I’m back! (and very unoriginal as apparently this is my 3rd post entitled I’m back!)

Ok, so I will admit I was away slightly longer than I expected, I was intended on being back about 2 days ago but the motivation wasn’t there. Well that’s not completely true, more the one thing I really wanted to say I couldn’t (not yet) and so I needed to wait for inspiration to strike. I know I have a few posts that are needed (I am thinking of you) and I have a review to write but to be honest getting the house right is taking priority and so they are on my newly created ‘to-blog list.’ (Well, not really a list more a nagging feeling following me around!) Anyway, I am sure you will want to know what I have been up to whilst I was AWOL (warning, if you don’t stop reading now!)

Firstly, I had the most lovely day of rest and relaxation with a very dear friend of mine. Overall the day was lovely and it was the brilliant way to start my break. I was a little worried before going as this dear friend is a, ‘in-law’ relation of the ex, and I didn’t want there to be a whole load of weirdness. I knew there wouldn’t be with her, but I was a little concerned about other family members. I was an idiot to be worried. They continue to be lovely people and I am pleased that a friendship of many years has not had to be lost as a result of the split! And i got to play with their new puppy!!!

Slightly disappointingly my newly zenned state lasted until exactly 11am the morning after my relaxing day when I got into my car to find out my sat nav was playing up and refused to lead me home. So after turning it on and off repeatedly, playing with it, pleading with it, threatening it and swearing at it I decided I was a competent single lady and I would use my gut and find my way home without the b*%£dy thing. I think the error may have been deciding I was too cleave for my own good and decided to exit by the bottom of their road rather than the top way the sat nav brought me in. After 20 minutes of slowing at every junction to ‘follow my gut’, congratulating myself  after every ‘correct turn’ and announcing to no-one in particular that “I was a genius” …..I was slightly miffed to find myself yet again back at the top of their road.

I quickly found the sat nav, appologised for everything I had said and was over joyed when this time the sat nav decided to help me out.

The next two days were spent busy with house work. ….

I now have a kitchen…..

with work surfaces…….

and a sink…….

and a working tap……

and a working shower……

and almost fully painted……

I am falling in love with my little place more and more every day and I have now reached a ‘second-level’ of decorating where I am now sorting all the little none essentials but nice to have like doors, door surrounds, complete skirting boards. It’s all very exciting!


I don’t want to sounds ungrateful but…..

The next few days are going to be a little manic. Good manic but manic. I have a spa day booked with a friend that has been in the diary for well over 6 months and I am really looking forward to it. The only problem is that when the spa day was being planned I did not know that it would fall on the weekend after I had taken out my kitchen, the weekend before I have a family member coming to stay for a few days and that when the day finally arrived I would still be in the middle of DIY.

The original plan was a nice relaxing day at the Spa, followed by an overnight stop with my friend for a catch up (and a glass of wine or 3) and then a lazy morning before heading home. However as details started to come together I realised we need to be at the Spa at 9am in the morning, and stopping the night before is not an option. So to make sure I am at the Spa on time I am looking at a 6am start, on my day off and have I mentioned I am not a morning person?!  Want me to stay up until 6am no problem, ask me to set my alarm for that time and I feel dread in the pit of my stomach.

So the new plan was set an alarm for 6, snooze it a few times leave the house stressed at 6.30am sit in traffic for a few hours. I haven’t yet told you but the journey to the Spa is going to take me through a couple of big cities….. (at rush hour!) Google says the journey should take 1hr 30 mins. I am going to give myself at least 2 hours and part of me thinks I should probably give myself even longer!! Not ideal, but it’s fine, it will be worth it.

Saturday, I am now having my sisters boyfriends dad coming to help me fit the work surface (I feel I have already told you this!) and the original plan was they would rock up about 11am and meet my dad. This would give me time to have a relaxed morning with my friend and get back to mine about an hour or so after they started work. However I have just received a text and in a change of plans everyone is now meeting at mine at 9am. Everyone but me that is.

I don’t want to have to set an alarm on Saturday. I don’t want to have to rush of from my friends house. But this new 9am start time has me worried that I’m going to walk back into a finished kitchen and I can’t even begin to tell you how much that is going to piss me off.

I know everyone wants to help. I know I need to get the DIY finished but I feel I am so close to having it done myself. Plus my sisters boyfriends mum is coming up as well and so I had already accepted that she was going to spend half the day doing final bits of painting that I would really like to do but need to relinquish control of because they are coming up to help.

I know I am being ungrateful. I know that I was bitching last night about wanting my house finished. But I really wish the plans hadn’t been changed without even asking me.

