Wednesday, 29 August 2012

I KNOW She Didn't Say That!

Once again, we were forced into a 'choose-what-you-want-NOW!' decision.

Having been stood out the front, on the pavement looking at the electric fire picture samples and choosing one out of 3 to be installed, the same thing happened with the wallpaper.

Having had a chat with the Liaison Officer, we came to the decision that they would 'decorate' the front room rather than us have the £150 in B&Q vouchers at the end of the fit up. So that we had "one room that we could relax in."

We'd mentioned that we were going to put down laminate flooring in there, (due to my asthma), and were told if we bought it they would fit it. Ten minutes or so later that was back-tracked to a no-no.

We went out to look at wallpaper samples from their car. It wasn't 'Anaglypta' per se but 'paintable wallpaper'. The walls are a bit rough so it has to be papered rather than just painted. Oh, the samples were dire; the really naff bog-standard Council stuff. (Or, am I meant to be PC and call it Social Housing?)

Laura Ashley

"What about if we bought our own", we asked. OK. So I went out and bought a couple of rolls of fancy Laura Ashley paper and 5 rolls of bin ends that work well with it. Changed my mind; thought the LA stuff would be nicer in our bedroom. Checked out a Next wallpaper - no samples in store, but they would put a piece in the post for me. (Thank you!)

It arrived today. Showed the LO and she comes out with something about us buying our own paintable paper, not regular wallpaper. I stood my ground and she has conceded that they will use it.


Now, I know she can't have specified for us to purchase the paintable type of paper, because I wouldn't have agreed to that and would've said 'stuff it, we'll do our own decorating!

Laura Ashley (bin ends are a bit like this)

I have nothing against it, just I've lived with that sort of thing for years and now, being given the chance, wanted something different. If we could've gone for a dado rail with the proper Anaglypta/Lincrusta then I may've been swayed. But that wasn't an option.

I am fed up of 'the powers that be' wheedling out of what they first agreed to. I am thinking it is necessary to record every conversation, just as proof.

But, it IS all coming together and there will be pictures soon!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Kitchen? Smitchen!

My new kitchen plan
OK. It's 9.44 first working morning of the new working week after the Bank Holiday.

One workman is trying to sort out the newly plumbed in washing machine. I went to put washing in on Sunday and got a whoosh of waste water all over the floor. And seeping into the newly installed kitchen units bases.

The machine has been put in with a kink in the waste pipe, hence the mucky water. He is draining it, but the new electric wiring that was chased into the wall on Friday won't work!

The aforementioned wiring hasn't been plastered over, meanwhile, the tilers are in to tile the kitchen. Over the unplastered wiring???
We splashed out on new cooking appliances. I had printed off various ideas and pictures/info of items that I fancied getting, including an oven. This transpired to be a 'built in' oven. The only guidance given by the 'kitchen designer', was to choose a 'built under' oven. So, I chose a different 'built under' oven, which, having had it delivered on Thursday, the kitchen fitter who was here on Friday thought it was too big. Cue lots of deep sighing, lip biting etc etc from all manner of the work force. We are still waiting to find out if it can be fitted.
Sure you want a new kitchen, Helga?

Monday, 27 August 2012

Lion Spotted In Essex

photo by Channi =]

With Internet news headlines rife with a police search for a lion in Essex, it reminded me of a tale told about Victoria Square, Portsmouth.

The Guildhall has two stone lions at the top of the steps, either side of the entrance. In the middle of the Square there is a statue on a plinth, of Queen Victoria.

© Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

As a boy I was told that as the Guildhall clock struck midnight the lions would roar and Queen Victoria would climb down, lift her robes and walk up and down. I recounted this tale to Mrs B on our first date night in Portsmouth.

As the search has been called off, I would hope that the Essex lion has eloped with The Beast of Bodmin, to live happily ever after.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

This Sums It Up...Perfectly!

I hasten to add that this has nothing to do with the contractors; it is totally down to the awkwardness of the building!

Edit: do follow the link, (I didn't realise it wasn't going to embed). It is such a funny clip! Z xx

Friday, 24 August 2012

As If By Magic (if only!)

So, the transformation has begun in earnest this week.

The kitchen has been totally ripped out! We were left with our gas oven but at the end of the day we had neither the energy or inclination to cook. Cheesy puffs and a cup of coffee sitting on the front room floor seemed a good idea at the time.

Our little bathroom, which we have never got around to decorating. 'Cos pinky painted clouds is so me. Not!

Along with the giant power tools this little beauty caught our eye. A heavy-duty Makita radio.
This is going on my Christmas list!

The hallway at the height of the mayhem.

Some of the 'angels' that sorted it out. Our LX gang from Edwards Technical.
Thank you, boys.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Vulgar Outpouring! Be Warned!

