Thursday, June 29, 2006

Boiler Installation Day 3

Hooray we have hot water and heating..

When we arrived home from our daughters sports day, the engineer had gone, a quick check around showed that all was working as we had expected.

The next job for me was to set the timing on the ht water and heating programmer.

After trying to figure out how it worked I finally read the instructions, aha, it wasn't me being thick, the instructions really were different to the control panel on the wall.

Luckily at that moment the engineer called to say he had left some kit in our garage and could he arrange to collect it, yep we said, but... could you sort out the control panel.

Apparently the reason it was not working as expected is that during installation you need to decide what mode it is going to work in, then that's it, unless of course you an get an engineer to re programme it.

so the nice engineer will do that for us this week end sometime.

Apart from that all seems to be working well.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hospital Check-up

Today I had an appointment to see my consultant.Every 4 weeks I am back at the hospital for an X-ray and a check-up.

It is now 8 weeks since I slipped on the Ice and broke my Hip (Read the Post), with all the exercise I have been doing to build up the muscles around the hip an leg, I must say it is feeling really good, I have had no pain for some weeks now so I am feeling really confident.

when I got to the hospital it was the usual good treatment, I was seen almost straight away by my doctor, he gave me a quick examination to check for pain and movement etc, he basically compared movement range with my good leg, so far so good.

He then sent me of for an X-Ray, once done I was back in his consultation room again, while we checked them out, again all looked good so hip

He has now said I can begin weight bearing partially on my bad leg, this will help with the healing process and stimulate growth, so next thing to do is to get another appointment with the physiotherapist.

so next I bombarded him with all the questions I needed answers to.

  1. Can I drive my car ?
  2. Can I go back to work ?
  3. Do I need any documents to satisfy insurance company's etc.

To answer my questions he basically said

  1. I can drive a manual car, but build up to it over a few days.
  2. I can go back to work part time (2 days a week) but only if the office is crutch friendly and the use of crutches is covered in the company H & S policy.
  3. As the hospital seem to have run out of forms, the consultant will write a letter for me.

so on the way home, a quick check with the insurance company to make sure they are happy (and they are), and I get my car back again.

On the way out my wife asked the consultant a question:

"Is there any vitamin tablet or supplement that can be taken to help promote growth" ?

His answer:

They are all a waste of money.

Boiler Installation Day 2

Day 2 of the boiler installation, at the end of day 1, the installing engineer was confident that he would be finished by the end of day 2, he would work hard all day to get finished and work a bit late, also by the end of the day the electricians would have been etc.well, he was close..

The day started well, he arrived a bit later than we had expected, but not beyond reason, and he does seem like a nice and decent chap, so we wont be too hard on him.

after talking to him (as you do), it turns out that his wife used to go to the same school as our daughter ! not only that... but his sister lives in the same village as we do.

anyway, he got straight into his worked and started draining down the radiators and fitting the thermostatic valves, about mid morning he was called away to an emergency, so that set the end of the 2 day installation.

after about an hour he came back and got stuck into his work all seems to be going pretty well, he has even added the new radiator to the kitchen.

just after lunch the electricians turned up, one point they need to clear up was where to put the room thermostat, after a quick chat he agreed where it was to go and then informed me that he would need to run some plastic trunking down the wall to the position of the control.... Aaargh... I hate plastic trunking.

I tried to persuade him to chase the wiring in, but he did not have the tools, however he did mention that now you can buy RF Wireless controls.RF Wireless Control Panel

so a quick call to the installing supervisor and agreement to pay £60 extra and within the hour we had wireless control panel on the wall.

By about 5 pm, it was time to go home, the elctricians finished, all that need to be done now, is the power flush of the heating system and the commisioning of the new boiler.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Boiler Installation Day 1

Well it's been a busy day today.First thing this morning, we had a delivery from the builders merchants, they were delivering on behalf of British gas, they had called a couple of days ago to arrange the delivery, and they were on time.

Also a couple of days ago, I got a call from British gas advising that the installation engineer would be late as he had to finish another job, so I was expecting him at about lunch time.Old Boiler - Stripped Down

Well shock.... he only turned up while the builders merchant was delivering the supplies for him, I was even more impressed when he walked into the kitchen and correctly identified the old boiler!!!!.