Now I feel I either rush of from my friends or miss out on key stages of my house. Normally rushing off from a friend wouldn’t be a huge deal but the people I don’t see very often and its not the most simple of relationships. You see it’s the brother and sister in law of my ex. I get on so well with them I would have hated to lose them as well as my relationship (between you and me I had started to consider them as family). Although not voicing it I know that my parents aren’t fully supportive of this friendship (which is a shame). I can’t help but suspect that part of the reason they want me to rush back is due to this.

I don’t want to be ungrateful, but why did they have to change the plan. I know feel that instead of relaxing, packing and shaving various areas that need shaving when you are getting up close and personal with a masseuse that I have to paint all the part of the house and do all the odd jobs that I don’t want anyone else to do.

So much for my early night!!!

I don’t want to say it but…. it’s my house!

One sentence that would sum up the entire house moving/redecorating experience would be ‘it didn’t go quite as planned’. My first clue that things wouldn’t go as ‘the norm’ would be my offer on the house being accepted in a little under 5 minutes but me being me (and despite how I appear on here most of the time) I like to keep optimistic and so keep telling myself “things will work out this time”. Only yet again they haven’t …. quite.

For a month now I have been explaining to my dad the virtues of using the upcoming long weekend to fit my kitchen. I am busy Saturday night and so won’t need to be able to use the house meaning we can down tools Saturday and walk out for the evening. We wouldn’t have to stop and clean up so that I could cook and then have breakfast the next morning. After a lot of discussion (because a month seemed like a long time when I first raised the suggestion) it has been decided that this weekend is ‘kitchen weekend’. I have bought the sink, the tiles are being bought this evening, the wallpaper and paint has been decided on and purchased. I have taps, pipes, flooring, boxes to store the opened food in, a space in the conservatory to store the boxes I will fill. I as organised. I as excited.

Then my dad mentioned that we will have to ask the store to cut the work surface to size. I’ll be honest I hadn’t even thought about this. I had chosen the colour of my work surface (grey) and made sure it matched everything. I had planned the cupboard layout in minute detail (yes, I even produced a scale drawing for where everything is going!) but I hadn’t twigged that the work surface would need cutting to size. I am going to have two L-shaped work surfaces and so there will need to be at least two joins. Suddenly the decision of where to make the ‘straight’ cut and join had me panicked. Which way would I cut it to make the kitchen look as long as possible? Especially as in one corner the L bit is only about 50cms, which was would look the best? I was undecided and have been playing with the decision back and forth for a few days now.

Then my dad mentioned a join where it’s all hidden, but you need a special bit of kit to do it (see how much I understand I still don’t know what it’s properly called!).

If you care here is a link to the joining work surface thing I am talking about. if not then just accept it look very pretty, hides the join brilliantly and would solve my problem.

Turns out the special bit of kit I need to do this (as a normal saw won’t do) is owned by my sisters boyfriends father (keeping up?) and I can have it the weekend after next. Result. The only downside is that this weekend is ‘kitchen weekend’.

Dad and I have agreed that the short L shaped section would look better with a hidden joint and so have decided to hold off putting in the work top on that side of the kitchen until I can have it fitted by my sisters boyfriends father. But we are disagreeing about the other side. The other side contains the sink, and will be a large L so my dad thinks it’s worth battling on, getting it done (straight cut and join) and dusted. He says no one will notice as it will be a busy area anyway as it has the sink etc and if I don’t fit that side I can’t fit the sink, the dishwasher, the washing machine (they are all going to be inter-plumbed). Technically if I wait I would only manage half the kitchen on ‘kitchen weekend’ and rather than a finished kitchen I would have another room to add to my list of ‘nearly but not quite finished’ rooms.

However, to me waiting a week to have a clean hidden join is worth it. I know it is a faff. I know it is far from ideal, I know no one else will notice but I will see the join. I will notice it and I will wish I had waited the extra week every single time I wipe down the work top.

My folks have been beyond amazing whilst doing this. My dad has worn himself out trying to get this finished, making trips to DIY shops before and after work, watching YouTube videos, funding me when my finances became tight….. but I know if I don’t wait one more week to have it perfect I will be gutted and it will bother me every. single. day.

I’ve tried talking to my dad about this, but he is keen to crack on and so it’s falling a little on death ears.

The only thing I haven’t done is played the ‘it’s my house’ card.

I don’t want to play that card. But then it is my house and it does matter. It’s going to be years before I do the kitchen again and to wait 5 days to have a clean join seems so worth it to me.

But when my dad has given so much, knackered himself to get my little house perfect, how do I ask him to give even more?

I really can’t catch a break.

