Monday, 7 March 2011

Week 3: The ratchet of progress

This blog seems to be little more than a list of works completed to date, but I’m going to keep it up so we’ve some way of looking back and seeing what we’ve accomplished.


In that spirit, here’s what’s gone on since last week:


We got an Aga engineer out to service the cast iron bad-boy.  According to him the smell of oil is not unusual, it’s just that our valvework is stored in a kitchen cupboard rather than just tucked away around the back.  Other than that it’s in rude health, and that’ll be £90 for the privilege.  Googling after his visit I found out it consumes 40l of oil a week.  A WEEK.  It’s a middle-class lifestyle affectation and, much as Islay’s enjoying it and I quite like its warmth on a cold day, I’m going to start plotting its downfall soon enough.


Islay played host to many contractors.  We got two quotes for plastering the media room (£110 and £630.  I think they’ve offered different things).  A quote for some fencing work.  A visit from some roofers, but no quote yet.


Our surveyor, Brien Walker, also paid us a follow up call (at our request).  He walked us through the survey and we got a chance to ask him how the property worked.  Very helpful, very friendly, highly recommended.  His nutshell summary: nice area, nice grounds, pretty poorly built but nothing wrong that’ll make it fall down.  Which is sort of reassuring I suppose.


At his prompting I clambered onto the flat roof on Saturday and, armed with a sturdy broom, swept five barrowfuls of moss out of the hidden valley and onto the compost heap.  It looks better now, and presumably might prolong the life of the roof a little.  Whilst up there I had the dubious pleasure of seeing quite how poorly cabled the antennae are (for there are two of them, and a satellite dish) with their cables draped loosely over the roof.  Two of them will be coming down soon.


I purchased my first ever crow-bar, actually a mini crow bar, and now I feel like Gordon Freeman.  My first target was not a headcrab but the recalcitrant shelving unit at the back of the media room.  With a little help from my dad it was out of the room and into the greenhouse in short order.


With naught but a squeegee and some washing up liquid I fitted a window film to the conservatory door so Ula can run pell mell around the house without (much) fear of losing a limb to falling sheets of plate glass.


And best of all our new fridge turned up.  It now looms vastly in the corner of the kitchen like a white domestic version of the monolith from 2001.  Albeit a monolith with two doors and really cool lighting system when you open it up.  It is a slice of 21st century awesome in an otherwise rather outdated house.

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