Monthly Archives: May 2013

Bugger. Our granite is vented

There are some words in life you never really expect to utter, particularly when you don’t really understand what they mean.  “Bugger.  Our granite is vented” falls squarely into that category.

You’re intrigued now, surely?

granite slabs

Well, we had excitedly gone to a stone merchant in Sheffield to look at slabs of granite, fresh off the boat, for our kitchen worktops.

(We have to admit to a slightly middle-class bourgeois thrill at choosing our exact slabs).

Job done, marked up as ours  and off we smugly went for a latte. Yep, true to type.

Until a couple of weeks later when the very nice granite lady called to tell us the problem – they’d had our slabs delivered only to discover they were vented.

“Vented?”

“Got’oles in it”.

That’s the trouble with this damn natural stuff formed over hundreds of years;  just doesn’t always turn out like it is in the brochure.

“Not to worry, we  can get more.” Silence. “Can’t we?” Turns out the particular granite we wanted – River Valley White – has been halted for export by the Indian Government under claims of illegal quarrying. Ah.

Trouble was we hadn’t really seen anything else we liked quite as much and would go so well with our chosen kitchen colour scheme.  Thankfully, granite lady is  exceedingly resourceful and tracked down the last slabs in the UK courtesy of a chap in Birmingham. She even went to the trouble of sending us a pic of our actual slabs.

River Valley White, waiting to be cut to size

Our River Valley White, waiting to be cut to size

And the happy truth is that we like this more than the stuff we had original chosen.

So, no need to vent our frustration (sorry, couldn’t resist.)

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An attractive butt

We inherited a plastic water butt when we moved in, quite small and not terribly attractive. Butt ugly, one might say.

Butt ugly

The fabric in the window is Jude’s mum’s old duvet cover – retro 70s tastic!

So, as we wanted to replace it for a larger one anyway we decided to look for something a little more attractive – given we see it all the time and can’t tuck it away somewhere.

A bit of searching round t’interweb led us to oak barrel water butts. We figured that if we needed something practical then it may as well look good – function doens’t always need to win against form.

Our butt was delivered earlier this week and today we got round to unwrapping it.

Roll out the barrel

Roll out the barrel

Oak barrel water butt

Just fits into the corner

Barrel butt

The old whisky barrel not only looks good but also smells ace!

Wooden barrel water butt

Here’s hoping our plants will like the whisky fumes as much as we do…..

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Appliances arrive

Our kitchen appliances have been delivered and the delivery guys were very grateful for our extra wide front door!

So now, for a couple of weeks, we have a range cooker and fridge freezer in the hallway, as you do.

appliances

Resisting the temptation to open the packaging and take a peek

At least this moves us one step closer to the work on the kitchen diner starting. Exciting times!

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Spring has sprung!

We were delighted when the tree in our front garden burst into blossom.

Since I was a kid I’ve absolutely loved spring blossom.

The boulevard in Weston-Super-Mare, where I grew up, enchanted me from an early age at this time of year. I have many happy memories of walking under the pretty pink blossom trees.

And so it kinda reminds me of my mum, which makes me extra smiley.

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The cat tunnel

Any cat owner knows that the cat rules the house. We are, unfortunately, no different and a constant conversation as soon as we had put the offer in was what to do about The Humph.

Humph

Our master

There were two issues for consideration.

1) In our previous house he had a cat flap in the back door and so was very used to, and loved, freedom. It also meant that when we go away for a couple of nights he is entirely independent – with the aid of an automatic pet feeder. So, no debate, we needed to install a cat flap.

2) He has to be confined at night. He is an almighty pain in the arse in the middle of the night – if he can get to your bedroom door he will bang, pluck and whine until you give in. He then either wants food or fuss, usually both. In our previous house we would just shut the lounge door and he’d be confined downstairs, free to come and go through the back door flap. Yet in this house the back door is in the hallway.

So, a flap in the back door was never really an option unless we were to build a Humph Gate to stop him getting up the stairs (we did actually consider this for all of 10 seconds). Also, cat flaps really aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing so we weren’t keen on it in the hallway.

That’s when we started googling ‘cat flap through a wall’ and found out that it could indeed be done. The kitchen – that will become the utility room – was decided upon and so we paid the handsome fee of £150 to do this:

His very own escape tunnel

It’s the ‘small dog, big cat’ flap. We haven’t told him so he can’t get body image issues.

Of course, as we are learning, this house is never straight-forward and there were inevitably electric wires running through the wall that needed diverting – hence the high price tag for the work.

The site of the tunnel also meant he popped out the other side into a drain so our friendly builder constructed a step with random stuff he found in the garden.

Cat tunnel and step

A small step for man, a giant step for The Humph

The cat tunnel

Thinking about it – when not distracted by the very old floor tiles

Will he fit?

Will he fit?

Success!

Success!

So, all is well once more as he has his freedom. A friend commented that we were crazy to spend this money and were we not concerned it will affect the future house price because now there is a hole in the back wall. Yeah, she doesn’t have a cat.

At least we didn’t pay for this:

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