While my weekends have been a lot quieter, I’ve done some maintenance stuff that I hadn’t got round to before.
Absolutely nothing glamorous, mind you – but I’ve cleaned out and deiced both my freezer and fridge. It’s been a long time since I’d done either, but neither job was a high priority either. However, might as well let the warm weather help out and speed up the defrosting process…
The freezer had slowly iced over – it’s an odd design with freezing elements on each shelf, so it had slowly become that opening any of the drawers was more and more problematic. I don’t actually use the freezer much though, so again it wasn’t overly important.
As it was, over a couple of hours I emptied it out – which was easily the toughest job, because of those iced-over shelves – and then let it all thaw a bit, carved out all the ice, cleaned it up, and then turned it back on and re-filled it. There was, as expected, a *lot* of ice, but that was about it.
The fridge, on the other hand, was a much mankier job. I’d noticed that there appeared to be a leak, or an overflow, and finally decided to have a look into what was going on. A quick clear out allowed me to see that at some point the back of the fridge had frozen solid, blocking the drain hole, and that was what was causing the problem. Of course, that ice was pretty vile, but again, it’s a job that’s been done now, so hopefully won’t need doing again for a while.
I’ll also keep more of an eye on both things, and (in theory at least) deal with them earlier on next time so they don’t become such big problems again. Only time will tell whether that’ll actually happen or not, though.
Hopefully, both items will now run better and more efficiently. It’s either that, or they’ll go into shock, break, and need replacing…
A while ago, I ordered a vertical blind from Tuiss (Edited on 23/05 : who now sell as Blinds2Go – sorry, forgot to add this before) to replace the shitty curtain in the front room, and got it fitted. I’ve been really pleased with it since, and it’s generally handled life pretty well.
However, two heavy-footed felines stomping in and out of it had meant that some of the clips to hold it all together (plastic chain with connectors onto each slat of the blind) had snapped, so it was beginning to look a bit ropy. (Additionally, the fabric I chose is slightly rough, so grabs cat fur like an absolute bastard, but that’s a different issue)
Anyway, the number of snapped connectors was getting close to outnumbering the ones still intact, so I got in touch with Tuiss to find out whether I could get some replacement weights and chains.
As it turns out, when I say it was bought and installed “a while ago”, it turns out I meant “nearly six years ago”. All things considered, that means they’ve lasted pretty well.
Tuiss found my order, and we discussed what bits I needed – and at each point I was clear and said I was happy to pay for the pieces, it seemed only fair after six years. But they’ve kept on insisting that they’ll just send them out – and they’ve done so.
The bits arrived yesterday, and are now all in place on the blind. I’m really pleased with it, and impressed with Tuiss. Depending on how things go, if I decide to replace the blind then I’ll go back to them and do so, and see what they’ll charge me for a replacement blind without needing the infrastructure (the actual holding frame/mechanism and so on)
Over the weekend, I spent some time changing the plants and pots I’ve got in the yard of my house.
Some of the things from last year had died off, most having only been expected to live a year, a couple of others just needed to be changed and a one needed to be replaced as the poxy cat had decided that pot was a spare litter tray. Additionally, I’d changed a bit on what I wanted to try out this year.
For example, last year I had a couple of small apple trees in patio pots. One had done OK, but ended the year overtaken by wooly aphid things that made it look like it was covered in frost/snow/cotton-wool, while the other hadn’t taken at all. So they were candidates for going as well.
This time, I went to a proper garden centre, and got a bundle of new things – two types of raspberry, a blueberry bush, and a couple of flowering currants. Once I’d got home, I emptied out the old pots, putting all the residue into garden sacks. Then all the new things got planted, and so far it’s all worked out pretty well.
The final stage was taking all the garden sacks to the local tip, and getting rid of them all in the garden waste.
So all told, quite the successful day – a near-complete change of the plants, and all the rubbish dealt with, leaving the place looking pretty much how it did before, just with new plants. I class that as a success.
This weekend was the closest I’ve come in a long time to doing nothing – it’s something I am *really* bad at, which I’m coming to terms with.
