Friday, 22 August 2014
It's been a 'why do we do it?' week! Yes, we should know better. Yes, we are suckers for punishment. But I am hopeful all will come good in the end - and I'm planning a decent end to the week!
So, our lounge featured the above pretty fire. 'What's wrong with that?' I hear you ask. A couple of minor things ..... the chimney was never lined so all the debris fell on to the fire; cold air comes down the open chimney to cool this already cool house; the hole up the chimney is large cat sized - we had to pull him down by his tail! And to second that, once the fire goes out the coals go black, and stoopid cat stands on hot coals. Cat on a hot tin roof has nothing on cat on hot fire coals. So, it had to go! It's not as if we could use it.
In its place will be a Yeoman CL5 gas powered wood burner. Slightly different surround, it will be oak to match the doors (the ones with the peeling veneer, that was another tale of woe) and with slate hearth and back. Cream is not a good colour for us.
Now, reader, as you know, I was an evil child in a former life, jinxed by a wicked witch as a baby, fell through the roof of the mirror factory as a child and smashed a pile of mirrors, each worth 7 years bad luck. Oh, and my husband is a doom and gloom merchant! Yup, like everything else it went Pete Tong.
Stage 1 - builder/fitter to:
Remove fire, surround etc and remove to a place of safety as I want to sell it
Make the hole in the wall the right size and shape for the new fire
Remove the one small cover you put on the floor and admire the mess made on the not very old cream carpet and hope the customer doesn't notice.
Note the new ingrained black soot and dust ingrained in the carpet.
I've hoovered up Mrs
Oh that'll come up with a quick wipe with a damp cloth
Let me get you a damp cloth ....
Oh well, you've got a Vax, it'll come up with that
So, I fire up the Vax, it does diddly-squat. Husband comes home and has a tantrum.
Then he rings the shop installing all of this - who tell him to ring the builder/fitter - Spiller by name, Spiller by nature.
Mr Spiller ignores us.
For those who remember the saga of the oak veneer doors and John Lewis Financial Services failure to deal with our section 75 claim... in a nutshell we sued and they lost. It is a mistake to ignore us.
Builder calls and says he is surprised another vacuum and the Vax didn't sort this. We say we are surprised they got us in this mess in the first place. They agree that they will foot the bill for the carpet to be cleaned.
Today the carpet is being cleaned by professional cleaners. So far they are on the 3rd clean of the lounge carpet. If it doesn't clean up then it will have to be replaced - husband can negotiate with Mr Spiller. Clearly they know their stuff because, whilst they were here, I decided they might as well do the only other piece of cream carpet, the hall, stairs and landing, and that's coming up a treat. It also gives me 'the carpet should be this colour not that colour' evidence. I won't see the full effect until it's totally dry, but I am not 100% convinced it is quite as cream as it once was. The cleaner can do no more - it was apparently harder than sorting out a fire damaged carpet!
Meanwhile, every surface in the lounge is covered with a fine film of black dust. 'Why didn't you clean that first you ninny?' I hear you ask. I did, the whole lot, books, CDs, shelves, hoovered the furniture. And it just comes back. It's in the air. So I have done the best I can and will do again.
The big draughty hole in the wall connected to the chimney proved to be a cat magnet. And the draught! And yet more falling debris. So it's been sealed off. Why didn't we wait to do the carpets after all the building work? Because the next bit should be clean - and they had better bring enough covers to keep it all clean else they'll be paying up again. We have to pay the fitter on the day, so needed to know this lot could be cleaned before we paid the final instalment. In the old days, you employed a man to do a job and he was in charge of everything. Now, despite what they tell you, everyone is sub-contracted and blames the next man when something goes wrong. Is it 'progress'?
Stage 2 is on 1st September. The slate hearth and surround go in, then the fire. There will not be a spot of dirt. The fire will work perfectly - remote controlled to make life easier for us in our old age and we will be warm happy bunnies.
OK, and the tooth fairy will leave me a fiver, my lottery numbers will come up, the blue bird of happiness will fly over, the man in the moon will eat blue cheese and it'll be warm enough to sunbath on Christmas Day.
Now for some good news!
Despite all the ups and downs, the Pete Tong incidents, we have made it through 10 years today! I'm told, in terms of modern marriages, that's pretty good going. Thinking back, some of the things we were trying to sort right back then, are still being sorted today - still no sign of getting proper storm drains sorted here, still flooding every time it rains! Perhaps another 10 years and it'll all be done, dusted, warm, dry - then it'll be time to move. I'm still planning on retiring to Cornwall. Mr Doom & Gloom says not, it'll all go wrong. Wonder where we will be in another 10 years.