Utility room project

Well on Saturday morning (6 th) having risen early as I tend to do these days I set about removing the old sink unit from its position down in the laundry room which we now call the utility room. The intent was to turn it onto the adjacent wall but having removed it I discovered it had evidence of woodworm in the cabinet frame. The frame wasn’t of a sturdy construction and consequently became damaged when I removed it. The sink and drainer was still serviceable as you can see but it is only suitable for placing on top of a cabinet. I would have to attempt a purchase or make one myself if I was to keep it. We decided to start from scratch and buy a new cabinet and sink/drainer with accessories.

As you can see from the last picture the wall where waste pipe is had not been repaired by whoever did the original work so whilst E was taking a shower and dressing I mixed some mortar and replaced the missing brick. I took all the now dismantled pieces of the old cabinet together with the sink/drainer and put them into the van. We then drove off to the waste recycling depot then on to the store to purchase the new sink and unit. Because the unit was going to be down in the cellar in the utility room we didn’t want to buy top-of-the-range items but that turned out to be difficult. We chose to buy the least expensive as best we could though nothing was really inexpensive. One thing annoyed me and that was the fact that I could only purchase a minimum three-metre length of worktop when in fact we only wanted just over one metre! I would need to spend £40 and dispose of two-thirds of it. What a waste of money! We didn’t buy it but instead bought a ready cut length of heavy duty plywood for a third of the price at £13. It is after all going to be mostly covered by the new sink and drainer. Even so we ended up spending nearly £200 just for a cabinet topped with a sink!

Shirley Anne

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Occupied

Since the bulk of my last project had been completed I was at a loss for something to do. I shouldn’t be concerned about having a lack of something to do around our house for there are plenty of things I could be doing. It is more a question of what would be the best and what I would feel like tackling at any given time. A few months ago when I was involved in renovating rooms down in the cellar I mentioned in a post that one of the other rooms down there could do with a make-over too. I was talking about the utility room where we keep the washing machine and freezers and a host of other things we perhaps should store elsewhere or get rid of.

 

As you can see from the above pictures it is somewhat of a mess but an organised mess! We know where things are, just about! With that in mind I was down there yesterday (5 th) looking at how to tackle the first part of the work which was to remove the sink unit and replace it.

However after some consideration and a quick clean-up I decided we should renovate it and keep it after all it is only a utility room and doesn’t need a new unit even if one could be purchased. As it is an old unit and now out of production it would be difficult to find a similar unit at a small cost. The stainless steel top only requires a thorough clean and the cabinet only requires a new shelf inside, a clean-up and a paint job. So that will be the first job to start on. However E and I would like it to be turned and fitted to the adjacent wall alongside the window because it will not only look better but will make better use of the room space. Having measured the unit we found it would sit neatly in the proposed position. When I remove it I will be in a better position to repair and renovate it………and clear away the spiders. There will be plumbing to do of course but I’ve assessed that work and it won’t be difficult. There is plenty of work to do in that room and will likely keep me occupied for months.

Shirley Anne

Warm

Again I was tired when I went to bed yet found it difficult to nod off to sleep. Finally I did of course but ended up only getting five hours. That in itself was never a problem before as I had been very used to having only four and a half hours of sleep for a number of years. However on Friday morning when the alarm woke me at two I lay in bed for another hour! Now that was unusual for I normally get up straight away. I still felt tired and was about to go for my early morning walk. Despite it being an hour behind my normal routine I left the house only a half-hour later than I usually do. It was quite warm outside as I left the house and I could feel no wind at all. It was only as I reached the seafront later that I could feel a welcome breeze for by that time I was feeling too warm having walked briskly the whole way. By the time I had reached home I had cut around ten minutes off my usual time for that particular route. 

My tiredness had disappeared and I now felt great. How long would that last I wondered? When working at something I never feel tired until I stop and then I sleep well but if I have nothing to do I get tired yet can’t get to sleep. At the moment I am doing very little work at home except routine stuff. My latest project cannot be completed until I receive the pebbles I ordered which will be weeks away. I will need to find something to do in the meantime but the weather is warm and I don’t feel like it. 

Shirley Anne

How?

Just how do you suppose an item as large as a larder fridge could go missing unless it was stolen? I had been in touch with Amazon through whom the seller of the larder fridge was to supply me. I had ordered the said fridge on August 28 th and it duly arrived in the UK on September 10 th having been dispatched from China. A day later it had cleared customs and presumably was delivered to a warehouse ready for collection and delivery to my home. I should have received it by September 15 th at the latest. That was allowing for days for it to travel across the country, plenty of time for the seller. However it didn’t arrive, though according to Amazon I had received it because they simply assumed it had or were informed it had. I got in touch with the seller and was given an apology and informed they would try to trace it. After another communication they informed me that they would dispatch another. There had been plenty of time for a second dispatch from China for it to have arrived by today, that is October 3 rd as I write.

