It was as easy as this!

It was as easy as this!

For taking an extended break from this blog.


1) We had a break-in on site, and it took over my time, and the wind from my blogging sails.

2) We’ve actually moved into our new build, and have been trying to get an internet connection ever since.

Yes, sadly some thieving scum bags broke into our fabulous new home.

With only an anticipated two weeks to go, and on the eve of Max’s first school, or nursery, fair, we were robbed.

They took a boiler, two shower systems (from the wall), a towel radiator, the kitchen tap, not sink and made an awful mess getting into the place.

I despise this sort of activity, theft.  And I do take it personally, how could I not, it is my house and my stuff.

The police were helpful to a point. And advised that as soon as I was in the property, this ‘type’ of thief would no longer be interested in my home.

Therefore we rescheduled a few things and went for it, and we literally moved in with the replacement boiler and the kitchen equipment under our arms.

Moving is horrible, and is still horrible when you are moving into a dream home. 

The Three-Foot-Foreman also got so excited he picked up a cold in the process, but we got everything in as planned and he quickly recovered causing no fuss in the process. Bless him.

I’ve also bust my camera.  Never put a digital camera, or any for that matter, in your back pocket, is all I will type on the matter.

I hope to resurrect this blog, especially the update/latest pic page, as we set about completing the place while we live in it.

Thanks for your patience.


Who Needs A Cleaner?

How\'s This Thing Work Again?When you can buy one of these bad-boys. 

I wrote about home-automation and gadgets a tad earlier this week.

As I said, or typed, then, I’m trying to be as realistic as possible when it comes to technology in my new home.

There is absolutely no point paying a lot of money for gizmos, whose benefits would not really be fully yielded.

The house is set up to take TV aerials in each room, and there are cables run for Sky in several rooms, that’s if I do eventually decide to pay for my television viewing again.

But I’ve not gone much further. Biometric door lock aside.

That’s not to say that plenty of other products, or ideas, have not been appraised.

Robotic lawn mowers have been on the long list of products to be considered, reviewed, and dismissed, for now.

Because as well as suffering terribly with the domestically challenged gene, I do have a genuine concern that the maintenance on this gaff will become a bind.

With that in mind the gardener’s spec has contained the words – easiest maintenance possible – in bold from the very beginning.

Some new friends who are renovating a property in the same village as me, educated, or enlightened me to the existence of automatic vacuums or floor cleaners.

Apparently there is a particular cost-effective model that is brilliant on hard surfaces, such as the tiles and wood scheduled for my ground floor.

So after some initial research it appears that this idea could have wings, or batteries and a mind of its own anyway.

The Future, Here, Today

Well in ten days actually.

When I did the whole smarter home evaluation I started with all the knobs and whistles.

A wired network in every room, retractable cinema screen and surround sound music pipe-able everywhere.

Investigation of these systems, and a genuine realisation that I won’t really use the benefits, let alone be able to pay for them, has meant that they’ve been firmly shunted from the specification.

Plus it looks like I’ll be able to create a similar experience, through wireless equipment, should I choose to in the future.

But during the investigations, and visits to those sections of the various homebuilding magazines I came across biometric locks.

Now, that is the future.

Misplacing your keys isn’t a problem, well, it only becomes a problem if you also lose your thumb while you’re out.

I thought these things were going to be mega-bucks, but I was pleasantly surprised that I can get one for a little over £200, that’s if you can claim the VAT back.

Then the next problem it seems is actually getting hold of one.

Hence it’s not quite the future today.

I tried two different on-line security/smart homes set ups, both quickly cancelled my order – citing supply issues.

The actual manufacturer is now supplying me the lock, or has promised to supply the lock in ten days.

I’m now a one-off-pro-forma customer, who’s hopeful that he’s going to be able to access his shiny new house in a shiny new way.

The Gaffer’s Room

Three Foot Foreman\'s Room LayoutI’ve started to think about how I might actually fill this house.  That’s with furniture by the way, I’m not looking for stowaways, yet.

Where better to start than with the Three-Foot-Foreman’s room.  Got to be the easiest to do, he’s smaller than me.

But it is proving more difficult than I imagined.

I’ve created a decent sized scaled drawing of the overall room layout.  Then I’ve cut out, to the same scale, my child’s existing furniture, and some ideas for what else he needs.

