Thursday, 29 October 2009

The Psychological Advantage

With a project like this we have found it quite easy to get bogged down and feel like nothing is getting done and we are going to have to sleep in the shed. So we decided to use the power of psychology to help us out. As present the first thing you see upon entering the house is this:
This is the kitchen and essentially it looks like this all the way around. It is the first thing you see when you enter the house and it looks, well.. pants. It also gives the immediate feeling of 'DOOM', that this won't get done in time. So we decided to make amends... onward decorators.
We spent the evening putting up some lining paper so that we can get started on the painting as soon as all is ready. Even with just the lining paper up it is a much nicer atmosphere to greet you when you walk in.
Goodbye plasterboard, hello adequately put up lining paper!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

What Could It Mean?

To the lay-man this appears to be a photo of a light switch...

In fact it is a photo of a light switch, but it is also a photo of great meaning and significance. The electrician finished his work! We now have a completely re-wired house, an outside socket, three new outside lights and two new consumer units (fuse boxes). Plus all new light fittings, switches and sockets! The biggest job of the house refit has been completed! And what a weight of our minds.

With this done, the wood work guys (ones treating for woodworm and wet rot) have only one day left (tomorrow) until they are finished and the plumber to do his 4 day job (starting tomorrow as well) and all the tradesmen will have finished. So hopefully by the end of this week we should have a bathroom and a set of plumbed in kitchen appliances!

Want to see more of the kitchen? Well...

These are a couple of wall units.

Here is the one and only set of drawers - with soft close function - Oh Yes!

And how many people does it take to put these things together, that's right, 3, and one to take the photo!

And the finished cupboards (some of them anyway) roughly where they will be going when the kitchen is done. The big white things on the right being used as tables - washing machine and tumble dryer - also where they will be in the finished room!

So, things are coming together. I have more news but I shall let these words of enlightenment sink in first!!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Wordless Wednesday: The Pond Result

The (almost) finished pond!

The 6 for a fiver trees!! (To go round the pond?)

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Want To See My New Kitchen?

Want to see my new kitchen? It was delivered last Monday. Well, here it is:
Yep. All those boxes stacked up in the garage! Just behind the work bench there... that's the kitchen sink!! Although none of the electrics or the plumbing has been done in the kitchen we couldn't resist putting one of the units together..

Its flat pack - give me an "Oh Yeah!". It took us perhaps and hour to do the first unit. Hopefully we will get faster as we get the hang of the process. Looks like we know what we're doing doesn't it? Well, we managed to glue it in wrong twice, but managed to sort it out before the glue dried! Well, you've got to have a practice one don't you!

Finished base unit. This one'll have one shelf in it when it is finally in place. There will be double doors on it, but apparently they are best put on after the unit is in place.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

The Boards! The Boards!

The workforce (my dad) has been working hard replacing some of the floor boards in our living room. It appeared that with a little bit of damp and a lot of help from woodworm the floorboards near the window need replacing - as does the whole cupboard under the window! So he has been pulling up and nailing back down for a good week now. We decided to add some damp-proofing underlay as a help against the damp, although where it is coming in we believe has now been fixed. We will then need to sand down the whole floor and then varnish it. That's the plan anyway. The floorboards in the bedroom also need replacing and again the window surrounds. The guy who is coming to deal with the wood worm and dry rot (19th and 20th: mark it in your diaries!) will replace the boards upstairs for us, and a couple of joists!

As you can see the room looks a complete state! This is pretty much how the whole house looks! But we are still quietly confident that it will all get done. The addition of the pond has taken some load off my mind. For some reason, although there are much more important things to worry about, like do we have water and electricity the missing pond was really weighing heavy on my mind! It's strange how somethings suddenly become so important to you! But we gave it a couple of days and it's done and that an end to it!

I have to admit that I am enjoying the challenges created but I am really hating the fact that I cannot do more (stupid work!). I want to be there helping out and getting things done! But we are restricted to weekends only as we have NO holidays left. Well, we kind of do but we are really keen to get a nice week off at Christmas to enjoy our new home! And with two weddings this month that takes up holiday as well. Ah well! Once we are in we will have plenty of 'doing' time!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Things About The Place

With so much to do around the farm to get it ready to live in come November I quite often am rushing about with arms full of things other than cameras so although I spot something interesting I can't take photos! But I did manage to get a couple of snaps of things I found on one tour around.

This hairy little guy was on the wall where the new greenhouse will go, don't know how he got there, it's concrete and brick as far as the caterpillar guy can see! We moved him to some safer hedge accommodation!

And I spotted this and it sounds like just the thing for a dirty house!

"Are you tired? Is you home a mess? Do you feel like you can't go on? Then you need GUMPTION!"

Monday, 12 October 2009

I Ache For...

