It’s a frame up

Sorry, sorry, I know, I’m a terrible person.  You would think I would be eager to write my 100th post, but we’ve been doing so little house-wise (read: nothing) that I’ve not been able to admit it.

We seem to have negated this inaction by spending £120 on white frames in Ikea.  Now I know this sounds like a lot of money, but we had almost three quarters of this already from the bits and bobs we put on eBay in the last few months, and the living room is looking so bland without these finishing touches that we thought we’d just bite the bullet.  Plus, it’s near TGI Fridays and we deserve Jack Daniels chicken.  I digress.

We also picked up some white boxes for the units, but decided that £120 was enough for one day and put them back.

For this princely sum, we purchased 24 frames – 4 x A4, 11 x A5 (ish), and 5 x smaller ones (5 x 7″) and 4 x even smaller ones (4 x 6″).  We ended up going for two different styles, Sondrum and Ribba.  24 is less than we were going to have originally, but when we looked at my mock up from March it seemed a bit crowded.

With it being payday next week, we’re going to wait to buy the prints, but they should be around £30 from  As I mentioned way back in January, I’ve turned them all black and white and they should look amazing!  Not sure how we’re going to arrange them yet – looks like it may be a difficult thing to measure.  Watch this space…


I had an email from the eBay lady last week.  Its very presence in my inbox struck fear into my heart.  With a shaking hand, I clicked on the email and braced myself for its contents.

What could it be?  Did she need training in selling items on eBay?   Did she require our aid in transporting the old kitchen to its new home?  Was everyone else she knew in hospital? Was there a drawer still in Barry’s car boot?  Did we forget to tell her what this piece of wood was for?

She was writing to thank me for sending the pictures.  I breathed again.

Hit the floor

The living room floor is in!  We still have some work to do (painting skirts/painting radiators/painting doors/putting beading on/never mind the photo wall), but we can walk on it, and it looks great!  I think Barry has RSI from putting it in, and he couldn’t face starting the kitchen.

A couple of things we were selling on eBay finished yesterday – the radiator with the leak went, and the kitchen trolley thing went for £102!  That will cover either the photo wall, or a trip to Ikea to get some white drawers etc.  I really didn’t want to leave the red ones in because they hurt my eyes now because they don’t match, but Barry won’t let me take them out, because we use them, or some such reason.  Progress photos below.

Something for the weekend

Along with going to see The Hunger Games on Saturday and Sunday dinner on Sunday (both with our best buds Charlie and Jaime, hi guys!), we’ve got a few kitchen tasks for this weekend…

  • Paint the alcove. If you aren’t thinking quotes from In Bruges right now, I pity you.  This is the alcove (right).  Or do you say nooks and crannies?
  • Sand and paint the ceiling.
  • Cut the peninsula to the right size. Barry’s just bought a shiny new circular saw and is itching to try it out, despite the fact we can’t put it up until the flooring’s in.
  • List the radiator and butcher’s block trolley on eBay.  Because we all know how much I love my customers.
  • Order flooring. We’ve made the following mathematical calculation:

a + b = c

Where a = concrete flooring, b = £100 off online sale and c = credit card.

Barry put one of those pop up plugs into the worktop yesterday. Scary drilling a huge hole into our shiny new worktop, but it looks fine! A post for the peninsula is on its way. eBay is good for so many things!

We also bought one of those paint pads with the tiny wheel a few weeks ago. They’re supposed to create a straight line at the edges when you’re

painting, but Barry’s had another crack at the black paint and it doesn’t seem to have made a blind bit of difference.

Barry put the shiny new curtains up yesterday too.  They’re a lot thinner than our last ones, but they’re pretty!  I could always line them if it’s a problem.

A retraction

Following yesterday’s post, in which I explained how I was sorry for not picking up the phone to the eBay woman, I would now like to take that back.

Exhibit A is the texted conversation from yesterday morning:

The kitchen is incompatible with the plumbing, so I need to sell it.  could you offer it to the next highest bidder for me please.  many thanks

I’m sorry, but you will have to relist it.  I can’t see the next highest bidder now it’s been sold, and it was possibly different bidders for all 3 items.  Sorry unable to help.

OK.  I might just change tops and sink, so not a total disaster.

I really didn’t want to get involved in either the fact that plumbing matches the kitchen, not the other way around, or selling the kitchen to another person who could turn out to be just the same, and still be embroiled in this madness.  I’m emailing her the photos of the kitchen so she can relist it (when her computer’s back up and running), but that is it!  My part is done!

We were at a 105th birthday party yesterday (happy birthday Jaye and Carole!), so didn’t get much done, but we did nip to B&Q in the morning to buy some lights and get the right cooker hood filters (thanks once again to Jason K, who was brilliant.  Bet he loved seeing us again!).  We decided on some lights from B&Q, like the other ones I wanted, but in a circle instead of on a rod, and £10 cheaper.  They have disappeared from B&Q’s website though, we’ve got a habit of choosing lights that are about to be discontinued!

Barry’s also bought a coffee machine that lights up, very exciting!  And he oiled the main bit of the worktop so it’s really glossy and smells nice!  We also took the protective plastic off the stainless steel splashback, which is always very satisfying.

