Been a while since you lot got some sort of update, so here it is...
We're... living in our house. The last significant step was the fencing and armco, but they've long become background features. We're now in that nice business-as-usual period of simply living in our beautiful Huf Haus, and wondering if we should buy this or that stick o' furniture for this or that nook or cranny. Not that yer Huf Haus has any nooks and crannies. As stated before, finding a wall to put a cupboard against is no mean task when the majority of yer walls are windows.
The wooden flooring is bearing up - parquet floors are surprisingly durable if yer stick to the rock 'ard woods, and therefore inevitably the most expensive ones. Only major ding was done by yours truly last weekend, when he dropped a whopping thick glass jar on the kitchen floor - missed my foot (thankfully), jar survived, notch in the floor.
The other thing that's bearing up very well is the central heating system. Oo! Oo! Meant to tell yer all about that. Mr Banking and IT here had absolutely no idea as to the significance of the heating system we ended up buying. Nuff said that it was supposed to save money (makes me happy) and generate copious amounts of heat on demand (makes Claudia happy) and all's well with the world. Turns out that the air/air heat pump system is actually fairly greenie. Not as green as a ground/air heat pump, mind, but then the local geology was against us on that. I'll say to anyone that it's a crime against nature that some form of heat pump isn't a mandatory requirement for any domestic new installation or replacement throughout the western world - which would reduce the rather pricy acquisition price still further. They're cheap to run, efficient, greenie and just bloody marvellous.
One just hopes that one day it becomes so.
I'll continue to day-dream about some form of solar power for the hot water (currently running 100% off the electricity) but will await developments before I commit. Surely there's a market for roof tile-shaped solar panels? And surely someone can design one that's snow-friendly enough for use half-way up a mountain? Current mountain area planning regulations take a dim view on solar panels 'cos snow readily slips off 'em thereby putting any visiting vicar at risk of a decapitation.
Good thing the pickies below are snow-bound because although we've found a local gardener to take care of the borders and grass and stuff, the uphill side of the garden is still a massive weed patch. We have a local landscape garden firm submitting a 'concept' very soon - although one mistrusts 'concepts'. 'Concepts' usually need copious amounts of money to 'realise'. Still, we'll have a butchers at whatever they come up with.
And I've left the best and coolest thing for last. We've bought ourselves what's known as a snow-thrower - one of those lawn-mower looking machines that yer see on the telly sucking up snow at the front and then spraying it out of a nozzle on the top. Really bloody cool. Cleared our entire driveway with it in just a few minutes - a job that would have taken me an hour or more by hand and spade. Cost me about CHF 1,500 or, what's that, six hundred quid. Eek! Anyways, I'm made up with it. Four-stroke petrol powered, for those that understand such things, and light enough for Claudia to use it when I've succumbed to frostbite.
Anyways, here're the long overdue pickies...