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There's a recycling scheme in Peterborough. You put all your recyclable stuff into a big green box that you put out at the same time as your dustbin. If you don't have a box then you phone the council and ask them to bring you one. I did this because I had a huge amount of cardboard to dispose of and they are prepared to recycle cardboard. This morning before I realised I really wasn't in any condition to go to work, I dragged my green box and dustbin out of the garden and onto the pavement at the back of the house.

Several hours passed.

I realised the bin men had been while I was sleeping and went to retrieve the wheely bin and green box. Outside on the pavement lay my bin on its side, empty. And that was it. So I brought the bin back in and hunted around a bit for the green box. It's not there. Now, I know I packed it pretty full of cardboard, and I know I put a bunch of bags of cardboard next to it, but the bin men know what to do with the green boxes, and I can't imagine why anyone would want to steal one.

So where's it gone? And NOW how do I get rid of the rest of the cardboard? I'm going to have to phone the council again...
hawkida: (Default)
I went into town (actually, these days it's "the city", isn't it?) to buy a birthday present for my neice. I bought her a football kit and some nail decorations having conferred with [livejournal.com profile] ang_grrr on what's hot with seven year olds these days.

Upon arrival, though, I found a big market going on. All these stalls with goods from the continent and so much of it food! So I came away with five different types of honey, some parma ham and some french bread. Then I bought a Simpsons poster at Woolworths and a chicken and some cordial at Iceland.

Then I walked all the way home and realised I forgot to get any wrapping paper. I really shouldn't be allowed out with money.

I did, however, resist the many assorted dried sausages that were on offer. They looked interesting but at three quid each for something shrivelled and mysterious I decided not to bother.
hawkida: (Default)
I want to do the housewarming thing. Only I feel horribly inexperienced in this kind of stuff and I'm not quite sure where to start. I've never thrown a party. Ever.

So far the plan is a very vague "Maybe I could have a barbecue in August". So taking that as a starting point, help me out, here. Would you come to a barbecue one weekend in Peterborough? Would it make a difference to you if I offered crash space? I can comfortably put up about five people (double bed, double bottom bunk, single upper bunk), more as the comfort decreases (sofa, floorspace). There is a B&B at the end of the road that we could also make use of. Does this sound like a good plan? If not what would you recommend?
hawkida: (Default)
It could have at least waited until I was done unpacking...

Previously on LiveJournal I said "Bath or shower? Bath. But my hot tap doesn't work!"

I just found out how much it doesn't work. That nasty spluttering made as the water started to drip along the tap and collect on the edges of the bath and around the taps where the shampoo sits? Well, it wasn't just collecting there, it was dripping down to below, too. There's a concerning bulge in my kitchen ceiling now. I've torn the side off the bath to see what's underneath, only to find I can't get at it easily because of the way the bathroom mods have been done. I've managed to establish that it is just the hot tap failure that caused the problem rather than there being a leaking pipe or something similarly nasty lurking in there. I have shower sealant. I was going to use it. Then I realised I bought the damn stuff in a form that requires a sealant gun. A gun which, no doubt you've guessed, I don't have.

Plus there's the question of the puddle that is apparantly sitting on top of my kitchen ceiling. Will that dry up and go away by itself? Or do I have to somehow get to it and mop it up? Cos getting into the corresponding part of the bathroom will NOT be easy without ripping out the bathroom unit which in itself is a scary and difficult task. I know better than to touch the ceiling and have it collapse on me but at this stage I'm not quite sure what to do beyond avoiding using the hot tap on the bath. Not difficult to avoid since I'd already given up on it - but Natalie was fighting with it to bath Denver during the week and I had tried a few times to run a bath so I guess the water has collected but I didn't notice the damage until now. My parents had a similar problem with water leaks so I tried phoning them - no answer.

Any advice, anyone? Will the puddle dry up and go away by itself or do I have to dismantle my bathroom and rip up floorboards?

I'm not having a good day.
hawkida: (Default)
Earlier I said I'd be seeking out the nearest convenience store on my way home (store? when did I go all American?). I didn't. The weather chose to pour down as soon as I came out of the station and continued to rain heavily all over me until I got home. Of course it stopped the instant I got inside.