Any way off I went to work and left my wife to show him what needed to be done etc...

I was collected from work by my wife (I'm still on crutches after my Ice Slip) and taken to the school to watch my Daughters ballet lesson (Read The  post).

When I got home the Gas man had left for the day, he had left us post it notes all around the house informing us that we had no hot water, we had expected this so it was no real shock.

New Boiler Exactly where it should beso what has he done...

          • Begun the removal of the old boiler

          • Fitted the new boiler

          • Taken out the old hot water tank

          • Fitted a new hot water tank.

He will be back tomorrow.

Also today.... our water butt finally arrived, we can now begin to conserve water during the water shortage....


Old Hot Water TankNew Hot Water Tank


Out with the Old......In with the new......

School Ballet Lesson

As it's coming up to the end of the school term, the school ballet teacher normally opens up a Ballet lesson to the parents, this is just to show us what we are paying for.

Last year, the school forgot to notify the parents of this so we all missed out, however this year there were four of us, of the four two were myself and my wife!.

The Kids performed well, and the parents took plenty of pictures and video.

as they are all do so well, their teacher will be putting them forward for their first ballet exam in January next year, to help them she is offering extra lessons???.

Still it is worth every penny.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Family of Bloggers

Well this evening my daughter wrote a story, she was so pleased with it that she decided she would write some more, she would also illustrate them (i would help her scan the images in) and publish them on a blog!!!.

So i have set her up with her own blog, it can be found here.

Not bad for an 8 Year old....

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Pond Life

In our garden, we have a pond ! (not the most exciting statement to make, I know?)Our 8 year old daughter being a typical girl can't keep away from the pond, this time of year though it is full of frogs.A Frog from our Pond

I'm not sure about other 8 year old girls, but our daughter seems to have a fascination for bugs, she is always capturing worms and woodlice, and keeping them as temporary pets in little plastic bug boxes, or even well designed plastic tubing that connects a number of bug boxes together, these boxes allow an amount of dirt and rotten leaves etc to make the bugs feel at home.

anyway, back to the pond, here are a couple of photos of our frogs that we found today.

Frog hiding in the bushesfrog Swimming in the pond

Friday, June 23, 2006

Boiler Installation - Preparation

Today we started to prepare for the new boiler installation that British gas will carry out, here is a picture (left) of the boiler that they will take out.

Old BoilerI'll get a picture of that once its fitted, I may even get some work in progress blogs if the boiler chaps don't mind so much.

This morning things started to fit together, I had a call from the local builders merchant, advising me of a delivery they will make next Tuesday on behalf of British gas, strangely this is the same day that British Gas are due to start work, so it's just as well that we are the first delivery and can expect to take delivery at about 8:00 am, I should be here still then so no problem.


In the meantime my wife has started to clear the kitchen of breakables, also as the boiler installation will involve some plumbing, we have had to clear one of the upstairs rooms to and prepare for the floor boards to be lifted.


New Boiler Location (Planned)

An Interesting fact..... Apparantly although the existing boiler vents out to a chimney, this is no longer considered safe, because of this we are having to relocate the new boiler to a position where it can be vented straight out through an external wall.



here is where they will put the new one !!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Zenith Windows (Good or Bad)

After all the confusion with double glazing windows, we are sure it is an absolute minefield.Today I had a visits from Zenith Windows, I arranged for the "Free quote" via their website, while I was there I looked at their windows specifications etc to see if I could get as much information as possible.After a few days I had a call from Zenith to arrange the visit and all was set for today at 10:00 am.

At 10:00 AM I had a call from Zenith asking me a few questions.

1. Is it still convenient to come - I replied yes (of course)

2. Am I the sole owner of the property - I replied I am (although it is joint with my wife, but I could not see the relevance if giving them this information).

they then informed me that a rep was on his way and he should be with me soon, possibly a bit late allowing for traffic.

Just before 11:00 am there was a ring at my door bell, it was the man From Zenith, who immediately apologised for being late, promptly blamed it all on the office and came in.

we had a chat where he asked what I knew about Zenith, so I informed him of all the stuff I had read in the web, including the negative comments posted about pushy salesmen, he assured me he was aware of these comments but that was not the Zenith style, and anyway, he was the show home marketing manager, not a salesman, so he was not on a commission etc, he just wanted to identify a potential show home, which by the way, could result in a full refund!!!.

