Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Time..... Can I have some more please?

Where do people get the time to blog?

When I first wrote this I set out with good intentions, I would post something every day; god bless us and dream on.

Even as I sat down to write this I was drawn into chatting to someone from Holland that in reality I barely know but through the internet I have exchanged insults with for a number of years.

But, yet again I digress, the thing is this last few weeks have been a whirl. The kitchen is at last finished, well, no actually it isn't.

Following a blast up the M4 to get the very last bits we needed, we left IKEA with something it turned out we allready had and didn't need and some doors that were the wrong size something I noticed when I came to fit them...

Of course blasting up up to IKEA has in itself been a bit of a problem after she came home and said there was something a bit odd about our Rover 200. Now, it has not been quite right since I took it for a swim in the floods but this was definately more than odd.

Think Red Arrows air display with the smoke on and you are nearly there.

You could either have the car running or see the house.

My original diagnosis had been "injector problem" which I now upgraded to "something serious let go inside the engine". Time to get a new car.

Of course whilst all this was going on, everything else decided to join in. The boiler has not really been cutting the mustard ever since my dear beloved step son "adjusted" it in August. But now it went completely on strike so an engineer was summoned. This in turn generated nearly a whole day at "goodness me" an hour.

But at least with that sorted we could get on and sort the utility room that used to be the kitchen.

The Aga, ahh did I mention the Aga??

That has been pretty emotional since the summer too. An aga is not like your gas stove, it very often does it's own thing. Then again it's even older than me, and there are very few things that are..... The Aga had been on go slow since the summer too, but, get this, when we rearranged the utility room and moved fridges and freezers away it went....

At least that was good news.

The dishwasher decided to join in and sat there sulking an error code. Straight down to get a new one, chose one with a dent and get more machine for your money.

Removing the second washing machine, with 9 of us at one stage we had 2 washing machines. That one went home ages ago but it was holding up a work surface so had stayed where it was so with boiler repaired and the utility room being rejigged we took it away.

What else could go wrong?

We had still to address the transport problem, I spotted a Xantia on eBay and duly arranged to view. Of course buying a car can often be "eased" along by producing a big wedge of cash. I had a figure in mind and duly turned up holding the folding. The vendor, god bless him, declined to deal. So I went home and bought it at auction for 100 pounds less....

Flushed with relief we brought the car home and became aware that the IVECO was spewing water from split water hoses. Oh yes, we have had endless fun.

But we were going to finish the kitchen. All we had to do was fit those skirt panels at the bottom. How to do this was a bit of a mystery and then the penny dropped; all we needed was those bits that she had thrown on the fire because we didn't need them.......

And of course fitting a kitchen has been the real kiss of death to selling the house, not a viewing since.


Tuesday, 8 April 2008

OHHH and something to share...

We came home without a some of the vital items needed to finish the job, where is that leg??

So of course this means management made a mistake, not that we would ever say that in public.....

We have hinges for doors we never bought.

We also have an array of units we do not seem to need.

Well, a couple any way.

Not that I would ever take the moral high ground.....


Kitchenology, will it ever end?

There has to come a point at which mercy is given, where the continuous stream of work comes to a conclusion.

Ok with the kids home for easter the pace of work had slowed but today, with all of them back in school management and I set to again.

Now the master plan had been to make a usable kitchen in our big living room, which had originally been our kitchen when it had finished being our living room.

Then we had to make a utility room of our existing and incredibly grim kitchen. With the AGA that hes been on go slow for weeks.

So anyway we went to phase the next which was move the bench blocking our french doors into what would be the utility room.

Not a lot to do, move a bench, how simple is that??

Of course first part of the task was make room, so unpacking a load of fire engine tools into the utility room I went.

Two units were removed, one carefully, the other by the "bladder it with a sledge hammer" method.

Then of course it was time to move the 9 person family sized fridge and equally huge freezer, that done, it was time to move the bench.

Now maybe bench is a misleading phrase.

This little bench started life as a church pew. Then someone not very cleverly sawed it in two, trimmed it and with the aid of a block of wood created a kind of a corner bench.

Put another way, they started with something big and heavy and they created something big, heavy and impossible to get through doorways.

So anyway some little time later we were securely wedged....

The solution was simple, open the French doors carry it all the way round the outside of the house then struggle in through the other door, through the porch (it might take a whole day to clear the porch first mind) and it might, possibly just fit through the other door into the utility room.

Of course option two involved a ten pound sledge hammer (ex Green Goddess), wreaking bar (ex GG), felling axe (ex GG) and various hammers chisels and saws from the hearth kit (ahh yes you guessed where that came from too...).

Considerable brute force and limitless ignorance deployed one bench became two halves.

The parts were lots easier to move and, placed where she wanted them, the halves were soon reunited with considerably more skill than the original job, if I may make so bold...

Of course "where she wanted them" was a place where the water supply comes in to the building and we could either have the bench or running water..

A bit of plumbing later and the bench was ready to go in, well it was except for the completly unrelated pipe which was now leaking profusely.

That was my hint to remove a load of redundant pipework which would have stayed exactly where it was if we were moving but was soon choped out of the system.

This of course required a short ladder, now where have I seen one of those, oh yes on top of the......

That done the bench in place and it was time to say phew....

Of course the phew was suddenly tempered. If we sell she wants to take the bench with us, so it will need to come back out again.

Thats it, we are bound to sell now.

Ohh and as a PS, the AGA has now decided to work again.....


Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Basking in the sunlight - or not.

Just when you think you have taken vacant possession of the moral high ground.

Arrived home expecting to bask in the sunlight of marital happiness and there she was.

Stood up at one end of the room her trusty laser theodolite trained on the wall units.

By her calculations and confirmed by the spirit level (must have been broken); the wall units were not level.

Now I had noticed a slight problem but nothing that taking one shoe off before you looked at the kitchen did not cure.

So of course with her out of the house broke out the Green goddess's tools (again) and jacked up the units till they were true. Serious work with the SDS drill and lots of screws holding everything in to it's new shape - she seems happy, well for now.