I ventured out into the garden to put out the bin after that. I think the one solitary bin out on the road opposite could be a clue to the coming of the bin men. Doesn't explain why we had no sign of them last Friday though. Maybe I'll just leave the bin out there until they do turn up and empty it - it's not like I can use it now it's full, after all.

Must find a shop, though, the other "nearby" one is about 15 minutes walk away and I need milk since Natalie appears to have fed it all to Denver. And she scratched my non-stick pan by stirring something with a metal fork! Still, it's very quiet without them here and Nat helped out a lot.

Well, it's getting late so I better shut down and make bedwards moves ready for a fun packed day of doing nothing in front of a computer tomorrow followed by the shop-hunt I aborted today.
hawkida: (Default)
I've gone all early birdish.

My alarm goes off at 5.30 and 6am. I get up somewhere in between the two, wash, clean teeth, dress, grab stuff to shove in my bag, eat raisin loaf for breakfast and glug lemonade from the bottle, then get on my bike and go down to the station. I'm leaving the house at 6.30. I arrive at the station around 6.45, lock the bike and get the train.

The GNER trains are lovely. They're quiet and comfortable, it's very easy to sleep on them and they're clean. The train gets to Kings Cross at 7.50 and I get off. I had been walking the stretch down to the office from here, but due to foot and blister related disaster and the discovery of the number 46 bus, I now use public transport. I get into the office well before 8.30 and at 4.30 I get to go home.

This is good because it means if my trains have trouble I still get in at a reasonable time, and if not I leave the building in time to get home at a reasonable time. I'm also forced to do the exercise of travelling two miles per day under my own steam.

I don't find getting up at 5.45 any more difficult than getting up at any other time my alarm goes off. It's the whole have-to-get-up-now aspect that grates and it does that whether I'm getting up at 5am or 10am if I don't have a real choice in the matter. (Not that I remember the last time I was in bed at 10am...)

It's all effort, granted, but it seems to be working out pretty well so far. And soon, thanks to the previously recommended blister-plasters, I shall be able to walk again.

But I'm still not keen to do the distance to the bank or Holland & Barratt at lunchtime, even if it is only 5 minutes away. These things can wait.

Tonight on the journey back I ride in search of the most local convenience store. http://www.upmystreet.co.uk says there's one just around the corner...
Apr. 17th, 2002 01:34 pm


hawkida: (Default)
I have a fridge and a washing machine now. A bed would be nice, but I can wait.

I also have non-card-meter electricity which is a relief as they only put the new meter in this morning and we were down to less than 50p.

There are still heaps of things everywhere that need tidying and the mail is starting to mount up and some of it needs responses and I have the whole change-of-address issue to address and... ah, who cares? I've got a house!
hawkida: (Default)
My new house rocks.*

NTL don't.

I've come into work for a rest.

*Not literally. Foundations are stable.
hawkida: (Default)
My new house rocks.*

NTL don't.

I've come into work for a rest.

*Not literally. Foundations are stable.
Apr. 10th, 2002 03:21 pm

Not so Bah

hawkida: (Default)
I got another call from Keith. He says the NTL bods are going to install the swep-T tomorrow so my appointment may still be okay. Yay!

Plus my solicitor called to confirm the release of the keys (previously she was unavailable so I talked to the Estate Agents who confirmed).

These phonecalls are just playing with my emotions. Fiends!
Apr. 10th, 2002 02:24 pm


hawkida: (Default)
I'm a home owner!

And I owe the bank rather a lot of money.

The estate agents have permission to release the keys to me and I can go in and collect them whenever I want to. Huzzah!
Apr. 10th, 2002 02:24 pm


hawkida: (Default)
I'm a home owner!

And I owe the bank rather a lot of money.

The estate agents have permission to release the keys to me and I can go in and collect them whenever I want to. Huzzah!
Mar. 28th, 2002 11:40 am

My House

hawkida: (Default)
For those who may care for more detail, here is some info on my house. Bear in mind it is written in estate-agent-speak and may require some translation.

