Sunday, 17 November 2013


I don't really have that much to say this week... So I'll apologise for the ramble from the start :)

This week has been a real energy week. I've still been tired in the evening, and asleep by 9:30 most weekday evenings, but whilst working the energy has been really flowing.

The project I'm working on seems to be coming together, just one more company to get working and then I can move onto the 'luxury' part of it. Getting the base connections working for each company has been my priority until now.  However, now I have some more time I can work on the extra information that we want to include, the part of the project that has been on the back burner until now!

Home?  Well, aside from really, really wanting my house back, it's going well.

The bathroom ceiling has been re-plastered this week. It was starting to look very tatty, and also the existing plaster was starting to fall away from the concrete it was (supposed to be) attached to.

The outside of the house is now finished and looks superb. All shiny, no wood showing and all of the repairs have been done in such a way that I can't see where they were even made.  Very happy, I just hope that it's a few years before I have to pay that amount of money again to have it redone!

And the attic...

Well.  Wow.  Really, wow.

Our initial idea was to remove all of the kick panels between the ground and the sloping ceiling and replace them with sliding doors to make access easy.

That idea was pretty much killed last Sunday when I was emptying the space behind them. I removed the access panel and for the first time noticed a big red sticker on the framework behind.  A big red sticker that said (in Dutch): This is a load bearing construction, do not remove this or any other part of the construction.


No sliding doors then...  So they have been plaster boarded, plastered and will be painted the same as the rest of the room.

And it's *almost* done.

All surfaces that should be plastered are, and are drying out slowly. The wood has been sanded and yesterday the undercoat went on.  The access panels to the kick panel space have been prettied up and made more easy to remove and replace so that I don't need power tools to store our stuff (or get it back!).

And it looks amazing! Even without the paint.  When it was just the framework for the wall I was thinking how small it looked.  But once it was finished with plaster board it suddenly transformed into a room.  And now it is plastered it looks even better!

The builder comes back on Thursday to start painting, and I am hoping that by the end of the week I can put the laminate flooring in, and then get a load of friends and colleagues to move and build furniture and shift 570 books up one flight of stairs. Oh, and to load up a trailer with all of the roof tiles and other rubbish that is piling up in the garden!  And rebuild the garden furniture.

I'm going to do a winter BBQ as a thank you to them - lots of bratwurst sausages in the Weber BBQ and lots of Gluhwein to keep us warm!

I imagine that will be in two weeks time - meaning that if the builder does go over time everything can still be done.

And then the fun can start - painting the baby room!!!  And getting the furniture.  I really can't wait :)

Yes, there is still a lot of work left, but I can now see the end - and I can see what it's going to be like!

Monday, 11 November 2013

That's one done...

Still all go here, and still bloody sick too :(

Though that does at least seem to be getting better!  A bit...  I may even do a small run tomorrow.

Over the lest week my father in law spent 8 days in our house decorating the bedroom. So during the week whilst we were working he was busy with the room.

And we were living in two tiny spaces in the house as the attic was emptied and our bedroom was emptied. Into the spare room and the living room.  Lovely.

Saturday I was told off for working like a crazy woman (quote from my sister in law) with the steamer trying to remove the old wall paper. Stupid, but hey, it needed doing and not working like a crazy woman would have meant yet another day with the room not done...

We also had a full house both days on the weekend - father in law and sister in law in the bedroom with me stripping the walls and mother in law, brother in law, two nieces and my nephew downstairs.

I will admit that at one point I was on the verge of fainting, at the top of the steps trying to strip the sloping ceiling, scalding myself repeatedly with the steamer and swearing at the paper for not letting go from the wood!

Sunday was less physical, but maybe slightly more stressful. My father in law and sister in law stated the wall papering, and there was not that much for me to so (I can't hang wall paper!).  At the end of the day two and bit walls were done!

Monday and my father in law started in the 'feature wall', or to put it another way - the only wall that would have coloured wall paper on it :)

Only... There was a problem, the first roll showed how bad the paper was.  It tore, it didn't cut with a stanley knife and was basically a complete pain. The second roll was even worse, it was a good couple of shades lighter than the first (and yes, both rolls had the same batch number).

Crap, back to the shop to ask and their answer was basically: You're hanging it wrong.

As Mrs Stace said, would they have tried that with a guy?

Even with a picture of wall, showing exactly how much the colour was different we were told simply that a colour difference isn't technically possibly as they are from the same batch. I pointed out the picture again and said that apparently it was...

Long story short they refused to do anything about it, saying it's not their decision. They are waiting for an answer from the maker of the paper.  Only, not the maker as they have also said it's not their problem. We are waiting for the guy in between the shop that sold it and the maker.


