allana: (rant)
We're thinking of doing the windows this year and so I'm subjecting myself to hours of sales patter this week. We had one seriously good quote yesterday and I was looking forward to putting the squeeze on today's lot.

However, apparently Safestyle won't give even a quotation to you unless all the home-owners are present. Why? Well, apparently some bloke up in Liverpool had a quote done and he wanted the Everton crest in the upper part of his huge bay window. He accepted on the spot and when they came round to fit the glass a few weeks later, his wife was there. She took one look at it, freaked, and refused to have it fitted. So, ever since then, Safestyle won't even give a quote unless all parties are there. Fucking ridiculous.

They won't be getting any business from us as a result. I'm sure Dave isn't alone in loathing salesmen and making absolutely sure that he's out when they come a-calling. (He's probably even more anti-sales after Everest were here for over three hours. ) I can't stand them either, but I'm a tad more tolerant. They're an evil means to an end in this instance as I really want new windows.

(Also, they were here for about five minutes and in that time my living room got absolutely rank with cigarette smoke. Lovely.)
allana: (cringe)
We've just had a gas leak.

How terrifying is that?

When I first came to England I was horrified that people were having explosive gas piped into their houses like it was normal and safe, but gradually I became acclimatised and found that it seared meat so much better than electric could ever hope to (*). But all the time I was convinced that it was horrible, horrible stuff that should be restricted to laboratories.

Today I have been proven right.

On the plus side, TRANSCO responded to my tearful phonecall within five minutes as they already had someone in the area. The engineer whipped out the offending bit of kit, did loads of testing (including the hob and the boiler) and pronounced the house safe. We also have a new handle so that I can get the gas off if any further emergencies arise and I also know how to light our ancient boiler if that ever goes out.

So. The message of the day (and I feel like Man-at-Arms doing the moral at the end of an episode of He-Man) is to trust your nose, even if it's changed during pregnancy or if you have a cold. TRANSCO (or whoever is responsible for your gas supply in your country/area) don't mind coming out even if you're not 100% sure about whether it is gas you're smelling, their visit is free even if you have work done, and calling them out on a wild goose chase is a heck of a lot less stressful than having your house blow up.

I very am glad that I was at home and doubly glad that I didn't ignore or dismiss the smell. I shall now proceed to self-medicate with some chocolate or ice-cream. (Or possibly engage in some therapeutic smashing of cars. There are two faulty car alarms on the street and they are taking it in turns to go off.)

* Yes, I'm sure that there were plenty of houses with gas supplies in Scotland, but I'd never, ever encountered any. Everyone was electric in my neck of the woods.
allana: (I demand euphoria!)
I keep forgetting to post about the rest of our weekend. My mind has been eaten by the excitement of driving!

It's been a busy old weekend. On Saturday as well as putting together furniture we had friends over for dinner. I can't remember the last time I did a dinner party so it was a bit nerve-wracking, especially as Tracy is a born housewife and I'm not. So, lots of cleaning while Dave was busy constructing and then some slaving over a hot stove. (I still feel guilty for standing in front of a hot oven for so long. I didn't notice how hot my bump was getting.) It turned out to be a great night and I'm feeling quite enthusiastic about cooking again. We'll see how long that lasts....

Today Dave started chopping away the hedge which runs down one side of our property. The master plan is to rip it all out--hopefully saving the quince tree, which could use some TLC and decent soil--and replace it with picket fencing. That should give us an extra foot of driveway which will make it much easier for me to reverse in and also it will be easier for us to get the carseat into the car.

We also took our niece to the park for an hour or so before heading over to the IL's for a family/birthday BBQ. And then I had my big driving adventure :)
allana: (Default)
The nursery furniture arrived this morning in a plethora of boxes. Poor Dave will be occupied for hours (days?) putting it all together. It's going to be weird waking up and looking at a cotbed each morning. Also, the pushchair and carseat are supposed to arrive on Monday according to Parcelforce's estimate.

So... if I buy sheets this weekend, we'll be ready for any early arrival on Speck's part. That's very scary.
allana: (hot day)
Colour me surprised! The aircon guy actually turned up!

If the quote is favourable then we could get the units installed as early as Monday :) Of course, this will be the cue for the weather to suddenly move into Winter.
allana: (cringe)
1. The second aircon company I made an appointment with has failed to attend. I am livid.

