News and comments from Arthur

House hunting

 Thursday 30 Jul 2009, 7:45 PM

I think I`m going to have a hard time finding a new house. As usual everything I vaguely like seems just out of reach. The ones I have looked at I have known they alomsot certainly aren`t right eben before I step foot in the door - I can view the fllorplans online in most cases which tells me 75% of what I nned to know. A quick look at an aerial photograph to see the land around the house tells me another 20%, leaving only 5% of the decison making process to be based on actually visiting the property (I can also hunt to flood plain information and previous planning permission online)

Still, the one I saw today, whilst not being suitable, was in a nice area, so I will definitely keep an eye open around there in the future, assuming I don`t give up on the whole process in despair beforehand (the thought of mortagaging myself out for £150k just for a slightly nicer area, a manky lean to garage and an extra bedroom that I don`t really need is all rather depressing - I`d rather stay put and save my money and be misrable than move and be miserbale with a huge debt)

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Steps... 5,6,7,8....

 Thursday 16 Jul 2009, 3:54 AM

This week I have mostly been build steps. Actually, that`s a lie - it`s just one step.

As I am planning on moving house, I am getting all those little odd jobs done that should have been years ago. One of those is to build a step by my side gate that leads round the back of the house. The current drop was probably about 18 inches as I had raised the level of the driveway when I relaid that around 12 years ago. I just never got round to adding a step to make getting round the back slightly less hazardous!

Being a bit of a cheapskate I have opted to use left over block pavers from the driveway project (plus they match) although they are rather tirck to lay as they are heavier than bricks and aren`t really designed to be cemented together in a wall-like fashion.

Still, I laid the first row (on edge to get the correct height) one eveing than back filled the gap behind that with some concrete the next. Finally tonight I added the top layer on top of all that.

It looks like the step is moderatley successful although the fact it rained last night and begain to get dark didn`t help matters. Brick laying is definitely an art form but one at which I`m not particularly artistic!

Still, I think it`s good enough. It looks OK, is fairly level and the mortar joints are off aproximately the same size! as a step I`m sure it will function just fine - "step goes up, step goes down, step goes up..."

My fingers are rather sore though - my delicate skin does not like cement at all and I have all sorts ouf dry, sore, rough patches on my fingers, some of which are currently covered in sticky plasters - it`s taken me ages to type this without (too many) mistakes as I`m not using my usual typing fingers!

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