Refridged

As mentioned in the previous post, I also ended up with a new fridge over the weekend.

On about Wednesday my (then) current fridge started sounding unwell, and running constantly – never a good sign. I messed around with the controls, lowered the chill factor to get it to turn off, that sort of thing.  And while it did turn off, it was then back to running within about ten minutes.  Diagnosis : most likely a fucked thermostat.

Now in fairness, I’ve had this fridge for coming up to 15 years, it’s been through at least two house moves, and had also had the issue of being frozen to sod for a while until I cleaned it out last year (which I suspect didn’t actually do it much good) and it wasn’t expensive in the first place, so it’s not like I’ve not had the value out of it or anything.

As a result, I ordered a new one from AO , which went (fairly) smoothly. The order itself was fine, but then over the next two days I got four silent automatic calls, which are distinctly frowned upon by OfCom . By checking the number online I figured out it was AO who were doing them – their “aftercare” department, apparently, which is really just the old “do you want an extended warranty with that?” scam.  I complained to AO, who’ve now said that they’ll investigate, and who have taken me off their call list.

Thankfully, the delivery itself was fine. The delivery people arrived when they said they would, took away the old one for recycling, left the new one with me, and buggered off. Just how I like it.

And now it’s all plugged in and running smoothly again. Happy day.


Refronted

Over the last couple of years, both of my neighbours in our little terrace/block have updated their front doors to modern composite doors, with better security and so on.  That’s left mine in the middle looking like the easiest target of the three, which is never something I’m entirely happy about.  (The other two properties in the block also have the same older front doors, but mine being between two new ones made it feel like that weakest option)

I’ve always worked with the ethos that you don’t bother making your house the safest/strongest on the street (because that just makes people think you’ve got stuff worth stealing) but you do make it harder to get into than those of your neighbours.  It can be a bit of an “arms race” scenario, and it can be a bit selfish (“I’m OK, others can sod off”) but it’s still not a bad structure to live by.

I talked about this a while back with my landlord, and he agreed that it would be a good idea to upgrade it – particularly as it’ll also be *way* more insulated and energy-efficient (which is a consideration for rented properties now, they need to pass a certain grade of energy efficiency) which makes it A Good Plan.

So – after several mis-fires of companies measuring up, assuring they could do it, and then pulling out –  the new door went in yesterday. It was a fairly big job (most of a day to do) and I’m glad that it turned out to be on a day when the temperature was actually quite reasonable (for February) so it all went OK.

Already the differences are noticeable. It’s a lot quieter (better insulation, no gaps etc.) and noticeably warmer.  Definitely A Good Thing.

Now I just need to get my replacement fridge (that’s a story for a different time) delivered tomorrow and sorted, and hopefully things will then run smoothly for a while again.


Chucking Out

I really don’t like waste – but sometimes it still happens.

Over the Christmas/New Year limbo, I spent some time clearing out stuff, as it needed doing. On this occasion, that included clearing out the kitchen cupboard under the sink, and that’s where the waste kicked in.  Various packs of crisps and the like, and they were all out of date (like, well, well out of date) and some part-bake bread rolls that had collapsed and compressed into horrific lumps of nope.

In the great scheme of things, it wasn’t actually a lot of value – maybe £30 all told – but it’s still annoying to throw it out. (Not that there was really anything else I could do with them)

It has, however, shown me the things I think I want to have as snacks and then don’t get round to actually eating, which helps in reinforcing (in my own head) why I won’t buy them again.  So I suppose that at least this is a lesson that will work for longer term better effect.

Still makes me grouchy, though.


Re-Identified

For some reason, this year has involved renewing both of my primary forms of ID – a few months ago it was the passport that got done, and I’ve now had to do the driving licence as well.

In fairness, both processes have been pretty painless, and made much easier through technology – the passport had some issues with uploading a new photo (because I wear glasses, and photos without a reflection on the lenses is *difficult*) but it’s all involved a lot less hassle than one would expect.

The driving licence also pulls through the photo from the passport process (although the reverse doesn’t apply, weirdly) but it needed a lot more linked information than I expected – for example, why does my driving licence renewal require me to know/remember my NI Number? I’d already connected it to the passport system/number etc. for verification, so that seems like an unnecessary extra step, really.

