When teacher Gretta moved to Malaysia 17 years ago with her husband Ray and two sons, she thought she’d made a home for life. But a couple of years ago tragedy struck when Ray died unexpectedly. Gretta found it too painful to stay, so she returned to the UK. With no house to call home, her sister Mary and brother-in-law Fernando took Gretta under their wing and invited her to come and live with them in rural Cambridgeshire, in a caravan. However they were also selling part of their garden as a building plot, so Gretta snapped it up. She then employed her young nephew Carlos (Mary and Fernando’s son) to design her a Malaysian-inspired single-storey, burnt wood and glass pavilion. Keeping it firmly in the family, brother-in-law Fernando also stepped into the role of project manager, despite zero building experience.
With an initial budget of £300k and a schedule of just 7 months, Fernando is right up against it for such an ambitious build. As site clearance begins, so does the pandemic. Patriarch Fernando finds he has to bite his tongue now his designer son has effectively become his boss. And family harmony is tested when his beloved apple tree is condemned for removal by Gretta. The ambition was to rebuild a new life for Gretta in the embrace of loved ones, but it’s clear the stress of building a house together presents real dangers for on-going family harmony.
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