Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.
August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004][20/03/2019 - giving up. I don't have enough time to update the blog atm, let alone edit old entries!]
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!
Friday, September 21, 2018
Front garden this morning. I took the gate down at 8.30.
Front garden this afternoon.
They'll be back on Monday to continue (and take away all that rubble. That's from the concrete slabs on the top of the wall. All the actual rocks are now in two enormous piles in the back garden...)
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Rang the office on Mon: electrician arrived just after 12 and took a look - and finally explained why the first lot were muttering about a fan in the roof. The inner airbrick has been put into the wall far too high (if you look at it with the window open you can see it's well above the level of the wall) and opens into the loft! It's nowhere near the outer airbrick, which means there's never been any ventilation in the bathroom other than the windows... [sigh] Heath Robinson pipes, cables everywhere and not a right angle anywhere in the house - at least it's eccentric!
So there will have to be a hole drilled through the wall below the inner airbrick to fit the extractor. Now waiting to hear when that can be done. In the meantime will need to skim the inner airbrick then stick a wallpaper patch over it ready for repainting. It looks horrible as it is.
Mon pm another building co. arrived to give us a quote for the drive - Fixit Landscaping and Driveway Contractors, found through Bark.com, a fairly new but efficient service. I was quite impressed with the Fixit crew, and the quote was very reasonable (not the cheapest but less than I was expecting), plus they're authorised to get the licence to drop the kerb, which a couple of the others weren't, so that saves work and hassle for me. I rang them on Tues to say we're happy with the quote: they rang back today to say they can start tomorrow! So we should have Derpy safely off the road by the end of next week (hopefully earlier, depends how fast they work, but they didn't think it would take long...)
Tues am I put the first coat of paint on the hall radiator. Have picked up white satin radiator paint, which covers well and dries quickly, and since it's specifically for radiators it shouldn't flake off. Needs a second coat though. Will do that tomorrow. In the pm Kim picked me up to go swimming, which was great, then on Wed she came 'round again and we went to Almondsbury Garden Centre. They were having their usual end of season sale: Kim picked up a little bottle-brush tree, while I've bought 6 evergreen small shrubs to fill in the garden on the side of the front garden. Will need to get those in as soon as the drive is finished and we've got rid of everything that's there now.
So to today. I have some stuff to do in town, then Kai and I will take off the gate ready for the builders tomorrow.
It's all go!
Monday, September 17, 2018
And the electricians never arrived... I tried ringing the office but there was no answer...
Over the weekend K&K went out for the day but I can't remember now where they went!
Last Monday the decorator rang, to arrange a time to come and repaint the bathroom. Had to tell him the work wasn't finished. He said he'd ring the office and get back to me. Which of course didn't happen. So I rang, explained what had happened, was told someone would get back to me to clarify. Which also never happened. [headdesk]
In the afternoon, after the Waitrose delivery, A&T Tarmac (recommended by Tom the Plumber) arrived to take a look at what was needed for the drive. All sounded very efficient: he said he'd send us a quote for Fri. Which never arrived. If it doesn't come with the post today I shall ring him.
Tuesday was the usual Tesco delivery then swimming. Except that the pool was closed 'due to unforeseen circumstances' (which apparently was that the boiler was so severely on the blink again that they had to turn it off). Walked back home in a huff. [headdeskheaddesk]
Rang the pool Wed am to see if they were open, which they were. Kim was on holiday in Majorca, so went by myself and did the 36 lengths. Tiring walk home. In the evening we carried on watching Agents of SHIELD season 3, which is hugely enjoyable. As I said to Ken, this phenomenon is what Starhunter should have been... We're ripping through the eps at a rate of 3 or 4 an evening!
Thurs Kai and I went on a wee trip - bus to Wells, then the country bus to Weston-super-Mare. It's a glorious ride, through Cheddar, Axbridge and Winscombe (not as pretty as the other two but some interesting shops). At Weston we checked out antique and charity shops, enjoyed a little sea air, then got the bus back to Briz. LOOOONG day: left the house at 10 am and didn't get back until gone 6, but it was a fun one. Next time we'll get off at the villages and do a little shopping (needs to be planned as only one bus an hour, which will make it an even longer day).
Fri I was knackered, so only did a little shopping and rested. Sat K&K walked to Keynsham while I did a little housework and watched the first three eps of the BBC The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, which is great fun if crude-looking compared to today's cg and sfx. Yesterday was a little shopping, then sitting with DVDs for the rest of the day - very relaxing.
Watching: along with SHIELD we've recently seen Apollo 13, an oldie but goodie we've never been able to see all the way through before. Now thinking about getting The Right Stuff: I've seen it, but K&K haven't.
So to today. Still no call from the office re: extractor, so rang them: someone will be with us between 12 and 1 to take a look. Also post has now been and no drive quote from A&T, so have rung and left a message on their answerphone. We have another drive co. coming between 1 and 2 to take a look and give us another quote. So an averagely busy Monday then...
