Sunday, 29 October 2006

Where we are now....

OH ripping up the rotten floor joists

What was the fireplace (with Lurcher No. 1)

What's left of the bathroom and kitchen

And this is the wooden ceiling! It still needs a lot of work but it will look fantastic when it's done.

So, what have I been doing whilst OH has been so busy? You may well ask! I have finally sorted out the kitchen, although I am still trying to find someone who will supply the cooker I want cheaper than MFI. Yesterday I trawled through several DIY stores and failed miserably. I also failed miserably to find a bathroom that I like. Why is it so hard to find an old-fashioned loo with a proper handle to flush with? They all seem to have that push button thing like the ones you find in motorway service stations and I think they look horrible. The search continues!

I did, however, manage to buy two sofas today! Yay! An achievement!!

Thursday, 26 October 2006

How hard can it be?

How hard can it be to choose a kitchen?

I thought I had it all sorted out but when I saw the kitchens in MFI, I decided I didn't like the one I'd chosen and saw another one that I fell in love with instead. Tuesday evening we had an appointment with the kitchen designer and he completely changed how I thought the kitchen should be laid out. I reluctantly came round to his way of thinking as he is the expert and what he said did make sense.

Problem is, it was the second most expensive kitchen in the shop. But I AM WOMAN so what else did they expect? But, and this is also because I AM WOMAN, I've changed my mind and I don't like it anymore. So there. Pfft.

I've now chosen another one which is very similar but half the price, dropped the Belfast sink (not literally you understand) , the Beech worktop and the tap. Oh now there's a thing. The tap. It was a lovely tap, very graceful and elegant in the way only a tap can be. It was also £180. £180 FOR A BLOODY TAP!!

We have another appointment with the kitchen designer on Sunday to see how that all works. We're also getting the appliances elsewhere because MFI charge silly prices for things. I shall go to Curry's who have much more sensible prices.

Saturday I was supposed to be having a day out as part of my photography evening class but I'm having to knock that on the head because have to go and look at sofas, cookers, hobs and tiles and go somewhere to get an alternative quote for the kitchen, as I have to have two prices. Once was enough, I'm not sure I can go through it twice.

OH has been cracking on though and has stripped out most of the unwanted items - such as the kitchen, bathroom and fireplace. Electrician arrives on Tuesday and hopefully the plumbers won't be too far behind. Which reminds me, I have to choose a bathroom suite.

You will tell me if you get bored hearing about this won't you!?

In other news......oh, there doesn't appear to be any. Apart from Lurcher No. 1 going to the vet to have her anal glands emptied. But you really didn't want to know that did you!?

Sunday, 22 October 2006


The Cottage

Just the bit in the foreground is mine - up to the second chimneys. Most of the brambles you can see there will be cleared to have somewhere to put the oil tank and for parking.

The back, with the lovely porched area...still with original quarry tiles.

The delightful kitchen and bathroom!!

OH got up the ladder to see how difficult it would be to strip off the artex in the lounge this morning. Turns out it won't be difficult at all as it has been artexed on lining paper so it just peels off. And the really good bit!? Underneath the artex and paper is the original wooden ceiling! *Aoj jumps up and down with delight!*

Eat This!

My recipe blog has had a revamp and several other bloggers (Dakota, LordH, Andre, Zoom and Snowqueen) have joined so that we now have a group blog. it's now been re-named Eat This! and the addy has changed to

Eat This!

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Chinese Whispers

The men where I work are a worse than a bunch of old women, they really are. They gossip away to each other with every telling becoming more embellished until no-one knows what the original rumour was or where it started and the whole thing is blown out of proportion. Personalities are trying to wind each other up because they think it's fun and, in some cases, because they can.

The latest round of gossip has, however, started to descend into slander about someone who isn't the slightest bit involved in the situation. They can gossip about me as much as they like as long as the gossip has some basis in truth but slandering other people is out of order. Words have been had and lets hope this stops right now.

And, yes, this is all about the cottage. *sighs*

Edited to add: Now they haven't got the guts to hold their hands up and say "fair cop, guv". They're all passing the blame onto OH now. Go figure that one out!

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

And on it goes....

Yesterday was the turn of the electrician. And, yes, JG, I have arranged for double powerpoints to go everywhere! I will have more powerpoints than, at the moment, I can possibly think of a use for but, as is the way with many things, you expand to fill so I have no doubt they will get used! There will also be powerpoints outside! The three main rooms will also all have a BT point and an aerial socket. Apart from the kitchen. No room and as at least one phone will be a walkabout, I see no need to take up valuable space with unnecessary stuff.

I also need to give some thought to curtains, something I've not had to do before as our current accomodation has shutters. Because the cottage is small, I can't decide whether to have the same curtains in each room, or vary it
a bit. The colour scheme throughout will be the same, and probably somewhere between off-white and clotted cream (but not Magnolia!). At the moment I'm thinking about a deep blue or racing green, in velvet would be nice but I suspect cost will be prohibitive....but then if I speak nicely to my Aunt, who is an amazing seamstress, she might just make them for me which will be a big help as far as cost is concerned!

I'm not having carpets. Half the cottage has
wooden floors and although the boards are new-ish, and currently a mess, the hope is that they can be cleaned up and stained. The rest of the floors in the hall kitchen and bathroom have been screeded.....but it looks like they have been screeded over the original quarry tiles and OH is going to have a go at chipping away the screed in the hope that we can reclaim the tiles.

The place also has a bit of history. There are currently two cottages on the site but they have been created from what was the Ladies CLubhous
e for the Royal Wimbledon Golf Course, although much has changed and the RWGC no longer play on Wimbledon Common.

