the way you can make use of it on your blog.

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  18. Good grief, what a huge amount of work, but worth it. The house looks so much better afterwards.

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    1. 'Grief' is a good word to describe it! But, as you say well worth it in the end.

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  19. I've been following the progress of this house with awe. It's the kind of project I don't think I could ever have done. I'm so impressed you did!

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    1. Keep in mind I did very little of the 'hard' work -- I just had to put up with it!

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  20. I'm in awe of you and your husband's stamina and vision with this huge job! The result is beautiful -- such a lovely garden and patio outside the basement apartment!

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. And The Man is still going strong!

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  21. I've been there and I know how hard it is to live with all that mess, but then the end result turned out really nice for you guys.

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  22. The 'mess' is a good 'prod' to keep going though!

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  23. So much work, but such a nice outcome! Well done!

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  24. You and The Man were very brave to tackle such an enormous project and rebuild the basement from scratch. But the result is stunning! Martine

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Receiving comments is a joy and I thank you all for taking the trouble and showing your interest. Makes me feel all gooey and stuff!