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Week 23: Painting and decorating

It feels like all I’ve done this week is painting and decorating our new house, but there’s been a bit more than that. We’re still living in the flat for another couple of weeks, so at least it doesn’t matter that it’s still a mess.

I removed a lot of the junk from the loft. And there was a lot of junk. I made a list of everything I found in the loft earlier in the week, but it’s not exhaustive. Since then, I have also found:

  • a radiator, that appears to be new
  • the fourth leg for the IKEA desk
  • a single bed sized slab of foam
  • an 80s era Transformers tea towel

I’m still amazed by how many objects were up there that won’t fit through the hatch. I took a lot of the junk to the council Reuse and Recycling Centre (aka the tip) but I kept hold of the solid wood pieces: I can find plenty of uses for seasoned hardwood.

I replaced the locks. You never really know how many keys were out there, and they were the kind of key that can be copied anywhere, and locks that were vulnerable to snapping attacks. Plus, the front and back doors had different keys, which just seems daft when you can order a “keyed alike” set and have just one key.

Someone said to me that they would be worried about losing a key and having to replace two locks, but if you have two keys, won’t they be together so that you lose them both at the same time?

I’ve filled so many holes and gaps in the walls. Mostly pre-existing, although I created a few holes when removing the awful curtain rails that were in there. I’m getting pretty good at filling, rubbing down, and priming now.

I made a 3D printed adapter to attach the vacuum cleaner hose to my orbital sander. It’s just a slightly tapered cylinder, but worth more than that to me. It now sucks the dust right away from what I’m working on. Very handy.

I sent off samples of the textured bathroom ceiling that had flaked off for asbestos testing. The UK was extremely keen on asbestos back in the day. Some people call this “rainy fascist island”, but it’s really more of a rainy, asbestos-contaminated, lead-poisoned fascist island. The good news is that the samples came back clear, so I can make that good for now. Making it not ugly is a bigger job for another day.

Our fridge-freezer arrived, and it’s tall. I was worried for a bit, but the delivery people managed to get it through the front door in a triumph of trigonometry and sheer effort. It can’t go in the kitchen until I’ve laid the floor in there, so it’s sitting in its wrapping in the living room for now.

I put the dog crate I found in the loft up for sale, but with no luck so far.

Tomorrow, we get internet installed. I’m going to be a bit disappointed, inevitably: I’ve had fibre internet for the past few years, but all we can get in the house is fibre to the cabinet VDSL. At least it shouldn’t be as bad as the 6 Mbps down/600 kbps up ADSL I had until a few years ago. Right? Please?!

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  • A list of items found in the loft of our new house

    • Two headboards for a small child’s bed
    • A wooden table in two parts, both too large to fit through the access hatch
    • A bag of cat litter, opened but mostly full
    • A pet crate suitable for air travel, large enough for a medium dog or an ocelot or a lynx
    • Several old curtains, never in style at any point since the house was built
    • A bolt of heavy brown cotton cloth
    • A single plastic place mat
    • A box containing a hoarded collection of plastic bags
    • A 1 Real coin from Brazil, worth about 14p
    • The cardboard box in which an MFI kitchen unit was shipped
    • An IKEA desk top
    • Three legs for the desk top
    • A square wooden frame of unknown purpose, also too large for the access hatch
    • A double futon mattress
    • A canvas-covered shelving unit
    • A roll of carpet, with no dead body inside

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  • Week 22: Completion

    As of Friday, we are now homeowners. We still owe the greater part of it to the bank, of course, and taking everything into account I personally actually own about one fifth of a house at the moment, but it’s still a greater level of control over my life and living conditions than I’ve ever had before.

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  • Week 21: Exchange

    I think the past week has been more eventful than the whole of 2021 up to now.

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  • Week 20: Progress at last

    Our house purchase is moving rapidly ahead. After weeks when it seemed like it was stuck on some inscrutable detail of negotiation, everything has finally been unblocked. The last sticking point was, it seems, something about indemnity in case the land is found to be contaminated. As it turns out, this can be sorted by the simple expedient of paying £265 for an indemnity policy. Would we like to do that? Yes we would, especially as getting this sorted will save us five figures of stamp duty if we complete the purchase by the end of June.

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Older entries can be found in the archive.