Archive for the ‘Visitors’ Category
Well would you look at that – over 100 days without an update? What sort of an SEO expert must I be if I think THAT’s the way to maintain a good website… a bad one, that’s what. But hey – it’s wintery now and we’re very poor, so we can’t afford to do much to the house. Plus of course we got Married in New York and have the New Kittens to worry about too.
Either way, the time has come for the Christmas decorations to go up and since our friend Alex was visiting we decided to make a move on it. Unfortunately, as you can see below, the kittens decided they’d help out (see the site for more details – Our First Cat(s)) and we ended up with a trashed tree. So after the third time of standing it up and putting decorations on, Henry got cross and packed it all away again, declaring that "the cat’s have officially cancelled Christmas!". So we drove off to B&Q and found a lovely (anc cheap, and cat-proof) light decorationy type thing which is now where the tree was going to go. I think you’ll agree it looks rather nice – and I can report that so far, it has survived…
Today was the day of the big summer family party, so we had a lovely barbecue. We were able to show off our new steps – unfortunately the door hasn’t been finished yet, so it wasn’t ideal – and had a great time in the sunshine. We also had the use of a great gazebo in case the weather turned, but thankfully it stayed nice all day.
In attendance were Susan, Claire, Dave, Phil, Terrie, Ben, Katy, William, Lucy and Neil, as well as us two obviously.
This weekend we had a small gathering of friends (mainly school and university friends) round to celebrate our new flat. The first big barbecue of the season went down very well, and as far as we’re away everyone had a good time – some of us even stayed up until 4.30am playing Scalextric in the garage!
On Saturday the 2nd of April we hosted the first (proper – i.e. not sat at a workbench!) barbecue of the season. Ros and Keith and baby Barney came round to help us test drive the new barbecue (the first of the two that we bought) and all seemed to go pretty well. The weather stayed nice, the barbecue did what it was supposed to and everyone seemed to have a good time.
Having got the house in to a perfectly livable state, we today played host to our second dinner party, this time in the shape of Henry’s brother Ben, his wife Katy and little William – Henry’s first nephew. Obviously this isn’t strictly house-related shots, but William is damned cute so I’m posting them anyway!! :)
Having suitably recovered from their hangovers, Sara and Henry’s first job of the day was to drive round all of the bed shops in Reading trying to find a mattress that would get delivered some time this side of Christmas. After at least half a dozen "January 15th"’s, good old Bensons for Beds came up trumps and we are now due a Mattress this Wednesday.
The rest of the day was spent removing the carpet, scraping and cleaning the concrete floor, laying underlay (e-pa e-pa!) and finally laying the new laminate floor. It all went surprisingly well, so long as you ignore the fact that we ended up a pack short and had to go back the next morning for one more box. With the new floor laid we moved some furniture back, and treated ourselves to a Chinese and more beers. Plus some breakdancing, but I won’t go in to that…
Yesterday Ali King arrived in Reading, fresh and raring to tackle some of our more laborious projects. Having got drunk the night before, we weren’t quite as raring, and definitely not as fresh – but none the less we soldiered on and achieved quite a bit. Despite what it looks like from the photos, Henry was helping too (Sara was at work) but we did consider at one point that perhaps we should change the name of this site to "www.come-and-help-us-do-work-on-our-flat-and-we’ll-pay-you-in-beer-and-put-you-on-the-web.com" but changed our mind thankfully – we’d never attract any more helpers with that kind of attitude… :)
In the course of the day we managed to rip down what remained of the skanky wardrobe in the spare bedroom, move the futon in to the space and assemble the new bed which was delivered that morning. We weren’t in for quite the night’s sleep we had hoped for though, as stupid old MFI just "forgot" to deliver our matress, so we had to resort to the airbed until we could find another matress.
The day ended the same was as the previous evening – drinking beer and watching DVDs. Some of us managed to stay up until 1.30am, others fell asleep earlier (no surprises there!!)
This weekend he had the pleasure of Mark Nicholls company (Henry’s cousin). He swept in to town like a rogue tornado, fixed and improved lots of aspects of our flat, got us drunk and taught us chinese mind tricks.
Amongst the items we managed to tick off our "to do" list was:
- Re-attaching the radiator and brackets to the living room wall, thus warming it up again
- Fitting the new blinds in the living room
- Wiring up the telephone cables so we can have a phone upstairs
- Improving the TV reception
- Fitting some very nice curtains in the bedroom
- Wiring up the garage for lights and plugs
- Fixing the garage door
- Setting up a PIR unit and security light in the front porch.
- Testing our spare bedroom for guests – it passed
- Generally taught us lots of things we didn’t know!!
Thanks very much of course to Mark, and below you can see some shots of him in action! Just don’t ask about the beer-mat trick, or the chinese pencil breaking (using just paper) – not unless we’re drunk anyway!
Having made what we thought would be a quick trip to the Brentwood IKEA (Diwalli traffic meant it actually took AGES to get there) on Saturday we are now the proud owners of 4 "Leksvik" DVD shelving units, a "Leksvik" CD cabinet and a lovely coffee table – bet you can’t guess what type that was?!? Henry put them all together this afternoon, which meant we could finally unpack the CDs and DVDs, meaning we only have about 2 boxes left to unpack.
Other things we achieved this weekend include hanging new curtains in the spare bedroom, a new lampshade in the main bedroom (not that it’s much of an achievement I guess) and we have brand new blinds for the front room as well, though Henry is too knackered to put those up today!!
I can say with some certainty that we’re both feeling like the place is much more homely now, although a visit from Ros and Keith (and little Barney) proved that it’s definitely not a baby-friendly flat. It took two of us to get the pram back up the steps again, so I suspect that at the first sign of bun-in-oven shenanigans we will have to move – not that we’re planning I should add, but who knows what life will throw at you…
Today was a day of mixed emotions. On the positive side we received more visitors, this time in the shape of Henry’s parents. They bought with them lots more furniture – big thanks for that – and then we all went out for lunch at the Belle and Dragon. Not only was this a nice occassion because of the move, it was also the first time both sets of parents had met – queue much teasing and talk of future weddings. Geez, let us get our house sorted first!
The latter half of the day saw more interesting developments with the house. Having asked Dave to swap the manky old kitchen light for a nice new one, we discovered the electric circuits in the house are more than a little dodgy, and we will subsequently have to call out an electrician tomorrow – and probably eat candle-lit dinners for the rest of the week! We also have to find a man to sort the aerial out, as we can’t even get crappy old Channel 5 anymore. Oh well, we’re sure this will just be the start of lots more fun and games to come…!