Wednesday, January 5th 2011

Completion photos

Here at last are the final batch of photos of my home extension project. Quite a transformation from the previous batch I posted, don’t you think? This is how it looked on Boxing Day, two days after the builders had completed their work. As you can see it is now ready for occupation. Unfortunately I still haven’t been given a move date and there does seem to be a question hanging in the air over who is going to fund the three figure price tag attached to calling out an ambulance crew. I’m hoping to get some idea by the end of this week when a group of people including my OT and members of the council and the project management company call to do a buildings inspection. Hopefully (he says with fingers crossed) I should be downstairs by next week.

My thanks this time go to Suja for taking the lovely photos.

The bed alcove and ceiling track hoist. 26th December 2010

Sliding door partition into bathroom. 26th December 2010

My new bedroom and ceiling track hoist. 26th December 2010

Exit into the living room. 26th December 2010

Entrance to the bathroom/wet room. 26th December 2010

Showering area and amenities in bathroom/wet room. 26th December 2010

Clos-o-Mat shower toilet in bathroom/wet room. 26th December 2010

Stable doors ๐Ÿ™‚ to shower area. 26th December 2010

Mark

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Sunday, December 19th 2010

Taking shape

As you can see from below I’ve finally got some new photos to share with you of the progress being made on the new extension. And as you will also note from the dates they range from three to one week old, so they are not exactly a true representation of where we are at this moment. But hey, it’s better than nothing! It had been my intention to post these earlier in the week but the workmen have been in just about every day, and all the noise from their drilling, banging and sawing which is transmitted through the house plays havoc with my speech recognition software and effectively shuts it down. On top of that I’ve been feeling really poorly this week, worse in fact than last week and Iโ€™ve simply not felt up to doing much. I hope I feel a bit better for Christmas.

But the consolation for all the noise emanating from below is the considerable progress which has been made over the past week. On Monday afternoon for instance we had the electricians in and by the end of that day we had working lights and power to all the sockets. A couple of days later saw the radiators plumbed in and working, adding much-needed warmth not only to the extension but also to the living room. By the end of the week the bathroom sliding door had been fitted and painted, the electric shower installed, a wash basin fitted, the level access patio completed and an exterior proximity sensing nightlight installed. And as you can see from the photos it certainly looks a lot more ‘homely’ now that the walls have been painted. I believe the builders are hoping to complete their work next week which will then leave the specialist installation of a ceiling track hoist to another company. It is unlikely to be completed before Christmas and I have resigned myself to spending this Christmas trapped upstairs. But we are close now, very close.

Once again I’d like to say a big thank you to Debbie for taking all the photos (and keeping me as well as yourselves up-to-date). These were the first pictures I’ve run through my new Photoshop Elements 9. What a relief it is to finally get a version that I can control using my speech recognition software. Just as well really as my feet tire very quickly these days.

Newly painted bathroom and fitted tiles. 28th November 2010

New French doors and level access patio under construction. 28th November 2010

Newly painted walls and fitted door in bedroom. 11th December 2010

Newly painted walls in bedroom. 11th December 2010

Newly painted walls and fitted door in bedroom. 11th December 2010

View from bedroom looking towards bathroom (with unfitted sliding door). 11th December 2010

Looking into bedroom and front of house. 11th December 2010

Mark

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Sunday, November 21st 2010

End of the week roundup

We’re coming up to 3 weeks now since I arrived home from the hospice. In that time I’ve settled back into a regular routine, and although I am now being cared for by a new agency, I am for the most part still being cared for by people I’ve known for quite a while. And I’m grateful for this too as it gives me the stability and continuity that I need. Weโ€™re in the process of introducing some new faces as well and this will help spread the load and buffer against unforeseen events. Earlier this week my care manager called round and we had our first care package review. It was a big relief to be able to honestly say that there had been no problems during the first couple of weeks. All the calls were getting covered correctly and everyone had a willingness to cover for each other and a determination to ensure that it didn’t fail. Okay, it is only a fortnight but nevertheless it is encouraging. Having a core team of familiar faces with a proven track record has been a big plus and as long as we don’t have any major ‘unforeseen events’ then there is no reason to expect things to change dramatically.