Description: This well maintained modern terrace home benefits from gas central heating and double glazing. The accommodation briefly comprises: entrance hallway, kitchen/diner, lounge, first floor landing, three bedrooms, bathroom and separate w.c. Outside there is a rear garden.

Storm canopy with tiled slates. UPVC double glazed door through to:

Entrance hallway:
Stairs to first floor with understairs storage space and cupboard. Double radiator. Textured ceiling. Alarm sensor to corner.

Kitchen/diner: 17'10 x 10'0 approx.
Refitted range of medium oak effect base, drawer and eye level units with tiled worktop surfaces to compliment. One and a quarter bowl sink unit with mixer tap. Tiled splashbacks. Built in carousel under worktops. Built in electric single oven and fitted four ring gas hob. Plumbing for automatic washing machine. Breakfast bar to middle. UPVC double glazed window to front aspect. UPVC double glazed French doors to rear aspect. Two double radiators. Air vent to side wall. Alarm sensor to corner. Dado rail. Tiled flooring. Two central ceiling lights. Coving to textured ceiling. Archway through to:

Lounge: 13'10 x 11'10 approx.
UPVC double glazed window to rear aspect. Double radiator. Television point. Telephone point. Dado rail. Picture rail. Coving to textured ceiling.

First floor landing:
UPVC double glazed window to front aspect. Built in airing cupboard housing wall mounted gas central heating boiler (combination boiler). Smoke detector (linked to central station). Textured ceiling. Loft access.

Bedroom 1: 11'10 x 10'10 approx.
UPVC double glazed window to rear aspect. Single radiator. Coving to textured ceiling.

Bedroom 2: 11'10 x 6'7 approx.
UPVC double glazed window to rear aspect. Single radiator. Textured ceiling.

Bedroom 3: 11'10 x 6'0 approx.
UPVC double glazed window to rear aspect. Double radiator. Textured ceiling.

Two piece suite comprising panelled bath with wall mounted shower and screen, vanity wash hand basin. Ceramic tiled splashbacks. UPVC double glazed frosted window to front aspect. Single radiator. Textured ceiling.

Comprising low level w.c. UPVC double glazed frosted window to front aspect. Textured ceiling.

The rear garden is laid to lawn with mature shrubs and flower beds. Rockery to one side. Paved patio area. Timber storage shed. Brick built wall to one side. Enclosed by timber fencing with gated side access.
hawkida: (Default)
Went and signed a contract today. This house thing is happening, it seems. Also endured the trains yet again - overhead lines blown down around Potters Bar this time. Delays of hours at a time both inwards and out. *sigh*

We're proposing an exchange date of 8th March to see what the sellers come back with. Guess I could be moving soon, but it's hard to get motivated to do the packing and such until it's all confirmed and definite. It's not as though there's actually any rush.

Right, my sleep is all caught up and I'm not that tired but since it's 1am I'm going to bed. I'm not messing up the sleep pattern again when I just got it under control.
hawkida: (Default)
Tomorrow I go to Peterborough to hand over vast sums of cash and sign a contract. The contract will then be held on file until such time as an exchange date is arranged. I'm only a couple of steps away from being a home owner. Of course, it could take quite some time to complete, but it's happening. I should probably start organising some of my belongings. Packing the summer clothes, collecting boxes for further packing. That sort of thing. Plus, of course, there's the unpleasant bit yet to come - the bit where we try to decide who gets what out of the shared items. Not that I'm really in any state to do that this weekend. Saturday will be taken up by the contract signing (more so by the travel to and from, but still...) and then Sunday I'll be catching up on a combination of sleep and missed TV. I've got new Buffy & Angel to watch from Beth, plus ER, Dark Angel and Frasier from while I was away. Life's just packed with excitement, eh?
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We just received an email informing us of the following: The business readiness meeting that was planned for this Thursday has now been cancelled. Well, it gave us something to laugh about for a while, anyway.