90 quid. That’s how much I was quoted to install a tv aerial into my new house. 90 quid I could afford. It was all booked for last Monday and I crossed another task off my to-do list.


Monday afternoon I received a phone call “I’m sorry but our fitter got caught on a longer job, can we come later this week?” I said it wasn’t a problem and asked if they could come Friday afternoon. We agreed on 3pm.


3pm came and went. No fitter. I rang the office. No reply. I sent an email. No reply. I called the office again….you get the picture. Finally over an hour later the phone was answered in the office and I was assured that my fitter would be on his way. I told them I needed them there that day, as I have a guy coming to fit cable this week. I was assured they would arrive.


4.30pm came and went.


5pm came and went. I started ringing again. This time the phone was answered and I told the gentleman on the other end I expected his fitter to turn up and that I would wait in the house until they arrived. He apologised, told me he would call me back with a time and that the fitter would turn up. No worries.


5.30pm came and went. I once again dialled their number and after 5 attempts got through. I enquired as to the location of my fitter and the phone call I was promised. They assured me he would be on his way and they would once again call me back once after making some enquiries.


6pm came and went. No fitter, no phone call.


7pm came and went.


8pm came and went.


9pm came and went.


10pm came and went.


11pm came and went.


I gave up and headed home.


9am this morning I started calling their office. 11am and I have written them off as a bad job so I found and rang a second company.


They can fit me in.


They can do it tomorrow.


They can do it for £180 minimum.


I queried the price, they said they do a good job and aren’t cowboys.


So that’s £180. £180 I haven’t budgeted for, and as this is move in week and I need to buy food, tv licence and have a friend coming to stay it’s £180 I just can’t afford.


Only the able bodied need apply.

I am fuming. I was mad before but thanks to a customer service moron I am now fuming. Even the fact that I am spending the day playing with my friends puppy has not helped remove my grrr factor.

Yesterday I ordered a shower screen for my new bathroom from a company who I am undecided as to whether or not to name and shame – I might let you decide that! I put through the order, ticked the compulsory ‘terms and conditions’ box and congratulated myself as I thought I had ticked something else off my ‘to-do’ list.

Then I received their confirmation email which said.

“It is part of the driver’s contract that you have 15 minutes to fully check your order before signing, we recommend that 2 able bodied persons are available to receive the delivery and carry the goods inside.”

This annoyed me. Can a company dictate that an able bodied person must sign for a parcel?

This meant that I would be unable to have the parcel delivered to my parents house as there was no way that my mum could cope carrying and checking this parcel. I rang the company to change the delivery address to my work address and was told that I had to “put my request into an email and include the reason for changing the delivery address”. Which I did and I included my objections to the ‘able bodied’ statement in the email.

I had 4 missed calls within the time it took me to make a cup of coffee (I know because I was actually away from my phone making a cup of coffee) and then I got a voice mail saying I had to call them to discuss my comments in my email BEFORE they would change the delivery address on my order.

So I made the call. This is when I really felt my temperature rise. I asked to speak to the gentleman who had left me the voicemail and he started the conversation by saying “Thank you for calling me back. I am miffed with the comments you put in your email and would like to discuss them with you.” WTF?….. It was the miffed part that really annoyed me.

So I calmly explained that I was having to change the delivery address for my parcel because his company was not willing to deliver to my disabled mother. I think that’s when he lost it. He kept telling me that the statement had been used for 8 years and I was the only person to complain, to which I pointed out I had only just come across his company and had complained within 24 hours of receiving the email. He said that wasn’t the point and repeated his ‘8 years’ point to which I pointed out had I ordered this shower screen from him 8 years ago I would have complained then.

He then went on to change his mind as to exactly where my shower screen would be delivered. We started off with it being a small parcel and so it not have been a problem, then said my mother would have to climb onto the back of the truck and get the parcel off the truck, down the drive and into the house all by herself.

He then suggested I find two able bodied people who could sit at home and wait for the parcel to be delivered. I asked who. I pointed out that I work full time, my father works full time, my next door neighbours (who he suggested I should ask) work full time and that I have no other family in the area. His response “he didn’t know… but surely there had to be someone.”

I said that if he was willing to deliver on an evening or a weekend then I could guarantee two able bodied people would be in to carry it from wherever the parcel was being dumped (he still hadn’t decided!) but he refused to do that. He did say that I wasn’t to worry though as if she couldn’t ‘handle’ the parcel herself it would just stay on the truck and be re-delivered at a later date. Woo hoo, oh no wait a minute the only person who will be in at a later date is my mother!!!!

I pointed out to him that I had an Uncle who was in a wheel chair and in a similar position and I asked if they would deliver to him. Guess what – No, not without two able bodied people there to do the heavy lifting.

