apel: (Default)
I'd love to make the garage less unpleasant to spend time in. One way of doing that, would be to spruce up the laundry nook. The washer and dryer are 68 by 66 cm each. Unfortunately the dryer is 8 cm taller than the washer. If I want to install a counter, that matters. I could install the counter on top of the washer and dryer, as opposed to fixing it to the wall. I wonder if simply placing it on top of the washer and dryer with rubber feet would be enough to keep it in place. Or if I need to attach it somehow. I'd rather not drill into my appliances. 

On the wall behind the washer and dryer, there are faucets and pipes. I could hide that with a backsplash. It would need to be at least 35/43 cm tall. There are times when you need to get to the faucets, so the installation can't be permanent. It could be hinged, though. It could even be a hinged shelf. That might look cool. If the shelf is deep enough, I could use it to store laundry detergent and dryer sheets. That way I can use the counter to fold laundry.  

The other problem is the boiler. It has its own niche diagonally behind the washer and dryer. I'm thinking of hiding it. Perhaps behind a louvred door. Or even a closet on casters. 

The walls and floor look terrible. If I want to make the laundry area nice, I need to paint the walls. I also need to put down something on the floor. The floor gets very dirty with dust and leaves that blow in when I drive in and out. So the floor needs to be easy to care for. It's tempting to install some sort of threshold but I think I'd stumble over it. 

68+68=136 cm=54"=4.5' wide
66 cm=26"=2.2' deep
apel: (Default)
Yellow bathroom plans
  • Remove bathtub silicon caulking
  • Put fan on timer to dry out wood for at least one week
  • Recaulk bathtub
  • Remove silicon from around sink
  • Clean bathroom fan
  • Install splash guards
  • Repair grout on counter
  • Recaulk sink
  • Install fan timer
  • Paint light: take down, sand, paint with rust preventing color, paint with glossy yellow color
  • Paint hooks on door yellow
  • Paint vent cover yellow or white
  • Paint tower fan
  • Paint space saver: disassemble, sand, paint rust preventing color on metal bits, paint glossy yellow color
  • Prepare cabinet for painting: remove doors and drawers, remove hinges, strip current wood finish, spackle holes from hinges, sand hinges
  • Paint cabinet: Paint cabinet frame, paint hinges, reinstall everything straighter than before.
  • Paint baseboards white: Remove, sand, primer, glossy white paint, polyurethane. Or use same finish as cabinet? 

Pink bathroom plans
  • Put up shower handle holder
  • Apply more anti-slip flowers to bathtub floor
  • Install soft floor 
  • Remove bathtub silicon caulking
  • Remove silicon from around sink
  • Recaulk sink
  • Clean bathroom fan
  • Dry out wood for at least one week
  • Recaulk bathtub
  • Wood finish proof of concept: Take apart towel rod, strip current finish, sand, paint with pale stain, finish with polyurethane, put back together, rehang. 
  • Spray paint hardware: Hook, grab bar, vent cover, toilet roll holders. 
I've got ants in the yellow upstairs bathroom. One of my coworkers said that they like moist wood, so I think it's because the silicon caulking around the bathtub is mostly missing. 

I have two full bathrooms upstairs, one yellow and one pink. Since I have two and live alone, I can afford to use them selectively. I use the pink one for going to the toilet, and the yellow one for showering. I quite like that division. The yellow one feels so much cleaner because I never use the toilet in there. 

But I've got to stop using the yellow bathroom shower for at least a week while I let the construction wood dry out in there. The pink bathroom shower handle just hangs loosely from the hose. So before I can start using it, I need to install a holder. At first I thought that would mean drilling into the wall, but it turns out that silicon glue works fine for shower handle holders nowadays. So I got one from Amazon this week. Installing that will be my first task. 
apel: (clouds)
I got my Roomba yesterday and put it on the charger right away. Mine is the basic red model but I bought a homebase for it. It's the kind that the Roomba returns to of its own accord when it needs to recharge. The Roomba came with an infrared wall that takes 2 D batteries. Those batteries are expensive so I don't see myself using the wall unless I really have to.

