A retrospective. A day off off days.

Another revelation today.
Sim is becoming a minimalist, by accidental necessity. She’s learning what it’s like to be more with less. She even intentionally decluttered this afternoon. Two full-to-bursting bags removed from the hotel.


Also, Sim hugged me this morning; nothing unusual there. I was up earlier today, dressed, all in black, as usual. She had talc’ed herself after a shower. My black jeans ended up looking like I’d had a lap dance from a coke head.!

I experienced an unexpected benefits to minimalism after Breakfast too. Seems having fewer things means you have fewer to lose. Still, I spent a frantic two minutes hunting for the keys that were in my jacket pocket all along. This has happened a few times now this past few weeks. Senior moments, flapping, flustering, stress. Probably a bit of each.

(Time passes)

We’re in the Cardiff Central library now. All sorts of all types of ‘lovely’, ‘normal’ people here. Nothing to see here. There’s more hand sanitizer being handed out than I care to think about. Not a hand-shake in the building. Doors opened with sleeve covered hands. This is my first exposure to normal life in a few weeks, anything other than house related back and forth activities and the occasional Sunday Lunch, I’ve not been out much. Not even a supermarket sweep in over three weeks. BTW, there’s loads of toilet roll in the hotel. 🚽🧻 (never thought I would use those emoji’s). Is this hyper-sensitive germ awareness necessary; the new normal? Are we in a state of media induced panic? Maybe I shouldn’t talk about the media?!?

It does feel like the world is going a bit crazy. You know the beginning of Zombie films where the family is chatting over breakfast while news of the outbreak is on the TV in the background, and the family are oblivious, nose deep in cornflakes. Then, the couple and kids go outside to the minivan and everyone is foaming at the mouth,,, BRAINS!!!! That’s just the average morning at the Village Hotel, but with more gym-bound lycra-ladies. They’re trying to lose a pound of flesh, not eat it.

I don’t usually come to town libraries like this. Suddenly I’m a bit cautious. I sneezed at the top of the escalator. The fifty something fella with D&G skateboard Vans, paranoid staring eyes, 👀 and a purple Mohawk stared at me. He looked at me like I ate his cat. I think it was his turn to eat the cat, maybe he just had. I was waiting for the haz-mat team to pounce. I would say I was allergic to CHAV’s, but everyone is someone else’s CHAV.

There are some weird scary people here. Maybe including ourselves…

Sim: The clientele of this establishment doesn’t surprise me.

Leigh: And, now your one of them.

Today’s highlight! #YorkiePorn! @Ross.B.
Say “6 Deep hole Yorkshire Pudding Tray” in your best Nigella Lawson voice. Phwoar!

House Updates – because it’s good to document it.

Solicitor meeting

I had a very interesting conversation with our Solicitor this afternoon. My paranoid eyes prevent me talking about it in detail. Maybe I should get a purple Mohawk. Anyone seen our cat lately?

The thing I can say is that there was a catastrophic failing in many respects. We were failed by:

  • The riverbank.
  • Redrow Housing.
  • Newport County Council Planning department on multiple occasions.
  • The Welsh Assembly.
  • National Resources Wales.
  • Any number of separate engineering consultancy firms.

How can this be allowed to happen with so many responsibility parties involved? The main reason is individuals essentially are winging their jobs the majority of the time and want to go home early. That’s my professional opinion.

House Insurance

We are meeting our Insurance Field Surveyor at home tomorrow. His role in this matter will be to assess the affected areas and observe matters relating to our case, reporting back to the case manager. I wonder if he’ll be bringing his wetsuit for a deep dive into our foundations. At a few points, I’ve been inclined to go down the new riverbank, or as I call it, my garden water slide, on a ladder and measure the foundations. We are told by Redrow, Kevin Jones – Construction Director that our foundation is a 1.8m trench fill foundation. This has been questioned by multiple engineers. There is the potential that the property will be written off on this basis. If it’s not fit for purpose they cannot retrospectively upgrade it to the correct specifications. However, when asked in the official meeting Redrow’s regional MD refused to divulge any details of OUR foundations…


Slightly redacted letter to Redrow Homes

Dear Redrow,
Under your own customer charter


Quote from the above customer charter

As your homebuilder we will:

”Provide you with full details and clear information about your chosen home”

Following your own guidelines defined in the charter and complaints procedure, Please provide full details of the foundations installed in my property?

Redrow’s response is:.

”I acknowledge receipt of your email but as explained yesterday I can’t provide the additional details that you are requesting”

So, this directly contravenes their own charter. NHBC will demand this as part of our case Redrow cannot refuse.


We have a case open with NHBC to make Redrow repair the work as well as to provide the foundation details. The request to complete the work will fail. We know that. The request to provide the foundation specs will also fail on the above grounds, but will be escalated via the NHBC disputes process. If we don’t hear from Redrow within 10 working days from 10th March. (2 weeks), there will be a resolution meeting with NHBC investigator. There is also a technical resource team who will be providing us with the standards that Redrow are obliged to adhere to. I may yet don my wetsuit and climb down the ladder with a tape measure. I’m still to fully understand the requirements in this matter but am understood that the foundations must be deep enough to go below the riverbed to prevent potential undermining. They don’t as demonstrated in the below photo. It appears that the foundations don’t go that low as they appear to stop above the waterline, which, even at this stage is high above the riverbed. The river is currently undermining the foundations.

Regardless of Redrow’s willingness to respond to ourselves or the NHBC’s request, the Insurers will surface the specs and adherence. Of that I’m certain. The results of this may or may not significantly change what happens next.

So There We Are Then Redrow.

Gratitude list for the day. Namaste 🙏

  • A home. I’ve seen too many homeless souls today. The lady before us in Starbucks bought a snack then took it to a blanket wrapped chap outside. People can be amazing. Sheesh!
  • People who give of their time in their work for limited material benefit. Go vocationers.
  • If this is what it takes to provide the opportunity to change, to look back in a year and be grateful of the wider experience and have positively changes as a result; I’ll take it willingly.
  • Ellie.

Rules for living, applied to adults.

When all this is done, as said before I want to keep changing. Doing a bit more, being a bit better, a bit at a time. In consideration of that today, sat in Starbucks taking a break, Sim and I were discussing some of our gratitude items, even some of the valuable lessons we are learning and applying during this time.

We have four rules we apply to Ellie, all too frequently. They have been our mantra since Ellie was born, or at least since she was old enough to understand them somewhat.

Ellie, what are the four rules?

  1. Good listening
  2. Polite and kind
  3. No whingeing
  4. Think about what you’re doing.

Weird when you turn this around and apply it to adult life, a grown up situation, how entirely applicable it is. Good lessons to live by.

2 thoughts on “A retrospective. A day off off days.

  1. I’m sat in bed reading this and giggling our loud to myself, especially at Sims talc habit!!!! Its total wonderment that you can, so articulately, write this at such a shitty time with such humour and a total lack of effs n jeffs!!! You are all an inspiration and I can only pray that in difficult times, I could hold myself in the same way you are. As ever, if you need anything you know you only need to ask and I will get in my broom broom and be wherever you need me!! Big loves xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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