Monday, May 7, 2012

The wheels come off

 Here's Puddleduck eagerly awaiting the arrival of the bus to take us from the long term carpark at the airport to the terminal so we could jet off to Melbourne to spend the week before our revised move-in date.

Revised? Yes. That's right. The wheels fell off. At this point in time things did still feel under control (despite being homeless!) as our builder promised faithfully that this extra week was all he would need to get things finished for our move. He said he could get it done for the original date but it would be pushed and things mightn't get finished to his satisfaction and he'd rather pay for us to live in a hotel for a week than have that happen.

We had a chat and agreed that rather than paying for Puddleduck and I to stay in a hotel in Sydney, he would just pay for our airfares to Melbourne where Mr Puddleduck was working for the week. In hindsight I never should have left them to it, but the work plan seemed feasible and frankly the amount of work left seemed thoroughly achievable in a week. Perhaps I've watched too much of The Block and have a skewed idea of what can happen in a week!

The day I left the tiles in the bathrooms were being finished and everything was ready for the plumber to come back and install the vanities. The vanities that had been sitting around for about two weeks despite me being sent on an urgent mission to source new ones after the ones we had originally picked out were out of stock and not due back in for weeks. A blessing in disguise as I prefer the new ones, however, a pain nonetheless.

The electrician was also hard at it installing the pendants and downlights. This is the 'snowflake' light Puddleduck chose for her room. I should note that six weeks after I took this shot he has still only just come back to finalise the electrics. Note to self: if anything goes pear shaped get a different electrician, this one does not understand the concept of time. 

All through the build I have said the three things that mattered most to me where the windows and bifold doors, the bookshelves and the colour of the floors. As long as I had that core shell right I could happily deal with any other issues down the track. So picking the absolute final stain of the floors via text message was a tad chancy, however, I'm pleased to say we nailed it. Well, I nailed it. The builder and the floor guy were extremely skeptical and spent a good fifteen minutes uttering different variations of "well, on your head be it".

For the record I chose the blend on the top right hand side - two parts teak, one part walnut and half black. I have a bottle of it in my wardrobe. 

 As it turns out, we spent about three weeks hotel-hopping. "Oh it will be done on Wednesday ... make that Saturday ... make that Tuesday ... make that Saturday ..." ran as some sort of doom loop conversation between us and the builders.

 I'm as big a fan as they come of hotel sheets, room service and a cleaning service, but nearly three weeks in various hotel rooms with a three year old desperately missing her puppies, Mr Puddleduck being beyond busy at work and my own stress levels through the roof doesn't make for an enormously enjoyable time.

Still, we all survived - builder included. Which was no sure thing, just quietly.

*the final photo is of what a room service menu described as a 'grilled chicken burger with housemade guacamole and chilli jam served with chunky handcut fries', which in reality was 'grilled chicken burger with wedge of avocado and a squirt of heinz sweet chilli sauce and some mccains frozen chips half-heartedly deep-fried'.

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