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Things are hotting up!

October 18, 2014

The weekend saw the completion of the dining room and our first Sunday roast dinner (beef, of course) in this house; all went well even if I do say so myself. We spent Sunday evening in the pub enjoying the quiz with an identical result to last time – least we are not getting worse!

Coordinating the various tasks needed to complete a project does seem a bit like work at times but needs to be done to avoid redoing things, missing things out and living in general chaos. So this week started with moving the lounge furniture and getting ready for the decorator to start – removing curtains etc. And immediately we have some new tasks – more remedial work is needed and my power drill just refused to go deeper than ½” for the new curtain rod brackets. Andy the decorator came to the rescue with a more powerful drill and then he set to removing the old wallpaper and making good on the walls – steam everywhere!

Then it all started to unravel – when he got the old woodchip paper off it turned out the paper was just stuck direct to the drywall. Worse, the drywall was loosely attached to the studs (vertical only) by clout nails and the heads covered with masking tape. Either end the drywall was bowing outwards and needed refixing and therefore more filling and fettling – I hate cowboy builders! Anyway, we resolved it all and now just need to work out how the radiator will be mounted before we cover it all up again. Turns out the radiator mounting points are nowhere near the vertical studs so cross-battens will be the only way to go.

Then I get a call from the garage – the parts they ordered hadn’t shown up so they couldn’t do the car this week. Another walk to the village to get the car back!

We have decided we really need a garden shed and probably a small greenhouse so that will entail clearing an area and laying slabs for bases. The garden guy came around (in the rain) and we measured it all out – he’s going to do a quote but won’t be able to do the work until late November so at least we’ll have time to save up!

The new curtain rods were a bit of a challenge – the big one is very long at over 12 foot and consequently unwieldy but then having got it up and working it decided to fail. The mechanism at one end became detached and jammed the whole thing, a call to their tech department resulted in a new one being dispatched immediately – really good customer service. I had also purchased some kitchen drawers to fit internally in a couple of cabinets, these arrived and I am very impressed. They are built like outside privies, beautiful soft glide runners and dead easy to assemble from the flat pack. Only trouble was they sent three left runners and one right – but again great customer service resulted in a replacement being dispatched the same day.

Completely out of the blue I received a note regarding a Youth Club Reunion to be held in November, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the departure from the area of the (then) curate who organised it all back in the early 60’s. It was accompanied by lists of names of former members and brought back some amazing memories. I really must make an effort to attend this and contact those I know who are not on the lists.

By Thursday I had succumbed to a bad cold and really didn’t feel like up to much but managed a few small jobs. We were expecting the delivery of the heating supplies between 10:00 and 12:00 on Friday so you can imagine the displeasure when we were rudely awakened at 08:20 by the delivery truck. I had planned a lie-in but it was not to be – the car needed moving and I had to sign for the delivery. Early afternoon and the plumbers arrive to sort out the supplies, move the oil tank and move the boiler. The oil tank just fitted down the side passageway but the boiler was a bigger challenge – it weighs a ton. Eventually it was moved by using rollers – large industrial size drill bits – and roughly positioned outside the garage at the back.

The replacement curtain rod arrived and although this one was undamaged it is still giving a challenge and we may have to rethink this plan. I contacted them again and they suggested lubricating the track with a silicone based spray such as furniture polish – certainly made a difference so we’ll see how it goes.

Some of the new radiators are going to be placed where the old storage radiators were located so we had to turn those ones off and of course the weather is getting colder. The delays in moving into this house are continuing to provide knock-on effects both with planning and financing. The plumbers arrived on Monday morning to begin work, accompanied by the mother & father of all rainstorms and the coldest day for a long time. No heat, all the doors open and workers tramping in & out. This continued for four days and the only way we could keep warm was to use a couple of electric heaters and move them from room to room. Not made any more bearable by June getting the cold so she was basically trapped in the living room until Thursday. The oil delivery was scheduled for Wednesday with specific instructions not to deliver early and to phone ahead one hour in advance. So when we awoke on the Wednesday morning there was a note through the letter box and a voice mail. The call was at 07:05 and he apparently had left the note at 07:20! I called the number and the driver apologised as he was not aware of the instructions and immediately returned to deliver the oil. By Thursday afternoon the heating was on and we had hot water although that was only off for a couple of hours.

On Friday, the plumbers fitted the bathroom towel rail radiator and a small one in the airing cupboard as there is no longer a hot water cylinder in there. We shall have two separate zones of heating with two room thermostats – this way we can keep the bathroom towel rail and the airing cupboard on without the rest of the house. Apparently by law all houses now have to have two zones so this was an easy way to comply and achieve the objective of being able to dry and air stuff even in summer. Thermostats still need a little ‘educating’ but apart from that we are warm and comfortable and prepared for winter.

Apart from all that, the car suspension was fixed, I sold all the old radiators and the hot water cylinder and we are finally getting rid of the colds. Next up – more decorating and organising.

Cheers

David & June

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Mrs Niklasson's Adventures

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