Then there is the eye on the future, where possible I don’t want to be buying stuff that is only going to last in the short-medium term. 

Granted, I don’t think his train table will last forever, it may be converted for use as something else.  But things like the wardrobes need to grow with him, and any other furniture needs to be adaptable for a growing man.

This is the first time that Max will really have a his own room, since we lived in our marital home.  And what I mean by that, is a room totally given over to him, or designed and decorated for his sole purpose.  His room.

Over the past, nearly, three years, while I’ve put pictures on his walls and bought rugs that are fitting with a child’s run, I’ve really been fudging it.

I want to get it just right for him.

He’s insisting on it being red and white, but other than that I’ve very little to work with.

I’ve seen a nice lampshade, it’s a planet with rockets attached to it.  I thought I could then put up some glow-in-the-dark stars and things.  His Mom has a star named after her, so I think that will be a great touch.

This should also tidy things up a little, and make bed time reading choice quicker.

I’m sure he’ll love it, after all it’s about three times the size of his current abode, and it has a karsey.


Manual Labour? That Bloke Who Ran Mexico You Mean?

The Undercoated Porch, 29th April 2008You know the old censored saying – if you can urinate you can paint

Well, I might just be able to blow that myth.

I’m not well known for my practical, hands-on skills.  In fact my Manuel Labor joke is one of my favourites.

More patience and less frustration are needed.  I tend to get annoyed that I can’t do things brilliantly straight away, and jobs like painting are boring for most people.

Anyway this week I decided I needed to actually get some paint on the exposed woodwork of the porch.

Since this has been constructed I’ve been umm-ing and arr-ing over whether to paint the non-oak woodwork white, or to stain it a similar colour to the oak beams.

Having seen both types of finishes on properties around this area, I plumped for white paint.

This woodwork has been exposed a while so I thought it was getting necessary to start this process.  And who worse to start it than myself.

So, off I went armed with brush undercoat and steps.  All the woodwork is painted, as well as some of the house and some of the roof felt.

I shall just have to fit some really nice front door furniture on to stop visitors looking up in my porch, and when I say fit, I mean by someone else! 

Power Up

Electric MeterWhile the building has been going at a fair rate of knots, the service connections have been meandering along like a broken canal barge in the background.

The builder has had nowt to do with the connections, and predicted they would take as long as it will to build the house from start to finish.

Hopefully they’ll be complete by the end of May, what will be at least a month prior to completion.

But, I suppose, as they were ordered, or at least enquired about, three months before we cut sods.  Then his prediction was bang on.

The latest to go in has been the electric, which I had a minor concern about the position of the box on the house.

I’d had a few minor panic attacks that the powers that be would decide the position was actually on the back of the house, and therefore not allowed.

It’s actually on the side of the house, and will be relatively easy for the reader to access, once they realise where it actually is.

The meter itself no longer looks very substantial.  I think it looks more like a large fuse, than your traditional bricks-wouldn’t-break black metal machine.

Sewer connection is scheduled for early May, and I think that will cause the most disruption.  An absolute necessary evil though.  After that the disruption to all around me should subside somewhat.

Reassuring Problem

Where do these go?The second phase of this project, the ‘inside’, is continuing at a good beat.

My involvement has increased somewhat, I’m having to make decisions and look at sourcing the finishing materials from now on in.

It could have been a lot worse, as I could be liaising between trades, sorting out problems and actually getting people to arrive in the right order and without any gaps.

After due consideration, the only trade I’m directly responsible for is the electrics.  So, therefore I’ve just had to make sure that his work is done for the plasterers and the plaster doesn’t cover over his good work.

We’ve had a slight problem this week with that very practice.  When boarding the kitchen ceiling, the plasterers assumed the electrician had mapped out where the spot lights were and would drill the holes once the plaster was on.

Yet, the electrician expected the plasterers, much as they have done elsewhere, to pull the cables through for the spotlights.

After some quick liaison I worked out that as these spots were in ‘runs’ that the plasterers would only need to physical find a few, and then the other positions could be worked out by measurement.

And I think that this is now sorted, and however brief my worry level was raised for, the overwhelming feeling was relief and reassurance that the correct method for finishing this project was chosen.