Wednesday, 23 November 2016


I have really hurt my back - having any kind of disability is quite alien to me, and the pain is unbelievable - I have no idea how I did this. I fortunately have a stock of CoCodamol from last year which isn’t doing anything for the pain - but making me less bothered.  I have a friend who is an occupational therapist - she’s given me some good exercises and I have been at home this week, I constructed a standing desk by putting a coffee table on top of a table - I have been standing up for 2 days. If I sit down, I’m basically stuck. I’m still working, very slowly.

On top of everything else - the specialist came from Blackpool to look at the collapsing bay window at my property yesterday. He took about 200 photographs. He was nice enough but quite useless, couldn’t / wouldn’t tell me what the cause was - if it was because of the fire - I would not be covered. If it was subsidence - thy would just patch it up and paint the house a pretty colour. Not what I wanted and de-valuing the property at the same time. I said no. I now have to find about 10k from thin air - fairly quickly. On top of everything else. He also made the suggestion that I could just dig up the small box hedge at the front, and that would solve everything - I looked at him incredulous. Seriously.

If anyone has any suggestions that do not include crime, prostitution and organ donation - let me know - but I think I’ve probably already thought of most things.

Being at home during the week has really wound the dogs up - they can tell what day of the week it is, and are quite happily making a bad situation much worse.

After last weekends pasta triumph I’ve made a quite spectacular vegan curry - about 3 days worth - and stocked up on peshwari nana. It probably works out at about three quid a day.

When I was talking to Lunda about my back I had to give a very clear description of the pain and where it was, talking through with words like ‘tension’ - I have decided to blame Donald Trump for my discomfort. 


Anonymous said...

seem to have had a problem posting a comment - does this work OK?

Grey Area said...


Anonymous said...

Ta - yes, looks OK - post I tried yesterday didn't go for some reason - I'll try again. DL

Anonymous said...

Think my post wouldn’t work because it was too long! Anyway the gist of it was ref the bay window. I don’t know if this is of any help, and of course I won’t be offended if you dismiss it out of hand (for any number of reasons!).

Following a major structural issue ref his house, a friend of mine was concerned about the approach his insurer might take (trying to minimise their costs to solve the problem). He decided to engage his own surveyor to consider it. I wondered if this is an option you may think worth while? That might be handy if you need to challenge insurers on best course of action.

The problem is of course it is more cost. Maybe you might be talking anything from maybe £250 - £700 in fee, and it only saves money if the other options are not the best / cheapest….

Anonymous said...

No doubt as always personal recommendation is a good way to find one, but you want one who is local and thus VERY familiar with the types of houses you find in Hastings, and the typical structural problems they have in the area due to ground conditions, etc etc, also I guess one who is familiar with houses from the date of construction same as yours is important too, though you would think most would be.

When I had to get one for a task in an area where I didn’t have a recommendation I went to the RICS website and generated a list and rang round for quotes, being really clear about the nature of the problem and the nature of the advice I was looking for. I ended up with withy a really helpful chap and the fee was not too bad.

Problem is you need to avoid paying for a report that ends up being vague about what the cause of the issues might be, and recommending ‘further investigation’ at ever more cost etc etc. But a good person should understand where you are coming from.

Good luck

Richard de pesando MA(RCA) said...

Cheers for that - I can see exactly where you are coming from - the insurance company have made it clear that they will only repair and reinstate the bay window - which may not actually solve the problem - they specialist was quite vague about the cause - and that's not what I want. Additionally - were would have been no cover if I had been able to establish that the fire had caused the failure of the bay - as I suspect. Fixing up the bay will not add value to the house - probably make it harder to see in the future - and - to make it more complicated, the PUV windows in the bay need to be replaced now - which the insurance company won't want to get involved in - so I need to put quite a bit of my own money in regardless, and I suspect they are holding the bay together. I've been lucjy in that the builder is being very helpful (we have a lot of friends in common and it's a small town - so he would) and I have an architect who specialises in buildings of this age in the studio - who has already advised me to go for private experise - which I will need later on through building controls. All in all, I'm going to just have to bite the bullet - and make it as painless and affordable a process as possible. I have a friend with subsidence who is in the 2nd year of dragging a surveyor through the courts - who is counter suing him - it's a messy business, I just want it resolved so I can move on. Finding the money is going to be quite enough of a challenge!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Richard – good to read your reply and of course it is clear that you are getting varied and good advice, which was the main thing, on the options. My friends experience with his insurers was frustrating (although they eventually came good after a lot of pressure) – he concluded the experience along the lines of ‘maybe you get what you pay for with insurers and going for the cheapest quote is not always the best thing’. I think he did have an option from the insurer where any work he wished to do over and above the ‘reinstatement’ he could pay for himself on top – but this might not apply in your situation I guess where you want to make a more fundamental change (ie remove not reinstate the bay). Sorry I’ve got no useful advice on raising the money…

Richard de pesando MA(RCA) said...

No worries, I am reconciled to the inevitable cost - but to be fair, they were very good after my accident, and very patient - I think they have specially trained people on the phones when you've been injured, we were practically best friends by the end.

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