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Author Topic: I've been a bit busy lately  (Read 2659 times)

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Offline Obblie

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I've been a bit busy lately
« on: Aug 13, 16, 06:31 PM »
On 16 April I worked my last day before retiring. Goodbye tension hello pension.

On 20 April we flew to Cyprus to celebrate my 65th birthday.

Upon my retirement I received my pension lump sum which we were going to use for getting the house into how we wanted it for the rest of our lives and pay off debts like HP on cars etc.

On the 24th May our HELL started. Goodbye pension hello tension.

We already had one Leekes conservatory so we decided to use them again for an extension/conservatory to use as a dining area. Two shovel fulls later they said "we have an unexpected problem, there are pipes where the foundation has to go" and they stopped. Because this was to be open to the house the building inspector had to be consulted and specified what extra work was required. Leekes then basically said that until you agree to pay £2200 for the extra work the builders won't be coming back. As the foundation started the other side of the wall from the an internal soil pipe and extended out past one manhole to just short of another one that pipes was the one thing that you would expect to encounter. Our view was that this wasn't an unexpected problem, which the contract T&C say will be charged extra for, it was negligence on the part of their surveyor. We accepted that because they had to do what the building inspector said there were extra costs and suggested that we share it 50/50. This was refused. The builders did come back after the bank holiday (having left all their tools and materials in our garden) and the arguing started. Along the way the cavity trays failed a basic leak test and the promise that the extension would be finished before the kitchen fitters arrived was broken.

Have you ever had a kitchen replaced? You have to have the whole area cleared, so for a couple of weeks prior to the start date we were boxing stuff up and getting Julies studio ready to use as a field kitchen. We had also contracted Leekes to replace the kitchen believing that the two parts of Leekes would have good communications. The kitchen fitting was supposed to take 7 working days, with an extra 3 days for tiling the hall and downstairs toilet in the same tiles as the kitchen floor.

On the 29th June the appliances arrived, or at least most of them, no fridge freezer. We eventually found out that this was going to be coming direct from the manufacturer and would be fitted in by them (it is a big beast, american style). Appliances would be stored in the garage until required.

On the 30th June the assembled kitchen units and bits arrived, but not the worktops or the tiles. The units had to be stored in the old dining room that would become part of the new kitchen.

On the 4th July the kitchen fitters started and the conservatory fitters came to do a bit more, a tad crowded to say the least.

On the 6th July 2 of the 3 required lengths of worktop arrived but not the tiles, when we ordered them they were 'in stock' and we expected them to be put aside until the rest of the kitchen was ready. However it appears that what Leekes regard as 'in stock' means nothing of the sort. The tiles hadn't been delivered because they hadn't cleared customs. It was also discovered that there was a measuring error of 50mm and the drawers at the end of one side wouldn't open because they hit the radiator. There was another error in the utility room and the cupboard to enclose the boiler didn't fit. Dummies spat out, teddy in the corner, got the Kitchen Installations Manager out to discuss all problems face to face (the day before he is off on holiday). New radiator would be paid for by Leekes.

On 8th July the last piece of worktop arrived in a van driven by a rather small and frail man who had been assured that there would be fitters on site to unload him. The only person here when he arrived was Julie, no fitters had arrived that day and I was out shopping. Rightly Julie refused the delivery.

On 11th July the tiles eventually arrived.

On 15 July fridge/freezer arrives (put back from the 13th because of the late arrival of the tiles) but the space left between two larder units for it is too small so it is left in the middle of the floor.  Bottom line was that some of the tiles had to come up and two larder moved before the fridge/freezer could be moved into place. For 2 weeks we have had to cook on the BBQ because we didn't have a hob or oven we could use.

On 18 July work on our en-suite bathroom started. Ordered from Leekes but we engaged the fitter ourselves as he had done a superb job fitting the main bathroom last year. However as we hadn't received any bathroom bits the previous week we'd asked him to talk to Leekes about it and sort something out. The stuff hadn't been ordered, Leekes said that the fitter had given them the wrong date, strange that he would give us one date and them another one. Fridge/freezer still in middle of the floor, Kitchen Fitting Manager back from holiday, dummies spat out and teddy flying, he'll come over again Tuesday. Conservatory fitters fitted the skirting boards to at last complete the work on the conservatory, still arguing over the extra costs.

