I fully believe that the British postal system (as run by The Post Office) has hit rock bottom. It’s been getting worse over the past twenty or twenty-five years. How many can remember the days when we received two postal deliveries? There was one early morning, and another around lunchtime. At Christmas time, there was even a delivery on the Sunday before Christmas Day. The delivery was always around the same time. You could almost set your clock by them. Collections from pillar-boxes happened at least twice a day, with an extra collection from your local post office.
It’s all gone now though. We are lucky if we see the postman/woman. It is no wonder that more and more people and organisations are using one of the big courier services when it can be a lot cheaper, and safer. Which brings me to the point of this post.
I ordered some light bulbs from eBay. I didn’t go for the cheapest or the most expensive but settled on one that appeared to have a least a few good reviews. I duly paid and the expected delivery date was the 2nd of November. I got home on the 29th of October and found a parcel on the doorstep. The label told me who it was from and so I knew it was my lightbulbs. However, I could immediately tell that something was wrong. The parcel was squashed at one corner which led me to believe that the ‘post person’ had attempted to post the item through the letterbox. In marked contrast, the delivery by a local courier was hidden behind a planter, with an email showing a photo of the exact spot.
As I expected, we go into an almost full lock-down on Thursday. I think it was inevitable given what the experts were saying, and have been saying for the past month. Hopefully, this will bring the dreaded “R” rating down, which may mean that the youngest could be home for Christmas. However, I’m not holding my breath. When you listen to Ministers like Micheal Gove, who last week was saying that there was no chance of a ‘lock-down’ and is now saying that may go on beyond the 2nd of December, you have to wonder whose strings are being pulled by whom!
I have already decided that my hair is not going to be a priority over the next few weeks. I did have it cut back in July and have been meaning to go again, but the last time I tried, the barbers were busy (1 customer and 2 waiting) and the time before, it was shut. So I’m not going to bother.
I purchased one of these yesterday. In fact, I got two for £15.00 which was a saving of over £8.00. Always up for a bargain! I have been meaning to change two of the sockets in the conservatory since we had the new roof and windows. I should have got the electrician to do it then, but never got around to asking. Now I have no excuse. I just have to get into the mood sometime this week.
Today the new flooring goes down. We are having a laminate floor put on top of the old floor in the conservatory. In a marked contrast the the “Sparks” that came yesterday, there has been a lot of ‘tut tut‘, ‘Oh dear‘, ‘That’s not good‘ and a fair amount of head shaking! I hadn’t realised when the boss came to give us a quote, what a misery he was. The guy with him seems a lot more laid back, with ‘Don’t worry, we can fix it‘ attitude. I’m not sure how difficult the job can be. He is an expert and, according to his van a “Which Trusted Trader”!
Anyway, they were here when the said the would be, so we shall see how it goes.
So, we are just over 2 hours in, and the skirting is 90% done. We still have the head shaking and tutting, but I think they are getting there. Problem has been that when the patio door was removed, it left a gap in the floor which was more or less bare brickwork. Trying to level the floor has been quite a task.
The boss has just ‘nipped back to base’ to get something that they need. I would have thought they should have everything basic, so it must be something special for this job. But hey, what do I know.
He’s back now, with the comment ‘Some people just moan about anything’. The colour of pots and kettles sprung to mind. They are now having a ‘tea and chat’ break, so I’ve now idea how long this is going to take.
Lunch break is now over and the floor laying has begun. This going a lot faster than the previous 4 hours! Although both are now on their 4th cuppa!
It looks like they are almost done. That will make it 7½ hours in total or about 5 hours if you take out the chat/drink/lunch time. It looks good though and it means that we now have a room we can use all year round, instead of just the warm days in middle of summer.
I have the electrician with me today. You may remember we had an issue with some of the wiring when the new conservatory roof was put on. The electrician fixed that, but when he came to wire up the lighting, he found another problem. It appears that there is an issue with what he called ‘the zoning’ on the consummer panel. Back in the day, it was called a ‘Fuse Box’, but things have got a little more complicated since then.
The one we have currently has only 5 circuit breakers, a cooker circuit breaker and a main switch. It seems that this is not enough and so we are having to have a bigger (and better) one installed. Unfortunately, the one he brought had a part missing, so he had to go off to the wholesaler to get that replaced.
Looks like they could be here a while.
All finished with only one small problem which was easily fixed. It seems that one of the sockets did not have the earth wire connected correctly. It must have been like that since the conservatory was built. It wasn’t particularly dangerous, it just wasn’t very good.
All in all it took just over three and a half hours and a good one and a half was testing each socket.
This is the day when our polycarbonate conservatory roof gets replaced with a solid one. It’s all my fault. I should have known when I had ‘the idea‘ that Mrs H would not let it go. It wasn’t as if it was a proper idea. I just said, after seeing the advert on the TV “I wonder how much that would cost?” Never thinking that anything would come of it. Then here we are, three months on and the thing is nearly down. Apart from having a new roof, we are having the windows and door replaced. They reckon that they can take the down and get the new one up and watertight in one day. I’m not so sure, although after two hours, most of it is down.
To cap it all, Mrs H is having a new floor put in too. It’s going to be that laminate flooring that we have upstairs. That wasn’t one of my ideas, in fact I don’t really think it is necessary, but there you go.
To be continued …