At one point he did question how, if my mother couldn’t cart the screen from the top of the road, would she ever get it upstairs to install (at that point I may have wanted to hit him!)

He did think he had won when he asked me why I ticked the ‘terms and condition’ box. But I pointed out that no-one ever reads them and asked how I would have proceeded with my order without agreeing to the terms and conditions – he didn’t really answer that!

However, all was not lost as he reassured me that I was the only person to raise this in 8 years and as he had disabled family members I was making a big deal out of nothing.

So what do you think? Am I over reacting?

In the spirit of total honest I haven’t yet cancelled the delivery of the shower screen. It sounds awful but it is the only one I have seen that I have liked and it had a MASSIVE discount on it. I will never use this company again, but with sorting everything for the house I don’t have time to argue with them over this. However there is a yet. I am so outraged by this that I am massively tempted to tell them where I would like two able bodied individuals to stick their shower screen!

Slow progress

A few of you have asked about an update on my house, and as your wish is my command and all that Jazz…..

It’s been slow progress and for the last few months I have begun to think I will never move in. It has been very much the case of one step forward and about a million backwards. It doesn’t help that I feel like I have been filling cracks in the wall forever and it’s an old house so there are a lot of cracks! In fact I worry some of the walls are now more poly-filler than plaster!

However finally it feels like some small progress is being made….

With the sun being out (and the neighbours complaining about the length of my grass – although I did want to point out to them that I am currently putting back together a house. Grr!) I took advantage to make a start on what will be my veg garden. Or at least it was going to be until I read that tomatoes take so much nutrients out of the soil that you need to rotate their place in the garden now I’m not sure what I am going to do!

Well it was sunny so I took advantage!
Well it was sunny so I took advantage!


I have also spent a lot of time getting to know my bathroom. My toilet is now officially in and I stuck to my guns and I did all of the tiling that was needed on the walls. It was a labour of love which began as great fun, but then slowly became a pain. I came very close to letting my dad do some but I wanted to do it all… and I did. I have to say the feeling of looking at the new tiles and realising I have put them up myself (albeit with the odd large gap, and a couple standing a little too proud for my liking) I feel fantastic and so proud – almost like I can achieve anything!

I haven't done all of that - about 90%.. all round the window was me, up to the shower was me and so was an area on the right.
I haven’t done all of that – about 90%.. all round the window was me, up to the shower was me and so was an area on the right.


Of course after a few steps forward the big step backwards had to appear… and it did. This time it came in the form of a helpful but grumpy carpet fitter who came to measure me for my new carpets. Which now are going to be everywhere as the one carpet I was trying to rescue was, on closer inspection, covered in God alone knows and stunk to high hell no matter how much I cleaned it… so woo hoo new carpets everywhere.

Anyway, the carpet guy was in my bedroom where there is a very lovely, and very obvious, curve of the floor. This is most obvious when stood in the middle of the room, looking towards my window and the skirting board is straight while my floor is not. The plan was that Dad and I would layer thin bits of wood and carpet to a layer that made the floor smooth so there would be no steps or big obvious gaps. I decided to ask the helpful but grumpy carpet fitter if he thought this would work and he said “nope, looks like your beam has gone in the floor. Sorry to bring bad news but if it’s knackered anything you do will just be a short term fix.”

The result of this statement was that my father and I have spent this weekend pulling up the floor boards in my bedroom. Luckily all the boards look solid and so we have layered and put the now straight floor back down. But yet again this means that another weekend has passed with no obvious steps forward being made.

The best bit is that I now have a none movable deadline. I have a friend coming to stay at the start of July. He will need a bed to sleep on which means I need to have my carpets down. I do not want to drip paint on my new carpets which means my walls need painting due to the carpets being laid (however the wall paper will go up after so it doesn’t get torn when carpets are being laid – better be safe that sorry!) I also need to have a working cooker, which means I need to finish plastering the kitchen,  call back my electrician friend and I still have no bath or hand basin (although some lovely tiles) in my bathroom.

My friend arrives on the 7th July. That’s less than 5 weeks…it’s 32 days….I can’t work Thursday nights due to other commitments and their are a few social engagements (get me) which I shouldn’t break. Which means I am looking at the best possible situation of 26 days, but most of those are evenings after work – help!!!

DIY blues

I feel like a failure,and I can’t fully understand why. This,weekend I accepted,some help with my house and I had a couple of people up to help me out (besides my folks who have been up every weekend since the word dot) anyway I know they were all there to help me out but as I set them.on various tasks finishing off jobs I had started but not quite finished yet, like sanding down skirting boards which I’ve stripped the paint off I felt like a failure. You see I’ve started all the jobs but I haven’t finished them. I can no longer look at the bit of skirting and think I did that, because I didn’t.