I try and keep busy on weekends, go out and do stuff, get things done, and that suits me. But I still get to the point (like recently) where I’ve been constantly busy and occupied for so damn long, it feels like I’m completely burned out and I need that down-time, a weekend or two where I don’t do much.
As has been observed before, I’ve been pretty much booked solid since about October, so I really needed a quiet time where I vegetated a bit, caught up on some of the more domestic things, and generally did a bit of recuperation. And that was the plan this weekend – I had some stuff I wanted to do (buying the trees, seeing a film, organising house stuff, ironing etc.) but the rest was meant to be downtime.
That plan was successful, I can’t deny. I did get all the planned stuff done, and I used a lot of downtime.
But it gets to now, 10pmish on Sunday, and I feel kind of guilty, kind of lazy. I know it’s been needed, and I mainly feel better for having not done much – but simultaneously, I feel like it’s been a bit of a waste.
It’s safe to say, I think, that I am phenomenally bad at doing nothing…
Having sorted out some new pots and plants earlier this week, I’d been thinking about a couple of small trees to put in Big Pots, which should finish things off nicely.
Today, I got some – two ‘patio apple’ trees and pots for them to go in. They’ve been outside all the time anyway, so they’re now planted out and situated where I want them to be.
I’m done for now with plants, I think. I do want to find a more comfortable table and chair(s) next, although that can wait a while ’til I see what there is that I like. I’m not in a hurry – I’ve a chair that’s serviceable, but I do want to find something better. I just have to know it’s better before I buy it…
Last summer, I spent some time and money on my house, even though it’s a rented place. Nothing permanent, just some flooring/decking out in the back yard, repainting the wooden fences, and some plants in pots. It was a successful plan, and it looks much better now than it did before.
Over the winter, it’s all been a bit bare, and I’ve been thinking about what to do next with it all.
Today, I left work earlier than usual and went to get some new stuff, more planters and plants, that kind of thing. Some summer and autumn bulbs, a climbing jasmine, clematis, and some other bits.
Once I got home, I got it all planted up and watered, so we’ll see how it all works out. I’m still planning to get some more bits, and repaint the wooden fences again (hopefully with less marks and blobs this time) so it looks better.
As before, it’s all movable – well, except for the painted woodwork, of course. Whether I do move it or not (as and when I move) is a different decision – the plants and pots could easily go, the yard tiling/decking is really only fit for the current yard, so it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other.
In the meantime, though, the aim – assuming a decent spring and summer – will be to have an open space that’s actually usable and comfortable. Hopefully the stuff I’ve now got there is the groundwork for having that this year.
As I said earlier, the only scheduled thing for the weekend was a visit from Lowri Beck, the clowns who are nPower’s third-party partner in the area – who needed to check my electricity meter.
Supposedly they legally *have* to do this once a year – and they allege they haven’t been inside my property in four years (i.e. before I even moved in), so it’s hardly a legal requirement in the first place. Saying they haven’t had access is utter bollocks, by the way, as someone from the company was in there to check the gas one a month ago, and I’ve had people from the same company in to do readings before (except they then lost them, due to being useless cunts)
Anyway, the guy turned up, and in his most helpful manner said “Oooh, that’s not good. How long’s it been doing that?”. To which, of course, I said “Doing what?”, as I’m not a fucking mind-reader, and couldn’t tell you one end of a meter problem from the other. “That” he says, and points at the meter. “Go on, give me a clue.”
Turns out, there’s a flashing light that says “I need replacing”. It wasn’t there two weeks ago when I took my own meter reading, but now the clowns are here, we get the full circus lights. *sigh*
So – I now need to get a replacement meter.
But in a fit of truly inspired crap customer service, Lowri Beck’s installers only work Monday to Friday, 9-5. So to get a new meter, I’m going to have to take time off work, costing me money for something that’s entirely not my fault. And nPower won’t offer any alternatives, compensation, or understanding. (Which is no surprise whatsoever)
I’ve got it booked in, but it looks like it may just be time for yet another fight with the asshats at nPower. Oh goody.