Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 154: You're moving out today

Well, it wasn't a long time, but it was a good time.  Today we are leaving The Landlady's place to move in with Catwoman.  If you had told me a year ago that we would live with someone that we hardly knew for 6 months, I would have said you were mad.  When I told friends that a neighbour had invited us to move in with her, out of the blue, and that we were going to take up the offer, they thought we were mad.  But our view was that just because the arrangement sounded weird didn't mean we shouldn't try it  (sorry about the double negative!).  Having made the big decision to demolish and rebuild the house made us feel that all following decisions were relatively simple by comparision.  And as it has turned out, the last 6 months has been pleasant, comfortable, mutually beneficial to all parties and we feel that we have developed a friendship that will survive the parting of the ways.  It's just a shame for us that the arrangement couldn't last until our house was finished, however it is good for the Landlady that she has found a new house that she loves.  Now on to the next, and final phase in our career as professional house guests. 

There's a lot that I will miss about living here, but not the stairs.  Apart from having to scamper up and down for visits to the bathroom at night, moving stuff is just that much harder with stairs like these.  But the exercise has been good for leg condition, particularly when we moved in and over the last two days.. 

What we will really miss are these very cute residents.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 147 : Working class man

Storm front coming in; view from deck
The "no skills required" job

One of the interesting things about this project is the client/builder relationship.  I think it was always going to be a bit different due to the personal relationship that we have with Bob - after all, I have known him since I was 13 and Stos has been acquainted with him for a number of years.  I've been chatting to Bob about meeting the Tiler to sanity check some of the ideas we have, i.e. will 600 x 600 tiles look silly;  how will the feature tiles work with having recessed shelving in the shower and whether Pete's idea of a 100mm border around the shower grate will cause problems.  On Friday I called him to find out whether he had been able to tee up a meeting for Wednesday and was assured that this is in progress,  The next question was "Are you and Stos looking to do anything over the weekend?", which I interpreted as being a social activity on offer; maybe meeting the new girlfriend.   I said that of course we were.  The reply was a bit different to what I had anticipated; "Good, you can paint the window and doorframes".  Not quite what I had in mind.  To add insult to injury, I was told that "no skill is required".  The next point of discussion was how the placement of the airconditioning unit will interrupt the beautiful lines of the roof.  Bob then said that the solar hot water unit will be on the other side to balance things out.  Thinking that I hadn't been paying attention to some earlier discussion, I asked Stos if he knew we were having a solar hot water system, and somewhat to my relief, this was the first that we had heard of it. So the lesson of the day is that Bob knows best!  Fortunately we are quite happy with this, and I think this is an indication of how well the budget is tracking.

Anyway, today in the wind and the rain, we headed down to the block to paint 19 door and window frames.  As Bob said, it really was just slapping preservative on to the frames, not worrying about the underside of the lower sills.  So we listened to daggy music and primed the frames, feeling very much part of the project.  A couple of visitors dropped by the break up the day; a neighbour of M & N's who takes a great interest in our project and was passing by, and one of Bob's mates who wanted to borrow some equipment (all was OK, Bob just forgot to mention that he'd be calling in).  It was a good day's work; any unskilled work that we can contribute that helps us get back into the house even one day earlier has got to be good.  Hopefully Bob will be putting the frames in tomorrow, with the cladding staring Wednesday or Thursday.  We should be at close to lock up stage in 4 weeks, which makes us very happy.

Progress has also been made on floor tile and with ducted vacuum cleaning selection.  We've also sketched out a plan for wiring, lighting and power points for Sparkie Dave, as electricals is another important step in the next few weeks.  There should be a lot of progress to report for next weekend's update.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 143: Home Sweet Home

I'm playing a bit of catch up here.  As I was running around like a mad woman on Saturday, I didn't get a chance to update the blog with the pictures of the house that were literally taken on the run.  The roof is finally finished and while we know what the building is intended to look like from the plans, I did not realise how wonderful the roof lines would look once complete and with the porch included.  The angles look magnificent and I couldn't wait to ring Bob and tell him how happy we are with this.  He told me that the roof lines were designed to look like a group of market umbrellas;  something that he has never shared with us before.  He also said that the impact will be greater once the house is clad and the forest of timber frame disappears.  The handrails on the deck and stairs have been installed and have the effect of making the deck look even bigger.  A nice touch is the capping for the posts, which replicates the top of telegraph poles.  We are delighted with the way that this is coming together but also realise that the work really starts now in trying to envisage the interior and pick all the elements for that.  So we need to start chasing up the Kitchen Man and talking to the tiler about when he needs materials to be available and how practical our ideas are so far.  Exciting, but scary at the same time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 142 : I ran