On 19th July Kitchen Fitting Manager arrives and so do 2 teams of kitchen fitters, including the fitters boss. Fridge/freezer finally moved into place, the fitters had worked to the plan given but somewhere along the line the manufacturer appears to have updated that model resulting in it being about 12mm wider and the sizes used in the plan were for the older version. Other jobs completed like checking all the new sockets for loose wires (two had broken off when the tiler unscrewed the face plates to tile) and put sheathing on the earth wires, and remove three weeks of accumulated rubbish removed from our garden. Unfortunately the sink and unit from the toilet under the stairs (being tiled) was in the way and got knocked over and damaged. It was agreed on this visit that the ceiling plastering would be done again because it was cracking where the old kitchen ceiling met the old dining room ceiling. The tap and rinse head were inspected because we said that they were faulty and that the cupboard around the boiler would be redone in a way that allowed the boiler to be serviced.

On 22nd July we go to Leekes at Cross Hands to, amongst other things, collect a box of tiles to complete the wall tiling because what was supplied didn't appear to have a cutting allowance and discuss the tap and rinse head. These are now to be replaced because they were faulty.

On 28th July we are emptying the boxes of kitchen stuff stored in the conservatory, had made enough space to move some furniture back in. When we moved an oak shelf unit we found that the carpet underneath was wet mouldy and stained.

On 30th July Fitting boss investigates cause of wet carpet, the only possible cause is that there was a water leekage when they removed the old plumbing in the utility room and water seeped under the partition wall. Glass cabinet moved to middle of lounge to get carpet up and left there to see if the carpet dries out.

On 5th August, morning, a cutlery tray and a 500mm wide door are delivered (why we don't know), but not the 300mm kitchen unit door that needed replacing, not the bathroom mirror door that needed replacing and no radiator, tap or rinse head.

On the 5th of August, afternoon, two and a half months after starting the extension the Conservatory Manager arrived unannounced and we finally agreed on the extra costs we will pay for the extra work - £1000, there had been visits and telephone discussions not listed along the way.

On 5th August, evening, Julie had a heart attack. I knew what her symptoms could mean and called for an ambulance quickly. It arrived in minutes, we were taken to the hospital in Carmarthen and attended to straight away. Fortunately after running a series of tests they couldn't find signs of permanent damage and discharged her the following morning. She is on medication and will need to have more tests to determine the root cause, but we believe that stress is a significant factor.

On 8th August carpet cleaning firm say that the carpet cannot be cleaned and will have to be replaced.

On 9th August carpet fitter arrives to measure up.

on 10th August plumber arrives with new radiator, tap, rinse head and 300mm door and fits them.

On 11th August washing machine (5 years old) breaks down. Decide that best thing will be to replace it with a bigger one that will cope with king sized duvets (have had to wash duvets on a number of occasions because of old puss cats having accidents.

On 13th August new washing machine arrives but cannot be installed because the valve to shut off the water to the machine is knackered and they can't shut the water off. We now have the old machine in the middle of the utility room and the new one just outside the utility room in the dining area. Tomorrow the kitchen fitting boss will be here to change the valve.

We are still waiting for the damaged sink and unit for the downstairs toilet to be replaced, scheduled for Wednesday next week, the bathroom mirror door to be replaced, the credits for returned materials to be made and the supply of an electrical certificate for the electrical work done.

We are still trying to get stuff we'd boxed sorted and put away or thrown away. We still need to finish the wildlife pond we started before the conservatory and repave the patio around the extension/conservatory.

WE ARE BOTH IN OUR MID 60'S AND RETIRED, WE DON'T WANT ALL THIS SHIT  :stressed: :thud:
« Last Edit: Aug 13, 16, 06:35 PM by Obblie »
"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone". John Maynard Keynes

Offline Baron

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #1 on: Aug 14, 16, 12:00 PM »
Wow, that is one serious tale of woe mate !

Fingers crossed that all the work gets finished, and finally you can get on with your lives with a shiny new kitchen and appliances that work and make life a bit easier.

When I retired and got a lump sum from my RAF Pension in 2008, I too renewed all the kitchen appliances, like the fridge, freezer, cooker, washing machine, condenser tumble dryer, and added a dish washer to finish things off, so that wifey would not have to worry about appliances braking down. A couple of years later because they are all Hotpoint (I like Hotpoint and have used their stuff for donkeys years) I took out Insurance to cover any break downs in the years to come. As it turned out, for a few quid a month, it was a wise decision.

For me I built a new computer, and bought a 51 plate VW Passat 1.9TDi car... ;D


This year I had a small inheritance from the death of my Mother (Oct last year) and again renewed all the kitchen appliances.
I ordered a new Hotpoint dish washer from my local Currys with delivery, fitting and taking away my old one.

It didn't go well (nothing at all like your problems) as on the end of the cold water pipe there was a huge valve thingy which would not go through the hole in the side of the veneered chip board panel to the under sink water supply.
 So they couldn't connect up the water supply. We agreed that I would do a bodge job, and leave the old machine outside the back door for them to come and collect on the Saturday - which they did.