Friday, September 07, 2018
So, following up to the last post...
Chris arrived at 6 pm on Monday evening. He couldn't actually fix the shower rail properly, as he couldn't find a replacement bracket, so he's put in a screw as a temporary fix. It means we can't completely pull the curtain open, but I've draped it back using a butcher hook (the round-ended sort I used for hooking the wheelie onto a trolley to keep it out of the way when shopping) and it works well enough. So we now have a working shower, and it's fabulous. Sheer luxury.
The acoustics in the bathroom are now completely different, too - rather more muffled than the echoey space it was before, which is taking me some getting used to. But it's an absolute doddle to use: it's recommended for all sorts of disabilities, including the blind: the controls are simplicity itself. We've already decided which temperature suits each of us and a couple of presses of the plus or minus sections on the left adjusts it within seconds.
It'll be near-perfect when we have the extractor fan in and working and the curtain rail fixed (though that's a much lower priority). The electricians are supposed to be coming back today to fit it, but I don't know what time...
He comes in alt mode, so Kai will have to help me transform him on xmas day. He's a lot better at following instructions than I am!
Gorgeous quality - which is just as well, as the handling fee and import tax were £55! [WINCE] I shall not be doing that again in a hurry!
Dentist on Tues am went fine - no problems, next check up in 6 months - and Kim picked me up for swimming in the afternoon - 26 lengths, which is fine and relaxing.
Wed was the big, 4 year post transplant BMT clinic for Kai. I went into the BHOC with him (had some banking and shopping to do in town) but waited outside while he saw the consultant. Prof Marks - and Peter, the trials nurse - were both very pleased with progress. Kai has to continue with the venesections until his ferritin count is consistently below 1,000, then they'll reassess, but they seem to think that under the thousand would be fine and he can stop. We both think that a bit lower would be healthier - from what we've learned the normal level for males is between 12 and 300 - so Kai might opt to have more. His energy levels are still low, and he thinks reducing the ferritin a bit more than 1,000 will help. I booked his next five sessions while he was waiting for the standard blood test that goes with the clinic appt: we'll see how we go. His next BMT clinic is in 6 months, next March.
While we were at The Galleries we nipped into Lush for soap. There's a really nice lemony and fine sand one, great as a gentle exfoliator, called Sandstone I think. Thought I'd give that a try - then Kai spotted the new Salted Caramel scented soap... [sigh] Of course I had to have a small piece of that, I'm a salted caramel addict, but I'm not sure I'll ever actually use it. It literally smells good enough to eat and made my mouth water. Quite difficult to resist biting into it! It's making the bathroom smell wonderful...
9.30 on Thursday am the Smart Meter Services guy rang: he was in the area, so would we mind him fitting the meters now rather than that afternoon? Fine by us! He arrived twenty mins later, checked where all the stuff is, said it should be no problem. Electricity had to go off, of course, so Kai and I played a game of Transformers chess while everything was dead. He beat me soundly (my own fault for letting Starscream - the silver queen - get taken early on), and we agreed to play another game after lunch (game lasted over an hour and a half, both of us playing defensively, and I won, though it was a very close thing!) Such fun, and we've left the chess set a bit more accessible so we can play every now and again. It's good for the brain if nowt else!
Smart meters in, instructions left, and the little household scanning thingie explained (has a lot of functions, but the default is showing the gas and electricity bills - electricity is £1.07 and gas 57p since yesterday). Over the weekend Ken wants to try turning things on and off so we can see what draws most power and keep that usage low (though we're already fairly aware and do what we can to leave things switched off if they aren't in use).
Watched Avengers: Infinity War... Hm. Well, the cinematography is glorious, the acting much as we've come to expect, but... Maybe I just really dislike omnipotent villains. And illogical actions by heroes who should know better. Kai really liked it though, and it led to an interesting discussion on survival and evolution while Kai and I were waiting for the bus, so that was good.
And that's about it, I think. Kai and I finished Lexx - still one of the best s-f series' ever - and Ken and I are still struggling through Starhunter. It's getting worse. It's really difficult to stay awake through it. We have two more eps to go, then I shall bestir myself to actually review it on the IMDb. It deserves a 4 at best.
Still no electricians...
Monday, September 03, 2018
The start of another manic week...
Nothing's ever easy 'round 'ere...
Tom the plumber arrived at 8 this morning for the annual boiler service: should be a quick and simple job. Then I'm expecting the peeps to finish the shower...