The problem is as this is dragging on my parents are becoming more tired and me moving out is becoming a bigger thing in my mind and I’m starting to panic about it. I was supposed to have been in my house months ago, getting in so I could have summer evenings to get our into my garden, walk bd and explore the area was the plan. But the rush to move me in is making me doubt my ability to commit to anything as I cherry pick jobs and also this is my house my mountain to climb. If it takes,a little longer because I want to.climb it alone my way does it really,matter?

My folks have suggested a paint party, and I’m really torn. Part of me loves the idea of friends and family having a laugh and helping me build my home but part of me wants to achieve this alone to do it my way to prove I’m not a complete failure but with my dad putting together the cistern in the toilet without me I worry that boat has,already sailed.

You have to get one of these!!

As my DIYing continues I am pleased to say my skills and knowledge are growing, and despite a couple of dips I am still thoroughly enjoying the experience. In fact I now feel sorry for my numerous female friends who (I hope) will never have this life experience and my friend who is buying her own house and keeps saying she will rope me in for DIY advice has me giddy.

I now know how to mix plaster, although apparently referring to it as concrete takes away some of my ‘I am knowledgeable and know what I am doing’ street cred. My plumbing still isn’t leaking (touch wood it stays that way) and there are numerous jobs that I would have once thought I was unable to do which I now do without thinking. It is an amazing experience and I would encourage every one to take on a similar challenge at least once in your life. Maybe don’t go down the thrown out by the guy you loved so no other choice route, instead perhaps just claim a room as your own and see what you can achieve.

Anyway, for a few evening I have been itching to get started on sanding down the walls. I have stripped them, pulled out wall plugs (ouch that hurt!) plastered them, filled them.. I almost know every square inch like the back of my hand. But I have never been able to sand them as there has been other more pressing jobs to do.

This all changed last night, after the tip run. Having wasted some time playing silly fools I decided enough was enough. It was my house, I wanted to sand and sand I would. OMG. most. fun. ever. I loved it. I enjoyed every second. I loved picking the grade of sandpaper – yes, without been told I knew that sandpaper is graded and knew how to pick the right one for me job. I loved figuring out the cool wire things I had to pull to release and attach the sheets. And I loved pressing the button to make it start, pressing it against the wall and watching the cloud of dust billow out. I even loved the mess and the fact that I am still pulling the dust out of my hair. And the best bit is I still have at least 20 walls to do!!!

My first solo trip to the tip

So last night was another eventful night at the house with a few ups and downs. I was greeted at the door by my electrician friend who has put in the light switches into the lounge that I wanted meaning. Not only does that mean that I no longer have to walk through the lounge to turn on and off the lights but I am now officially almost at the decorating phase – woo hoo! My initial joy at my lights was slightly tarnished however when I noticed that in his joy to get going he had neglected to put any sort of protection under where he was drilling and now there was brick dust and general crap all over the only carpet I am desperately trying to save! :0(

Dad had advised that the first job I should do was take a trip run and so with much huffing, puffing and a little bad language I heaved the bin bags of rubble and old bits of wood into my little car. A few of the bags were a bit heavy and some of the bits of wood were quite long and so far a moment I did think of reverting back to ‘leaving anything to hard for a man’ but I gave myself a stern talking too and managed to do it alone. It may surprise you to learn that bad language was not due to the stupidly heavy sacks, nor the bits of wood that refused to fit into my car for a good 10 minutes before, for no earthly reason, deciding the would sit quite happily in my car. No, I was very well behaved through all that (still trying to impress the neighbours) but when I realised that one of the rubble sacks had a little hole in it meaning I had left a trail of debris following in my wake as I carried said bag out of the kitchen, through the lounge (although that carpet was already covered in crap) and onto the front seat of my car – grrr! (or words to that effect!). Anyway, the car was filled and I set off to the tip to discover that my tip was closed.

I couldn’t be bothered (or face) pulling all the rubbish back out of my car when I got back and so I have left where it was. This means that the debris has been for a lovely little drive around my village, a trip to my folks house last night via a quick stop at a friends house to provide moral support (I provided the support not the debris!) and a lovely drive to work this morning. Where it is currently sat enjoying the sun and (fingers crossed) not stinking out my entire car before I pick my friend up in it tomorrow night!

The day out for the debris will be ending tonight, when once I have finished work I am taking it for a lovely drive down some stunning country roads before saying a fond farewell at the tip, which better be open!

Please tell me this could happen to someone else?