Apart from that the only other visit of note I’ve had recently has been on Friday afternoon when my OT and the folks from Liftech called round to take a look at the extension and to finalise details for the X-Y axis ceiling hoist. I’m being told that as things stand we’re looking at about two weeks to get it fitted.

My appetite has been a bit up and down like a rollercoaster lately and on a number of occasions I’ve had to fall back on high calorie drinks to ensure I get enough nutrition. I’ve also continued to feel very sleepy when I wake up in the morning and tired and ready for bed halfway through the evening. Lately I’ve been feeling I could sleep my life away…

Because of my general tiredness I’ve not achieved a great deal recently. Writing has taken a backseat as I try to catch up with some much-needed reading so the blog is taking a lower priority than usual as I really do want to get on and do some other things, and unfortunately everything takes so long these days. I really miss the use of my arms!

One piece of news that did catch my eye this week was hearing that her Majesty the Queen has just formally opened The Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN). This state-of-the-art research centre dedicated to finding a cure for motor neurone disease is believed to be the first of its kind in Europe. How times are changing. Go back 20 years or so and very little was being done to unravel the mysteries of this insidious disease. And now here we are with an actual research centre here in the UK that will bring together scientists and medical specialists from around the world to work together on the problem. For people in my position this is like an early Christmas present, a glimmer of hope that before too long we will be able to flip over a few more of the jigsaw pieces that will give us the big picture. Okay, I’m not exactly expecting this to be a white knight for myself, but knowing now what this disease does to a person I can only hope that something can be done before too long to at least significantly slow it down so that others are spared the horror of having their life dismantled. You can view a short video courtesy of the BBC here or read a press release from Sheffield University’s own website here.

I’ll close out with another batch of photos that Debbie has kindly taken over the past week of the work going on in my new extension. As you can see the plasterer has been in and the ceiling has been boarded up so it is starting to come together. There’s been a lot of dust flying around lately and my carers have been kept busy constantly sweeping up and trying to keep the place dust free. We’re actually further ahead than these pictures suggest as towards the end of the week the walls were painted which has made a big difference. Apparently it’s a lot brighter too. I’ll post some more pictures soon. In the meantime you have these to enjoy and as you can see my fury little friend has been skittering around the place too!

My inquisitive little friend up to mischief again ๐Ÿ™‚

Playing hide and seek!

Bedroom walls in the process of being plastered. 13th November 2010

Bedroom wall alcove. 13th November 2010

Bedroom ceiling now in place. 13th November 2010

View towards bathroom and electrics for hoist. 14th November 2010

Bedroom walls awaiting plastering. 14th November 2010

Bathroom taking shape. 14th November 2010

Bedroom walls plastered. 16th November 2010

Bedroom wall and alcove now plastered. 16th November 2010

Mark

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Sunday, November 14th 2010

Breakthrough!

After more than a month’s absence from the blog I finally have some new photos to share with you of the progress being made on the downstairs extension to my house. Actually, as you will see for yourselves, these pictures were taken last week but I have only just got around to running them through a photo editor to perform the usual tweaks i.e. sharpness, brightness, cropping/sizing and adding a border. I do actually have some more pictures that were taken this week showing progress beyond this stage but I have yet to post process them so they will have to be the subject of another blog post.

But for now here is a glimpse of the work underway on the inside of the extension now that the builders have broken through. Most of what you see here has actually occurred after I arrived home, which sort of suggests that things were progressing rather slowly during the month I was away. In fact even most of the knock through took place only recently. Nevertheless it is good to see it gradually changing into something suitable for living in. I’m still being told that completion is scheduled for the end of November, but that is only two weeks away, and looking at where we are now there is still much to do.

