By all means move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.”
Miranda Presley (Devil Wears Prada)
I give you exhibit A - yes, there is no doubt we have had a fire - right? This was the ballroom on 19 March. And I am sorry to say, the ballroom looks much the same now (actually worse) 14 weeks later.
Thankfully we do have insurance! And it covers fire - so you would think that gives me just about as much peace of mind that I need after the tragic fire to put some confidence in the future, right?
Well, I think I might be expecting too much. It's over 3 months since the fire - shouldn't we be starting to move the Grand Lady towards repair?
Nope - sorry to disappoint - we are still in lock down!
Still in disrepair - the roof is vulnerable and with all this rain lately, I seem to spend the great majority of my week wondering if the roof will be there tomorrow, or whether it will have caused further devastation at HH.
So what lessons have I learnt so far?
1. Contracts Work insurance - For any of you building, have you ever even bothered to see your builder's contract works insurance? Thanks Builder HH - his was current and comprehensive. But if you are building or renovating, and have not seen your builder's, hot foot it and ask your builder for theirs now. Because when you start to build or renovate, you are handing over control of your house to them (and that is when their insurance kicks in)
2. Choose your builder carefully - Builder HH was the third person after me and Husband HH to arrive at the scene within about 10 minutes of the fire - and has been on it almost every day since, helping me through the maze of insurance and investigations which seem to have consumed us at HH since the March fire. I was thinking how much more difficult this would all be if you didn't get on!
3. Insurance can be just as emotionally taxing as the event - Just because you are insured, it is not as easy as you think. We have insurance (both the builder and I) but we are still in lock down as the insurers fight about who is responsible for what.
This logo is about pet insurance (and, point of clarification, I have no pets) so this insurer has nothing to do with my house - but I laughed because how many times have we heard insurers claim their cover gives you "peace of mind" - I have spent the last week giving insurers a "piece of my mind" as an alternative as I am growing increasingly impatient! You insure in good faith, you expect them to deliver their product if you are unlucky enough to need it.
4. Oh and lesson number 4 - stay clear of fire-worn gutters. I narrowly escaped one coming down in the rain this week - the Grand Lady is venting her anger too (but I wish she had been more discriminating about who she is taking her frustration out on) I could have suggested many more people deserving of the gutter's wrath than me!
HH is suffering most of all and I fear she will be far more damaged than she currently is if we don't commence repairs immediately.
So stay tuned, I will provide more lessons soon (and might even go so far as to name names if I get really angry!)
Ok, I feel better now that I have shared this with over 11,000 viewers- thank you for indulging me!
On a brighter note, I was looking for the right opportunity to share a selection of post fire images - I know sounds like an oxymoron, but the passage of time has allowed me to appreciate some of the beauty which the fire has left behind.
And there are two people in my life who have done this beautifully. I will share the work of one of them in this post. I told you that you can choose your friends - my Fabulous (F)oto Friend who is mega talented took these insightful shots of HH after the fire.
Would you have even guessed this was the floor?
The peeling paint is encapsulated in this fine snap
The devastated doorways and windows
Read the previous post "The writing's on the wall" here to find out more about the 1890s message on the HH walls
She captured these sad and sorry shots of the kitchen
I appreciate these shots more now than I did all those weeks ago... but I am looking forward to the constant reminders of the fire being removed soon. I would be blissfully happy to just search out the photos as a sorry reminder of what happened - instead of being confronted with the reality each day.
Thank you Fabulous (F)otographer Friend - I loved that you took these images.
And she was the first to the rescue when I started this blog and realised that I did not have a single image of me at Hanworth to use on the blog.
and it was She FFF who took the shot we finally chose to launch the blog
Hope your weekend was amazing! And here's to a brighter week ahead for HH.