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Grand Designs: The First Two Weeks, Suffolk - 22nd August 2013

The building project, after at least a year of faffing around through design and planning and so on, finally kicks off on the 5th August. It's something of a shock (to say the least) to see quite how much of the garden is devastated, but the builders make good progress and get a lot of the ludicrously-deep footings done within seven days or so.

next album: A Bit More Steam, Bressingham Steam Museum, Norfolk - 26th August 2013
previous album: The BBs at Hengrave Hall, Hengrave, Suffolk - 18th August 2013

Final preparations: Grandad roams around as Nosher's old Mark 1 Astra engine block is hauled away by Gillings of Diss

The last-ever view of the old garden, as Isobel inspects

The remains of the old garage

A laser theodolite sits around whizzing

The diggers move in

Wavy brings his tractor over to haul away the earth

Aerial view of the first footings already dug

Footings and a deep soak-away hole in the garden

The front garden has disappeared

There's a mountain of crushed concrete where the drive and garden used to be

Harry and Fred peer out of the window at the big digger. They love it

Fred gets a go pretending to drive the digger

Fred in a digger

The very first load of concrete arrives

The lads encourage the concrete along the trenches

The cement lorry disgorges its contents

The conrete looks almost like a shiny (if muddy) river

Meanwhile, we escape to the The Bank (an art-gallery-cum-café) in Eye for a break from it all

You are here. We most certainly were

A nice box of stuff, representing 'art' in various forms

Harry means business

Grandad stands by the ridiculously-deep footings for the garage, to give a sense of scale

Inspecting the now-dry concrete

Fred, Isobel and Harry get back from somewhere in time to see more concrete arrive

Fred gets in to the spirit of it on his own digger

Gabes mills around

Fred looks like he's got a set of rolled-up plans

The boys play in the dirt as the sky darkens

Elsewhere, in the side field, it's harvest time

A shiny new New Holland combine does its thing on the barley

The front of the house has acquired its own drawbridge and dry moat

Grandad and Isobel take a seat as the boys play on the 'sand mountain'

Harry's happy with a digger, dumper and real builders' sand to put in them

Harry - Baby Gabey - roams around looking cheeky

Fred in the bucket of a digger

Meanwhile, near Nosher's London office, a team of abseiling window cleaners gets to work on The Shard

For some reason, it's always fun to be first on the train

Another escape - this time to Thornham, as Harry stomps around in the woods

Harry watches the birds from the bird hide

Harry, Isobel and Fred on the swing-tyre

A load of bricks arrives

At Liverpool Street Station, an odd yellow Network Rail train made up of old Mark 2 coaches lurks on platform 8

The nose of an old Class 37 loco and the railway carriage of The Beast

At Diss railway station, millions of Red Admiral butterflies throng around the buddleia

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Final preparations: Grandad roams around as Nosher's old Mark 1 Astra engine block is hauled away by Gillings of Diss