Michael has been making the most of the break in the weather (the rains are due back tomorrow) to get some work done on his 'extension' at the back of his house. I've been helping him over the last few days as he's been able to get some zinc roofing sheets and a 'wendy house' panel which we were able to cut to size and put up as the front of the extension. We then set about putting a window in and below you can see the finished article. I don't think anyone would rush to employ me for my building skills but it has been a lot of fun working with Michael. Maybe we could start a company and call it 'Bodge it & Leggit'.
I've written much over the years about the inadequacies of the houses in CNP and it has really struck me again over the last few days just how appalling they really are. They are constructed from a simple concrete frame which is filled with breeze blocks with just enough space left for the badly fitting doors and windows. The roof is made from corrugated asbestos sheets with no ceiling boards inside! The gaps between the wall and the corrugation are filled with cement apart from two gaps on each side which are left open to act as 'air-bricks'. The houses have a toilet and shower cubicle in one corner with a sink in the main room (there is only one room). There is no hot water! In winter these houses are like fridges and in summer they're like ovens. They are built down to a price and the quality of the construction is truly third-rate.
Michael doesn't have permission to build but like most other residents of CNP has no real choice but to put up a shack so that his family can enjoy a bit more space and privacy. Eventually he plans to have two bedrooms and a bathroom in the extension.
The window finally in
Michael covered in sawdust from cutting the window frame