2. There is a stubborn sticky patch on the kitchen counter which will NOT shift despite vigorous effort since we moved in. I've tried everything. Who the fuck sticks a big bit of sellotape onto the counter top anyway?

3. We still haven't found anywhere to go for our weekend away. Gidleigh Park was supposed to re-open at the beginning of August but that's now been set back to the end of autumn. Nowhere else in the Southwest compares and I'm not keen on going outwith 100 miles of home at 31 weeks or thereabouts. And now I realise that there will possibly be a conflict with antenatal classes if we try for midweek instead. *sigh*

4. Having to ring round loads of shops to find a place which stocks the cotbeds we want to look at. You'd think main stockists would keep more than just a two years old model in stock, wouldn't you? (I don't think it's unreasonable to want to see before you buy. Cotbeds have a habit of looking much nicer in photos than they actually are.)

5. Offal. Why is this suddenly chic? I don't want to be offered trotters let alone pigs head, no matter how exquisitely it may be cooked or however many Michelin stars the restaurant has. I'll go as far as kidneys or liver and that's it. I'll be pissed off it I have a tasting menu and they bring out sweetbreads....

6. Laminate floors. No matter how often I sweep, the floor always has bits of grit on it.

7. Whilst I am on the subject of floors: matte black tiles. The worst choice possible for a kitchen floor. They are impossible to keep clean!! Especially as the grout wasn't cleaned off properly in a few areas which means they look grubby as soon as they've been washed. I am giving serious consideration to buying a scrubbing brush and spending an afternoon on the floor.

8. Being weepy. I'm not used to all these hormones. I'm lucky enough to not get PMT, so the massive amounts of pregnancy hormones are hitting me hard.

9. Product descriptions written in first person.
allana: (Penguins!!)
You know the NHS is really cash strapped when you're asked to provide your own Lucozade for a glucose tolerance test. I guess I shouldn't expect any tea and biscuits afterwards, either....

In other news, nesting continues unabated. I'm working the washing machine to within an inch of its life and even more worryingly, I'm utterly immersed in Kim and Aggie's new Cleaning Bible. I shall be conducting weird and wonderful experiments with baking soda and lemon juice before the week is out :P I'm also wading through Tad Williams's Otherland epic series. Well, I say wading, I'm sure Dave would say zooming--I'm on volume three and I started on Thursday or Friday last week :P
allana: (hot day)
Dave and his dad tackled the back garden this morning. The grass was knee-high!! Still, at least we know the soil is fertile. They discovered that we really do have a plum tree--it has pendulous green fruit all over the branches just now--and there's also a quince plant (tree? bush?) entwined in the hedge at the front of the house. Alas, that hedge is slated to be torn up and replaced by picket fencing. I'm hoping that it can be relocated somewhere else; I love the idea of growing such ancient fruit.

At any rate, we can now sit out on the deck and admire our mown lawn while sipping on a drink or two, and maybe pick a plum for a snack.

I think I may be nesting. Alternatively... perhaps Dave has been hypnotising me into craving housework? Either way, I've been cleaning, decluttering, washing, folding and cooking like a mad woman. I still have some ironing that I want to do and a sink to clean. My back has withstood all of this insanity remarkably well. I've only felt a few twinges today and I haven't had to gobble any paracetemol either. All good news. Speck is kicking away madly, too.

I wonder if this is domestic bliss?
allana: (cringe)
Is it so hard to organise mail forwarding/redirect when you move house?

When we moved into our lovely new house it had been empty for two months. You'd think that in that period they'd have set up a redirect? Nope. Every day we get piles of post for the old owners, their brother, and the occasional bit for previous owners, too. This was a problem at our last house, too, and there the previous owner of the house actually came back from Roumania occasionally to pick up his post. You'd think it would be cheaper to write a bunch of "I moved house!" letters than to fly back every few months to pick up post. (Well, I suppose he could be doing other stuff, too, not just plaguing me. I wouldn't know, he was weird.)

Today I'm going to hobble across the road and dump all of this crap in the postbox. Hopefully if I mark it all with "Return to sender, no forwarding address" the flood of post--ten today!!--will eventually become a trickle....