This afternoon I set the Roomba to work for the first time. roomba observations )
apel: (fluffy_tongue)
  • Send gas and electricity bills to estate agent

  • Call BT about cancellation

  • Make flat nice before Kieron comes home

  • Call car insurance about address change

  • Get dry cleaning from Waitrose

  • Check other to-do list
apel: (snow)
Bring inventory.
apel: (hand)
  • Limescale around plug hole in bath tub

  • Glue residue on inside of shower partition

  • Bookshelf backside in bedroom

  • Coffee table

  • Remaining cleaning materials, incl. hoover

  • Plastic protection of livingroom curtains

  • Spotlight light bulbs in livingroom and hallway
apel: (hand)
Wet paint signs on living room window
Clip off stray carpet fibres around edges of rooms and at thresholds

Get rid of table
Run rinse programme on washing machine
Use One Shot on bathroom sink
Clean toilet
Write instructions and check for carpet cleaners
Clean kitchen counters
Top up phone
Pack stuff on bedroom shelves into bags

Wash off shower partition
Remove masking tape from living room window
Throw away duvets
Pack everything into the car
One last trip through the flat with a sponge and tea towel
Throw away cleaning stuff
One last trip through the flat to make sure I got everything
Go to Cheltenham -- yay!
apel: (red signal)
I slept relatively well tonight. The answer to the question was definitely to put the thermarest on top of the yoga mat, though. The thermarest is very good at insulating from the ground. I'm on the groundfloor with a concrete floor and no cellar beneath, so the floor is always cold here. But I had to turn down the under-sheet electric blanket to 1-2, that's how warm I was. Normally in bed I have it set to 4.

It's nearly three o'clock and I haven't even started vacuuming. Not done anything in the bathroom either. That's because I've been packing in the livingroom. It looks a lot better now. There's space on the floor and it will be so much easier to pack the car, not to mention actually vacuum.

But it makes me doubt if I'll be able to leave on Friday and really only have the carpet shampoo left. Maybe I should stay till Saturday. That would also allow me to drive during daylight hours.

I'm going to need to make a charity shop run too. That should be the last. Oh, and I need to take the recliner and the coffee table to the dump. That will take time. It's much better to do that tomorrow than on Saturday.

The next few days has lots of rain in the forecast so I'm afraid that I won't have any chance to clear up in the garden. That's too bad. I was looking forward to it.
apel: (mellow)
It's going to be interesting to see how well I sleep tonight.

The mattress is outside, waiting to be picked up way early tomorrow morning. Instead I have a number of soft things on the floor. If they're enough remains to be seen.

Right now the burning question on my mind is: Is it better to have the yoga mat and thermarest side by side or on top of each other?
apel: (hand)
Yesterday was all about the kitchen and living room. Today I'm going to tackle the bathroom. The plan looks like this:

Today: Bathroom
Tomorrow: Vacuum whole flat
Friday: Garden and finishing touches. Drive to Cheltenham in the evening.
Some day next week: Shampoo carpets

Today I also need to take out my mattress. I hope it's stopped raining, or it's going to be unpleasant as well as hard work.

Oh, and I need to repaint the window sill because over the weekend a mysterious finger print showed up. I'm 80% sure that I didn't do that. Grmbl. Yesterday I sanded it. I'll paint it on Friday so I don't need to breathe the fumes. After the previous coat, my sinuses hurt even though I tried not spending time in the living room for a few days afterwards.

It remains to be seen if I can do anything in the garden on Friday. There's rain in the forecast.

On Friday I'm not going to try and get out early. I've tried that twice now and both times it has meant that the drive takes closer to 4 hours than the normal 2. If I leave by seven, that's early enough. Might even leave it later still.
apel: (hand)
It's Wednesday and I'm done with one room. That doesn't bode very well for finishing on Friday, as I was hoping. It looks as if next Friday may be more realistic. I'm going to call the council and ask if I can reschedule the pick-up of my mattress for next Thursday. If I'm going to be here a while still, I will need something comfortable to sleep on.

The plan right now looks like this:
  • Today: Hallway, including two closets

  • Thursday: Kitchen, including floor and windows

  • Friday: Pack and go to Cheltenham

  • Monday: Bathroom,

  • Tuesday: Vacuum whole flat

  • Wednesday: Shampoo carpets and final move to Cheltenham
I would much prefer if I could shave a few days off this but I don't want to do a shoddy job or leave stuff out that needs doing. In fact, I'd prefer it if I could also spend half a day in the garden too, tidying up the worst. It doesn't look nice at all with all the wilted, frost-damaged plants.

