Perhaps there’s a moment in the middle of every house alteration when you wonder if you should ever have started it?  I didn’t have a single second of doubt about building a house from scratch, but it’s different when you have no ‘before’ photos or memories…

Yesterday, on a flying visit to Cape Town for a quick site inspection with Bernard, I did have a few such moments…

Above on the left is the main bathroom as it was and on the right, as it looked yesterday.  The main purpose of yesterday’s site visit was to confirm the position of all the new bathroom fittings.  Here Bernard and the contractor, Paul, are making notes on the wall in permanent marker pen.

The main bedroom, which faces north and has a good view of the mountain, has French doors opening onto an upstairs terrace on the east side but only one window, placed dead centre, on the north side.  It has always bothered me.  You can just see that window on the far right in the picture on the left.  That window will be bricked in and two new windows will replace it.  In the picture on the left you can see where the new windows will be positioned. And I can’t wait to replace that security gate on the French doors with shutters.

Still upstairs, this was the study.  A short passage, with linen cupboards on the left, led to the study door.  The door has been pulled forward and the linen cupboards will now be bedroom cupboards.  The hole in the wall on the right marks where the door to the new en suite bathroom will be built.


Here are Bernard and Paul marking the position of the shower.  I elected not to join them.  I needed to fly home in the same clothes in which I’d arrived and as it was, I was not exactly spotless by the time we left.

The level of the garden has been raised to the level of the patio and it has taken some time and effort to get it all filled in. The pool is starting to take shape in its more pleasing rectangular form.  One of the two water tanks is visible in the back left corner of the garden.  The white ‘mass’ in the two photos on the right is something called a ‘bladder.’ For want of a better description, it is a waterproof ‘bag’ resembling a huge waterbed.  The water from the old pool was drained into the two water tanks and then into this bag and there it is waiting to be transferred back into the new pool when it is eventually ready.

Long ago, in the days of plenty, I can remember swimming pools being emptied and drained into the street.  I cannot even begin to imagine the outrage that would cause today.



The downstairs bathroom before and how it looked yesterday.


The downstairs bedroom which is being converted into a study, looking south across the passage.  The bright light is from the kitchen door.  Glass sliding doors have been ordered for this opening and bookshelves are to be built on either side of and above the doors.IMG_9842

And finally the outside mini-bathroom is starting to take shape.

I had hoped to see a bit more progress on the new upstairs bathroom.  Now that the positioning of all the sanitaryware has been finalised, I trust there’ll be much prettier photographs next time.