This picture shows the Ladies standing in what is partially my back garden and partially next doors.

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

All systems go....

I have spent the last 18 months anticipating the day I would get my hands on the keys to the cottage and I have been giving a lot of thought to what sort of look I want to give the place. I knew it needed a lot of work doing to it but nothing prepares you for the day you actually get the keys and are told "let's get started". That day arrived yesterday and the Big Boss (who's authorising payment for all this) is "keen to get on with things".

So the last 24 hours have passed in a complete blur of plumbers, kitchens, bathrooms.

My head is spinning with technical discussions about boilers and whether a combi-boiler (which is what I want) will work properly because there is a water pressure problem in the area. Apparently it should if have acold water tank in the attic and fit a pump to keep up the flow to the boiler....but a builder "wot does plumbing" told me that and not the plumbers which is a incy bit worrying! But hey, if it works, I'm game.

I've had to try and think about where I want the radiators, powerpoints, telephone points, radiators, aerial sockets, the layout of the kitchen and whether we want to move the door (we do), where is the oil tank going to go and how much of the bushes should be cleared to create parking. What needs to be cleared in the garden and which bits of fence need replacing or repairing.

Although I have chosen which kitchen I want.....Kelmscott Oak...mind you, I haven't looked at the price yet. But given the size of the kitchen I could have the walls lined with gold leaf and it wouldn't break the bank.

What fun this is!!

Monday, 16 October 2006

Well that was fun!

Saturday night was Greyhound Gap's annual fundraiser. This year we decided to leave the haunted houses to themselves and have ourselves a good time with a disco and karaoke. We started organising this in January and I have had all that time to not look forward to it. Disco and karaoke are really not my thing. I had my fill of discos when I worked in a nightclub 20 years ago. I just do not dance and I do not sing. My singing would clear the room. Now I'm middle-aged I prefer a quiet night in with friends to dinner than to boogying until the early hours.

However, I surprised myself. There's life in the old girl yet! The DJ was superb and played some proper rocking and rolling, proper dancin' music (remember "The Bump"!? "Tiger Feet"!?). It was probably the best night I have had in a long, long time!

Doing "The Bump" (That's me on the left. Dancing with the handbag. I wouldn't normally dance with my handbag but there were some very kind souls there who were chucking money at Gap right, left and centre and, as Treasurer, it got given to me. Shortly after this photo was taken I managed to unload it into the club's safe. That was good. It mean I didn't have a wonky shoulder the next day.)

Let's Twist Again (That's me on the left...again.)

C'mon let me see you shake your tail feathers ( You'll realise that's me on the left won't you?)

Me (yes, on the left) and Lisa doing what we do best...being loud!

Friday, 13 October 2006

Well this is going to be a problem

I got my hands on the keys to the new cottage today. I have seen inside before but that was over a year ago and time does play tricks on your memory. I knew the cottage was small but I had forgotten just how small it is. In fact, small is not the word. Miniscule is more apt.

My furniture is not going to even get through the door let alone fit inside. That's going to be a problem. There's no storage space either.

Ho hum. *Remember it's rent free. Remember it's rent free*

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

I have the bestest boss.....

....not "Big Boss" but "Boss". I have my photography classs tonight and I have completely forgotten to get a black and white film for my old AE1. Boss was heading off to Asda so I asked if she would mind picking up a film for me. She's just rung to say that Asda don't do black and white film and where else could she get it for me. The only other place is Jessops which is about 5 miles in the opposite direction but she's going to go there for me anyway! Boss rocks!


We have a new laptop at work and it has wireless capability. Unfortunately none of us do. We can't get it to connect to the internet and have no idea if what we're doing to try to connect it to the internet is right.

Things like that make my brain wibble.

Other than that it's great and it meant that I could work at home yesterday and type the Board meeting minutes whilst sitting in my comfortable reclining-heat-padded-massaging armchair. That's a life I could get used to.

Monday, 9 October 2006

The games people play

Lots of games in fact.

We had friends to stay for the weekend and we played crib, Yahtzee, Mah Jong, 1s and 6s, more crib, Pass the Pig, Nom and Uno.

And great fun it was too!

The absolutely bestest news of all though is that, tonight, the Board approved the recommendation that I move into a vacant premises on the Common. Yay!! There's a lot to be done as the cottage needs complete renovation so we won't be moving a for a few months yet. But it's not often you get to renovate a house how you please (within reason) and have someone else pay for it!! The only downside is that the cottage is about 1/2 the size of our flat so it will all be a bit of a squeeze. The upside is that it is rent free....something of a bonus! As payoff, I have to join the 24 hour duty rota which means I will be on call one night a week and will have to work one weekend in four. I think I can deal with that.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

More waiting.

The good news is that scan is all clear. Yay! But the blood test results aren't back and I have to go back for another appointment in 4 weeks so I'm still none the wiser.

I did have my sensible head on this morning though so was able to clarify a few things. If the thyrogloblin results are still elevated, and the doctor I saw this morning would be surprised if they weren't, then I will be back in hospital for more radio-iodine treatment. Which in itself is no big deal. The problems arise because I have to come off my thyroid medication for a few weeks beforehand, and that is a really big deal and I'll be about as much use as a wet lettuce.

They don't "know" but it appears to be universally assumed in this field of medicine that elevated thyroglobulin levels do mean that the cancer will have returned. However, that said, elevated levels can also mean that not all the thyroid cells were killed during the initial radio-iodine treatment. But the doctor thinks that is probably unlikely because my results have been static at just about zero for the last three years and that scenario would have shown a steady increase not a sudden jump. Either way they would remove the cells anyway as they won't take a chance that there might be cancer there.

Watch this space.....again!