I went down to Hursts to buy a set of hole cutters, and had to buy a new battery drill because my existing one had duff batteries and would not charge up.  :(

I tried to cut a hole bigger than the existing one - well close to it - but the hole cutter had to go through two thicknesses of this chip board, and the cutting edges on this thing was cheap crap, and would not do the job.
Bugger I thought.

I had to go to Newport, so I also visited B&Q and bought this electric saw that came with two blades would cut through wood and metal....no messing about this time !

I managed to cut a sort of Vee shaped slot which then meant I could feed through the inlet water pipe plus large valve thingy, and the job was done - luckily with the dishwasher in place and the sink door closed, none of my handy work would be seen.

I then got on to Currys to claim a refund for the 10 charged to fit the dishwasher... ;D

However, I can feel your frustration that both of you have had to put up with trying to get your new installation completed.

Luckily I have to take blood pressure pills, as if it had been me, I would have probably exploded in a shower of blood and body parts with annoyance and anger at the red tape and incompetance...

Still, I hope you had a good holiday in Cyprus.
I was stationed out there at RAF Akrotiri (telegraphist) near Limassol for 2.5 years - 1965 to 1967 - and had a great time out there.
When our runway was shut down for a few weeks to have it cleaned of mud and crud (due to the heavy rains out there) I got shoved over to RAF Nicosia to work in their Signals block for the duration of the clean up.
Dodgy place that with the 'Green Line' separating the Turks from the Greeks, and bullet holes all over the place back then.  ;D
I also went up the mountains to Troodos, with a bunch of us blokes and some WRAF's, but I didn't do any skiing as I only went there to keep chatting up this girl... :blush:

But, the weather there is great, the people were friendly, cheap booze and fags, and some great beaches, especially a trip over to Famagusta beach, and us chaps stayed in a hotel called the 'Savoy' which was nothing like the real one....

Anyway, as usual I digress...........where did you holiday in Cyprus ?

More to the point, how is the work progresssing >

Fingers crossed for you Obblie.... :hat3:


I intend to live forever. So far, so good - But, too many Birthdays can kill you.

Offline Obblie

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #2 on: Aug 14, 16, 03:20 PM »
Different problem today, at 7:30 I had to take one of the cats to an emergency vet, she had a mess of blood around one of  her eyes. Fortunately she hasn't damaged the eye but she was badly shaken whatever she did and has only just come out from under Julies desk and only ate a couple of Dreamies.

We stayed near Limassol, about 15km to the east of the old city we had a lovely time as well, we went to see Famagusta, Julies dad was posted to Dhekelia at the time of the Eoka conflict and Julie lived there for a couple of years and knew the beach area. To see Famagusta now is scary.

Boss fitter turned up at 8:30, sorted out the faulty valve and fitted in our new washing machine.  :yup: Plumber still promised for Wednesday.

Julie bought me a gaming computer for my birthday had it built by Overclockers, Asus Z170 mobo, Intel i7 core, Geforce GTX970 graphics card and blue LED's inside a Corsair Obsidian case. AOC 24" monitor and Corsair K40 keyboard. Playing Fallout 4 when I can, too much gardening weather at the moment .....
"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone". John Maynard Keynes

Offline Baron

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #3 on: Aug 14, 16, 03:48 PM »
Yes, I have seen pictures of Nicosia Airport now, but back then it was where I landed when I got posted out there.
Terribly derelict now, the same as Famagusta.

Eoka and 'Black Mac' (President Makarios) as he was generally known by us chaps was still a bit of a problem when I was there.

I remember one day down in Limassol, and were sitting out side the cafe' when a local pulled up on his moped, and as he climbed off it, the back of his T Shirt pulled up a bit, and there was a .45 automatic pistol stuck in his belt.
We decided rather quickly to go somewhere else...far away.  ;D
It also made us wonder how many other locals out and about had a pistol stuck in their belts under their tops.....scarey.

Hope your puss is on the mend now, and wonder if she had been in a bit of a punch up with another moggie ?

Good luck for Wednesday and the plumber !

Ah, Overclockers.uk, my favourite web site for puter parts.
Great delivery, very helpful when I have phoned them when I was buying parts for my new PC, and were pretty quick with a refund.

Second choice if Overclockers are out of stock is Scan Computers.

Mine is also based on the Z170 chipset too, and will probably see me out.... ;D

I also have the Corsair K40 keyboard !
Not a bad keyboard eh ?

Although it took me a little time to get used to the key layout, as my other Logitech one was a bit bigger and more space between the keys.

My old X58 system is still going strong from 2008, and is now the spare in my Man Cave for my daughter and wifey to use if they want to print something off, as daughter doesn't have a PC/laptop, and wifey has a laptop.

