Whilst we’ve been waiting for the legal process to grind through to it’s conclusion, we’ve been spending time in discussion with builders, introduced ourselves to the local building inspector and poured over plans.

There are 3 main things that need to be done, re-wiring, installing a gas supply and central heating system and building a staircase. The other, building, jobs are desirable but essentially aesthetic.

The first 2 should be straightforward enough. Contact National Grid, then employ a qualified, reliable electrician and plumber, pay the bills, er that’s it. Though I have an awful feeling it won’t be that simple, things never are, but at least I can write about it!

However, the thing causing us the most trouble at the moment is locating a suitable position for the new staircase.

I can’t begin to tell you how many hours Peter has spent trying to work out the best configuration, given the various restrictions.

For a start we don’t have endless funds. Secondly we are trying to preserve as many original features as possible, specifically a splendid floor to ceiling built-in cupboard. We’re also trying to create a large ‘live-in’ kitchen.

Also, if we have the staircase in the new kitchen, we will need to make the bedroom windows bigger! This is so that in the event of fire you would be able to climb out of the window.

Whilst I appreciate the ‘health and safety’ issue here, I have an observation.

If I was in danger of being burnt alive, I think you would be amazed at how small a window I could climb out of.

As I write the battle with locating the new staircase goes on. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, ‘What is it about us and staircases?’