Tuesday 29 May 2007

Refund, refund

The much delayed refund from Carpetright hit my credit card on friday, 17 days after they took back the faulty living room carpet. In contrast the refund from the other carpet shop, an independent, hit my credit card on Saturday as soon my card was swiped. This says a lot about the attitudes of these different shops to their customers.

Monday 28 May 2007

It's a bank holiday

Yes I can tell it is a bank holiday without looking at the calendar. My husband is home. It is raining and the next door neighbours are away as they usually are on a bank holiday and just to make me absolutely positive, that it is a bank holiday, their burglar alarm is going off!

Sunday 27 May 2007

Getting straight

Yesterday was a busy day. The plumber came first thing, with plan B, and got the pipe sorted out. We then went to look at carpets for the living room. Having opted for one of my real possibilities. I then had to take the samples back to the second carpet shop carpet where they were very reaonable about a refund for the deposit that I had paid. In the afternoon we took advantage of the fine weather and did some gardening. Today we are back to miserable weather so we had a go at putting the furniture back in the living room. So another day of moving furniture but with a bit of purpose this time.

The dining room is looking good with its meadow green carpet which has replaced the gaudy patterned carpet of the previous owners. For the living room we have chosen a parchment beige carpet from the same range. It is a very light carpet so we have chosen to have it stain protected. Now that the carpet is ordered and the fitting date arranged I am beginning to wonder if it was such a good idea to have chosen such a light carpet for a room which is the thoroughfare from the kitchen and dining room to the conservatory and garage. My mother will tell me that I have made a mistake but I am old enough now not to need my mother's approval for everything. It will look good when we finally get straight.

Friday 25 May 2007

A carpet dilemma

Today I went to the carpet shop that the new living room carpet was supposed to be coming from. Earlier this week I had phoned the shop to ask what was happening to the carpet. They admitted that they were unable to get hold of the carpet that we had ordered and offered to let us choose another more expensive carpet and pay only 50 per cent of the difference in the price. The lady in the shop was very attentive and I came home with three samples, not convinced that any of them were what I was looking for. If we aren't happy with one of these samples we can have a refund.

Later I had to go to a DIY store and took the opportunity to pop into a nearby carpet shop where I found two real possiblities. So tomorrow will be carpet hunting again and hopefully it will be third time lucky

Thursday 24 May 2007

Doors to manual

This morning after waiting what seems like forever we had a carpet fitted in the dining room. The dodgy looking plastic tiles were no problem. The fitters came through the front door leaving it wide open and asking to see which the carpet was to be fitted. I explained what I thought was the easiest route and we then ended up with the French windows from the dining room open, the French windows from the living room into the conservatory open, the conservatory doors open, the conservatory door to the garage open and finally the front garage door open. After two hours of beavering away the carpet fitters had the carpet fitted. It then took me an hour to vacuum the bits up from it and I don't know how long to shut all the doors.

Monday 21 May 2007

Bedroom carpet

Having had the chance to look at the state of the underlay in the living room which looks to our inexperienced carpet fitting eyes as if the carpet was glued to the underlay and not fitted to gripper rods we have decided to have the second carpet that we ordered from Carpetright fitted by a carpet fitter employed by us. Before posting the letter to Carpetright informing them of our decision I did check with the carpet fitter than he would be prepared to fit a carpet from Carpetright. He seems to be happy enough. I had thought that Carpetright's reputation might be so bad that only their fitters would fit their carpet.

Sunday 20 May 2007

Hobson's choice

Today I promised myself that after painting the dining room fireplace, I would have an afternoon in the garden but yet again I had to spend all day in doors on a lovely sunny day. Really we should have gone to the charity walk in the village but the only charity that we know is this cottage. We started our day's endeavours by moving the dining room furniture yet again. Some into the living room and some into the hall. Then it was a trip into the unknown as we took up the old carpet. Taking up the carpet was easy enough but the underlay was another matter. As we took up the underlay it separated into two layers. The top layer came up easily but the bottom layer stuck to the floor. In the dining room end it was like strips of old licquorice which we had to scrape up with a wall paper scraper. In the snug end we had to scrape up what looked like congealed tomato soup. Two hours later the underlay was in six dust bin bags waiting for the dust man to collect. Then we had to clean up and finish the painting so that the new carpet can be fitted hopefully on thursday. I say hopefully because the floor in this room is some dodgy looking plastic tiles. If the carpet fitters will not fit the carpet on top of them I am leaving and will not be here when my husband gets home.

Saturday 19 May 2007

Two joiners & a plumber

This morning normal service was resumed and we were out numbered by work men. Two joiners, one for the back door and one for the bedroom door and then the plumber came to have a look at the pipe that W has been promising to sort out for six months. The plumber and my husband went out into the lane to look for the water meter which they eventually found mired in mud. But it didn't help - they still couldn't turn the water off. So the plumber is comimg back again next week with plan B. At least the two doors got replaced.

Thursday 17 May 2007

Surgery for free

This afternoon I had a visit from a young man to tell me that Scottish Power tree surgeons would shortly be round to prune the trees, in our garden, that are growing into their power lines. Apparently they come round to prune the trees about every five years. We have three trees that qualify and we are going to opt to have one of them - an ash tree - out. And they will cut the tree up into logs which we can burn on the fire when we can't afford to pay their bills or have a power cut!

