An Empty Shell

Hookgate - old and newWe're getting towards the end of our house build, thank goodness. Having moved into the new house - yet to be finished - we had to demolish the old cottage. The dust and mess is indescribable, which explains the lack of recent blogs. It's like living in a bombsite with painters, and the dust is so bad I should be sitting here with an umbrella. Anyway, demolishing the old cottage was interesting. I had no love for it. In many ways it came to represent all the reasons we were having to build a new house; it was dark, damp, cold and Jerry built. It drank oil, and had leaky plumbing and drains. The loos didn't work properly and there was a toad living in the sitting room (escorted out of his home before it came crashing down around his ears). I guess the orginal cottage was pre WW1 but most of the buildings were less than twenty years old, and the difference between them and what we've built is night and day. What was interesting about knocking old Hookgate cottage down was that there was an oddly moving moment when it stopped being a house and started being a half derelict building. I'm not sure exactly when it was, but it was rather moving to suddenly see it as a lifeless empty shell. Reading the State of Nature report I wondered whether we might not be staring at a similar process on a grand scale. Perhaps the UK is turning into a lifeless empty shell. The difference, of course, is that it's relatively easy to build a new house and not impossible to build a much better one.