There are a couple of options for giving me more time. For instance I could go to Cheltenham on Saturday instead of Friday. That would give me a whole extra day. Or I could not go to Cheltenham at all. That would give me three more days. But I know from experience that I'd miss Kieron like crazy. If Kieron comes here, on the other hand, we could do some stuff together. That could actually be fun. Plus he could take some stuff with him back to Cheltenham. Or maybe I need the break over the weekend. Going to Cheltenham takes time but I love being there with Kieron.

I guess I'll talk to Kieron about it today or tomorrow. He's at a conference in Birmingham until midday today.
apel: (viola)
I've painted the bay window ledge today. The previous painter did a shoddy job -- no prep at all, by the looks of it. They just painted straight on the existing gloss. So of course when I took sandpaper to it, the way you're supposed to, it came off in bits. Hopefully it won't look too uneven. There's no way I was going to sand it down all the way. Not when I just wanted to cover up a stain.

The paint is supposed to cover in a single application. My experience tells me that there's no such thing as single layer cover but this stuff is so thick, it might just work. We'll see tomorrow.

The paint doesn't smell too bad but I'm going to work in the bedroom now anyway and I've closed the door to the living room. I've taken out the garbage with the used brush too. I got a three-brush set so I have another if I need to apply a second coat.

I'm sitting in bed, having the last left-over croissant from the weekend and some squash. The steam cleaner sits by the door, making hissing and clicking noises while it's heating up. I'm going to tackle the windows from the inside in a while.

I'm not sure what to do about the blinds. They're some sort of starched lace. Kind of the roller blind version of net curtains. They're also filthy. But how do you clean blinds? It's not like I can take it down and chuck it in the washing machine. I don't dare take the steam cleaner to it either. What if it shrinks? I guess I'll vacuum it and be done with it. That's really all I can do.

My plan was to be done by Friday but I'm really doubting that now. In theory I've got till Friday 21 December. But of course I'd much rather stay with Kieron than keep cleaning here.
apel: (owl)
I've packed two boxes loosely with mostly kitchen stuff. They'll come with me to Cheltenham so that Kieron can cherry pick them. The rest I'll give to Oxfam. I'd better put some bags in those boxes too, because the boxes are sturdy Staples boxes. I'll be wanting them back.

It's not much but it's a start. Maybe I'll pack another box tomorrow. Perhaps with CDs. I've got a ton of those.
apel: (California)
I've just got off the phone with the letting agents for my flat. They say that the notice period is a month from the rent day as stated in the contract. The rent day is 24. So I have a choice between giving notice for 24 August or 24 September.

That's a bit of a bummer because I'd prefer 24 August but I've just extended my contract till the end of August. So in that case, either GT let me go a week early or they let me work from home, i.e. Cheltenham for the last week. It would also mean I'd have to clean out the flat in the 5 weekends between getting back from my holiday and 24 August. With Kieron's help that's not impossible.

On the other hand if I go for 24 September, I'd have a lot more time. I'll have to talk to Kieron and see what he says before I make up my mind. There's a possibility that I could negotiate with the landlord too. He's fairly easy-going.

The letting agent also said that when I send them the notice, they'll respond with a letter that tells me all about what's required of me wrt cleaning the flat, handing over keys etc.

To Do
  • Ask cleaning people how long do the carpets need to dry after the shampooing before they can be walked on?
  • With the 24 as the hand-over date, when would they recommend that they come in?
  • Put outstanding tasks from Moleskin and LJ into Life Balance
  • Make print-out of tasks to be done before holiday and put in Moleskine
apel: (promise)
I've had problems with my sink flowing slowly for some time now but on the weekend I noticed that the level of water in the toilet bowl was lower than normal too. That can be a sign of impending blockage so I thought I'd get a plumber in before it got that bad.

He put in a lot of effort but in the end he had to give up. There are two 90° bends where the waste pipe goes into the main waste stem and apparently something was lodged at least in the first bend, probably in the second bend too. I paid him £60 for his trouble but before he left, he gave me some advice.

