Thursday, September 20, 2007

The new pool, Ginas story.

As you have read from Byrons blog entry below our pool was installed yesterday. It wasn't 100% smooth or to plan (when does life do that) Here is a ranting and raving email that I just sent to my family in Ireland. I spent so long writing it that I decided to cut and paste it to here and give you my perspective on the last few days.....

Hi everyone,

A whirlwind few days with a fair amount of stress thrown in but we finally have a pool. It didn't go quite according to plan but the important thing to remember is that we are very fortunate to have a pool in our yard in the first place.

Monday was the day of hundreds of phone calls trying to find somewhere to take our 80 tons of earth from the excavated hole for less than the unexpected $9000 bill that Awaba tip were quoting. I stood on the driveway, running late to collect the kids from school, and on the verge of tears not knowing whether to cancel the pool or delay it for a while. Byron came out to wave me goodbye, we had a hug and tried to talk positive by saying that it would be far more stressful if any of us were sick and that a swimming pool was a positive thing that we shouldn't be stressed about. As I reversed down the drive Byron started frantically waving and shouting "STOP" I panicked and slammed on the brakes thinking "what have I done" It was nothing to do with my driving. The wind had just slammed our front door behind Byron and he knew he had no keys, no mobile, no wallet and no way of contacting me to come back until swimming lessons finished in three hours! "Now that's f****** stress" said Mr B in a relieved voice as I ran back up the driveway with the keys to let him in!

Tuesday was the excavators . They were due to arrive about 6.30am I had everyones clothes laid out on their bedroom floors to get dressed quickly and easily (even mine!) School lunches were made to reduce panic and stop us running late. I set the alarm for 6am and was just trying to open my eyes when Rhiannon hammered on our door at 6.15 yelling that there was a big line of lorries pulled up on our kerb. There was no time to get dressed so I ran down the stairs with hair sticking up everywhere and opened the door to find myself face to face with Matt. It wasn't a pretty site (for him or me!) He was big and burly and ready to get digging. One of the first things he said to us as he looked at the plans in the back garden was that we shouldn't put the pool where it was planned for. It was 6.20am and my brain was struggling to keep up but we insisted that we wanted the pool exactly where the plans stated. There was a bit of confusion over the distance from the sewer cap and I felt that they were going to dig within a restricted allowance so I spent the next 10 minutes tearing through messy piles of paperwork on my desk searching for a letter from Hunter Water we had received 3 weeks previously. Eventually it was found (filed neatly in a box file instead of piled with all the junk on the desk) Just as the excavator was about to tear into the ground I ran out yelling stop and got them to remeasure and we were half a meter too close. They re-drew the outline of the pool in chalk moving it half a meter away from the sewer cap and started digging. When the hole was dug Byron and myself got a real shock to see that although it was dug as deep into the garden as possible we were left with the shallow end of the pool protruding 0.7 Meters above ground level. When we stepped back down to the patio outside the kitchen door we were 1.7 meters lower than it and were completely unable to see it. Not only were we not going to have the nice appearance of the swimming pool from our patio but we wouldn't be able to keep as close an eye on the kids unless we stood right up next to the pool. We spent the day ringing around the pool company boss and landscapers and fencers trying to see if we could find anyway to change this but by nightfall we were no clearer. It looked like we would have to build a retaining wall 0.7 meter high around the pool (a massive expense) and then build steps up to this new level. If we put the 1.2 meter high pool fence on top of this wall (a legal requirement) we would have a distance of 2.9 meters high from our patio up to the top of the pool fencing and would feel like we were in a cage. We were so upset and unsure of what we could do.

We had a night of very little sleep before getting up at 6am again on the Wednesday to meet the next part of the crew Mick (Matts brother) It was a bit deja vu with me in pj's with hair everywhere looking at a bigger burlier version of Matt through blurry eyes. We had a chat out the back next to the excavated hole and were told in no uncertain terms to make up our mind. Were we installing the pool today or not? We were given the option to stop everything there and then and resubmit plans to council for a pool in a different position. If we wanted to do this Mick held his mobile out and said it had to be done right there and then as the crane and pool were on the way. Without enough time to really think it through (it was now 6.30am) we decided that if there was no alternative we would just have to go for it and make the best of it. Within 5 minutes a truck drove past with the pool on its side and within half an hour the crane was lowering it into the ground. The fencing company rang us and suggested that we not go ahead with the permanent fencing as planned because we needed time to consider alternatives before making a final choice. They arranged temporary fencing too be delivered and installed to comply with legal requirements. So here we are on Thursday with a swimming pool successfully installed but not quite ready to use. We need to give it a few days to settle into the ground and need a concreter to seal a concrete walkway around the edge for the paving slabs to be laid on. It's not quite what we had imagined but we are sure that when the dust settles and the landscaping is done around it and we make a decision as to where to place the fencing it will be a wonderful addition to the garden and we look forward to many hours of fun in it.

I am a bit emotionally and physically exhausted so I am off to make a cup of tea before collecting the kids from school,

Hope you are all well and we will speak soon,


1 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. That's it Gina, let it all out....and breath!!!!
    Makes me so glad I don't have the stresses of getting a swimming pool installed, although I do remember you finding it quite hard work helping me inflate my 'delux' paddling pool, maybe this was a warning!? Cathy