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Restoration by Alice May - Book Tour

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The House That Sat Down Trilogy: Omnibus Edition

Inspired by a true story, The House That Sat Down Trilogy is a tale of triumph over tragedy. It is an astonishing account of sudden, first-world homelessness in the heart of the New Forest, and the unexpected consequences. Written entirely from a mother’s point of view, following the collapse of her family's home, it is an uplifting and positive read in spite of the subject matter, with a thread of wry humour throughout. Follow this ordinary woman on an extraordinary journey of survival and self discovery as she reels from disaster, before picking herself up and coming back stronger and wiser than before.
Packed with humorous observations about what it is like to live in a tent in your garden with your husband and four children after a significant part of your house falls down out of the blue one day, this story takes you from the depths of despair right through to the satisfying heights of success against the odds, with lots of tea and cakes on the way.

Follow this crazy family as they cope with disaster in their own truly unique and rather mad way, and celebrate each small triumph along the way with them.

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Restoration – More tales from the House that Sat Down.

Book 2 in The House That Sat Down Trilogy
Let us return to the crumbling cob cottage in the country, and our intrepid heroine and her hilarious family.
They are about to start rebuilding their home and their lives. Of course, nothing is going to go smoothly for them, is it?
In this sequel to ‘Accidental Damage – tales from the house that sat down’ we accompany our heroine on her journey as she bravely battles to restore everything that she loves; often against the odds and with a liberal sprinkling of humour, art and home-made cookies along the way.
One this is for sure, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

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Hello and welcome to a small section of The House That Sat Down.

I chose this particular extract because it deals with the very beginning of the rebuild program at The House That Sat Down. In the story so far, we have learned that, while a fair portion of the family’s cottage appears to still be standing, the vast majority of it is uninhabitable, due to massive structural damage and the integral failure of the 350-year-old cob walls. Only a very small part of the property can be used, the kitchen, right at the back. Hence, they have all been camping out in the garden.

While the start of the rebuild is a significantly positive step, the family members experience mixed emotions. It is often a factor, that things need to get worse before they can get better. In the case of the cottage, it is necessary for a large amount of demolition to take place before any useful construction could be achieved.
Having experienced almost exactly this sort of scenario myself, I wanted to successfully impart the confusion invoked such a juxtaposition of conflicting emotional elements.

‘For now, the first damaged wall had to be deconstructed.
The Boss had assured me that this would be done in a carefully controlled manner. However, after watching this particular stage, I was beginning to think that The Boss and his building team had very different definitions of both the word ‘careful’ and the word ‘controlled’.
Five minutes after The Boss had left the property, the builders’ radio was cranked up to full volume and Thor was dancing around on top of the thatched roof above the damaged gable. - How on earth had he got up there so quickly? - He was wellying the chimney rhythmically with his sledgehammer, whilst singing Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at the top of his voice.
Occasionally, he would get a bit distracted during his accompanying dance routine and start smacking the other chimney too.
When this happened, Lofty would quickly stand up from where he was putting together a scaffolding tower with Shy Guy and yell at him, “Wrong one, mate! That one is staying! And be careful!” Thor would pause, shrug and skip back along the ridge to the right chimney and resume his whacking with renewed enthusiasm.
From my perch next to Skelly on the bench by the garage, I began to suspect that Thor might have some ADHD issues.
Although the chimney stack over the damaged gable did put up a valiant fight, it eventually conceded to the demands of the sledgehammer. Then, once the weight of the stack was gone, it was time to start on the removal of the cob wall.
Never in my entire life had I thought I would ever, willingly, allow someone to take a pneumatic drill to the side of my house. Yet, there I was, shivering in the January wind, watching in fascination as huge holes were repeatedly drilled into the side of my home.
You might ask why the drill was necessary after all.  If they just took the external supporting props away, surely it would just fall down, wouldn’t it?  That was the point though. The cob was already cracked and disintegrating, but the wall needed to be brought down in a controlled manner so that no additional damage was done and nobody injured. Hopefully, this meant a significantly more controlled manner than the chimney dismantling operation I had just witnessed.
Thus, Lofty and Shy Guy stood at the top of the newly-erected scaffolding tower, and were drilling into the damaged wall with grim determination. Beginning at the peak of the damaged gable wall, they cut the cob into manageable sized chunks that could be lowered safely to the ground and put into a waiting skip. It was slow, heavy work and I found it surprisingly exhausting to watch.
Controlled and safe it might be, but the amount of dust generated was unbelievable. It went everywhere.
It is a most surreal experience to watch from the outside while one of the rooms of your home is being revealed inch by inch from the ceiling down, as the side of your house is taken apart. Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore and went back round to the kitchen to put the kettle on and try to calm down.
After several hours, I returned to the work site laden with refreshments for the builders. By then it was possible to see directly into the first floor of the house and what had formerly been Quiet’s bedroom. You could still see his big, old wardrobe standing where the corner of the room used to be, the door wide open, as if he were up there, in the middle of choosing an outfit for the day.
It felt so wrong.’
I hope you enjoyed this
Love Alice

About the Author
I am a multi-tasking parent to four not-so-small children, and I am fortunate enough to be married to (probably) the most patient man on the planet.  We live in, what used to be, a ramshackle old cottage in the country. Our house began to fall down out of the blue one day, which resulted in the whole family living in a tent in the back garden for quite some time, while we worked out how to rebuild our home.
A few years afterwards, I decided to write a book and, once I started, I found I couldn’t stop.
Inspired by true-life events ‘Accidental Damage – tales from the house that sat down’ wouldn’t leave me alone until it was written.
Within six months of self-publishing my novel, I was delighted to learn that it had won two ‘Chill with a Book Awards’. This was a massive honour and motivated me to continue writing. Accidental Damage became the first book in a trilogy.
The Omnibus edition of all three books in the House That Sat Down Trilogy is now available via Amazon in both paperback and kindle format.

Social Media Links –
Twitter: @AliceMay_Author

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