One of the very few benefits of being now registered as disabled is the accessible living aspect of the City Council. During my visit to WeCare (the people who got me the over-bath seat, second stair handrail and grab rails) I also checked what else they could do, and I mentioned that it would be really helpful to have a proper, plumbed in shower. We've been using one connected to the bath taps since we moved in, and none of us can get the temperature exactly right. Anyway, they put in the request, several official people came to check the possibility, and then the week before last I had a phone call (on Tuesday) saying the grant had been approved and they'd be arriving to do the work on Thursday. That was Thursday that week - two days notice. Which was great!
In theory, anyway. The tiler was supposed to arrive at 8: at 8.30 I had a call from the office to say there'd been an emergency with one of their existing clients and he couldn't get here until after lunch... Arrived about 1 pm (Chris - nice young man, friendly and seemed efficient < /BOF mode >) and made a start. Couldn't finish the job so stuck up waterproof stuff all over the new tiles so we could use the old shower - carefully - that evening.
Arrived back at 8 on Friday morning and got straight back on with the work. By the time he'd left all the tiles were done - much better coverage than we had before - but he still had to finish off. As in, put up the shower curtain rail and generally tidy up. He couldn't fit the actual shower - that was the electricians job. They'd be here next Wednesday.
Uh, what? Nobody told me anything about that...
Told him Wed was no good, as we had train tickets booked to go see Mum T. He promised he'd tell the office and reschedule for later in the week.
So he left on Fri evening, saying he'd be back on Tues. Not Monday, because of course that was a Bank Holiday. So... no shower curtain, no new shower, and no grab rail. Oh joy. Fun weekend.
Chris arrived back on Tuesday to finish off, which involved putting up the shower rail. And a piece broke, so he couldn't finish... Said he didn't have a spare, but someone would be here to fix it on Thursday. He got called away to an emergency (an old lady had messed about with her radiator and it was flooding) while I was swimming in the afternoon, but arrived back soon after I got home. I reminded him again that we wouldn't be here on Wed: he said he'd tell the office and reschedule.
Off to Babbacombe early on Wed. Nice run down, and Mum T was in good form considering she was bruised and lost a tooth with the fall. Turned out a valve in a blood vessel was faulty and had caused a blackout. She can have surgery for it, but the surgery itself is dangerous. She's now 93, and the toughest woman I've ever met for all she's five-foot-nothing and built like a china doll, so will think about whether she wants to risk it. It won't be 'til next year anyway.
It was a lovely day! Lunch out, and a scour of the charity shops, and a very nice run home. Poor Tyjer was distinctly unsettled, though glad to see us, and on Thursday I found out why...
When no electricians had turned up by 9.30 I rang the office (luckily found the no online, as I had no note of it or the woman who'd arranged this all). And of course, Chris hadn't told them we wouldn't be there and they'd turned up at the house as originally designated... Poor cat must have been traumatised!
Explained what had happened: she apologised and promised electrician would be here on Thursday, and then someone else to fix the shower on Friday. [headdeskheaddesk]
He arrived Thursday am, only to say he couldn't do the work as according to the detailed report folder there's asbestos in the ceiling tiles. AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!
But he did do the groundwork - put all the cabling in place and put the shower unit on the wall, and left promising the rest of the work would be done today.
K&K went for the day on Friday - walking in the Mendips - while I waited in for the tidy-upper to arrive. Which never happened. Tried to ring J at the office but no answer, so texted her. Still haven't had a reply.
So there's three people here, one asbestos specialist to make the hole for the cabling to the shower unit, and two to get everything else working. We're getting a new light in the bathroom, as the one we have isn't up to spec (pity that, as we rather like it) and an extractor fan is to be fitted where the old airbrick is (I think. I'm staying out of the way!) But they can't fix the shower rail or put up the grab rails: someone else will be along to finish all that later...
So what I thought was going to be a three day job (at most) has so far taken getting on for two weeks and we still won't be able to use the new shower. If I'd known what a shambles the operation was going to be I don't think I'd have asked to have it done in the first place.
In other news... Ken's had a reasonable week off, I think. He and Kai have dug out the area for the drive, and he did some research for costing. Apparently pebbles are not recommended as they're rounded and the car's tyres will dig ruts: we've found a rather nice alternative, silvery grey quartz with golden streaks through it. We're making it a little smaller than originally devised, as we need to keep the path and having the driveway split wasn't really feasible (or attractive). We've moved the soil from the main section over to the side that was already dug out and planted it up with all sorts of pretty things (mostly deciduous but that'll be OK). Tom the plumber has also recommended a company he's used for their drive: will give them a ring later. We can do a lot of the work ourselves, but the kerb has to be dropped by someone authorised to do it.
Watched Invictus yesterday. I never thought I'd ever like a film about politics and sport, but it's damn good!
Anything else? Probably, though I can't remember. Tomorrow is Tesco delivery (early), dentist for me, then swimming in the afternoon. Kai has BMT clinic on Wed. Thursday pm we're having smart meters fitted.
Oh, and the electricians have just left - without installing the extractor fan. They'll have to come back to that.
I think it's time I complained...