I then told him of my concern of the make up of the windows, this was very unclear on their website, he promptly went out to his car to bring in a sample, meanwhile I made the coffee.

we were just about to get talking when his mobile phone rank, he took the call (unusual while with a client), after a while he asked if I could talk to his colleague on the phone, it was the man I spoke to earlier, asking if I was the sole owner again, I assured him I was jointly with my wife.

strangely he asked if my wife was available, to which I said "No, she's at work", he then passed me onto his manager, who insisted that we should reschedule the meeting to a time when my wife was available, as I could not make the decision on my own?

I though this strange and explained how I work "I will gather the information, I will discuss with my wife, compare with other quotes gained from other companies and decide sometime next week", the man from Zenith was not happy about this, he wanted a decision today, to this I explained that wont happen.

he then advised me that the Zenith windows are Unique, and no other company can offer them, after some more general advice (unwanted) he suggested that the salesman went away, a greed, passed the phone back to the salesman who chatted and hung up.

No sooner had he hung up, the salesman said the manager is always doing this and losing business every time, I explained I would not ask Zenith back, to which came the reply, "I am leaving Zenith this week, they don't know it yet, and from Monday I will work for another company that can supply the exact same windows as zenith", that's odd, I had just been told that zenith windows are unique?

anyway by this time I had decided not was I not interested in Zenith Windows, I was also not interested in the company where this salesman was going either.

Was this all part of some weird sales tactic by Zenith ???? I think so.

Bottom Line, I will never go to Zenith double glazing.


Saturday, June 10, 2006

The School Summer Fete

!0:30 Saturday morning, it was time to go to school and help prepare and setup the stalls for the school fete, as usual there was no layout plan for the stalls, so we all relied upon what we did lat year.

We were lucky today as the temperatures were up at around 30 degrees, so the sun block was an absolute must for the kids(wish id followed my own advice).

I sat behind the wine stall for most of the 4 hours that afternoon with the only break being when we watched our daughter take part in the country dancing demonstration.

By the end of the day, I was burnt to a cinder.

The good News, our stall made over £100.

Roll on next year and a biog well done to the PA.

School Summer fete

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Preparation for the School Summer fete

Every Year our school has a summer fete, its an occasion where the children get to come to school on a saturday and meet and have fun.
Tthe parents (organised by the PA) get to setup a range of stalls and even sometimes get a couple of fun fair rides in.

Usually the school swimming pool is also open for a couple of hours.

Each year, my wife and I are tasked with running the wine and water stall, this is where we collect as many empty wine bottles as we can, we then fill them up with a mixture that looks similar to wine, then we reseal the top with tape. The mixture we use is as follows

Red WineWhite wineRose
Cola (use sugar to remove the Fizz)Grape JuiceDiluted Blackcurrent Ribena
Burdock & Dandelion Elder FlowerCranberry Jiuce
Diluted Black current RibenaGooseberry Juice 

The way the stall works is that we place some full new bottles of wine on a table and mix them up with the bottles we have filled, we then place a plastic cup over every bottle, it is then up to the punters to guess whether a bottle is real wine or not, just by looking at the bottle, for this privilege we charge them £1.

We have now filled up about 24 bottle ready for the fete on Saturday, on the day we will keep moving the bottle around and changing them about so that we keep removing and swapping some full bottles of wine and some fake bottles

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Ringrose Tree Surgery

Ringrose Tree Surgery

The Leaking Roof

After many days of rain the chap that we had arranged to fix our leaking roof over the garage could finally make it. at about 12:30 I got the call from him saying he was on his way and would be at my house in about half an hour, as I was now at work (in spite of my injury) I promptly called my wife (who was at home) to let her know.

When we arranged for the builder to fix the roof, the only instruction he gave us was to buy some external weather proof clear silicon mastic.
In our quest for this we discovered that it either does not exist within the world of home DIY, or every DIY shop had sold out, or none of us actually knew what we were after.

