Grey Hairs All Round

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So, it’s been a bit of a week, really. Well, couple of weeks.

What started as a one week kitchen renovation ended up taking 4 weeks and a day; and still isn’t actually finished; we’re missing two drawer/cupboard handles and there’s some filler that needs sanding, the walls, sadly, still need painting and the outside render also needs painting. I’m thinking spray gun for that :)

But, for all my complaints about their atrocious scheduling, having to almost shout at them to get the gas connected – a day late – rather than as they wanted to – two days late (and the day after Kathryn’s mom and her partner arrived). The experience as a whole was incredibly draining – but, and I have to keep saying but – the kitchen is great. For all the fact it’s cheap units and formica worktop, for all the fact the handles are plastic and the doors are veneered in plastic, not real wood; and for all the absence of silent closers and such. It’s pretty. It’s big. It’s a good space to cook in.  And after 2  years without a kitchen at all? It’s bloody awesome. The new doors add so much light, the new lights (while hideously energy inefficient – plan is that as they blow we’ll replace some of them with LED Faux-Halogens – although apparently they’re more decorative than ‘bright’) add so much more light to the previously dingey kitchen. There’s still lots to do in there. Painting, boxing in the pipework around the boiler (can’t afford to box in the whole boiler!); etc, etc. But. It’s come together and the room’s going to be gorgeous when it’s painted.

Despite us cutting costs on tiles (grey natural slate, not the nicer multicoloured stuff; ceramic tiles not stone on the walls) they still look the part. I am very pleased.

Also: Very nice people gave us very nice presents. We have a stand mixer, a pasta maker, a salad spinner, kitchen utensils, a gorgeous teapot (and a cookie sheet of awesome cookie proportions) ; and as I think I said before many other non-kitchen items. But our kitchen looks the part. In fact, our kitchen is a really damn nice place to be at the moment.

What was slightly unfortunate is that for reasons which I’m not quite clear on, the dishwasher blew the 30A fuse on which the entire house runs the first time we used it. Kathryn’s mom and partner were here, we were desperately clearing up to try and make the place habitable and suddenly it became aparent that there was no power… anywhere in the house (apart from the lights).

Unfortunately I’d not noticed that the previous owner had lost an important (ceramic) bit of the 30A fuse (why would I?!) and thus it toasted the fusebox a bit when it went. I’ve now got a replacement fuse, and surround but at the moment it’s currently back ‘together’ as best I can. I still don’t entirely know why it blew the fuse. I took the dishwasher out, and in a paranoid moment at B&Q ended up checking each and every socket in the kitchen (with a cheap and cheerful socket tester); I’m wondering if they managed to do what they did with the washer, and catch the cable somehow on the casing, which appeared to make the case live – but I couldn’t find any damage on it. I’ve now run the dishwasher twice without incident (with me going a little mad running around touching the fuse casing every five minutes).

So, the kitchen is more or less finished. I’m keeping a little money back for reparing the washing machine door they broke and to encourage them to turn up with the two missing handles… it’s also finally made me sort out networking on Ubuntu. The music (and actually, the video) is all shared out from the file-server in the lounge. This is fine, except that the laptop didn’t know about it. Now it does. I’ve spent the morning going “I don’t know what to listen to, there’s so much”… *grins happily*.

In other news I did the ATNC course. For once in my life I get to be quite smug. The pass mark in the exam (we no longer sit the same exam as the doctors, ours is short-answer and theirs is multiple choice) is 80%. I got 92.5%. Pleased? You betcha. I got to play at putting in chest drains, needle decompression (which I am actually allowed to do, in an emergency, apparently); intubation (which I’m not allowed to do ;) ), surgical airways (you guess), jet insufflation…. It’s useful to know what’s needed and what landmarks there are to do these things because sometimes you do get the new baby doctor who’s mind goes blank when faced with blood everywhere, and needs a little guidance (“it goes there… ideally now…”).

It was incredibly stressful, and not aided by me not having any annual leave so I essentially worked 5 long days (4 of which had 4 hours travel time) and 4 short shifts in 9 days. Knackered? Definately. Pleased? Very much. Of course it helps that I’ve something huge and fantastic to look forward to *grins*. Despite all the stress of the course I have to say I thoroughly recommend it; looking back I am incredibly pleased that I did it, and I can say I enjoyed it hugely. Really and truly it is a great course (at least, if you look after trauma patients).

And so we come on to the truly massive event of the weeks… Kathryn and I are to be wed. Well, civilised. Again, I’m mixed – there’s an awful lot of excitement and wanting to bounce around the place but it’s tempered with nerves. It’s a simple ceremony and a simple event, we’re not expecting launches of 1000s of balloons, or 50 doves to descend at the appropriate moment. We’re going to basically walk in, say vows, walk out. Then we do photos, then we eat. That’s the day. But we’ve put a lot of effort into getting the day sorted – well, more into asking our friends to do things. We’ve got a poem we want Lauren or Chrissy to read, we’ve not typed it up; hell I’ve no idea where it is apart from I think I know which book it’s in. We’ve not printed out our vows yet. We’ve got our wedding favours to make.

But lots has been done. It’s all more or less ready. Although I’m confused as to what we have left to do – apart from packing and so on. Anyhow, I’ve got a few Wedding related tasks to do now; so I shall be off to see if I can organise such things. For example, it turns out we’re entitled to free dinner at the hotel every night we’re there; and my mum was hoping that we could all eat together tomorrow – at the hotel – because she’s staying there with her hubbie too. So, plan of action is to ring them and see how late they serve food and whether Kathryn’s Mom and Partner can eat there with us (which they should be able to!). Anyhow. I shall be offski.


Kate's allegedly a human (although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise). She's definitely not a vampire, despite what some other people claim. She's also mostly built out of spite and overcoming oppositional-sexism, racism, and other random bullshit. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, she's here to reassure that it's all fine.