Having just escaped from the office for a day to kick my heels while my younger son plays tennis, I have decided to blog about the joys of building projects. Taking on an extension to the Harbour Offices didn't sound so bad in theory, after all we have an architect managing the project and a great team of builders headed by Stuart Anscombe. However inevitably the problems and issues came thick and fast. There have been all the joys associated with extending a building built in the 1960s with asbestos, bizarre wiring and an unfortunately located British Telecom pit. Having decided to extend 4 metres to the eastern end of the building, it turned out that the small piece of land we wished to build over was riddled with drainage pipes, telephone wires and electricity cables - with of course no plans to show where they went or what they did. Simply moving the BT pit was a feat in itself only resolved by finding (eventually) a practical and helpful BT engineer who made things happen (at of course a significant cost!). Meanwhile there have been delays to delivery times, most recently in the curtain walling for the first floor which have added to the length of the project. The temporary toilets have been something of a nightmare in their own right, initially not fitting on the site, requiring some improvisation on the steps and subsequently requiring emptying seemingly all the time!
Now we are at the "finishing" stage which has required plenty of decisions from myself in conjunction with my advisor (and mother) Ann - we have picked colours/tiles/ironmongery/flooring. I so want it to look good ... Fortunately for the cafe we seem to have been lucky in attracting the attention of Juliet Graham and Debbie Green, local caterers who are going to take on the cafe and have plenty of ideas and enthusiasm. It seems like a perfect fit, they are lovely people who seem very switched on to what would suit our customers and situation.
Thank you to everyone for your patience with the necessary disruption and the loss of some facilities. I'd especially like to thank Karen of the Emsworth School of Navigation and her clients - who were the unfortunate victims of a leak in the heavy rains last weekend and Jeremy of Slipway Marine who has had to lose part of his office space while the work has been going on. Your tolerance is appreciated.