So I trundled off to buy the product the plumber had recommended in the shop he had recommended. The name of the product was One Shot and it cost about £6. Apparently it's a very strong acid. The plughole unblockers you buy at HomeBase are all bases, i.e. have a high pH. Acids have a low pH. So this is the opposite approach. The plumber said that DIY shops aren't allowed to sell One Shot. I can only imagine what it does to the environment.

Anyway, I got home with the hallowed bottle and tried it. Following the directions and flushing with lots of hot water, the sink is now showing definite signs of improvement. I'm sold on this stuff.

The plumber's first guess about what was stuck in the bend was one of those plastic disinfectant baskets people hang in their toilet bowls. I've never used those, so if it is, it came from the previous tenant. That would make sense since I had problems with the sink more or less from the day I moved in.

It says on the bottle that you'll get the best effect in the morning. On the theory that the acid works better if the pipes are dry, I'm going to give it another go on Sunday afternoon when I get back from Cheltenham. I may still have an unblocked sink in time for moving out. That would be awesome.

Update: OneShot is only available from plumbing supply shops. Search yell.com for "plumbing supplies" near your postcode.
apel: (i knew it)
I've just had a second phone call from the plumber. He was supposed to be here between 9.30 and 10. From the conversation it was obvious that he had no idea where he was, nor where I was.

The name of the plumbing company? On-Time Plumbing.
apel: (owl)
I feel like I've been busy all day without actually accomplishing anything. But I have. It's just that the main thing I wanted to accomplish turned out to be too hard so I had to abort and make alternative plans. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I started the day by bleaching my hair and posting a photo from yesterday's walk. Then I went to HomeBase to find a wrench, so I could open the S-curve below my bathroom wash basin.

At HomeBase I got advice from a very efficient woman with a blonde pony tail. I came home, realised why she thought it would be so difficult and gave up after 15 sweaty minutes. I'll have to call in a plumber instead -- it's just too hard. So I sent an email with plumbers' phone numbers to my work address. Hopefully I'll have time to call somebody tomorrow, although that may be hard.

On Tuesday morning I'm going to Norwich. This time it's not quite as frightfully early. My train leaves from Liverpool Street station at 8.30, so I won't have to get up until 5 this time. Maybe I can even make it as late as 5.30, if I prepare enough tomorrow night.

After I gave up on the plumbing I've been packing for Tuesday, picking up the living room and sifting through my personal care box.

I've got this big Ikea cardboard box with a rose print on in the bedroom. In it I've been storing body lotions, plasters, toothpaste tubes etc. There was lots of junk in there that I threw away. In the end I had two plastic bags full of junk. It was good to get rid of all that stuff. I realised while doing it that I have more body lotion than I can possibly use in the remaining months.

Next weekend Kieron is coming here. I miss him.
apel: (hand)
This has been a rather productive and domestic day. My plan for this weekend was to garden but it's been raining way too much for that. The jungle in my bay window will have to stay there for another week and get even junglier.

I've vacuumed the hallway and bathroom. That may not sound like much of an accomplishment but unfortunately it is in this flat. Somebody shampooed the carpet and didn't rinse out the chemicals properly so the carpet is just sticky enough for anything small like a lose thread to get stuck to it. I have to sit on my bum and dry brush the carpet with the vacuum cleaner brush attachment to achieve anything.

The washing machine is on its fourth load for the day. It's almost done. I've also filled up the car and washed it. Now you can see out of the windscreen. Before it was full of bugs. The rear wiper blade is coming apart. I'd better get a new one, next time I pass Halfords.

The last hour or so, I've mostly been relaxing and painting my nails. Now it's time to go to bed.
apel: (trail)
My upstairs neighbour has been gone for a few days. I didn't really notice at first but then I realised that there weren't any resounding thumps from above my head any time I did something louder than a whisper. She walks heavily most of the time and when I do something that displeases her she thumps a bit extra. It can be hard to tell the difference. Now she's been back for an hour but I'm already tired of her heavy tread above my head. I didn't have these problems with the previous upstairs neighbour.

Today I'm going out walking. I had decided that earlier in the week so it's not because of the upstairs elephant. Still, it's going to be good to get away from her.
apel: (anger)
I just noticed that there's spit on my living room window. :-(
apel: (Default)
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