Monday, 16 February 2015

This Week: Monday 16th February 2015

The weather ... a nasty, miserable, wet day today. The kind where all you want to do is huddle indoors. Though when I read about the amount of snow Melanie at The Wine Dark Sea is coping with I really have no right to complain! I love snow, but that quantity (they have had 84 inches in 3 weeks) simply boggles my mind. 

I am reading ... Common People: The History of an English Family by Alison Light.  I finally made it to the end of The Innovators

I am watching ... Call the Midwife and the quiz show Only Connect are my current regular TV choices. I have also started re-watching Downton Abbey from the beginning on DVD. I have had the first three series sitting around for an age, but got through the first three episodes over the weekend. Interesting watching again from the perspective of knowing the characters' future. 

I am listening ... The Fishing Fleet on Audible. Non-fiction about young women who went out to India in the first half of the 20th century "fishing" for marriagable men.   

This week's goals ...
Three exercise classes - body pump tonight, yoga tomorrow and circuit training on Friday.
Drinking more water.
Finish another book.

How I did last week ...
Pathetic. In fact I didn't even manage to come up with any goals.

Coming up this week ...
Half term for the two younger daughters and I have Monday and Friday off work to look after the small one.
Appointments with builders, decorators, flooring / carpet companies - trying to get my house project ducks in a row. 
A trip to a local children's farm on Friday with small daughter and her friend.
Orthodontist appointment for middle daughter on Tuesday - possibly her last retainer check? That will be two daughters out of three done with orthodontists. 

Highlights of last week ....
A good school progress report for middle daughter with encouraging predicted A level grades.
Hmm ... I don't think much happened last week! I'm struggling to think of anything else!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

A New Project

I have an unexpected project. For complicated family reasons I have to deal with a house sale. It is a tiny one bedroomed house - I just calculated square footage American style and I think it would be about 400 square feet (in the UK we are less precise about house size and use sligthly vague descriptions like "tiny one bedroom house"). The house is late Victorian / Edwardian, essentially sound, but looks a mess as nothing has been done to it for some time and someone began a decorating project that never got very far. I looked round it with an estate agent yesterday and he confirmed what I suspected - a bit of money spent on it now should result in a significant increase in the sale value, so I have a refurbishing project on my hands!

The estate agent was incredibly helpful in telling me what would be worth doing and what features would appeal to buyers. My "to do" list looks something like this:

- Strip off remaining wallpaper, replaster one small section of wall, redecorate with lining paper and paint everything!
- Put down laminate flooring downstairs and carpet upstairs (stairs themselves to be painted, which is apparently popular though it sounds rather impractical to me!)
- Replace part of the kitchen ceiling where there has been a leak
- Replace cracked kitchen sink and warped work surface
- Sand down outdated wooden kitchen cupboard doors and paint
- Sweep chimney and check (and fix?) condition of grate and flue (it seems a working open fireplace is a big selling point)
- Some regrouting / retiling in kitchen and bathroom

I don't intend to do any of the work myself - no time! - but it is going to take quite a lot of coordinating decorators, plumbers, chimney sweeps and assorted other tradesmen. Ideally I would like to get it done by April. Definitely going to be a challenge!