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{ Category Archives } house

The tradesmen return

My cottage certainly seems to be a regular source of employment for the local tradesmen. This week I’ve got Rob, my long-standing decorator, here for his annual week as “artist in residence”. Unfortunately, this year my list of things I want to have done exceeds both my budget and the length of time I’ve hired […]

More bathroom hassle

It’s definite – there has been a significant leak in the so-called “family bathroom”, probably ongoing for over a year. The water seems to have penetrated behind the tiles from the shower, and run down the wall behind the bath, soaking the floorboards underneath. The plumbers have been back, removed the bath, and stripped the […]

More Dodgy Electrics

The shower isn’t the only electrical problem I’ve been having this week. I got home from work on Wednesday to find that the internet was down. That usually means a call to my ISP, waiting on hold for half an hour, and then asking them to reset the target SNR on my phone line. But […]

Dodgy Electrics

No, I don’t mean the car for once. Though that would also be true – the Mini’s fan and aircon now only work on the top two fan settings, which are extremely noisy and blow a gale. It looks like a dodgy connection at the switch for the settings I prefer to use. Annoying, but […]

Calling in the plumber

You would think that with three bathrooms in one smallish cottage, I should have an embarrassment of plumbing amenities. There’s what an estate agent would call the main “family bathroom”, an en-suite in my bedroom, and a very handy shower room in the extension. But over the last few weeks, it all started going wrong. […]

Listed Building Consent

I had a really interesting chat with our neighbours over our New Year’s Day  lunch about the major renovation work they are doing on their cottage. It was originally an early 19th Century toll house on what would have been the old turnpike road, and is Grade II listed. That means that, although it requires […]

More Mouse Problems

The mice came back in November, as they have done every year for well over a decade. It’s no coincidence that my annual rolling contract with the pest control company has a renewal date in November. The change in weather drives them to take shelter indoors, and then they hold tap-dancing parties directly above my […]

First snow of winter

I was so glad that HMS managed to fix my boiler last week, as it’s turned cold. Really cold. It would have been utterly miserable without central heating! It even snowed heavily on Saturday for several hours. Big, fat, “proper” snowflakes. Fortunately it didn’t stick, but it was still heavy enough for me to cancel […]

Condemned Boiler

It’s that time of year again when I get a series of emails from Christopher’s gmail calendar, reminding me to do a load of admin chores. “Get septic tank emptied” (done), “renew house insurance” (done), and most recently “Get boiler serviced”. I had to wait a few weeks for the boiler servicing company I use, […]

Generations of decorators……

When Christopher and I first bought this cottage, it needed a lot of work doing to it. Most urgently, it needed completely re-wiring, as the original rubber-insulated electric cabling was beginning to perish. We found a semi-retired electrician, Jack, who spent many weeks crawling around in the attic and chiselling channels in the walls to […]