Some of you will know we had a house fire in June last year which wiped out almost all of our ground floor and destroyed the kitchen completely. We had to remove and replace all of the plaster from the walls and replace the kitchen units. Other rooms were all smoke damaged and had to be re-decorated and carpeted, some needing new windows and doors. I was horrified at the amount of damage a small fire can do. I was also mortified that I had caused it by my carelessness in leaving a pan of oil on the stove and forgetting about it while I strolled around the garden. By the time I came back into the house, less than 15 minutes later, the kitchen was on fire and the cooker hood had exploded across the room.
We almost lost our little Jack Russell, who followed me into the smoke filled dining room without my knowledge and then couldn't be found. The firemen finally found her unconscious under the table and brought her out. It took 15 minutes for them to revive her on the front drive by sticking her head in an oxygen mask and massaging her chest. I was so thankful that she survived without any obvious after effects, especially as I would have been responsible if she had died.
We tried to find somewhere else to live while the place was such a mess but there was nothing in our area for rent. We stayed with some good friends for a week and eventually decided to go home and live/sleep in the one room at the back of the house which had escaped the worst of the damage. We spent several weeks sleeping on a futon (hard as rock) until the electrician could get the wiring sorted and we could go back upstairs to our own bedroom.
So all in all we had a pretty busy summer going from this:
To something a little more habitable built by my very talented other half and paid for by the insurance company - thankfully!
And I promise I won't burn it down again...
We finished the decorating just before Christmas and the carpets went down just in time for the holiday. Just a little more to do and we should be completely finished by spring. We were very fortunate to have a great painter and decorator move in next door just after the fire happened, which has proved to be a lifesaver as we would never have been able to do it all ourselves.
So now, hopefully, back to normal.