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Wednesday, 26 December 2007

We Have A Much Needed New Kitchen ...

… But My New Bike Is Now On Hold

In November we decided that a new kitchen was in order. We bought the current one second hand for £50 over a decade ago and it was starting to look more than a little grim.

Our first stop was MFI, who planned and priced it up for us. After we’d picked ourselves up off the showroom floor with the shock, we re-grouped and attacked it from a different angle. B&Q was our next stop and their price turned out to be far more palatable. Money was exchanged and the delivery date for all the bits & bobs was set for 30th November.

In the meantime we decided that we really should get the whole of the kitchen re-plastered. Our house is a little over 50 years old and each time we do a room, it isn’t so much a redecoration, but a refurbishment process. The kitchen was probably the worst room in the house. The walls and ceiling were in a terrible state. The re-plastering required us to remove all the existing wall cupboards, which meant finding somewhere to put all the stuff that they held. We ended up with plastic boxes of kitchen bit & bobs in the dining room, lounge and along the landing. It was also a nightmare to find anything we needed for cooking.

My first job was to modify all the power and lighting circuits. Several of the sockets were in the wrong place for the new layout and we had to lift the carpet and floorboards on the landing to modify the lighting circuit.

The plastering process is not a job the faint heart and is best left to the pros. Fortunately, Chunky has a friend who is a very good carpenter who can also turn his hand to most other tasks. Two days later the kitchen had a lovely smooth ceiling and walls.

On delivery day I had to relocate my bike to my Mums back garden as the flat packed units, etc. would have to go in the space that she normally calls home. This meant that I had to use the car to get to work, which was quite welcome as the weather was horrible. When I got home from work there were cardboard boxes stuffed here, there and everywhere, which added to our space problems. However, it was noticeable that there were no worktops in the delivery. These had been left off the lorry, but arrived a week later.

Because I had so much annual leave left, I started my Christmas holiday on December the 7th. The idea being that I would use the time to paint the kitchen and fit all the new units. By the 15th it was abundantly clear that I had completely failed at the task. In a week all I had managed to achieve was two coats of paint on the ceiling. The answer was to call in the “Cavalry”, in the form of our friendly, workaholic carpenter, Karl. In one and a half days he had all the units and worktops fitted. The speed & quality of his work is truly impressive and saved my bacon “BIG TIME”!

In the week leading up to Christmas all I had to do was plumb in the new sink, fit the new (very fancy) double oven and complete the electrics. Which I duly completed in a timely manner.

By Christmas Eve we had a fully functional kitchen and were able to clear away all the piles of tool, off cuts and cardboard packing, ready for the traditional family get-together.

The only fly in the otherwise crystal clear ointment is that our ancient dishwasher has developed what appears to be a terminal fault. Great timing as Christmas is of course it’s busiest time and we are now completely broke after buying the kitchen and paying Karl for his hard work. And I suspect it will be sometime before I’ll be able to afford that shiny new bike I’d been saving for 8-(

Such is life!


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I’m Still Alive …. Just

Sorry about the unexpected silence on my blogg, but over the last few months I have had some major problems in my personal life. I don’t wish to go into details in such a public way, but I’ll just say that things at home came extremely close to complete and total melt down.

However, we have dealt with these issues in a very painful and head-on manner and we are starting to come out the other side in a far stronger, more focused way.

Here’s to a new outlook on life and a new much stronger Chris 8-)


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