So, back to the looking for provisions for me as well as Mum starting running again, the two do eventually link together, I promise!
Initially Mum and Dad wanted to try and adapt our existing house. They had bought it just after they were married, which by then, was 12 years previously. When they had first acquired it everyone thought they were mad (you see, there’s that word again, it does keep cropping up!). It was an old stone built semi in great need of repair. Structurally it was ok in that the roof didn’t leak and it had walls, other than that there was not a lot more that could be said about it; unless of course, you took into account it’s great location and fantastic views. Mum always has liked a good view!
Anyway the kitchen just had a soil floor with a cold water tap hanging out of the wall, no hot water at all, it needed complete re-wiring, plumbing, decorating, new ceilings and some floors; well by now you get the picture! Trouble was they had spent all their money buying the place so there was no money left to pay any one to do the work for them. So, yes, you guessed it, they started to do it all themselves!
Every evening after work and weekends were spent renovating it. Dad was always the technical expert, doing the clever things like the wiring and plumbing, the OSO was the knocker down and crasher crump expert. Once, when she was pregnant with me, a friend came round and Mum was demolishing a wall. The friend remonstrated (posh word good for someone whose still in situ in the womb don’t you think?) that should Mum be knocking down walls in her state? Dad replied that it was fine because she was only using a lump hammer when she normally wielded a sledge hammer! The house took ages to complete, due to time and mainly money restrictions, indeed if you look at the photos of Roger’s christening you will see scaffolding up around the house!
Therefore, not unnaturally, Mum and Dad were not keen to leave the house they had spent so much time and effort get sorted the way they wanted it. They did loads of research and talked to lots of people and indeed ‘experts’ as to the kind of facilities, rooms etc I would need in the future as well as trying to keep in mind it was primarily to be family home for us all to live in. Lifts were considered, widening doors, hoists and so on all to make it suitable. They also visited other people’s homes who had done similar adaptations to see what worked and what didn’t. It was a big help that Mum had done so much work with people with disabilities so had a much better idea than most people of what I would need, also Dad was brilliant in understanding all the technicalities of such thing as ‘load bearing walls’ and ‘electrical requirements’. (it was as well he did because it was way beyond Mum; bless!)
So reluctantly they came to the conclusion that they would have to move, preferably into a bungalow. They wanted to stay in the same village, but that was going to be tricky as there were only half a dozen bungalows in the village, which were either too small or too expensive. Bit of a problem! Never to be daunted by such trivial things, they decided the only option was to build their own bungalow, a cheaper way of doing it, in theory, and, a big bonus, they could build it how they wanted and for what I would need. You might have guessed this was not as straightforward as it sounded, well it never is!