Wednesday 16 May 2007

Refund on the way

It's now eight days since Carpetright's fitters took up the faulty living room carpet and there is no sign of a refund on my credit card. So today I phoned the store to chase it up. The charmless manager phoned me back to tell me that the refund process had been initiated and would take 10-14 days. But from when? Today or eight days ago.

Sunday 13 May 2007

Driving in the rain

As we left the hotel in Weybridge it was pouring with rain so we decided against a walk round Wisley before setting off back to Cheshire. I'd have been happy to walk round Wisley in the rain but I didn't fancy spending four hours sitting in the car in soaking wet clothes. So we headed back straight after breakfast. We drove all the way in the rain and managed to do it in record time. I say we, my husband drove and I navigated a route that he knows like the back of his hand. I would be prepared to share the driving with him if he were prepared to share the housework with me which he isn't. So I do all the housework and he does all the driving.

The drop in temperature was noticeable when we arrived back at the cottage. Funny how you don't notice the increase in temperature when you travel south.

Saturday 12 May 2007

Down to East Grinstead

My brother moved to East Grinstead when he got married and my mother moved there to be near him after my father died. So today we went down to see them. My mother is now frail and forgetful after last years 'coughing do' which landed her in hospital for ten days. She wont move from her much cherished bungalow but how much longer she can live there on her own is the question that my brother and I keep asking. The small garden is over grown but the gardener is coming for one of his twice yearly visits, next week. You can write you name in the dust in the bungalow but as my mother adamantly told me - it doesn't get dirty. If only she would put her glasses on.

We had lunch with my mother then visited my brother late afternoon. We discussed how we think our mother is managing but reach no real conclusions. We have suggested sheltered accommodation in the past but she was not interested.

The sun was setting on another day as we drove through the pretty lanes of Sussex towards the Surrey Downs.

Friday 11 May 2007

Weekend in the south

My husband rarely goes anywhere without his laptop so he has let me borrow it to do this blog. Today we drove from Chester to Weybridge for a weekend of visiting our mothers. The drive was uneventful and the weather was dry. As we drove through Buckinghamshire towards the leafy lanes of Surrey I began to feel as if I was coming home. The landmarks look familiar and the countryside looks softer and more attractive than the hash landscape of Cheshire and the Wirral. Something that I had forgotten was the volume of traffic clogging up the roads in the south east and of course it was the early friday afternoon rush hour when we hit it. We are spending two nights at the hotel in Weybridge where we had our wedding reception. Tonight we should have gone out for a meal with my mother-in-law in Surbiton but she has gone to stay with her daughter in Northampton so we have the evening to ourselves. By the time we got ourselves out to look for somewhere to eat in Weybridge it was pouring with rain so we grabbed a table at he first suitable Italian restaurant where we had a surprisingly good meal. We decided on a post-prandial stroll around Weybridge, fortuneatley the rain had stopped. We found several other suitable restaurants for future reference and frightened ourselves looking in estate agents windows. A move north is a one-way trip!

Tuesday 8 May 2007


Yet another carpet problem! This morning the carpet shop from which we had ordered our new living room carpet phoned to query how much carpet we needed then phoned again to inform us that they didn't have enough carpet for our room. We found this difficult to understand as they measured the roll, of carpet that they had in stock, in front of us and there was enough carpet but somehow a piece of that carpet has been cut off and sold to someone else. They assured us that they have some more on order but don't know when it will be in. So yet another twist in this carpet saga.

At least this afternoon Carpetright's fitters managed to turn up to take up the faulty living room carpet. So this morning we moved the furniture from the living room into the dining room and this afternoon we moved the furniture back. This wasn't the way it was planned. We seem to be going backward not forward. The living room seems to be jinxed.

Saturday 5 May 2007

Millionaire's Row

Last night we went to the 'Drop In' at the village hall for a drink or two and a chat to the neighbours from the nearby villages. Unusually N & G, from the end of the lane, were there and we spent most of the evening talking to them as we had not seen them for some time. They have been doing up their cottage for about ten years now and still have not finished it. I am determined that it will not take anywhere near as long to do up our cottage. The conversation turned to Del boy who is beating us all in the doing up house stakes. Apparently he has informed Gthat he is a millionaire. So there it is we live on Millionaire's Row.

Friday 4 May 2007

Marathon's end

What a relief to get to the end of the three week marathon! Had I known what a state the cottage was going to be in at this point I would not have agreed to take on this three weeks work that have just come to an end. It has been a very difficult three weeks, not made any easier by the good weather which has meant that the greenhouse, garden and pots have needed regular watering, hence eating into my precious evening time. For the next few weeks I can concentrate on the cottage and even the garden if I have time and the weather is suitable.

Tuesday 1 May 2007

An unexpected call

When Carpetright failed to turn up to take up the faulty living room carpet on April 12 we re-arranged the taking up ceremony for May 8 which is one week from today. This evening my husband said 'guess who called today'. I replied that I had no idea. A carpet fitter called him this afternoon asking where we were (both at work) as he was outside our house and no one was in. He'd only managed to come a week early this time! Where did the right come from? Carpetright don't seem to be able to get any thing right.