Eventually we decided to go to a builders merchant, who sold us what he thought we needed, however he only had it in black!
so today our builder looked at our silicon, and being the nice chap he is, tried to disguise the colour by placing the silicon deeper into the crevices that it was trying to seal.

Now only time will tell if he has been successful.

Monday, June 5, 2006

British Gas Delivery

British Gas to Deliver kit for new Boiler Installation


Physiotherapy at the Nuffield

Consultant Appointment (JR)

The Double Glazing (too Much Choice)

Over the weekend, my wife was out and about, and on her travels another of the neighbours introduced themselves, there were very neighbourly and invited my wife in to look around their house. My wife was very impressed, especially as they have had exactly the same things done to their house as we are planning to do to ours....

Their kitchen is to die for (apparently) so now we know where to get some contact details for when we are ready to fit a new kitchen.

Then there is the windows!!! apparently our house is almost the only house in the close that so far still has the original windows.
now that we have placed an order 2 of our neighbours have given us recommendations (yes, both different companies) for double glazing, and both at about half the price we have been quoted for a similar sized house. so we have promptly cancelled the order with the company that claims to fit the best while we re-evaluate After committing to the company that claims to fit the best, we are now re-evaluating the minefield of double glazing, watch this space, or feel free to comment with your good or bad experiences, I need some help on this... 


If you choose the optoin "Somebody Else" please leave a comment with who they are and how i can contact them

New Boiler Installation

British Gass to Install New Boiler

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Back at the Rink

This morning we went off to the Ice Rink as usual, we had promised our daughter that she could stay on after the public session and attend the club session.

As usual I got to sit at the side of the Rink and watch, as I am still incapacitated with my hip injury.

I thought I would take the opportunity of taking some photos, so I had a word with the management and filled out a request for photography, this is mainly an agreement that if requested I will stop taking photos, and that my reason is for family record, this is all part of the Ice Rinks photography policy. sure enough to put it to the test, I had no sooner taken my first photo of my daughter on the Ice when I was asked to show my permit by one of the ice stewards.

During the public session there was the usual dance session, where all the public get off the ice and the oxford ice dance club demonstrate their dancing, we had got to know a most of the regulars by now due to the fact that we were regulars ourselves now, and attend the club session from time to time, I also became instantly recognised at the "Hip" after my recent fall.

During the dance session, a couple of very good skaters clipped their blades and fell over, (just goes to prove how easy it is), luckily there were not injured anymore that a nasty bruise. My wife later on approached them and thanked them for falling, proving we are not the only ones that do it!!!!, luckily they saw the humour in the remark.

Friday, June 2, 2006

Oven Clean

The Clean Oven Co

This Morning we had our oven cleaned...

After the fiasco of getting our new cooker delivered as mentioned in an earlier post, we decided that as the whole kitchen need to be replaced, that we would make do with the existing cooker until we get the kitchen done, however, we will need to get it cleaned in the meantime.

It just so happens that a friend runs his own oven cleaning business, so a quick call to him was all that was needed.

so at 8:30 this morning the door bell rang, with our oven cleaner stood at the door, he got stuck in straight away.

I have to say the job he did was absolutely fantastic, I would recommend him to anyone, hence I have posted his business details along with this post.

Just in case the photo is not clear he is the Clean Oven co Tel: 01993 778609 (ring for a free quote).

Thursday, June 1, 2006

The Electrician

We were expecting the electrician to turn up at 4 pm, but the time came and went, so by about 5:30 we gave him a call, "just finishing a job, then it'll be right with you" came the reply.

A little while later he turned up..

The job to do ?

Remove a wall light in preparation for British gas to install anew boiler.

We had prepared by clearing the room directly above the kitchen to allow the electrician to take the boards up and trace the wiring back to the junction and remove it safely. I had to remind him to do this, i got the impression that given half a chance he would have just cut the wires and left them live.

We heard some banging and thumping, it seem the boards were nailed down with 3 inch nails, more that is required. after a while and some hard work, he managed to get the boards up enough to get to the junction, he safely removed the wire, the wall light was taken down, and we were left to clear up the mess.

A job well done (except for the damage to the floor boards).


Booked Electriacian to remove Kitchen Wall Light.