 I was in contact with Amazon on September 29 th who informed me they would look into the matter but to give the seller a couple of days to respond. They should have responded by today, the 3 rd. As I write there has still been no response and Amazon are organising a refund but it could take two to three weeks for them to establish the legality of it though there should be no problem with that. It means however we have been without the extra fridge capacity for five weeks and unless I were to purchase another rather than wait for the resolution of the current situation we could end up waiting another couple of weeks. If this is the way purchasing of goods over The Internet is headed I think we would be better off shopping locally. To be fair this is the first time I’ve had problems ordering goods online but it really shouldn’t happen if everyone did what they were supposed to do. 

Shirley Anne

It’s that time again

Yes Autumn is upon us with its wind, rain and cool weather none of which I mind though the wind if it gets too high I dislike. The worse part of the season is clearing away the mess it makes! I am referring to the broken twigs and in some cases broken branches but in all cases the fallen leaves. You would think I’d be used to sweeping up the leaves for I seems I do it throughout the year to a lesser degree. Autumn leaves though are the more numerous by far and they get everywhere. A few weeks ago I manufactured a guard out of a very large old fire screen using only one small section of it. I placed it around the grid where many leaves end up blocking it but despite the guard some managed to get by it. This is the grid….

After I had swept up the leaves around the garden I decided to pick all the apples that were left on the trees and there were far more this year than last. It looks like I will be baking lots more apple pies! Obviously those we cannot eat will be frozen for later. I generally don’t eat fresh apples as I prefer them cooked. I eat apples the mostly at this time of year only because we have a couple of apple trees. Our apples are for eating fresh but as yet the fruit has been a little on the acidic side and can be baked but they are getting less acidic with each passing year. 

Shirley Anne

I don’t believe it!

Girlfriends using Smartphone in 

….as Victor Meldrew would say (UK comedy actor) and as my dear old dad used to say ‘Is there no end to this stupidity?’. The saga to date with my new fridge order is a fine example of how things can go wrong when ordering goods over The Internet. Evidently the fridge got through customs on or about the eleventh of last month and then went missing. It is October 1 st and still no word since the 15 th regarding developments. I was informed they would be ‘dispatching’ another whatever that was supposed to mean. On Saturday (29 th) I was in touch with Amazon who were going to attempt to get in touch with the seller and find out what the problem was. Maybe I would receive an update tomorrow, that is the 2 nd. In the meantime I have just completed the lawn project that is as much as I was able without having the pebbles for the final stage. I wanted to purchase a certain type and colour of aggregate from Italy, though it doesn’t just exist in the country. I could locate only one supplier for this aggregate, a company based in Kent in the UK. I wasn’t able to locate a supplier more local to home or indeed one that had it for sale. Basically it consists of brown pebbles in the 15 to 20 mm range of sizes and is found in river beds. It is also called ‘tumbled’ stone. Having been informed that I would require a ton of it after giving them the dimensions the supplier told me that it would take eight to nine weeks to arrive!  ‘I don’t believe it’, were the thoughts in my head but if I wanted that particular type of stone I would have to grin and bear it. I placed the order and looked forward to a long wait. What annoyed me more than anything was the lack of online information regarding availability. All purchasing had to be done over the telephone too as they didn’t have the capability to purchase goods through their website. Sometimes the telephone method is better especially if there are any questions you want answers to. 

Shirley Anne

Think on these things

On what do you focus, what is the main aim in your life? Do you hunger after wealth, possessions, never-ending holidays, big cars and fancy clothes and a nice house to live in? If all those things were taken from you, should you have any of them, what would be your first thought? Would anger fill your heart, would you seek to replace them immediately because you cannot live without them? Would you simply accept they’ve gone and move on with your life, maybe changing direction this time? There is more to life than all these things and whilst there is nothing wrong in possessing any of them they shouldn’t be the main focus of your existence. There is a better way, a better thing for you to focus on, your life and its worth. You are worth many times more than anything you own for you are loved by God. God doesn’t offer you any of these things, there are no promises of material wealth. True wealth isn’t measured by your possessions, true wealth is in knowing God and believing in Christ Jesus your Saviour…God says….

Shirley Anne

Meditation (Luke 24:1–8)

All of Christianity is summed up in one verifiable historical event. And this changes everything. Jesus of Nazareth, a maverick Jewish rabbi and prophet, who claimed to be the Messiah about whom Scripture foretold, was arrested, condemned in an illegal trial and crucified. A soldier’s spear to his side and the blood and water that flowed from the wound confirmed that his lungs had collapsed. He was dead. Days after his body had been prepared and placed in a sealed tomb, some women went back to the tomb and found the Roman seal broken, the stone rolled away from the entrance and his body (along with the guards whose lives depended on their keeping watch over it) gone. Soon after that day, more than 500 people claimed to have seen him alive. Others claimed to have seen him ascend into heaven. Most of these witnesses were still alive at the time of the writing of the four Gospels. If the words of this “Good News” were not true, one of those witnesses would have surely refuted them.