Meanwhile, I upped the offer I'd made on the house in Peterborough and had it accepted. I went into Halifax this morning (the bank, not the town) and initiated the mortgage application. I'll be finishing this off on Thursday and handing over the first of the vast sums of money you have to part with in order to buy a house. This, of course, is assuming that Egg do their stuff. They're not the fastest company I know for transferring funds, but they've said three to four working days for it to hit my current account. Meanwhile, of course, I lose the savings interest and they gain it but what can you do? I'm also looking into solicitors - or rather, a solicitor. The estate agency recommended them as they do a lot of work with this particular firm. It's a no-sale, no-fee set up and given that I don't have any alternative recommendations I reckon I'll be going with them. It's odd, though, I thought the whole thing would be more nerve wracking than this. Mostly I'm just feeling a vague interest in things and wondering how long it's all going to take. Plenty of time, yet, for things to go wrong, though.
hawkida: (Default)
I'm buying a house. I must have turned into a grown up while I wasn't looking. It's kind of scary.

I trecked out to Peterborough today, looked around the city some, found the Estate Agent Corner (why DO they always appear in clusters?) and got down to business. I registered with one agency that dithered and muttered and is meant to get back to me on Monday about seeing places next weekend.

Then I went to the only one that actually sent me info about the properties I saw on their web site. They were much more enthusiastic and I got to see three places today. The first was bloody awful and worried me. Is this all I can afford? I was wondering. There was no way I was going to show an interest in it - there was damp, it was in real need of decorating, the kitchen smelt of curry and the doors didn't fit into the frames properly.

My hopes weren't high after this, but I was given directions to a place around 20 minutes out of the city (20 minutes if you don't go in the wrong direction halfway there...) and I was shown around by the current owner. It is a little far from the train station, and the outside doesn't look great but the inside was brilliant. Great kitchen and dining area. Three bedrooms, a little on the small side, but perfectly adequate. Cosy living room. Nice small garden with a shed. Extremely well maintained throughout (uh-oh, been spending too much time listening to estate agents!). Suffice to say, I came away wanting it. Especially given the history - it was on the market and sold before Christmas but the buyers messed the owner around leading him to lose his potential property that was next along the chain. He brought down the price for the second attempt and it took it to just below the point where stamp duty kicks in.

Back at the estate agents' office we took a trip to property number three. Another guy in the place was really keen on this place, told us how we'd need to be quick on this as there was lots of interest and it was marvellously redecorated and ... etc etc ... So we went to check it out, me and Mr Estate Agent. The layout of the place was a bit weird, like the first one. The stairs are ultra steep and at the top there is a bedroom to the left and to the right. Going through the one to the left brings you to another bedroom. Who wants people traipsing through their room every night?! And the bathroom is downstairs and off the kitchen which I'm not too keen on. But despite being freshly decorated and newly carpeted, this place has some pretty nasty damp problems as well. At this was going for the same price as the really good house.

We got back to the office and I made a snap decision. Either Nice House is underpriced, or Nasty House and Okay House With Problems are overpriced. But the price is something I can afford, I can put up with (make use of, even) the walking distance as it's all healthy exercise and by putting in an offer I save the hassle of wandering through to Peterborough every weekend for the foreseeable future. So I did it. Made an offer, had it accepted, and Monday I get to do the scary solicitor stuff and start to work out all the finances.

I'm buying a house. A real one with walls and bedrooms and everything. Eep. Wish me luck!
hawkida: (Default)
So with everything being All Change, or at least several plans in that direction, I'm looking to buy a house. In Peterborough. Because houses there are cheap and there's a chance that work might want to relocate us there eventually. So I dutifully go along to numerous web sites and click the "Send me information" links about interesting looking houses and what happens? Bugger all, is what.

So I phoned an agent today. Said I'd like to look around some places Saturday if possible. Told him what I'm looking for - and according to their web site there are several properties that match the criteria. He took my name. He took my number. He promised to call me back. I've heard nothing.

So my plans aren't going very far very fast but I'm going to go for a wander around Peterborough on Saturday anyway. Call in and register with some more Estate Agents and desperately hope they're not all the scourge of the Earth as people lead you to believe. I can't say they're doing much to prove otherwise thus far. Wish me luck.


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