Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Christchurch and Cupcakes!

I'm off to Chch tomorrow  - will be nice to visit the whanau and am taking the opportunity to catch up with a few friends. AAANNNNNDDD I get to go visit this nice shop.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The one in which I complain loudly about tradespeople in this town....

Yes, well, I've had quite a day.

Our carpet was supposed to be laid today by a local carpet company. The quote process had gone fine, measuring was all done ok, and we arranged a time for the carpet to be lifted, then another time for the new carpet to be laid.

Thanks to the lavish but random tastes of the previous owners of our house, the carpet chosen to grace the main bedroom and study was a suitably expensive Cavalier Bremworth Sisal (yet they couldn't face the extra cost for proper suede finish paint for the living room, giving us their homemade sandpaper finish instead). So when we decided to finish of by carpeting the spare room (which had the rankest, dustiest old carpet ever) we were looking at around $950 to do approx 10sq metres.

The carpet layer arrived today (4 hours late).

He laid the underlay.

He laid out the carpet to be cut and put down. Then asked me "do you want the lines of the carpet to to be parallel to the door like in the other rooms?".

I'm like "What? - match the other rooms of course..."

"Um - well I don't have enough carpet to do that..."

So it turned out that the guy that had originally measured the carpet (and who, funnily enough, is no longer working for the company) had not made the obvious conclusion that we would want the pattern of the carpet heading in the same direction as that in the other two rooms done in the same carpet. So ensued an afternoon of talking to the carpet people, arranging for the correct length of carpet to be ordered ("should take about a week"), and arguing the toss as to whether we should have to pay for the extra carpet required (which I think the Consumer Rights Act says I don't).

Arghhhhhhh! What is wrong with tradespeople in this town?

This comes on top of:
- the wrong fridge being delivered to us (box was labelled incorrectly - unfortunately a lesser rather than better model)- making the total delivery time for the new fridge two weeks.
- the insulation debacle - which continues with a price increase (from head office of course) that has occured between the time we accepted the quote and the time we actually (after 2 months of emailing and leaving voice-mail messages) managed to get the stuff delivered to us (and which I am also disputing).
- tradespeople promising quotes, but never turning up to do them.
- and of course, the garden rubbish removal fiasco of last November (the $85 quote and $450 bill - don't get me started!!!!)

I really really don't know how people think that they are providing anything approaching good customer service when these sorts of things happen on such a regular basis. And I'm assertive (but not rude, I might add) about disagreeing or pointing out things that don't make sense!

What is even more frustrating is the way I am treated when I do this... in the case of the massively increased gardening bill of last Nov, it took me 25 minutes of arguing the toss with the guy before he would accept that I wouldn't pay the amount he had invoiced me, as I had a written quote for approximately a fifth of what he was asking for. Sure, I was happy to pay a bit more than the $85 as we had added to our rubbish pile - but not made it 5 times bigger in the interim, so I wasn't going to pay 5 times the quote, especially 2 weeks before Christmas.

Even today, the carpet people were not happy with me when I said that I would not be happy about having to pay the extra for the 0.3m of extra carpet that they failed to accurately measure for...

In other, more positive news, I finally made kiwifruit chutney today (a la the Edmonds cookbook). Note to self, do not use Eve apples in cooking - they don't soften up enough...and saute the onions first. And what is with the Edmonds obsession with DYC Malt Vinegar? I diluted the quantity they recommended with some cider vinegar, hopefully to improve the flavour of the chutney. It tasted ok upon completion today, but I'm going to leave it for a week to improve before trying it properly for the first time.

So how was your day?

Monday, June 23, 2008


What does Elvira wear around the house?
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Heaven is....

Homemade hummus eaten in the kitchen with carrot and celery sticks....
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Sunday, June 22, 2008


Well we've finished one coat and the walls are looking good. I've eaten half a packet of Forbidden Fruit lollies and the floors of the hallway have a light coating of plaster dust. Hope it comes off when we rewash the floors...



First coat of Rickshaw with flash

First coat of Rickshaw without flash

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What the #$^@ is Jude Dobson on...?

Apparently a nice retainer...

Well now apparently we have to watch out, because get this, 1 IN 4 of us could be suffering from a condition known as, get this...'Dry Eyes'. Lovely Jude (and that gravelling voiced voice over guy) sadly ask, "Do you suffer from dry, itchy eyes?" This is apparently, a condition so dire, we must go out and spend $$$ on specially formulated eye drops to correct the terrible condition. WTF!?! I would think just turning down the thermostat, dehumidifier or heat pump might help to sort things out...ARGGGGGHHHH!

In other news, the painting has started, Phil has finished the first coat of undercoat and it'll be my turn with the VOC-free top coat sometime in the next few days... Plan is to start with the section of wall behind the door so any errors are less noticeable ;) The room looks different already! Old carpet is supposed to be coming up today so we'll get our first shifty at the dodgy bit of floor underneath too. Fingers crossed, I'd rather spend the $$ on getting lights fixed than new tongue and groove...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Half way there....

Well today we have made it to the official half way point - 20 weeks gestation exactly. The anatomy scan was on Monday, and Mum came down from Christchurch to attend with us (lots of oooo's and ahhhh's - things have changed a lot since I was in the womb). It was quite awesome - the sonographer spent about 20-odd minutes zooming around looking at and measuring just about every part of Cleitus - all the while studiously avoiding 'down there' as P and I would like to have a surprise when our wee bundle enters the world. We got a good few pictures and a DVD of the whole scan as well, which I have been boring my friends with over the past few days. Will try to pop up one of the profile pics in the next few days, they are so detailed! All was well, though the sonographer did observe that Baby A is about the size of a 21 week old foetus at present - so we may have a big baby on the way! (not so sure if I like the sound of that...:) ) - I reckon it must be something to do with all the Milo I've been drinking, lol!
In other not so exciting news, only 2 exams to go (all over on Monday) and then I have 2-3 weeks of blissful holiday (aka not feeling guilty cause I should really be doing some study). It's been a hard semester, and frustrating getting to this point feeling like I can't really make up for the lack of work I did whilst morning sick. Despite knowing that, I know I will still be really disappointed at myself when my grades come in...
The nesting instinct has also thoroughly kicked in, hence the paint query a few weeks ago. For those who could see a difference, we are going with the Rickshaw as it is a warmer colour. We also have new carpet going down next week, insulation going in the ceiling, and various electrical repairs being undertaken as well (primarily outside lights so our guests don't have to embark on a suicide mission when they leave our house after evening visits). Bathroom plans on hold due to cost :(, but if the house is much warmer, I don't think I will mind so much - will try and put a fan in the bathroom ceiling to do something about the condensation though for the interim. I've also managed to buy a baby buggy (trade me), a new Fridge/Freezer (Smiths City)and sold our old fridge (trade me again). I am now an official Trade Me addict! Though when they came to deliver the new fridge, we discovered the box had been labelled wrong and now we are going to have to wait even longer for the new fridge. The delivery guys were mightily peeved, after lugging the thing all the way up our hill! Hopefully the people that bought our old one won't mind too much about the further delay... if they do, I'm bloody contacting F&P and asking for a discount to cover the lost $$ !!!