Work is progressing, and we’ve even started to do a 96A4E50F-A2DC-4D4E-8BF9-D72402C46544little clearing brambles in the garden. Underneath a web of thorny blackberrys we found a giant yucca.

Inside, the great sheets of damp-proofing membrane are stretching down from the top floor bedroom, through the first-floor bedroom and into the lounge.

The piles of soot, brick and smashed breezeblock wall are being lugged out by wheelbarrow.

The big fireplace is being repaired.

But the first, inevitable, problem has occurred. When they dug into the hillside near three-hundred years ago to build the rear wall of 2 Hillside they didn’t sink reinforced concrete foundations… they just stacked the giant stones on the red earth. It’s not a disaster… the house hasn’t fallen down or subsided in the centuries since. But much of the wall will need underpinning.