Like a Phoenix from the Ashwood

So from the lows of missing an Autumn build, then having to scrap the garden studio and not even know if my studio project would even get done at all … Charlie Moore at Cedar, Cutts & Moore Ltd. has stepped in and reassured me that a professional studio and custom built voiceover booth can be built in my double garage and finished in Ash … and by a quirky fluke of scheduling, if I agree and can get all the requisite metaphorical ducks in a line, he and his team can get the build done and dusted BY CHRISTMAS 2019!

I can’t convey the highs and lows of a project of this nature. It’s my livelihood at stake, I am sinking everything I and my family have into it and to go from it very nearly disappearing into the back end of 2020 or beyond … to suddenly facing the possibility of having a professional studio ready to go in a little over two months, is mind-numbingly exciting and utterly terrifying in equal measure.

Charlie drives up to make a site visit and double check the proposed garage and the spec we have for it will work. He is so very easy to talk to, knows his stuff, doesn’t let anything phase him and right away, I know that I am in safe hands, in fact he might actually be more of a perfectionist (in the best of ways) then me! He leaves happy, which means I am slightly less terrified of it all … but only slightly.

Hold on though … because from here on in, things get a little bit bumpy. I suddenly have very little time to do … well, to do anything before Charlie and his team hotfoot it up from Hampshire with trucks full of materials and equipment ready to get to work in early November! No time and there is literally everything to do before then:

  • Keep working to bring money in.
  • Empty a double garage that on closer inspection appears to be crammed full of JUNK! Ahem, sorry, important memorabilia and the like.
  • Find new additional storage for some contents of said double garage!
  • Responsibly dispose of some content of said double garage!
  • Get the boiler moved from the garage!
  • Get a new boiler, re-site it and have the old pipe-work rerouted away from the garage!
  • Get the main studio electrics prepped.
  • Choose all the materials, electrical, cable and data requirements for the studio.
  • Book in all the tradesfolk and make sure their schedules all correspond with each other and at the correct stages of the build.
  • Cost it all out and stick the budget … what’s my contingency I hear you ask? Best not say but I can hear Kevin McCloud sighing with one of those looks to camera.

Ever play dominoes? That’s what this project has suddenly become like; jobs begetting jobs all stacking up one after another, each reliant on the one before it getting done first: Need to clear the garage? The loft won’t suffice, I’m gonna need a bigger shed, which needs a base for it … aaand I need the old shed as well, so that’s going to have to be moved and emptied … I’ll have to dig out turf to level the old shed’s base and that awful pampas grass is in the way of the new shed, I’m going to have to cut it down and dig out the roots (which I think might have extended all the way down to the Earth’s molten core or maybe it was Moria!)… and the list of jobs goes on…

Somehow though … (actually, scratch that because I know very well ‘how’) through the unerring help, work and support of my wife and our family, everything all seems to fit together. The tradesfolk are all chosen and booked in, their schedules and my own seem to coalesce like some bizarrely positive karmic game of Tetris! … and the budget is still on track, in fact all is right with the world … oh but it’s tight, I mean, there is no room for wiggle … from anyone … this game of dominoes just got serious, shall we give one a prod, set this game in motion and see what happens? Be silly not to really! Remember, remember the fifth of November!

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