There is good news and bad news.
The good news is that Ian has sorted out the blockage in the water pipe, so there is now water coming through to the shop and the plumbing can go ahead.
The bad news is that nothing else has progressed, in fact, the situation has gone backwards if anything. The chimney was unsafe and I decided to have it taken down and capped off. Luke had said that if it was rebuilt it would take two days, so it seemed that taking it down would be quicker than that. But oh, no. They (although I only ever saw the man next door working on it - it is half his chimney) knocked off the bricks and threw them down the chimney. and it seems that a large piece of brickwork fell (so I'm told) down the chimney too and is now stuck. When I went to the shop this afternoon they were trying to poke this out with a long stick and were attempting to do this by poking this stick through the ceiling of the shop, which ran the risk of that piece of ceiling collapsing completely (and possibly the fireplace floor above) into the shop, right above a new fluorescent light fitting in the cellar below (there is currently no floor in this part of the shop). I pointed this out and Luke has now placed a motley assortment of bits of spare wood under the area, but I still think the fitting would be seriously damaged if the ceiling fell down.
The bricks that did make it down the chimney are now strewn across half of the first floor and this has made a terrible mess. I would have taken a picture had I not been too upset and angry at the situation.
The roof should have been finished in 10 working days from the start (9th February) but they started 3 days late, and have hardly been there most of the time, so the job is nowhere near finished over three weeks later. After the roof there is the guttering to do as well, and I have cancelled the fitting of a Velux window, or the job would have taken for ever. All thoughts of opening the shop for April are now dashed and, to be honest, it looks as if there are months of work ahead.
So...the slough of despond is really where I feel I (and this project) am at the moment.
Watch this space - but don't hold your breath.