Saturday, 20 April 2013

A rose is a rose is a rose

As Gertrude Stein famously said.

I'm back from a fantastic week of birthdays, parties and celebrations and seeing loads of friends and family in London and left the dreaded flat situation in the capable hands of the new builder.... 'M'!! He's been working really hard on it with his band of merry men, and now he won't let me in!!! And he's not a man you argue with. I can tell you. He keeps telling me that the floors are being oiled (day after day) and yesterday he put a big cross on the door (like they did in the Plague) to prevent me going in... but I'd already sneaked in earlier, and taken a few pictures.... but you will have to wait, just like me. I am getting it back on Tuesday, and then I'll take some photos.

However, I can show you my new ceiling rose.... god, the excitement must be killing everyone.....NOT!!!

A rose is a rose is a rose
I've kept the photos in black and white, cos that's how the flat feels at the moment.... no colour....meeeeeee....with no colour. Unheard of. I've just bought 2.5 litres of the brightest orange you can imagine, and that's going to go in the hallway to give everyone a wake-up call when they come in. But that's for later. For now - just black and white

The bathroom is nearly finished... new tiles on the floor, bath is working, sink is in, and yes, I even have a toilet now. It hasn't been painted yet (the walls that is, not the toilet). but I hope it will no longer /look feel like a small toilet in a state-run museum when it's got some colour.... what colour? I'll show you later. It's still in black and white at the moment:

After: 'bog' standard....but see below for how awful it was before looks a bit like a hotel too, but better than before, I think you'll agree:

Before: This is exactly the spot where the bath is now

Makes me feel better to see this and how much things have changed. The horrible heating system has been ripped out (along with the water tank below it) and the rickety shower cubicle has been replaced by probably one of the smallest baths in the western world, but I am only short, and I prefer a bath to a shower, so it will suit me just fine, thank you very much for asking (courtesy of French and Saunders!).

The rest will have to wait until I'm allowed back into my own flat....but it's definite that I'll be able to move in.... so gotta get on with the packing.

Just 'recycled' my sofa to my downstairs neighbours... Facebook is a wonderful thing - sometimes - one post and two minutes later, it's going to a good home!

So, some colour going up next week, then some more photos.

Have a good weekend, one and all. Next time I write, I expect I will be covered in orange paint. I am a mucky pup when it comes to things like that. Other people have hardly a hair out of place, whereas I am covered in paint from head to foot within seconds. Oh well.... leopards probably aren't going to change their spots at this ripe old age.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Chimney sweep power!

Rubbing the chimney sweep's arm and shaking his hand seems to have done the trick and I can stay in my flat for an extra two weeks, so I hope that'll be enough time to get the other flat ready.

The new guys seem to be moving fast (and definitely faster than the sloths that were there before!). It's not that there's soooo much to do, but they have other work on too, so crossing fingers, toes and paws here that it'll all get done in time.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Meeting with the builders - and perhaps a change of luck!

8am - Baubesprechung / Meeting with the builders

Slept very badly indeed again last night, despite Valerian tea and a couple of episodes of Grey's Anatomy! Woke up at 2am, so managed to get to the meeting with the (new) builders in very good time. 8am is usually a time when I would be IN bed, getting out of bed, or in the bath!.

All went fine, although there were some understandable anxieties on my part, which I won't go into here.  The new builder thought I was gonna call him up yesterday to 'help me sack the old builders', but luckily it wasn't necessary, and I had Johann there. I'd also dreamed or daydreamed (is there such a thing as nightdreamed, i.e. it's night-time, but one is wide awake?) that the new builders had a flood in my flat and the water seeped downstairs, and I was hit with a law suit, just to make my day complete, but all seems fine. Two people are starting work today, which is great. The floor layer and the tiler, I think!

Back at home at 8.30 am to pick up Nico from the dogsitter, and off for a nice relaxing walk in the park. To friends for chats, laughs, tea, coffee and playing around with eggs! (you know who you are!).

On my way home, I bumped into my sexy chimney sweep who normally comes to my flat every January to check the heating and chimneys are all in order, but he hasn't been commissioned yet this year. In Germany, chimney sweeps are very important people, and also bring lots of luck. You need to rub their ..... arm .... I had a nice long chat with him in the street, shook his hand, and rubbed his arm for luck. I am taking this as a good omen. It's helped once before, when I got caught by the police with my dog off the lead, but they just let me off instead of fining me....that was on a day I had rubbed my chimney sweep's arm.

So, here's a photo - and I'm sending virtual chimney sweep luck to all of you, though I think actual body contact is necessary.

I certainly need some luck now, but as N says, 'It's not life and death'. I will keep perspective on this 'thang' and adjust my normally practical brain into superstitious mode, and believe in the power of the chimney sweep to help me along on the rather bumpy ride I'm on.

It's my lucky day....chimney sweep arm duly rubbed, as tradition dictates

Anyone who's seen Mary Poppins, will know this song:

Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey
Chim chim cher-ee!
A sweep is as lucky, as lucky can be
Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey
Chim chim cher-oo!
Good luck will rub off when I shakes 'ands with you.

And if you fancy a bit of Dick van Dyke, here's a link (though it only works in the UK, I think, so I can't see it myself):

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The cowboys have ridden off...

... not into the sunset, exactly, but they're gone. I'd already told them last week that I was shocked at how many hours they'd clocked up for so little progress, and that someone else was coming to look at the job, so they knew I was, erm, a little fed up, to put it mildly.

Got there this morning at 9am, with the support of the wonderful Johann, and they had actually done a little work. But, as soon as I said I needed to talk to them, and that it couldn't go on like this, they knew their moments were numbered. And in low digits. Luckily, I didn't have to go through my extensive list of problems and issues with them, and they agreed to pack their stuff and go. Johann and I went for a coffee (I'd already hidden loads of stuff that I'd already paid for, in case they pinched it!), and they moved probably faster than they'd ever done before, packed their stuff and left. We shook hands, and they didn't even ask me for any more part one of my list of stressful things to deal with is done.

Now I just have to wait and see how if I can stay in my current flat a little longer, work with 'M' (not the kitchen guy M), and try to get some darn sleep!

I've been on Valerian tea for the last two days (courtesy of Amanda, thank you!), and that's helped a bit!

New gang starts tomorrow.... so new stories to follow, no doubt.

But, the beginning of the week was much better than anticipated.

Ikea again today....and this is what I saw:

Bit naughty, and no offence, but it made me grin!

And here's a photo of Nico... who along with my friends, is keeping me sane!

Wishing everyone a good week.

Til the next time x