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Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

Wiring going in

In Ceilings, Electrics, Workmen and Trade on May 16, 2012 at 11:17 am

The Drey is awash with electricians, false ceiling installers, plasterers and gas engineers. Needless to say, this means no electricity (no internet) and no water. So, all I can bring you at the moment is this:



Flat, light grey Metro tiles

In Bathroom, Walls on May 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm

The ideal grey tile

Thanks to the excellent House To Home I’ve found them. These are the light grey, non-bevelled, rectangular tiles that I’ve been looking for. With one snag: they are by Fired Earth, which I imagine means that they will be excellent quality, but also makes them rather out of this squirrel’s price range (at 79p / £69.70 per sqm). So, it’s now the mission to find something similar.

Any ideas?

Sawing up wood

In Bathroom, Building, Garden on May 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm
Sawing branches

It’s a saw.

Today I have been sawing things. I sawed up some bits of tree so they would fit in our green bin and I sawed up those big ol’ beams I showed you yesterday so that they will fit in the shed until we can dispose of them. Thank goodness that thought I went to a girls’ school, they saw fit to teach us how to use a saw properly. Oh, and my arms ache.

I aslo stopped off to look at bathroom tiles today. I’m trying to find flat (not bevelled) light grey metro tiles that don’t cost the earth. More on that one soon.


Partition wall gone

In Building, Ceilings, Kitchen, Walls, Workmen and Trade on May 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Well, it’s gone from this:

Dining room with half-wall

Dining room with half-wall

To this:

Dining room minus partition

Which means some of this:

Plastering  and 

but less of these:

The wooden beams from the kitchen ceiling

Knocking down walls

In Building, Walls, Workmen and Trade on May 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Today the mayhem begins in earnest. Today they are knocking down a wall, well a bit of a wall, and putting a steel beam in. I left The Drey at 7am this morning and tonight when I return at 10pm I’ll find out whether they’ve broken out home or not. All limbs are crossed

Next week the re-wire and boiler replacement happens and after that it’s the bathroom. Yikes.

Caffeine fuelled decisions: Freud cafetiere and Poole tea cup

In Kitchen on May 3, 2012 at 1:01 am
Design Classic Cafetiere

Freud Cafetiere (£40 at full price)

Lots of decisions and lots of discussions call for lots of coffee. This is how we make it at The Drey. I got the cafetiere in a half price sale at Freud, otherwise I would have gone for the wooden handled version. There’s a teapot too.  Every time I make coffee in this people are intrigued by it, but it’s just a normal cafetiere inside.

On to the other hot-drink-based bargain – Pool teacups in “Blue Moon”. I found a set  of 6 in an Oxfam shop for £8. I didn’t know what they were at the time, I just liked the shape. Sadly I’ve broken several of the cups and I’ve discovered that they are not cheap to replace. There’s lots of colourways including a lovely lemon yellow and a two-tone turqouise one.

Poole cup in "Blue Moon"

Poole cup in “Blue Moon”

A Lovely Yellow Basin

In Bathroom on May 2, 2012 at 2:29 am
Sfera Basin

Sfera Yellow Basin

I gave you a sneak-peak of this yesterday. It shall be known as The Basin of Joy. Out bathroom isn’t large enough to have a trestle table or some nonchalantly strewn fabric, but it’s still exciting to say ‘we’ve just bought this basin’! Hurrah. The first step in the bathroom journey.  We have decided that since the basin is the most visible part of the bathroom, it’s worth splashing out on something a bit special. The plan is for some grey metro-tiles to feature. Not sure what else yet. What do you think?

Boilers, Plumbing and Bathrooms

In Bathroom, Plumbing, Workmen and Trade on May 1, 2012 at 4:25 am

I’ve been on the receiving end of many visits from boiler and plumbing engineers recently. Every person who visits has a different take on what to do. Yes, it’s utterly befuddling.

It’s ok though, because it will enable us to install “The Basin of Joy”  eventually. In the meantime here’s a summary of what I’ve been told.  Perhaps it may be of use to you, or perhaps you have an opinion.

Sfera Yellow Bowl Sink

The Sink of Joy

Here’s our situation:

1. We currently have a large Concord WRS boiler. They stopped making them before I was born, but it is working fine.

2. The current boiler is illegally vented at the moment as the flu goes into an open carport, which still counts as enclosed.

3. Our pressure for showers is, well, let’s just say I’d get cleaner using a watering can.

The options presented to us have been the following:

1) Replace the boiler and keep the hot water tank, adding a pump for pressure.

  • Some say pumps give better pressure than mains and combi, some say not
  • Some say pumps are noisy

2) Replace the boilers with a 30kw combi boiler.

  • Could use an electric shower to stop hot water/pressure drain when using more than one tap. Some say it’s an issue, some say not
  • Put flow regulators on taps to solve pressure / water sharing issue

3) Other variations in advice

  • Whether or not to powerflush the system (this could highlight leaks unnecessarily. Some combi boilers have magnetic sludge filters built in)
  • Whether or not radiatiors will need replacing

So, all in all there’s basically every permutation of the above open to us and every time someone comes, we are persuaded that their option is best….until the next person comes.

Excitingly though I have discovered that some combi-boilers have weather meters that monitor external happenings and adjust pre-emptively to drops in temperature. Swanky.