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2 posts from January 2011

14 January 2011


So to site with my hamster face and slightly out of it thanks to pain killers (have just had a wisdom tooth out). It turns out that going to site slightly high on painkillers was a good thing as:

athe lovely terrazzo floor that I was hoping to retain as my new kitchen floor is not salvageable which means I need to buy an additional 25 sq m of flooring 

 b) more asbestos has been found at the top of the two windows in the dining room we are removing to create one big picture window

c) it has only just been brought to my attention that we need some structural work, and so also more bloody asbestos removal, in the old greenhouse to allow for replacement of the roof light in what will be my studio 

d) my lovely collection of brassware that I am designing for Barber Wilson may not be ready in time for installation into my home after all which means I have to research alternatives and the plumber is on site next week to commence first fix not knowing what the spec. is

e) the roofer was only on site Monday of this week, so we have lost four more days and approach month 5 of our 6 week roofing programme

f) the bronze door furniture I want is about £1,500 over my budget of £1,500. I blame the Chinese.

Oh God!

On the bright side the kitchen floor replacement presents a number of benefits, not least the opportunity to finish the kitchen and the adjacent terrace in the same material. 

Er....and that's about it.

Time for a well-earned Friday night cocktail...with some more pain killers.

07 January 2011

Naomi and Roof


The snow has melted and now it's just wet.

Works to the roof continue. We are now in month four of a 6 week programme. Any more delays and everything will be delayed which will be jolly annoying, not to mention expensive.

SEC, the asbestos people, whom I simply cannot recommend highly enough - expert, reassuring, helpful and affordable (www.secasbestos.com) - were back on site this week and just as well as tearing down the final section of existing wall we found some more of the grey stuff.

Let's hope this is the last bit.


The drains have, unsurprisingly, presented issues too. The sixties has a lot to answer for. In very many ways. While Fanny and Johnny thought it the height of sophistication to splash the food colouring all over, the building industry thought it was equally cool to use loads of groovy new materials like asbestos insulation board and pitch fibre drains......which quickly collapse - so all our drains need to be sleeved with fibreglass. There's a bit of sucking in of teeth in certain quarters as to whether this will really work but Drainology are giving us a 15 year guarantee so buttocks clenched, quite literally.

The order for the windows and glass doors is confirmed. And after lots of fannying around I found some bronze window handles at Allgoods that will match the bronze frames as, weirdly, these only come with ironmongery in black, white or silver. Yuk! Why, after all these years, is there so much rubbish design/design thinking around still?

Door furniture is next and again it must be bronze please. No white metal thank you. Though am discovering this costs a small fortune. Why must I always be so ahead of the curve? A cross I have to bear.

The electrics plan has reached Revision D because I've had to strip out costs, dropping fittings in some areas and redesigning in others.


And then there's "The Paradox of Choice" or "category overload". Looking for downlighters I get the same feeling I get in Waitrose sometimes: it's all just too much choice. Hyperventilating with panic, I often end up running out with all the usual stuff (pasta, sausages, salad) and then, while flipping through Waitrose Weekend afterwards, feel ludicrously depressed for not being sufficiently interesting and adventurous to discover Heston's Ponzu Salad Dressing, or Nettle Cordial or all those other amazing things that if you're an interesting, adventurous person no doubt you're guzzling down this very minute.

Time to sit quietly in a dark room...in Mr Resistor's dark room so I can make a choice based on  the evidence in front of me instead of a list of mathematical equations (www.mr-resistor.co.uk).