When you start off on the idea of putting an extension onto your house you normally have a clear purpose – y’know – We need an extra bedroom or the kitchen is too small.
We have a house that ticks all the boxes for location, character and size of the site. What it doesn’t have is any space (1,100 ftsq.) or insulation. Clearly in the 1930’s they stacked their kids horizontally into the house and didn’t bother with the tee-shirt wearing we’ve become used to in winter.
So, as two engineers we decided to embark on the building of an extension. We co-operated with our ‘conjoined’ neighbours and after two years of hand holding with the local planners we got permission to build. Then the banks hit the wall and we all got pay cuts.
We went down the route of hiring architects but I knew it was doomed when I explained that I wanted their solution to include somewhere to store my motorbike (imagine garage) and they presented a 3 sided glass box by the kitchen with a rotating plinth for the motorbike. I told them the bike would weigh 250kg so getting it off the ‘plinth’ to go to the shops for a sliced pan would be a problem. We went our separate ways after they got paid.
Then we decided we’d be dead before we built if we didn’t start now, or worse, we’d kill our kids.
So we started building.
About 2 weeks ago.
At this stage it is worth noting that I have built big things for a living for about the past 18 years and it has never caused me a sleepless night. I have always rested easy in the knowledge that things get done and all will be well in the world.
My only advice is that when it is your own money (well, the bank’s money) and your own house and it is a dark and cold January and you have 3 kids looking at you wondering if they can go back to their old house tomorrow it is a more ‘stressful’ event. There are at least another 6-9 months left int he build (I’m a realist) and you have to knock things down to build them up but it is a bit of a worry. Luckily red wine can be bought without prescripion.
I would normally go running to try and release the stress but this hasn’t worked recently because I am still discovering the local running routes out on this side of the city. I did get a chance to sneak in a 5 miler on my old stomping ground during the week and it was a joy. Everything looked great and the run seemed easier.
I decided to get in a decent long run today and finished work an hour early and took off for the hills. I was running out into the countryside to the south and west of the city. Up a hill nearby called Spur Hill, then over to the back of the airport, down to the cork-kinsale road, back up to the main entrance to the airport, across the top of the ridge to Donnybrook, down to grange, up to frankfield, down to the old kinsale road, across the tramore road, over to glasheen, through sandymount and back to the temporary HQ. Only just shy of 15 miles but I feel like a different person after that.
Sunday 24th Jan. – 8.18 miles in 1:02:10 (av 7:36/mile) HR AV 153
Tuesday 26th Jan – 4 miles in 0:31:03 (av 7:44/mile) HR AV 152
Wednesday 27th – 5.22 miles in 0:39:44 (av 7:36/mile) HR AV 148 – this was the run on my local turf – note the lower HR for higher speed
Friday 29th – 14.77 miles in 1:58:53 (av 8:03/mile) HR AV 152 – some of these miles were on pretty steep hills and I was starting to bonk a bit at the end.