Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Keeping warm in winter

A few weeks ago our boiler started making a weird clicking noise so I phoned 'Boiler Man'. I exagerate my efficiency; I ignored it for a couple of days and then phoned someone who is organised enough to keep BM's details somewhere accessible. The last time BM's services were required, Steve had stuck his card on the front of the fireplace to remind me to ring and I don't know what happened to the card after that. It probably got removed in an attempt to 'depersonalise' prior to trying to sell our house (we didn't sell!) Anyway, after several calls and messages to BM he turns up on our doorstep at 11am one Saturday morning just as we are about to leave to go to a wedding. Now, Steve promises me BM did nothing other than take the cover off the boiler and note down a secret code on the back of an envelope, but he must have looked at the offending clicking part in a very stern manner as it has not been badly behaved since. The thought does cross my mind that maybe the cover of the boiler was loose...

Steve decided last month that we should have new radiators downstairs because the old ones were not 'strong' enough to heat up our living area. He duly went and purchased two double finned radiators (as if I know what that means) and stashed them behind the sofa until he had chance to fit them. He was, in fact quite efficient and on two successive weekends fitted them both. He nearly came unstuck when the shops of Didcot failed to yield a radiator key, but I dashed over to a neighbour who has brand new central heating and they were able to supply him with the correct tool. (I was completely unable to describe the radiator key so there was a lot of running up and down the road in the pouring rain...) For want of anything better to do with the old radiators, Steve added them to the pile of disposed of armchair and old sideboard in our front garden. It was a kind of 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' mentality to the collective scrap heap that is the front gardens of Queensway. Who needs a skip when you have got a bit of hard standing? I was rather glad of the rain as it prevented us from being tempted to go the whole Didcot hog and set fire to it. The heap has now been removed and taken to Drayton dump. We are only left with a few paving slabs that have been there since May 2001 when I removed them and planted a hedge. Not all of the slabs remain, some are outside a friend's house (who has since moved) and another is in two pieces in front of our fire place in lieu of a proper hearth.

Friday, 16 November 2007

My lovely sideboard

Marvellous isn't it? I was out when a local farmer delivered it, but I did see it being driven through the streets of Didcot on a flat bed truck. It was deposited in the middle of our living room and is of course much, much bigger than it looked in the shop. We had to throw away an armchair to make room for it - well worth it, just don't try and sit on it!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Art Deco sideboard

I have bought a sideboard that I don't think will fit into our house unless I dispose of two of our armchairs (and one of the children). I am so excited, it was the bargain price of £35 at the Animal Sanctuary shop in town. They are delivering it on Wednesday. I hope it is as nice as I remember, I could describe it, but I think I'll take a ridculous number of photos of it instead...

Steve has decided that central heating is, in fact, over-rated and has lit a fire - we do have a fireplace (phew!) I won't experiment with the drying properties of the fireguard, tempting as it is.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Mothercare and their washable mattresses

Hmmm...when they say that the top layer is removeable I mistakenly thought it meant that the whole outer cover could be removed, just like the mattress I had previously purchased from John Lewis. How disappointing to discover at 6am the other morning that only one side of the top layer is in fact washable and my lovely daughter had vomitted all over the other side. Full marks go to Steve, however, who had the foresight to buy yellow fitted sheets for the cot-bed so that they are easily discernable from the white cot sheets - the man is a genius. Having washed down the non-machine washable side of the mattress he even allowed it to be put against a radiator to be dried. Wonders never cease.