We had to buy another roll, as we had a bit too short after the rips in the paper from the start, and we had to buy paint to cover the paper and make it all one colour.

And hide the pattern of the paper that we bought it for.  Not happy.

Anyway, the bedroom is done now - it looks amazing and I'm sure that when the stress of the building work is done it will be worth it (not wanting to sound unappreciative of all the work - I just could have done without the added stress :p).

On Friday they came and did the attic for us (time for the other one :p) another 7 hours and there was a dormer on the front of the house - and again the view! - and putting the Velux windows on the back. The room now has so much light it is unreal!

Mind you, moving more than 100 roof tiles from the attic, down two flights of stairs, and into the garden has not done me any favours. Dust and just OMG the physicali

And the painter has started to do the woodwork on the outside of the house (woot, it's protected for winter!), working away for two days so far with two people, and another day to come!

And Today he started making the room in the attic for us.

Please, please, let it be done soon!

Oh, and even with being sent home ill on Monday I managed about 45 to 50 hours last week, and this week is going to be similar.

Hopefully we will get to the end of the stress from the building soon.  And hopefully the stress of the health insurance season will get less soon - as soon as the last links are built and working I can concentrate on keeping them running.

It will all be worth it, I just wish it was done already.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

It's cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere

Actually it's cold in here, or rather I have one again. And so it was that at 6am this morning I was sitting in the living room watching the Agatha Christie episode of Dr Who so that Mrs Stace could get some more sleep. I can't imagine it was pleasant lying next to someone constantly bunged up, hacking up stuff and not able to lie still, so I gave her some respite!

I'm typing this wishing that I had stopped yesterday on the way home. I knew exactly what I wanted to write about, had a whole post in my head. And knew that it would never get written as there is no way I would remember it in the morning!  And so it was...

So just an ramble I'm afraid :)

This week there was a really strong storm in Holland. It started on Sunday (and so I didn't run) and gradually built up through out the day.  By the time Monday came it was getting to the point where some gusts of winds were reaching hurricane speeds. Something not seen very often on this side of the Atlantic!

Oh, and that was the day scheduled for having the dormer window fitted to our bedroom!

Obviously they didn't do it! It was far to risky to be climbing about on a roof. And so a wonderful week started. Mrs Stace and I have been a bit down in the dumps with it - we have a tight schedule for all of the work in the house and this has made it all the more tight. They were here for two days to do both dormers, and of course now they have only done one. The other will come next week, one day before the builder comes to make the bedrooms! Hopefully the weather will not be so inclement then...

But at the same time it could have been much worse. One of the management team had a tree fall and brush the back of his car outside the office, another car around the corner was not so lucky and had a tree fall across its roof. And of course there were the people who had it even worse.

All things considered, having the inconvenience of the building work being delayed is minor, and we have to keep it in perspective.

Tuesday they came back and did the dormer, and it's amazing how long it took! At 7:30 they arrived, by 8:30 there was a 10m2 hole in the roof (which they made with a chainsaw!). Another hour of tidying the hole and making sure that everything was the right size and they started on building the dormer itself. Three hours later it was done and they left.  5 hours from start to finish and now the room is *huge*. There is no extra floor space, but it seems massive now that we don't have to walk with our heads tilted in half the room :)

My father in law is making it look nice (actually he has made it look nice, really nice) on the inside and suggested that while most of the furniture was out of the room it would be ideal redecorate, something that has been needed since we moved in, and really make the most out of it.  Great.  Except that I have a stinking cold, and am out of the house for about 10 to 12 hours a day for work. And with everything else going on I didn't want to spend more weekends (and nights) doing the decorating. So he offered to help and has spent as much time in our house in the last week as we have. He's coming back today and tomorrow to help us put up wall paper and move the furniture back in.  Along with my sister and brother in law. It is gong to be a stunning room when done!

We are going to make a gift of some of the nice wine we have as a thank you, obviously!

For the rest? Well I have been busy in the office, trying to work through the cold and get things done.  My first milestone of my big project is done (the first company connection is live) and more should come next week. Even with a think head I was able to work through those.

Today, I have to go and refit the lights in the bedroom, now that the ceiling has been painted, and rewire the light switch - the previous owners wired it backwards to the left hand switch turns on the right hand light. I always wanted to fix it (it riles the OCD in me) and I'm turning off the power to refit the lights themselves it's the perfect time!

Then I can fire up the steam machine and help clear the room - about the only thing I am good for in redecorating, if I had done the painting in the bedroom it would have been a mess!

And try not to fall asleep from the cold!

Right, coffee and time to get on with it!

(Bonus points for knowing where the title is from)