What a weekend!  Saturday was crazy - off the the Petit Bateau sale at 9am, into the jewellers at 10am, down to the house to take some quick pics, packed a bag in between, then at 1pm flew to sunny Sydney for the City to Surf.  The day itself was perfect for running:  18C and fine.  As usual, all the good citizens of Rose Bay and surrounds were out to cheer on me and my 79,999 new best friends.  There was a bit of cursing about not doing any hill training once we hit Heartbreak Hill, but it was over fairly soon.  What I did notice more this year were all the other little inclines that you hit afterwards before getting to the flat before the downhill stretch to Bondi Beach.  That's when you know why you do this run - the sight of the sea and the silvery sands reminds you that there is no other event like this in Melbourne and this is why you make the pilgramage every year.  A couple of little gripes - the poor volunteer crew did not have time to sort the bags into order, so had to call out numbers in the hope that the owners were waiting, mobile phone calls fail (even when it appears that there is signal) and the queues for the buses back to Bondi Junction and the city were horrendous.  I found, then lost S and spent a while trying to call, before catching up with her on the beach to grab something to eat and a couple of glasses of bubbles.  After a long run, this was a nice way to spend an hour before heading back.  We went looking for Y, gave up in the end, and then decided to walk to Bondi Junction rather than join the multitudes in the queue for the buses.  Once we got through the crowd for the trains, getting back was fairly straight forward.  Back at home base, we employed our usual post C2S recovery tactics - a couple of hours in the spa with bubbles from a bottle and treats.  Not what the health professionals would make of this but we've never been stiff and sore yet.  However by 9.30pm, we were all tucked up and sound asleep in no time.  Today we got the adjusted times for our run - while F was thrilled with her 77 minutes, S and I were less impressed with 80 and 81 minutes respectively.  We had hoped to achieve a time of under 75 minutes, so we will need to re-assess our training for next year.  And there will be a next year.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 137: Sumer Love Sensation

From Cool Cats Blog

I read somewhere that you can tell a lot about a person from the playlist on their iPod.  I only have one playlist per se which is my Running Music.  If you are defined by what is on your playlist, I am in deep trouble. If anyone knew what was on this list, I would lose any illusion of sophistication or culture that I may have.  Because to make my running music playlist, a song needs to have the following characteristics:

- it must be something that I can sing to, if only in my head
- loud guitar riffs are good
- Glam rock is most welcome and I think my running music playlist is overweight in this genre
- I find music from  the early to mid 1970's strangely compelling.

The above traits are necessary to keep me from thinking about how boring I find running.  So why run?  Well, I like to have a goal and I have been training for the City to Surf, the iconic Sydney 14 km run that starts at Hyde Park in the CBD and finishes at Bondi.  So the playlist has been getting a workout lately.
I have done this run a few times but this year is special because I missed last year's event. because of the reco  F and I are heading off the Sydney on Saturday and will do the run with S on Sunday.  But back to the music.  Courtesy of Stos, we have a large music library.  Some of the taste displayed in the collection is questionable.  However, this gives me a huge choice when it comes to picking daggy music for the Running Music playlist.  The list is pretty stable but earlier in the year, I discovered that we had a Best of Bay City Rollers CD (or something similar).  I added a couple of tracks and am now totally loving Summer Love Sensation.  All of a sudden, I am again 12 years old, sitting in the loungeroom of the old house watching Shang-a-Lang (the Bay City Rollers television show) with L.  Maybe I was a bit older as I seem to recall spilling Happy Blue Cutex Nailpolish on the carpet while watching those spunks strut their stuff.  I was in love with Eric (second from the left above) while L had a thing for Derek (far left).  I remember seeing older girls wearing Roller Strollers and stripy socks like our idols, and wishing Mum would let us do the same.  Well, we all have our dirty little secrets.