Those who committed to follow Jesus early on gained no visible benefit from following him, no wealth or power or possession. Rather, many were themselves beaten, stoned, tortured and crucified. Yet Christianity has persisted on through history to today. And because we know that this account of Jesus’ death and resurrection is factual, we can also know that his promises are sure. The One who died as a criminal to take our sin away from us is alive now, preparing a place for us. And one day, we will be made alive again with him.

Prayer
Loving Lord, you have called us to be born again to a living hope that comes through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. You are preparing an inheritance for me that will never be corrupted and never fade away. And yet I confess that I often put my hope in other things. Deliver me from the futility of misplaced hopes. Teach me the wisdom of seeking you and finding security in your unchanging character. Only your promises will stand forever. It is folly to trust in people, possessions or position because all of these ultimately disappoint. Instead, I place my hope in you. I pray that I will grow in knowing, loving and trusting you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Taken from Once a Day 40 Days to Easter

Shirley Anne

Day off

Well it was Sunday the last day of the month and it would all be downhill from then onward as far as the weather was concerned. It could only get colder, wetter and windier until Spring. When I arose it was an hour later than it had been of late for a couple of reasons, one, I was tired, and two, I had decided not to take a walk but to take a rest from it for a change. As it happened it was a dry morning and the wind was high but coming from the southwest was fairly warm and it would have been pleasant to walk in. I usually rest on Sundays anyway though doing garden chores is always likely with me. However, this day I wanted complete rest at least from manual activity. My garden project was almost completed and I would then be looking for something else to do. At this time of year gardening duties will be keeping me occupied quite frequently so I’ve no need to worry about not having something to do. E and I haven’t spent much time dining out over the last few months but her birthday was coming up (11 th Oct.) and at least I would treat her to a meal out for that. I would have more free time to dine out in the months ahead too. I don’t observe birthdays, anniversaries or annual festivals any longer but make exception for E’s birthday. So for this Sunday there is nothing to say, nothing new or eventful to report, it is just a real day off. In your own life do you take time out and simply do nothing all day long occasionally? If not then I think you should, you owe it to yourself. Have a nice day.

Shirley Anne

What a day!

Saturday (29) was one of those days when everything went pear-shaped. Nothing I did went smoothly, in fact everything I did or was involved with was difficult. It felt as if there was an unseen force preventing me from doing what I intended. The day had started quite well and everything went smoothly until I had finished the work I had set myself to do in the garden. I was up very early and even before breakfast I had prepared lunch, a Spaghetti Bolognese. I spent a little time setting out the cobbles I wanted to fix as a path across the lawn feature and then set them in with concrete…

Surprisingly that didn’t take much time to do. It took me longer to tidy things away and clean up the garage. I still had enough time to visit the builders merchant to see if they had the pebbles I wanted and how much I would need. I had already calculated the area size which is around twelve and a half square metres. They told me they couldn’t supply me with the information and that I would have to use their web site. Nice and helpful. I returned home and checked their site but it was impossible to browse for the information or indeed the products unless I registered. I decided to call the first merchant I had checked out a few days earlier. I had browsed their site and found what I wanted though I still couldn’t check for quantity or order online. The guy answering told me how much I would need but he had to see if there was any in stock and would call back a minute later. Well that minute ran into about twenty and he informed me that there wasn’t any in stock and the guy who looks after the ordering wouldn’t be available until Monday. I would have to call them again. In the meantime I had attempted to take the photos you see above several times but I had problems with the Android tablet which kept switching off for want of recharging. When it was fully charged it took twenty minutes for it to ‘optimise’ the applications and then it switched off again. After I had switched it back on it went through the whole process again! Finally I was able to use it. After lunch I decided to chase up the order I had placed through Amazon which still hadn’t arrived after more than a month! (See older posts). Amazon had been under the impression that I had received the goods, a larder fridge but in fact the seller had misplaced it. Sent from Shanghai China it arrived in the UK ten days later and had passed through customs before it went missing. It went somewhere but not here! Evidently it had been sent to the wrong warehouse but they couldn’t locate it. As I write Amazon are chasing the order themselves and I will have to wait a a further couple of days for the seller to respond. I have a feeling I am going to get a refund and buy elsewhere! Time will tell. There were other incidences during the day where things went wrong but they are too numerous to mention.

Shirley Anne