ETA. I had a chat with our postman this morning--who seems to be a Tom Cruise lookalike--and he's going to set aside the post for the previous occupiers and do the return to senders for me. What a lovely chap, despite his unfortunate resemblance.
allana: (Garfield: need coffee)
After a very boring couple of days watching other people work--I thoroughly recommend full removals services--we've moved into the new house. Telewest came first thing this morning and managed to install cable despite the amazing amount of awkwardness (in terms of layout) that they had to put up with.

We've barely made a dent in the unpacking despite both of us attacking it last night and today. It'll all get done sooner or later, though, and I do plan to throw out as much crap as possible. I'm sure we don't use 40% of this stuff.... I also have a huge to-do list to wade through :(

Anyway. I'm back. Thank-you all for listening to me whine about the house purchase/move. Much appreciated!

(Oh. The people next door seem to be having a noisy day. Lots of weird noise, dog barking, loud conversation. I shall take revenge upon them in October with a wailing baby.)
allana: (snoopy dance)
I have hot water! This is an improvement. The radiators may or may not get hot tonight depending on how much water is in the system. At any rate, the lads are coming back tomorrow to finish off the electrics and blow out the system.

Oooh, the heater in the bathroom is about half-way towards its usual leg-searing temperatures. This is good. This is very good. Oooh, now the living room one is piping hot, too!

Alas, my excuse for avoiding washing up is now gone.
allana: (geek)
The boiler men are here. Huzzah! And I can smell gas, which in a weird way settles my worries about this actually getting fixed today. (I had half convinced myself that the gas board had made a mistake and it was the gas at fault rather than the boiler.) I am, however, horrified at the sheer amount of disruption that changing a boiler involves.

They're going to be taking up the carpet in the spare room to do something under the floor, there's a bag of cement in the hall, so something's going to end up with lovely pointing, and I'm told that a valve's leaking in the cistern, so they're going to drain the whole thing so that it can be fixed. Oh, I know what's being cemented. New pipes as apparently ours are too thin to be compliant with the new rules and stuff.

Of course, if I'd been told in advance I could have moved things and not had to run around like a blue-arsed fly this morning.

In geekier news, Teen Titans/Outsiders: Insiders arrived this morning. So far I've read it twice and cried almost all the way through it both times. What a wonderful arc.... It was only marred by Carlos D'Anda's art in part four and the huge continuity error--I don't know who to blame here, the writer or the penciller? I also don't see how someone can produce perfectly reasonable if a tad uninspired art one issue beforehand and then churn out something utterly revolting in the next, and pivotal, issue. *grumble*
allana: (winter)
Bah. As my FIL suspected, we need a new boiler, which is no surprise if you look at the thing. It's apparently 30 years old at least, and probably the original boiler put in when the house was built. According to the engineer, the people who owned the house before the landlords bought it, had massive amounts of trouble with it and he was surprised that it hadn't been replaced yet. Interestingly, I discovered that when one buys a house, you should also have the boiler inspected to see if you'll need to replace it in the near future as a survey doesn't cover this. Something to remember for house buying later this year....

So... we're looking at Monday. I guess I'll need to chase the landlord later on to see if he got a quote from Milton the engineer. (Milton, was very nice, actually. We had a philosophical discussion about why people are afraid of black people. No firm conclusions, though.)

Brrr

Jan. 18th, 2006 08:14 am
allana: (Tea--the British response)
We have no heating. Woe. Of course, I noticed this about ten minutes after Dave set off for London. I look forward to yet another muddled conversation with our landlady. (You'd think that leaving an instruction manual for a boiler would be sensible, right? Just another reason why I hate gas central heating. More stuff to go wrong.)

Also, I have food poisoning. I should probably rescue the packaging from the bin and report it. I have vague memories that you should report food poisoning, or perhaps that is only for takeaways and restaurant meals and not supermarket ready-meals?

[livejournal.com profile] rockfic--Wicked is awesome. (Once you get used to the POV, that is. I spent ten minutes squinting at it and trying to figure out what the dude was trying to do. I've settled into a wary acceptance now. But the storyline is grand.) It is keeping me warm through the awesome power of laughter. Thank-you!

ETA: After an incredible amount of hassle--roll on owning my own fucking house--an engineer will be with me sometime before 11am. I probably could have forced him here sooner, but I'm not going to die overnight. I'll simply feel like I'm freezing to death.