It's been a total fricking shambles!
'Nuff said.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Friday, 10 August 2012

Emptying The BIG Sideboard

This tea set belonged to my grandma. It's been wrapped up in the sideboard, as has most of what follows, since we moved here, fourteen years ago. A couple of pieces are cracked, but as I looked at it I did think that when it comes back it really should be used. It's marked 'Paragon China England' and also has a 6-sided star on it.

A variety of handed down cutlery. This fish set has bone handles and pretty engraving on the knives. The coffee spoons were my mums' and the top of the spoon is made to look like a coffee bean. I'm thinking the pastry forks will work a treat with the tea set.

I'm also thinking it all needs a bit of elbow grease and a bottle of Silvo!

The blue tin is marked Kandit. Not sure of its' provenance. I think the Japanese bits were from my dads' side of the family. I can think of no reason that they were one went to Japan as far as I know. But my dad did work for a Japanese chap, so maybe that's were they are from. My beloved 'Edwardian ladies vases' as I call them; because they remind me of the shape of the necklines of posh Edwardian evening gowns. (Just in case you were wondering!). Never looked to see if they had any markings. The orange 'stuff' is part of my collection of Fire King items. I really must Google this to find out more. I've had it longer than Google's been going, I think. It is American and a bit like Pyrex.

Pretty bowl picked up when I was a student, probably, for pennies. I have a few oddments in this sort of style that I used for everyday. Now, it is a bit more treasured! The marking on the base is 'Grindley England' with a little galleon. Apart from the well-known stuff, I really know nothing about crockery/china. Again, back to Google.

A mish-mash of glassware here. The Christmas stuff is from Jonny-Loulous and is that old that some people would call it vintage I guess. This has had regular use. The pink-stemmed glasses have a tale. For those of you who remember Woolworth's, each store used to hold a yearly Valentines competition and we were lucky enough to win it! There were 2 plates, 2 sets of cutlery. the glasses, caviar, chocs and wine, all in a wicker hamper. There are photos somewhere; when and if I find them, they will be scanned. A couple of sets of those cutie 50s/60s glasses. The boxed set is covered in lucky charms - 4 leaf clovers and the like. The ceramic bird bottle stop was my dads', so that's pretty ancient! More modern are the 2 Coke glasses, the one on the right celebrating the Winter Olympics at Lillehammer in 1994.

One of my favourites and probably the most unusual is this amazing Caravan & Camping Club side plate that Mr B found. The marking is a lion and the name 'Maddock'.
How cute is that print?

It is weird going through all these things and almost cataloguing them. We have been avid collectors of 'stuff' for years and have bought things because we liked them. Now, with the arrival of 'Vintage' adding a spin and inflated prices, it makes me wonder are any of our things now valuable and should they be treated as 'precious' which somehow strikes me as a shame.

Maybe we just need to start a museum??
Z xx

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Bumper Thursday

OK. So, we've gone from trundling banana boxes full of books down to the lock-up in a discarded shopping trolley....
to this

Mr B & 2 removal men

A very large wagon

with 3 filled-to-the-brim wooden storage containers

A great big THANK YOU to Mark (red shirt) and Dean from Wardle & Keach for making what was going to be the 'day from hell' so much more bearable.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


As Gwen Stefani would say! (Check 2 mins 32 seconds in).

Rene doing her best to help with the packing.

The kitchen was designed this morning, swiftly followed by the ordering of a built under double electric oven, gas hob and chimney extractor hood.
Made me feel ill ordering all that!
Bit the bullet and ordered the shower whilst I was burning the plastic!

I might not have the vintage Vuitton trunk, but I do still have my old school trunk. This has made its' way up to the storage space along with a thousand or so books and about a squillion knick-knacks! We are single-handedly going through all the empty boxes that Morrison's can throw at us. I haven't found any 'exotics' hidden away in the banana boxes and I pray that that is the way it stays!!

We have someone coming to check what furniture has to go and then that will be transported on Thursday along with anything else that needs to go.

This my sh**. This my sh**.

Sunday, 5 August 2012


We knew it was coming...

Towards the end of last year we were informed that the council was going 'to do up' our flat as part of 'Decent Homes' initiative-thingy.

That time has suddenly been thrust upon us. The kitchen designer is coming on Tuesday and the work begins the following Wednesday!

Meanwhile, we have a wedding reception to go to a week on Monday!

I know it is going to fabulous when it is all finished; plus we will decorate afterwards and probably put down more laminate floors, but, and it really is a big but, (does my butt look big in this??), basically we have to move everything out of our home leaving just the walls standing.

This collage picture below is just one shelf's worth of a bookcase!

The top picture is nearly all the books from one bookcase.

The other collage is some of what was left in the bar that I had started clearing here and here.

Remind me...never buy anything ever again!