Ed the decorator and his lad Cody started today. They got the steamers going and stripped the sitting room – wonderful. The smell of wet wallpaper brings back memories of Max helping me to strip my Leith flat when I first moved in in 1998. They had problems with the ceiling – not only was there painted woodchip (visible), underneath it was a thin lining paper that had been painted with a vinyl paint and was very very hard to strip.
They also identified the purpose of the two dead switches (actually not dead – bang!) in the sitting room – old wall lights (the cables etc. appear to have been left in place), so we will need to get a sparky to fix that. Ed will sort it out.
I sent a text to the previous owners to see if they could show me where the stopcock is – Mrs came round (dog and father in the car…) but just thought that it was in the loft somewhere (not great in an emergency – we’ve not even been up there yet! We showed her the newly painted utility room and she saw the steamy mess of the sitting room. I hope she wasn’t too shocked…
Late in the morning, the en-suite loo stopped working (wouldn’t flush) so Dyno have been called (Wednesday morning) – I hope that we will be able to claim for it on the Homecare scheme (which started on Friday – the loo has worked since then, so unless there is some “existing fault” that they diagnose, we should be OK). I had a bit of fun trying to find a number to call on my mobile (so many freephone or 0845 numbers – not mobile friendly). I eventually called the mobile-friendly PAYGE number and pressed the “other sort of meter” option and then spoke to a chap in Leeds who transferred me to P&D in Edinburgh. Going the long way around :)
Then John Lewis arrived and surveyed our steps (longer front steps or wiggly back steps) – they came up the front after the recce. They removed all the packaging out in the road and just manhandled the naked appliances – and promptly managed to bump the washing machine into the door frame of the dining room and take a (very small) chunk out of it. Grr. They made up for it by kindly removing the retaining bolts of the washing machine though, which we hadn’t contracted them to do. I guess they spent a bit more than half an hour sorting it all out, including installing the dishwasher.
Just as they were finishing up, the Scottish Gas service engineer arrived to do the initial visit on the boiler and gas fire. Boiler passed with flying colours, and we got a good walk through on how to use it and why it was a good boiler. We have 13 radiators, which feels crazy. Kitchen, dining room, 2 in sitting room, 2 in hall, 1 in each of 3 bedrooms, 2 in master bedroom, 2 towel rails. When we have our stuff in and we learn how the flat works, temperature wise, we can adjust them so we don’t spend too much. I am tempted by a room thermostat (with an App so you can turn it off remotely…) but Andrew is less bothered. Sadly the gas fire did not do so well in the testing. The fire works fine, the chimney is clear and draws well, but there is no air vent in the room (legal requirement) so it has a “do not use” warning on it now, and we need to consider what to do. If we replace it with a lower-spec one (7kW or less) then we don’t need a vent. This is probably the best option, rather than cutting holes in the room (and doesn’t that just make the room colder again?)
All fun. Then I came home and did some packing of books into boxes. 10. One of them is pure Bujold, including my first edition hardbacks, so I’m thinking of transporting that one myself so it doesn’t run the risk of getting lost.
Tomorrow: more packing. And dentist :( I have managed to put the removal men back until Thursday (also bad weather is forecast for Wed) which gives us a bit of breathing space for packing. The main reason is that it gives the decorators another full day without STUFF in the way.