Thanks for all the comments!
allana: (cringe)
I cannot fucking settle to anything today.

I'm flitting round the house doing dribs and drabs of housework, snacking on the occasional healthy thing--which might as well be twigs today, for their sheer lack of taste--and trying to type up the writing I did last night. You'd have thought that just mindlessly typing would be easy enough, but no....

Nothing feels right.

I do hope I get some degree of concentration back in time to watch the new Battlestar Galactica tonight. I'd like to enjoy it, but I have a horrible feeling that I'll flit around the house while it's on.

I am a moth looking for a lightbulb.
allana: (Default)
I spent a glorious hour tonight cuddling Chris and Vicky's five day old little girl, Skye. Am officially now Auntie Ang and exceedingly happy about it. No tears were shed, but I think everyone had a suspicious sheen to their eyes. She's a complete and utter darling!

Am very happy and for some unknown reason, writing a la Bridget Jones. How very odd.

In other good news, we are now the proud parents to a lawnmower. No longer do we need avoid catching the neighbours eyes. On Saturday the lawn will be mown and respectable. Our neighbourhood is somewhat obsessed with neatly manicured lawns....
allana: (Default)
Looks like we have a fox problem round here. Our binbags were attacked again last night, but not dragged away this time. As our local authority doesn't provide wheely-bins and it's impossible to find a bin that will take more than two large bags, we'll now have to store the bags in the garage until bin-day rolls around on Friday. Joy.

Dave's just gone out to buy some pine, a saw, some nails, and some fine fabric to make mosquito/fly screens for the windows upstairs so that he can have the cooling goodness of a breeze, without me screaming about the huge fucking flies invading the house. I'll tolerate flies everywhere if I'm in Grenada or Barbados, but in the UK I'd rather swelter indoors with the windows shut. Yesterday, just as I was about to put my bare feet on the floor, I spotted a huge bumble-bee waddling across the carpet. I don't know why it wasn't flying--perhaps it suddenly realised that it wasn't aerodynamically possible for it to fly? I wouldn't survive more than half an hour in a rainforest....

The dishwasher is dead. I'll have to phone tomorrow (today is a Bank Holiday in the UK, so whilst plenty of shops are open, dishwasher service centers are shut) and beg for a service engineer to come round ASAP. Hopefully it'll just need a spare part. I don't fancy buying a new dishwasher so soon. It's only about 4 years old....

Knitting is going well. I've given in and started with a relatively simple top, rather than the gorgeous lacy tunic. Couldn't find any red yarn, so I've got a pale purple as you can never have too much purple clothing. So far, I've done about 2.5 inches.

Oh! I am also the proud recipient of a copy of National Treasure. A trashy movie, but it's one of Sean Bean's sexiest roles which lets me overlook the ridiculous plot and Nicholas Cage's presence.

I said this was random shit, didn't I? :)
allana: (Default)
Why is it that whenever I get a housework epithany, that I forget that I am allergic to dust and should therefore damp-dust? I'll be sneezing for the rest of the week now, and all because I am forgetful and lazy. Maybe I'll remember this one day?

Whilst chucking stuff out, I came across my Palm V. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't used it since before we moved house last year. Ooops! I think I decided that after giving up work I didn't need it to organise myself. I may have been ever so slightly mistaken there. It's currently charging and I know that all the data will have been lost. Yup, everything is gone. Dammit. I'll have to go on a spree of calling everyone and double-checking birthdays.

Do any of you guys *looks hopefully at friends list* use Palms (or similar)? Are there any cool must-have apps that have appeared in the last two years? I seem to remember that you want to swap out the provided date book with another app?
allana: (Default)
It turns out, after I wandered (clothed) into the kitchen, that the tree-surgeons were in our garden. Heart-pounding, I nipped out to ask what the fuck was going on. Only, a little more politely than that, as they had chain-saws.

Turns out that the next door neighbours complained to the landlord about an over-hanging tree, so apparently the surgeons were at the house assessing it yesterday (which I missed as I was out all day) and that the letting agents should have called us to let us know it was happening. Which they haven't. I'm debating whether or not to call and complain about finding strange men in the back garden.

On the plus side, they're taking away their branches and it looks like they might even be going to trim the shrubbery too, which would be very nice.

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