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Here we go again!

October 4, 2014

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks and shows no signs of slowing down. On Saturday the TV/Phone guy came and ran a new phone cable into the living room so I could locate the router and phone closer to the equipment. All went well until I started to make a hole in the wall for the satellite and phone connection box, slipped and managed to drill through the new cable. After a long and tedious effort I managed to repair the cable and get a solid signal into the router and phone.

Next we had to clear the dining room ready for the decorator and that took a bit of doing given the current lack of storage space. However we did it and, suitably knackered, needed a shower. Quite by chance I opened the airing cupboard door and found rusty water leaking all over the top of the hot water cylinder – coming from the pressure vessel above it. Just great; late on a Saturday afternoon, quick call to our heating guy and he came to look at it. It was instantly condemned as dangerous and he could not find a replacement until Tuesday so no hot water for several days. Several kettle fills later we were sufficiently clean to go to the pub for dinner!

On Sunday I decided to get the office straight as I needed my desktop computer and the filing system. With very little room to manoeuvre I managed to get it all set up and of course the computer decides to go into its suspected overheat mode. It has done this before after a spell disconnected from the mains so I decided to leave it plugged in overnight but not booted up. As before, in the move to France, this worked and by Monday morning it was all functioning again, just needing the internet connection. For that I need a couple of long Ethernet cables to connect the Homeplugs to the router and the computer. When it was all done Speedtest reported 19.36 Mbps download and .84 Mbps upload so I guess it’s all OK.

Monday morning dawned and with it some spectacular fireworks from the voltage transformer in the kitchen – so now the toaster, coffee machine etc won’t work as they are all US voltage. Decisions are being made as to whether to replace the transformer or the appliances. Next up the decorator arrived and spent the morning fitting the coving and the ceiling rose in the dining room. We are also going to get him to reverse the dining room and bedroom doors as they open the wrong way – this will entail moving the light switches but it needs to be done. This is a strange phenomenon we have observed in the bungalow in Wales, the B&B and now in this house. The doors open into the room instead of being hinged against the wall, consequently the opening is narrowed and furniture won’t go in easily. As it happens, the bedroom and dining room doors are mirror images so switching them over simply means relocating the hinges and striker plates in the frames and making good the decoration.

Being sans toaster I was forced to use the grill oven for the first time – breakfast is ready when the smoke alarm goes off! The little oven was encrusted with spattered fat etc and it all started smoking really badly. So a couple of days later I attacked it with oven cleaner and scrapers; after four goes I think I got most of it off. Whatever happened to self-cleaning ovens?

We were expecting the plumber on Tuesday afternoon to fix the hot water system but a phone call revealed he was running late and could not get to the plumbing supplies place before they closed. I think he heard the frustration in my voice because 30 minutes later he called back and said he’d persuaded the suppliers to stay late and he was on his way with the parts. Forty five minutes later and we have working hot water and the subsequent shower was very welcome.

Decorating work progressed well, ceiling was recoated smooth and the coving put up, old wallpaper removed and then the doors were re-hung – what a difference. Next up was a visit by the electrician to move the light switch and we also decided to replace the bedroom light switch with a ceiling pull. There was nowhere for a proper switch on the other wall so the pull switch was the only option. The decorator was having fun with the ceiling – couldn’t quite get it smooth enough and the paint wouldn’t stick for some crazy reason. He spent some time re-sealing it all and then got the wallpaper up. At one point we thought we didn’t have enough paper and the thought of driving into Norwich on a Friday afternoon wasn’t appealing. However, there was just enough and it all looks pretty good. A little more work on the ceiling and that room is decorated, we just had to remount the curtain rods, choose a light fitting (from our extensive collection!) and wait for the furniture to arrive.

During a conversation with the landlord of the local pub we asked about quiz nights, apparently they do one about three times a year but not regularly. However it turns out that another local in Hickling does host a quiz night every Sunday so we decided to check it out. We went for dinner one evening, liked the place and so on Sunday we went to the quiz. Ah well, being absent from the UK for over twenty three years means that much has happened while we weren’t paying attention; we managed last with a score of 22 out of 40 – not a disgrace but not exactly Mastermind. The winning team scored 39 so they are going to be tough to beat!

We have decided that the lounge is next so we ordered the wallpaper and new curtain rods (with pull cords) and the decorator will start on the window wall on Oct 6th – this is where the new radiators will be going. The rest of the room will be done after we remove the night storage heaters and I have already sold the storage heaters on Gumtree!

The heating engineer arrived next day with his tame builder to lay out the concrete pad for the oil tank. This is surprisingly large and taking up a chunk of the back garden however with some judicious use of trellis work and a bit of planning for the garden shed it should work out. However, being an English concrete layer, he believes that a tamp board finish is good enough and no amount of persuading would get him to float the surface. This annoys me, this pad will possibly form part of a garden path and it’ll look like crap. We actually indulged in a bit of gardening as they needed to dig up a large rosemary bush and we replanted it in a new location.

Then the removal men arrived with the dining room furniture and it all fits in nicely if not exactly as intended. At this point as the weather was still good we went out for lunch by the river. Next day saw us locating the furniture exactly and beginning the unpacking. All the silver needed cleaning so as we unpacked we cleaned and then located in its rightful position – turned out to be a very tiring day. So the following day, with the weather men predicting the last fine day of the summer, we took the day off and went boating – well lunch by the river and a grockle boat trip along the nearby broads. Very entertaining and I got some nice photographs of the wildlife and some vintage Norfolk Broads boats.

Broads 008

Broads 020

Broads 003

Broads 014


David & June

2 Comments leave one →
  1. jo Anne permalink
    October 4, 2014 18:58

    You seem to be settling nicely and what a treat to be able to work out problems in English! You have been so good at keeping up your blog. I look forward to your updates. Sounds as if you are both healthy and settling into country life. Thanks for the post!

  2. October 5, 2014 08:59

    Well, it’s a form of English here in Norfolk 🙂 We do seem to be a bit better these days as well. This month will be a bit frantic but then I guess we’ll calm down a bit. Cheers Jo

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