Suddenly along came another post!

Saturday December 26th, 2009 |Fiona

Just had to make sure that I got this down before forgetting. Saturday 19th was a really busy day for us. Not only were the previous owners coming to collect their stuff from our container, Norman’s brother and sister-in-law came for a visit too. All seemed to happen at the same time – which meant we could not get to the coffee morning in Dolanog as we had the 2 previous months… wonder if anyone missed us?

As previously stated, the carpet needed to be installed in the big bedroom (we must choose names for them!) ready for the furniture delivery, so decided to get on with it. We had painted the skirting board on the Friday evening, so Norman and I spent about 2 hours getting the carpet cut into the two rooms – 4.5 and 3m by the 5m width. (Shame they didn’t deliver it pre-cut!) This we did in the stone barn, and then stopped for breakfast – just before all the visitors showed-up, so we ate in relays! Well, let’s just say, I never want to try to do something like that again! Not only was it bloomin’ heavy, but it was long and incredibly cumbersome. It would have helped matters if we had removed the cardboard core, but we had re-used it to roll up after cutting, as then the carpet would have bent and we might not have had the problems we did – sadly the length meant that we had to open one of the windows on the landing (only to discover that one of the locks had broken, so Norman had to unscrew the handle!) to redirect the carpet – and get rid of the core! In some ways my Dad helped, as he got his back underneath on the stairs to help hold it in place – especially when we had to open the window – but in others he didn’t. Sometimes stating the bloomin’ obvious does not help when you’re trying to manoeuvre something! He and I had our first falling out, albeit briefly, but we ended up with the carpet in the bedroom… A lot of effort required, believe me. Definitely going to write to Carpetright and complain about the fact that the carpet came uncut.

With all the freezing conditions and the threat of snow – we had some flurries for 10 minutes on Saturday and a bit more on Sunday, we were concerned that the furniture man would not make it… especially as he was going to be heading to north Wales first. It was important that we had them deliver, as they had our table and chairs from a different supplier in Hartley Wintney, who delivered to the bed people in Four Marks… so, needed them to make it. We were not desperate for the bed and wardrobe, as we had the spare 5′ bed anyway, and initially only family would be visiting so would not need all the facilities! Anyhow, he turned up and we got the furniture in place – sadly the 5′ is far too dominating, so it will have to be changed, but also the wardrobe is HUGE. Far too high a hanging rail for people below 5’5″ or so to reach… so, having spoken to them about the correct size bed being needed, they have also agreed to swap the wardrobe for a more suitable size! I suppose as the problem was caused by them, it was the least they could do – but in some ways I am glad they made a mistake, as we would have probably had to keep the big wardrobe otherwise! So, every cloud has a silver lining! Means we have to protect everything really well for the next month or so, till they can swap them over!

I ended up rushing around a bit on Monday to get all sorts of things – ended up doing the full food shop, in case we did get snow. Also, was worrying about Norman heading south – but hurrah, when I got home he said there had been a weather warning for the Reading area, so he was not going anywhere. Seeing as the main news showed Basingstoke that night, and my brother-in-law took 4.5 hours to get home that evening from Reading, I was even gladder he was not going anywhere. At least we were not suffering the same problems as down south – how often do you hear that being said…? Norman went out on Tuesday to do some shopping in Newtown, as he had planned to do more pressie shopping in Reading/Basingstoke when he was back there – bless, he could have just waited till the sales! Our plumber could not make it in on either Monday or Tuesday – he lives on a really steep hill apparently, so even if the main roads were OK, he could not reach them! He finally made it on Wednesday and has now fitted our basin in the bedroom… It looks a bit odd at the mo, but when Norman has built the step area, and we can lino the floor, it will help. Meanwhile it is very useful for toilet trips!

We got my wish for Christmas – it snowed the day before Christmas Eve. Only about 2 inches, but enough to make it a winter wonderland. As we had already got the food in, presents were bought and wrapped, we had no real need to be concerned – except we needed to deliver cards with invites to all our neighbours. We had planned on pre-Christmas drinks, but with the builders not finishing as quickly as we’d hoped, there was not enough decoration done, plus things were missing! E discovered that it was not a problem once you got off our roads, as Norman got out easily on Wednesday and our plumber made it in. However, Christmas Eve was a different matter – not only was there the snow, no more had fallen but it had iced over a bit, but we had the lowest cloud ever – not quite a fog, but certainly very misty and visibility was poor. We had to collect the Turkey from the butcher in Llanfair, so decided to do that first and see how it was. Once on the major roads, it was fine, and some of the roads near us had been gritted and scraped by the neighbours, so were OK – taking it carefully and sensibly.

So we have invited our neighbours, only a few of whom we’ve met, and hope that at least some can make it. We stopped for a tea at one, with lovely mince pies and chocolate fridge cake (must get that recipe, it was the same lady whose plateful I’d bought at the coffee morning last month!) and at another house for a whisky and sherry… so, a lovely welcome. We had been invited in at many more houses than that, but we were losing light and knew we had more to deliver! Sometimes it was handy to have the boxes at the end of drives…!

With one thing and another, the toilet seats never did make it to us – so decided that Norman would collect from supplier in Newtown when he went out again on Wednesday afternoon, only to get there to find the plumber had collected after he left us! So, builder had to come on Thursday, but as he was in his van, decided not to risk our hill and Norman went to meet him in our 4×4. So, we now have the replacement seals for middle bathroom, the toilet seats for middle and large, and a lot more sealant to stop the leaks from all three bathrooms! The builders had not done a thorough job of sealing all the doors, so Norman and I will be finishing them off!

Christmas was a quiet affair for us – just Norman, myself and my Dad. Decided to have a cooked breakfast as we would not be eating the meal until mid-afternoon, which was great. Then Dad and I went for a walk with the dogs – the sunshine was fabulous, but in the shade it was pretty cold. Then we opened presents… I forgot one completely for Norman, so will save and wrap it for Xmas number 2, when his children come up in January. Then we decided to try something different for the legs of the turkey, as recommended in a newspaper, which was rather tasty, if a bit more fiddly to do than implied in the paper; but we ended up ready about an hour ahead of our planned meal, at 2pm instead of 3pm – so we ate. Used the new cutlery Norman had bought for the house, and set-up on the new guest dining table and chairs… it was lovely. With the sun shining and a fire going, we were all very relaxed. So, we relaxed after I did the washing up – well, the guys did; I took the dogs for a walk! All in all a very pleasant day – and my Dad said he enjoyed his birthday immensely. Always good to hear when someone is happy to have been with you on such a momentous day. He is now 88!!!

Now our tasks are based on getting the lounges ready for guests for drinks on Monday, when hopefully the neighbours will turn up – we have had a couple of calls saying they are either busy or poorly, so not everyone will be here! Tomorrow we will finish tidying-up, then go shopping for nibbley-type foods for guests.

Better get on and prepare the leftovers for Boxing Day dinner – cold turkey of course!