On Thursday the 9th, 10 days ago, we finally heard that permission to demolish had been granted.  But with one proviso:  we were told to wait until we had received a letter putting the approval in writing before we could officially knock down the old house.  We’re still waiting. Apparently our architect will be able to collect the letter from the Phrag offices on Tuesday, the day after tomorrow.  The offices are in town, so that is in itself something of a mission, but letters like this cannot be entrusted to the vagaries of our postal service.  But at least some progress does seem to have been made and so we inch along.

On the plus side, having had all this time to think about and pore over our plans, we decided just three days ago to change the upstairs layout. We have swapped the position of the north-facing, middle, en-suite bedroom, with the south-facing pyjama lounge/tv room.  We were always a little concerned about the size and position of that ‘middle’ bathroom.  It was going to be rather narrow and needed to have a window onto the upstairs verandah and downpipes built into a channel going down onto the downstairs patio.

Now we’ll have a sunny upstairs study/tv room with the additional space that the bathroom would have used, while the south-facing room will be become the third bedroom with an en-suite bathroom having an east-facing window.  Our second bedroom remains north facing and its bathroom and the third bathroom will be separated by a linen cupboard and all the plumbing will be on the eastern side of the house, along with the plumbing from the kitchen below.  It all seems to make better sense.  We met with Bernard on Friday afternoon to discuss this change and he was very happy to make the adjustment.  We are able to give the third bedroom an additional west-facing window which will brighten the room and allow it to get some afternoon sun.

By having both spare bedrooms and bathrooms on the eastern post of the H-shape, we are effectively getting a guest ‘wing’ and we think it will work well.  And the third bedroom is likely to be the least-used room in the house while a park-facing, bright study will be in daily use.

At this stage of our lives we could probably manage with only two bedrooms and we had originally discussed that possibility but have decided to go with three for two main reasons:  Firstly, resale options are better with three bedrooms under one roof and secondly, with both our children currently living in London and showing no signs of returning any time soon, we still want a home that can accommodate them and their partners when they visit. And maybe, one day, their children.

We’re also putting a bed-sitting room and bathroom above the double garage which would be able to serve either as staff accommodation or a guest suite, so in total the house will have 4 bedrooms.

The more we’ve thought about this change, the more it seems to be a better option than what we had before and so, in the end, having to wait all this time for approval has had something of a silver lining.

In the meantime, the doll’s house is benefitting from my otherwise-delayed creative energy:

Roof and outside walls almost done.

Roof and outside walls almost done.