...a really good reason! This weekend was the time of 'The Pond'. We currently have a pond at the old house and therefore have some fishies who also need a new home. So it was necessary to create them a luxury abode! So we headed to a aquatics specialist and chatted about pond installations and chose a pond for us. It looked huge. We couldn't get it in the car but as my dad was arriving on Sunday with a big estate we left collecting it until then.
So Saturday became Step 1: Remove Turf. Start with this:
End up with this:
To do this stage you will require - Solid (and soon to be muddy) boots:
And a nice new one of these:
On Sunday we returned to pick up the liner itself. Now if you are buying a pond don't be put off by the size compared to the size of your car. We didn't think it would get in, it was bigger than the car! But the salesman assured us it would go in and ... it did! So I recommend giving it a go, else we would've had to have paid for delivery! We went for 750L, which is bigger than our other one, but we thought the fishies deserved a treat - might even get them some friends next year! Once you have dug a hole, which takes a long time after you find that after 2 inches down the ground is just sand and stones! You get something that looks like this:
See that lovely pile of sand on the right! Nice!
Then you need to back fill the hole, adding water as you go. You let the pond settle itself and then pack the soil in around. This took nearly as long as digging the hole in the first place! We used our time to sort out and move some lillies that needed to be thinned and re-homed and also to shift some of that turf you can see piled up all around!
So where's the final result, I hear you ask? Well, by the time we finished it was pitch black and the photos didn't come out so you will have to contain yourselves until we get back there, which sadly may not be till next weekend, we are bit players in a wedding this week so there are a lot of preparations to be made.
Other developments are taking place and once I get more from the workforce (my dad) i'll let you in on it! But for a quick re-cap we have completely fallen out with one electrician and have gone with another, who starts today. The plumber comes in on Tuesday and the kitchen gets delivered today! WooT!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Pays Not to Pay!!!

It pays to shop around! The fabby fridge that we ordered... well, "Soon To Be Farm Guy" did some searching around - don't ask why we didn't do this before we ordered it... blown away by its magnificence we were... Anyway, he discovers it for significantly cheaper online, pretty much everywhere was selling it cheaper than the shop we bought from! Then he discovered one of the sites (a high street store) was having it a "12-Hour-Buy-It-Now-And-Save-A-Bucket-Load-Buy-Buy-Buy" sale and we could get even more off plus free delivery!

So we raced back to the shop we bought from to cancel the order, trains not withstanding (but that's another tale!). Understandable they did their best with plenty "umm-ing" and "err-ing" and "we can match that" and "let me ring for authorisation" but in the end they couldn't match or beat it nor could they break our resolve to get our money back!

Then it was back to the old Interweb to place our order for the same fridge (two week later on delivery but who cares) for the grand saving of... ready... £350!!!

That's (patter of tiny feet to currency converter) (patter back again) *phew!* $562!

So, my advice is, shop before you buy and, I know it's a shame and we should support the high street store, but prices are still lower on the web! If it had only been a few quid we would probably have taken the hit but for this kind of money, and us needing every penny, we just couldn't ignore it!

So what did I do with the money? I was allowed loose (well, slightly less reined in) in the direction of soft furnishings - WOOHOO!!!! Farm Guy had also discovered (which I will add to my "goodies for you" section) that old Argos was doing a sale on rugs, a pretty decent saving, 75% off so I got a couple of rugs for the living room and possibly the bedroom! - lets hear it for!

While on the subject of money saving and Argos, may I recommend, for UK persons, the National Shopping Monitor. You scan your shopping every time you buy something, return your receipts and they give you points. Every 10,000 points equates to £10 in high street vouchers or give the money to charity - various redeemables, its up to you what you do with it. The points build up fast (example: every week you scan you get 1000 points). You get points for receipts, bonus points each year, points for scanning and then they have other things like surveys which will give you points should you choose to fill them in. I have never been bothered with spam from them nor from other companies as a result of them and have been with them for several years now. I have had so much 'free' stuff with my vouchers, they are great for little gifts to yourself, extravagances you don't usually allow (like rowing machines!). I have given the best link I can, a search maybe better, oh and so you know this isn't some paid advert thing, I just think its pretty cool!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Sometimes You Just Gotta Garden...

This weekend was a good one again. Got plenty done! Saturday saw us driving to a Plumbing Supply store to get a parts list for our downstairs bathroom. We were to get a list then give that to our plumber and he will attempt to get a trade discount on the parts for us... what a nice man!
We drove all around the industrial park looking for this shop, with the sat nav handily announcing every few yards "You have Reached your Destination" or "Turn Around When Possible" - thank you for your valuable input! Me and the lady in the Sat Nav rarely get along!
But we made it in the end and got our suite sorted out, it was chosen for function rather than style as it is likely to be changed in the future as we expand the house. We also managed, on that day to get one hair cut, two wedding presents, some bulbs and plants, pond sizes, look at greenhouses and go to the cinema. Not bad as all this took place between three different towns!
Sunday was seen at the farm. But before purchasing a nice big American Style Fridge/Freezer, that's getting delivered next week!! People at the house were working inside and out. My work involved turning this:

Into this:

Not the worlds biggest difference but there are four bags of bulbs all planted for next spring in there too! My favourite bit was the two old chimmney pots in the garden that look pretty good with their 99p Lidl Chrysanthemums!! There are another two chimney pots around the back of the house, slightly different design to these, but will still look good wherever they end up.

Afterwards it was time for lunch, sitting at the top pf our field looking at the view!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Ahhh.. To Be Famous... At Least in Cartoon Form!

Do you all remember Monty? The upside down cat?

Well, my friend and collegue James has made Monty a star! James is a great artist and his latest series of cartoons involve cats, cats in many forms! He was looking for models and I offered up Monty as he posed so well in his last entry HERE.

Monty's cartoon went online today. Yes, it is his 15 minutes of Fame!! Go and check it out he is very proud of his new found stardom Monty - in Cartoon Form! I think it looks great, say "Hi" too, while your there!!

James has also cornered the market on cartoons about Sheep and Aardvarks. Check it out here:

And while we are at it, James has written a book too! It's here - Silly Beggar

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Meet Farm Dog...

We don't currently have an official Farm Dog so my parents dog has chosen to help us out until then...

"Come on guys... there's work to be done!"