Anyway, best of luck with your kitchen problems, your poorly pussy cat, but have fun on your new puter - although this good weather has also dragged me from my chair to cut the grass, paint the shed, and do other things out there that give me a bit of exercise, and make me sweat..... :o ;D
It was invaluable to me to be able to get on the internet when I was having some initial problems with my new PC, so a working puter was very handy.
I intend to live forever. So far, so good - But, too many Birthdays can kill you.

Offline Kat

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #4 on: Aug 16, 16, 08:43 PM »
Good to see you relaxing, Obbles...

Offline Yvonne

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #5 on: Aug 17, 16, 03:37 AM »
Sorry to hear of all your hassles with the updates Obblie::)

Hope Julie is ok now & having treatment to prevent further problems,

also your moggie's eye is healing ok. :flowers:
« Last Edit: Aug 17, 16, 11:06 PM by Yvonne »
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Offline Obblie

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #6 on: Aug 17, 16, 06:09 PM »
Emily's eye is looking a lot better and she is getting back to her normal self.

Julie is OK ish ... she is very frustrated at not being able to do as much as she used to do, but she is recognising that when she starts getting tired she has to stop and rest and not keep going until she drops. The hospital put her on aspirin and a medicine to stop platelets sticking together, but we still await appointments for follow up tests.

The new kitchen is working a treat, there is a lot more storage and it is easy to see what we have and can get to it easily (I've had a problem getting stuff out of low cupboards for a while). The extra work surface is great and with the granite surface coming into its own tonight because the plums are ripening and she is making plum pies.  :hungry1:
"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone". John Maynard Keynes

Offline Obblie

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #7 on: Aug 17, 16, 06:15 PM »
Good to see you relaxing, Obbles...

Removed a flower bed and started the preparations for the block paving today ......  :gmb: :sh: :nn:
"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone". John Maynard Keynes

Offline Yvonne

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #8 on: Aug 17, 16, 11:18 PM »
Good to hear Emily's eye is much better & that Julie's taking things a bit slower,
hope her follow up comes soon also. :tup:

Wish I could have a new kitchen & bathroom as they are 50 yrs old, but Tony is so frail now he couldn't take the upheaval,
only a qtr of heart function & gets fluid on the lungs & is in constant pain with crushed vertebrae & too risky for any more ops.  :(
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Offline Obblie

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #9 on: Aug 18, 16, 07:35 PM »
I really don't know how to reply to that. Tony's condition must be as distressing for you as it is to him (((((Yvonne & Tony)))))
"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone". John Maynard Keynes

Offline Yvonne

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #10 on: Aug 19, 16, 01:15 AM »
Thanks Obblie:)

We take each day as it comes, it's been a gradual decline & we don't let it get us down too much.  ;)  :)
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Offline Kat

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #11 on: Aug 19, 16, 11:08 AM »
Not good, Tony, then... :(

My pseudo prospective son-in-law just had open heart surgery. Poor sod's only thirty.

Got to take things really slowly, for a while. Maybe forever. Shame, coz he's an active kinda guy. He's gonna get so bored...

Offline Yvonne

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #12 on: Aug 20, 16, 12:04 AM »
Your future son in law will probably feel better than he's been for quite a while after the soreness is gone,
Tony was able to do most things afterwards but not lifting the heavy counterweights for the garage doors he'd been installing.  ;)
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Offline Kat

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #13 on: Aug 20, 16, 10:13 AM »
Yeah, you're probably right. His scar's pretty impressive!

Poor lad had god knows how many teeth extracted, too, as they thought they might be the source of the initial infection.

I suspect he feels like shit, at the moment.

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #14 on: Aug 21, 16, 01:21 AM »
Yes I've heard bad teeth can cause heart problems, that could have contributed to my sister's demise also.  :(

It will take a few months for him to get over it, sometimes if you press the side of your nostril it can stop a sneeze, I know they are painful at this time.

Sorry to take over your thread Obblie, it seemed to drift onto another subject.  ;)
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Offline Obblie

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #15 on: Aug 21, 16, 09:53 AM »
Drift happens  :flowers:
"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone". John Maynard Keynes

Offline Kat

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #16 on: Aug 21, 16, 10:39 AM »
Yes I've heard bad teeth can cause heart problems, that could have contributed to my sister's demise also.  :(

I have an abject terror of dentists. So, that might do for me, eventually.

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Re: I've been a bit busy lately
« Reply #17 on: Aug 22, 16, 12:01 AM »
Drift happens  :flowers:

 :hat3:


I have an abject terror of dentists. So, that might do for me, eventually.

So did my sister.  :(
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