Still, it’s all done, the new licence card arrived promptly – and well within the quoted two weeks – and the old one got cut in two and returned.

I now shouldn’t need a renewal on these things for another decade. How time flies, and all that!


Jabbed 2

On Friday, I got my second Covid vaccination jab.  It wasn’t supposed to happen ’til 1st June, but as I live in the perineum between two hotspots of new-variant Covid increases, I’d decided to bring it forward a couple of weeks. (And obviously was allowed to do so via the NHS system)

As with last time, the entire process was quick and efficient, and went really well.  The biggest downside was that the nurse managed to stick the needle right into a clump of muscle tissue/fibres, which hurt a bit more than the usual one. “Oh yes, I did see it twitch”, she said afterwards when I commented on it.

Not, of course, that it matters a damn. If that’s the worst of what happens to me, I’m pretty fine with that.

Interestingly, this time I’ve had absolutely no side-effects at all – not even a sore arm.  And again, I’m not complaining about that at all.  It’s just it’s a bit odd, considering how many people seem to suffer those side-effects.

And it also triggers that little paranoid part of my brain that says “Well, if you’ve not even had any soreness, how do you know it’s worked, eh?”.  Which is bloody ridiculous, but still a thought process that’s been happening.

Anyway, it’s all done now – unless the PowerClowns decide we need a booster jab in the autumn/winter, of course.  But for now it’s done, and I am (or at least I will be) as protected as it’s possible to be.  Of course, that won’t stop me from wearing masks and so on – I think they’re going to be here for a while still – but it is good to know I’m doing what I can.


Renewals

As it turns out, this year it’s time to do a couple of renewals – both my Passport and Driving Licence will need replacing in the next couple of months.

The passport renewal was first, and came back earlier this week (and the old passport arrived today).  It’s been fairly painless, all things considered  (I’d rather have had a nice red EU one, but there we go)

Doing it all online, I also used my own phone to provide the photo, which was the only bit that was a hassle.  It took several goes, including a rejected one, basically because of wearing glasses. Any reflection in them causes the processing to fail – and even the one that finally got accepted was rated as “Poor” in the upload tool.  (Impressive, for a 12MP camera)

So it’s been a faff, but it’s also been painless, and generally quite efficient. I also set it up for text-message updates as it went through the process, which kept things informed.

Amusingly (and just to prove that they’re not really all that efficient) having received everything back, I also got a text message telling me that I could renew my passport easily by doing it all online…


Gradual Improvements

Over the last couple of months, I’ve slowly been upgrading some things around the house.  Nothing major, but a few things had started breaking or failing, so it’s made sense to replace them with better versions.

Among other things, a lot of my cookware was on the way out – my main frying pad had buckled (my own fault for thermal-shocking it too many times), my baking trays were grim and no longer non-sticking, and my wok had gone horrible with rust.  So I’ve replaced them all with better things – and in fairness, none of those bits was less than a decade old anyway, so it’s not like I’ve not had my money’s worth out of them.

This weekend, I’ve also replaced the main lamp in my living room.  I’ve had a (revoltingly cheap) uplighter for six years, that I bought while bankrupt, when the previous one’s halogen bulb died. I think it cost me £20, and it was ridiculously wobbly, but did the job – and has done the job for that six years without fail, and without any replacement bulbs.

However, during the week it started buzzing – not just from the bulb, but also from the switch, and to me, that’s not a thing where it’s wise to keep it going. So I had a look round for something new, and ended up with an interesting LED light that offers a range of white-balance colours, as well as being able to move lighting to my requirements and so on. It wasn’t the cheapest, and the lamps aren’t replaceable in the same way as a ‘normal’ bulb would be, but there’s also very little that can break, so we’ll see. Regardless though, I’m really pleased with it at the moment.

All told, I’m happy with how things are going – I’m not paying out stupid amounts for things, but I’m also not staying at the cheapest levels, because I simply don’t need to. Hopefully all these new bits will last me another eight to ten years minimum, and god only knows where we’ll all be by then…