My thanks as always go to Debbie for taking the photos, because without them even I would only have other people’s descriptions and the noise coming from downstairs to tell me what was going on.

View from living room into extension with knock through in progress. 4th November 2010

New bedroom under construction. 4th November 2010

Entrance into new bathroom. 4th November 2010

Completed exterior front elevation. 4th November 2010

Loft insulation and bedroom ceiling in progress. 6th November 2010

Front elevation of completed exterior. 6th November 2010

Rear elevation of completed exterior. 6th November 2010

Mark

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Tuesday, October 26th 2010

Building works update

It’s been a dreary, miserable and wet day today, something of a complete contrast to yesterday when Vanessa was able to take me over to the hospital where we split our time between having a coffee in their restaurant, exploring some of the grounds, and sitting in one of their secluded gardens with its own pond, whilst listening to the sound of running water from a fountain. Hopefully when Ann comes in tomorrow the weather will have picked up again and I can get some more fresh air. I’m really trying to make the most of the opportunities to get outside whilst I’m here at the hospice as I know that once I go home I will still have a month or more of being trapped upstairs.

Sue from In Touch dropped in this afternoon to give me an update on how things are progressing with the house extension and also to ask me a few questions that the builders had raised. Although I don’t have any new photos at this time to share with you it would seem that progress continues to be made. The windows for example have now been fitted, which means that the extension is finally watertight. At least now the builders are no longer dependent on prevailing weather conditions. Upstairs in my guest bedroom copper piping has now been laid beneath the floor and into the roof space of the extension in readiness for the central heating. The patio windows in the dining room have now been replaced with French doors which will be my route out into the back garden via a level access patio which is awaiting construction.

So it looks like we are starting to approach the time when work can commence on the interior of the extension. I’ve been giving some thought to both my current and future needs and have requested additional electrical work to allow for a flat screen TV to be mounted at the end of the bed, something which I don’t currently have but will make a world of difference. We’ve also been looking at more mundane things today such as a roller blind for the bathroom, vertical blinds and curtains for the bedroom, and a suitable flooring.

Slowly everything is starting to take shape and I can look forward knowing that once it is completed my options (and indeed quality of life) will increase again. If only we were going into warmer weather rather than leaving it behind.

Mark

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Sunday, October 3rd 2010

Construction work update

What, did you think that just because I’m staying at St Michaels Hospice that I wouldn’t be posting any new photos of the building work going on back at my house? Shame on you! Debbie has continued taking photos at regular intervals throughout the week and then coming up to visit me so that I too can see what is going on, download the pictures off the flash card and post process them in Photoshop.

As you can see the builders have all but finished the roof, and once the windows are in will no longer be dependent on what the weather is doing. I think the intention is to do the ‘push through’ from the living room into the new extension next week.

So once again a big thank you to Debbie for doing such a wonderful job of taking the pictures and running backwards and forwards on my behalf.

Front elevation showing new fascias, soffits, bargeboards and roof battens. 28th September 2010

End elevation showing new fascias and roof battens. 28th September 2010

Side elevation showing new fascias, soffits, bargeboards and roof battens. 28th September 2010

Interior view of roof and ceiling timber work. 28th September 2010

Rear elevation showing new fascias, soffits, bargeboards and roof battens. 28th September 2010

View from rear of new extension showing roof tiling almost complete. 30th September 2010

View from front of new extension showing roof tiling almost complete. 30th September 2010

Mark

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Friday, September 24th 2010

More brickwork

Another photo post, this time showing the remaining exterior brickwork in various stages throughout the early part of the week.

Once again a big thank you goes to Debbie for taking all the photos.

Final exterior brickwork underway. 20th September 2010

Final exterior brickwork underway. 20th September 2010

Final exterior brickwork underway. 20th September 2010

Side elevation of completed brickwork. 21st September 2010

Bathroom end elevation of completed brickwork. 22nd September 2010

Bedroom end elevation of completed brickwork. 22nd September 2010

Awaiting tiling. 22nd September 2010

Mark

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