20th November, 2011
This is the week that the apartment finally comes together. Monday – all the fitted furniture is installed and lots of extra shelves are put up in all sorts of cubby holes to help with storage. Even my wine racks are being fixed in the walk-in cupboard in the underground garage. Wednesday – wooden flooring installed in the hallway and carpet throughout the rest of the flat. Thursday – Burglar alarm being commissioned and linked to named phone numbers. Friday – Furniture including new bed delivered. We will spend our first night there on Saturday. Today we are going to spend the day in there so that everything is ready for the fitter tomorrow.
21st November, 2011
The wardrobe fitter was due at 8.00 am this morning. We got up at 6.00 am and left for the flat at 7.00 am.. People on the roads were rushing to work, rushing to beat the traffic jams that soon build up here. We got to the apartment five minutes before the fitter arrived (45 mins early). He is a lovely bloke and very skilled. He toiled until 3.00 pm without a break. By the time he stopped, the bedroom looked great. He will be back tomorrow and then will finish off on Friday. All the time he was working, Pauline & I spent the entire day completing our phone books on our new phones.
Later we went shopping for lampshades in Woking but without success. We seem to be out of step with current fashion. We really do not want chandalier-style light fittings but they do seem to dominated the market place at the moment.
22nd November, 2011
The bedroom fitter was back today to fit shelves in the kitchen, shelves in the cloakroom, a mirrored cabinet in the downstairs toilet, a mirrored cabinet in the family bathroom, three mirrored cabinets in the ensuite, shelves and wineracks in the garage. He even had time to put the kitchen clock up for us.
By the end of the day, we were exhausted. We went out and bought a couple of delicious pizzas. Particularly, we had a vegetarian one topped with crisp broccoli, asparagus and artichokes. We topped it off with Man. City losing in Europe. Brilliant!
23rd November, 2011
Today has been very strange and rather Greek. We have spent most of it sitting in our garden in the quadrangle of our apartment on garden chairs. It wasn’t too hot – about 13C – but it was necessary. Every floor space apart from the three tiled bathrooms and the tiled kitchen is being covered with underlay and carpet or wood flooring. The two young men who came to do the work arrived at 8.30 am and pushed themselves non-stop until 6.30 in the evening. The quality of their work was wonderful. In fact, every craftsman we have employed has been honorable and dedicated and reasonably priced. We have been extremely humbled by the service we have received.
Today is the day the apartment became homely. However, we have one problem. Because all the floors – upstairs and downstairs – are concrete, we ordered extra thick, top quality underlay. As a result, five of our doors had to be taken off and are waiting to be trimmed and rehung.
Another late night, another take away. It was only average so we won’t be going back there. We topped it off with watching Chelsea lose in Europe. Brilliant!
24th November, 2011
Today we met the practice nurse from our new surgery. Then we went on to the apartment to wait for the burglar alarm commissioner to arrive. Our burglar alarm is linked by telephone to three separate people who can take action if they are contacted. We no longer have to tap codes into the alarm but just swipe a digital disc across the alarm box on the wall. It has been a very busy week which will culminate in our new bed being delivered tomorrow. We finished the day with a salad and a couple of dips – taramasalata and humus – with black olive bread sticks and a bottle of Montepulciano D’Abruzzo.
25th November, 2011
Today the apartment was finished. Our carpenter came and trimmed and rehung the doors after the flooring had been laid. Then our bed was delivered. By the time the workmen had gone, we shut the door and felt we at last had a home. We cleared all the packaging away, hoovered all the carpets and felt that, after twelve months of living out of boxes and suitcases, we could finally relax. To top it all, I got a Welcome to your new house card from my sister. That was lovely!
Tonight is our last night at Phyllis & Colin’s house. How would we have managed without them? We are taking them out for a meal tonight to an Italian restaurant which has rather a good reputation. The restaurant is called That’s Amore. Not very original but this is the menu.
26th November, 2011
Went to Purley, Croydon today to buy a new desk at IKEA. It really gets me that the last time I was in Purley Croydon was 57 years ago. In 1954, Bob & I went to stay with Nana & Grandad Coghlan where they lived in Purley, Croydon. Here I am – full circle. I hate IKEA and I was exhausted at the end of it but we got what we wanted and it will be delivered on Tuesday. We got back to the flat in time to watch Stoke thrash Blackburn. I sent a text to Ruth thanking her for my card.
I’m just going to have a shower in my new en-suite and go to bed in my new bed in my new bedroom. It all feels nice.