We woke up this morning to fluffy white clouds and the odd bit of blue sky, so it looks like the weather gods have decided to be nice to us again (touch wood). Very kind of them, as it's now borderline winter. We hoped for this, as last night the snow line came down another 100m or so, i.e. the white stuff now starts at about 900 metres. Our house foolishly remained at 726m so the snow-line's fast gaining on us. Gulp! The temperature has noticeably dipped, and in fact was just under 3 degrees C at the site.
As I hoped, the upper floor is now complete, and the roof beams are in place. In fact, they were just putting the finishing touches to the inner guts and insulation of the roof when we arrived. A few more taps of the hammer here and there, a site clear up of a few bits and pieces of equipment, and then the roof tiles can go on....
(For the younger readers amongst us, that's the sound a record player needle makes as it gouges a deep scratch right across yer shiny new LP record)
As I passed the big truck bearing the roof tiles, I noticed they were bright red. Or to put it more precisely, the roof tiles upon the truck were not anthracite. Or to spell it out even more, they weren't the dark grey roof tiles wot we'd successfully negotiated for months with the local Gemeinde for permission to have. Yep, there'd been a wee hiccup in the colour department. Disaster! Oh no! Much wailing and gnashing of teeth! Boo hoo hoo hoo! Oh why oh why oh why oh! Sob, sniff.
Stop stop stop all this, nothing can be allowed to spoil the day... within a hour or so the wondrous Huf Haus people had straightened it all out to the satisfaction of all concerned. No big deal, really. The dark grey tiles will arrive tomorrow lunch-time, so all's well that ends well.
A big thank you to the Huf Haus people.
But isn't there a major lesson to be learned in all this? Well, it's not that hiccups such as these can happen, not when yer consider just how many bits and pieces make up a whopping big house. No, the lesson here isn't whether Huf Haus can stop the inevitable like some real estate version of King Canute. Going by the horror stories I've heard from colleagues and friends, they're head and shoulders above every other bugger out there when it comes to minimising hiccups. Nope, it's how a company behaves after a hiccup that's the Big Lesson here, and Huf Haus passed with flying colours. Make that flying colours and a fly-past. There was no finger pointing. No "but don't you think the red tiles would be nice anyway?". No "But this will delay the whole project by weeks!" No "But but but...". No, there was none of that. They just quietly and professionally put the train back onto the track at minimal inconvenience and delay to the passengers.
Think about that.
I'll say it again: a big thank you to the wonderful Huf Haus for sorting it out so quickly.
For the last couple of days Claudia and I had been loathe to ask the construction people for a look inside the house; best not to put 'em in the embarrassing position to either say "No, are you crazy!" or give us a grudging consent while looking over their shoulders in case a passing insurance rep rumbles us. However, today we thought the house looked intact enough for a look around without something or other falling down and killing us: "Can we have a butchers?", we asked. "Course yer can!", they answered.
It's hard to describe how we felt, but I'll give it a go.
The interior of the house was utterly familiar. Er, wot? Yes we had surprises here and there with regards to just how much light and space there will be (loads loads loads) or how the addition or subtraction of this or that wall or window has added to or subtracted from whatever. But various visits to show houses (especially the near analogue at Hartenfels), plus what must have been a dozen or more hours staring at our own ground plans, plus numerous oh so numerous conversations; all of this had helped form a very strong visual image of what would come to pass. Yes, we pretty much knew how it would be; clearly, because we literally recognised our house. I'll say that again, we literally recognised our new home.
But blow me, it was a wonderful amazing experience actually standing in there and looking around. Rather like seeing a world famous movie or pop star standing right in front of yer; utterly familiar, but a lot more real and vivid an experience than watching them on the telly. Right?
What was not familiar were the views out of the windows. Now we'd spent a lot of time and energy finding and securing a plot of land with a half decent view...
What am I saying "a lot of time and energy"? Anyone who's read this Blog from the beginning knows full well that the bloody land literally fell out of the sky onto our laps and with planning permission for a Huf Haus and on only our second weekend of looking. Ok, I'll concede that.
Ahem, people less lucky than wot we were spend a hell of a lot of time and energy finding and securing a plot of land with a half decent view. So it stands to reason that Claudia were itching to see how the view would pan out from inside the house; we'd seen it enough from outside. Well, the vista from inside is just great. The downstairs windows give us an amazing 120 degree view of the rolling moraine hilltops that are a local souvenier left by the glaciers that passed through these parts during the last ice-age - or a reminder of what's to come when the next ice-age arrives prematurely as a result of global warming. Anyways, the view's looking just great. And from upstairs the views from the two vista-facing bedrooms are just wonderful... really really amazing. But one of those bedrooms has a slightly better look-see than t'other, so guess which one's got Mama and Papa's first dibs on it. Heh heh heh.