An apology

The eBay lady (see: Woman, you are testing me), tried calling me the day before yesterday.  I’m ashamed to say, I let it go to voicemail without picking up, thinking I’m not going to tell you how to put the kitchen together.  I have neither the knowledge, nor the inclination.  She didn’t leave a voicemail, but then sent a text, which consisted of only one sentence, and no punctuation:

I only have one drawer front

Massive oops!  Incidentally, she doesn’t have one drawer front, she has none at all, so not sure what she was looking at.  I had told Barry that we needed to empty the four drawers, but then we didn’t, and they were abandoned in the living room when the rest of the kitchen was collected.  I mentally slapped my own forehead.  All I could do was apologise profusely, and then text Barry quickly to see when we could take them round, which was Thursday evening.

We set off as soon as I got home from work, eventually found her house, and took the drawers to her door.  She welcomed us in, and then asked us to close the door; she had a few questions for us.  Barry and I exchanged worried glances.  We didn’t really want to shut ourselves in, but had little choice.  We were ushered into her kitchen, where we were set upon by a barrage of questions, including:

  • What’s this bit of wood for? (Erm…)
  • Do you think your kitchen will fit in my kitchen? (Shouldn’t you have measured this before purchasing the kitchen (two weeks ago)?)
  • What’s this bit of wood for? (Ah…)
  • What amp plug does the oven need to be?  Is it 30? (Um, no, 13)
  • I suppose I’ll have to have the worktop cut then. (Not technically a question, but she phrased it in such a way that she seemed to require a response.  Yes was the response).
  • And finally, what’s this bit of wood for? (Arghhh!)

We were gradually edging towards the door, as it appears that she is actually going to attempt to put the kitchen together herself, and we didn’t really want to be party to that party.  We made it out eventually, and returned home for some fun times (sweeping and pipework).

I still feel slightly guilty for hitting “ignore” on my phone when she rang, and I truly am sorry that we forgot to give her the drawers, but I feel that we have been suitably punished.  No more!


I spent quite a bit of time last night on my knees, doing something truly filthy. Yes, that’s right, I was cleaning the kitchen floor of wood dust.  RtJ has finished!

There are still some bits for us to finish off (cornice/pelmet), but he’s done everything we wanted him to, and he was very reasonably priced with it.

When I got home last night, we first of all had to drive to the “special” eBay woman (more on this tomorrow), which took a couple of hours out of our evening. Then, when we returned again just after 8pm, Barry spent the next two hours fitting the tap and doing the pipework under the sink.  I swept the floor and inhaled probably lethal amounts of wood dust.

Photos of the progress below…

Double whammy

Two good things happened yesterday, kitchen-wise: the joiner made a start and a man with a van came to pick up the old kitchen!  Hurray!

I’ve included four photos from yesterday morning, before I went to work, and then five from when I got home and the man had taken all the bits away.  The worktop has all been cut (including a hole for the sink), it just needs fixing.  Richard the Joiner (RtJ, as he shall henceforth be known), broke several jigsaw blades on the solid wood and had to get some more!  There’s enough of the worktop left for us to have a little bit of surface coming out of the wall by the door – we’ll just need to get a brushed stainless steel post.

RtJ has also cut some plinth for underneath the oven so you can’t see the bodge job of making it higher, but it means we’re going to run out of plinth, so may need to have some further bodging of using end panel for some of the plinth area.  Barry and I nipped to Wickes last night to get some glue and silicone so he can continue today.  Barry also spent a lot of last night preparing the pipework for under the sink so he can do that quickly once RtJ’s finished today.

The man who collected the old kitchen couldn’t believe how many parts there were to it.  He was glad he’s not the one putting it back together!  I’ll be very surprised if I don’t get at least one call from the eBay woman with questions about it.

Woman, you are testing me

I’m beginning to think that the woman who bought our kitchen from eBay is some kind of online Jeremy Beadle.  The latest update is that her computer has crashed, her husband is ill, and her landlord is in hospital with pneumonia, so she can’t pick up the kitchen yet.  I haven’t made any of that up.  I couldn’t.

I’ve been asked previously if we can deliver (no), and she’s made me tell her three times that it’s evenings or weekends only, which makes me look like I’m being really awkward.  She also text me today to ask if I can print the photos from eBay.  I said no initially, but Barry’s said I am now just being awkward, so I’ve done it.

I asked her if it was still Wednesday that she’s picking it up, and she said hopefully.  I’m this close (my forefinger and thumb are being held about a millimetre apart) to reporting it to eBay and relisting it.

Ready for the weekend

I’m so ready for this weekend. We’re not doing anything special, it’s just two days of being at home.

The plan for this weekend’s DIY is for Barry to sort out the gas and electricity points for the oven, and build up the legs of the oven so it meets the same point as the worktop. The joiner is coming on Sunday to tell us how much he thinks cutting the worktop will be, and Barry might ask about a couple of other things, like making the boiler cupboard.

On the eBay front, our kitchen hasn’t been collected yet. Despite the listing clearly stating collection only, she asked if we could deliver. No. There’s a 3m worktop in there! She got a bit huffy and said she’d have to book a man with a van. Go do that then. I contacted the woman again to see when this may be (a, we need the space, and b, we need the money); it will be either this weekend or next Wednesday. Helpful.