Saturday, 18 October 2008

15 October 2008 Wednesday – The end of the beginning

Today was the day of reckoning and the builders would be returning late afternoon to finish off the trunking and to give me my account for payment.
I get the emulsion paint out and do a first coat on the new wallpaper that I hung yesterday, plus touched up some other areas needing a lift.
I tackled my blog entry for the art exhibition. Just like the day before, the photos and text would not stay in the position that I wanted. After over an hour I just had to publish it as it was.
The paint was still drying so I tackled another outstanding issue. My orange internet/telephone/TV package account. I managed to log myself onto the system and was delighted to find that I owed them nearly £230. They haven’t taken any monthly payments off me yet, and my free calls that I thought I was getting have cost me £50 so far. The builders arrived and the usual greetings ensued. “Is everything well” they enquired. I said that no everything was not well and explained about my unexpected phone bill. The builder reads my orange documentation, his son gets involved too and eventually we log in to another part of the system and I find that the option for free calls to land lines in Europe, that I thought I was paying 7 euros a month for, was not enabled. It took more poring over the documentation before the required password was located and I added the option to my package.
It was about 6pm by this time and the builders very kindly said that they would install my heated towel rail for me for free, which was very kind of them.
It took them quite a while, but by the time it was installed I had signed copies of the 3 accounts, (something about claiming back VAT or paying less VAT due to it being restoration work on an old property? Something else to add to my “I must find out about that” pile) and written them a cheque.
So phase one is completed.
The builder will return next week to look at the downstairs studio dampness and ventilation issues, the shonky stair treads on the main staircase, the leaking pipework under the building…. Will I be in? he asks. A tricky one to answer as he is vague about date and time.

Following on from my visit to the art exhibition on Sunday, the builder’s wife has very kindly invited me for a meal at their house. I have not got good eyesight and driving along twisting narrow, un illuminated roads in the dark would be a real nightmare for me.
The problem with this weekend is that I am going to be away on the choir outing on Saturday and Sunday. I had to show them the outing instructions. A discussion ensues about where the place that I am going is. The builder says that it is north and I say it is south west. So maps and the Internet have to be consulted etc.
I think that I am now going to lunch at their house on a future date to be arranged.
How many of you have been invited to your builder’s house for a meal? Things are certainly different here and the people all seem to be really nice and friendly.
By the time they left I just had time to make something to eat, get my choir stuff ready, tidy up a bit before heading for the door. The full moon was shining above the castle and it was a very mild evening. Fancy not having taken my camera to choir practice!
Choir was tough having missed last weeks practice and my throat was still playing up. The higher notes especially made me cough.

I handed over another cheque. This time to cover the weekend outing costs.
Practice finally ended at 10.45pm and as usual my head was buzzing.
As I approached the house, I could see that the studio tenant still had the light on and the window open. As I climbed the stairs there was a dreadful smell of burnt cooking. I hope that that was all it was, as a previous tenant of that studio managed to char the wood panelling . I finally in a cooking incident. I switch off the light at 1.30am hoping sleep would come. Of course it doesn’t.

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