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I added two switches, one for the undercounter light, the other for a downlighter I still need to fit. Not the most professional installation, but it’ll work.

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Remember the bathroom we built from scratch back in November 2008? I ripped it all apart again. The bath (a Libra Neptune Euro) was too big for Tanya, so Frank and I fitted a smaller (1700 x 700 as opposed to 1800 x 800) and much cheaper bath.

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Here’s the redone tiling. Look at the clever gyppo [1] in the corner. The grout line would have been on the edge of the bath, so we made a cut-out in the front tile so that the front edge matches the rear wall.

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If the front edge looks like it gets narrower towards the right, that’s because… it gets narrower towards the right. The (professional) tiler tiled the rear wall at an angle (I know I built the box square to the rear wall, before the tiling happened) and I opted to square the bath at the back. I’m sure by next week I won’t notice it any longer.

[1] In the sense of “avoiding work”.





6
Dec
'09

I started building kitchen cupboards somewhere around August 2008 — well before we moved in. Well, I finally fitted the last cabinet doors — the two on the pot drawers under the prep bowl.

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And… our first tomatoes of the season have shown up.

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While the cocktail tomatoes are first, I have no idea what other kinds of tomatoes we’re going to get. They all came up from the worm compost that I spread in that part of the garden, so it’s a conglomeration of all the tomatoes I’ve used the past year or so.





I wanted to use low-voltage LED undercounter lights in the kitchen. I liked the strip lights from LED z Shine, so I phoned a rep, who promised to get back to me and then… things went quiet. Contacted them recently, but they don’t deal direct and suggested I go to Eagle. The guy at Eagle was particularly non-helpful, said he’d have to order the stuff in and made it clear that he didn’t really want to do that.

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So the other day in Cape Town I walked past an electrical store (RG Jack in Bree Street) on my way from the toy store. Popped in, found this 220V fluorescent strip light. It’s rather expensive, almost R600, except they then give 55% discount so it’s R255 out the door.

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It’s also rather bright :-)

Now I still need to add two switches, one for the undercounter light and one for the downlighters that still need to go into the glass cupboard.





27
Oct
'09

We had a visitor for Sunday lunch, and I made the ever-popular Upside-Down Chicken which is basically beer can chicken (I use the AGA recipe I got from the American Grassfed Association, looks like the link is dead at the moment) using a pottery megafter some friends made for us.

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Pioneer Woman posted a recipe for Sweet-Roasted Rosemary Acorn Squash Wedges and she made it sound so nice that I had to try it. Couldn’t find Acorn Squash, used Hubbard Squash instead. ’twas good, but I ended up with quite a bit left over.

Meanwhile, we’re in a USA frame of mind (thinking of visiting) and with Halloween coming up and all, someone mentioned pumpkin pie. So I made pumpkin pie, using the first recipe I Googled across.

And it’s good!

But I suspect Vanilla Basil‘s recipe for A Not-So-Pumpkin Pie might be better.

Meanwhile we’ve been in the house for a year and we still don’t have a door on the master bedroom. Eish. We do have a new front door though.

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19
Oct
'09

Welcome to our home.

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Rather boring, isn’t it? Ugly, even.

A new front door has been on the list ever since we moved in. We just never got around to doing something about it until this weekend. Went over to Glasscraft in Lakeside.

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Decisions decisions :-) We considered the two on the left, we did not consider the two on the right… although that tree has a certain charm…

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The door on the left was the most expensive door in the place. It was on our shortlist. The door on the right happened to be the second most expensive door in the place. It won by a small margin.

Yup, that’s the way our taste runs…





On the way home yesterday, people were calling in to the local radio station, asking about all the smoke in the air. Initial reports were that it was a controlled burn, but later on people reported fire engines and water-carrying helicopters.

This was the view from our porch last night.

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The fire came over the mountain and down to the firebreak, probably no more than 50m from the top row of houses. Fortunately there was absolutely no wind (well, just a breeze, carrying the smoke to the right as you can see).

Here’s a Google Earth image of the area. We live over there, on the right, between the red roofs at the top and the circle on the right edge. The camera’s pointing just a touch south of west.

google Click to embiggen.

The white line is where I guess the fireline was.

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Gratuitous moon shot.





19
May
'09

Last Sunday I decided that I had to get my lazy bum in gear and finish the kitchen wiring.

Before and after. I built a 3 way multiplug into the appliance garage so we can leave the stuff plugged in, just pull it out to use it.

The plugpoint on the left is special. I originally bought it to use it in the bathroom, because hair dryers etc often have two pin plugs. But Tanya’s hair dryer has the “euro” connector that doesn’t fit into that socket. So I swapped a single socket into the bathroom and put this one here so that I can plug the wall-wart to charge the bamix.

All of this took longer than expected, and since I had been monopolising the kitchen the munchkins were hungry.

So Tamsyn made french toast. Using three eggs per person, so we had scrambled egg afterwards :-)

And we started a batch of ice cream but that will be the subject of another post.

Supper was my stoo on the left and vegetarian parsnip stew on the right. Both were great.





I’ve been lax. Living the good life. Not working on the house like I should.

On the one side, day-to-day life interferes. Cooking and cleaning and watching House and Leverage and Inkheart. Hey, I earned it, working on the house for the past year-and-a-bit.

On the other side, I’m lazy. And the credits I built up, working on the house for the past year-and-a-bit, are pretty much spent.

So I need to get my arse in gear.

And my guru Bob Hoover is on exactly the same wavelength, today.

Here it is: Do something every day. That is, something leading toward the completion of whatever it is you’re trying to do, such as building a house, overhauling an antique car, building an airplane from scratch… It doesn’t matter what you’re building. Or rather, trying to build. The secret of success is to do something every single day. It doesn’t matter what it is… drilling a single hole, setting a single rivet or whatever, what matters is that you Do It! Every day. No exceptions nor excuses.

Here’s why it works: Every project has a finite number of steps. If you do even one of those steps every day you will eventually run out of things to do; the project will be finished.

No, you can’t make bargains with yourself, such as promising to do five things next Saturday instead of one thing every night for the coming week. That’s not allowed. You have to do something every single day.

What you’re doing here is developing the habit of doing something every day.

Yeah, it sounds kinda wacky. But it works.

Yes Sir, Mr Hoover, I’ll get on to it right away.

(I did do some wiring over the weekend (added two plug points to the kitchen, and let me tell you, it was a lot more work than I anticipated) and I’ve made a start on the kitchen kick plates — because I know there’s only one way to get something done and that’s to actually do it.)





14
Apr
'09

OK, so now we had new furniture, and the white melamine stuff had to go. Of course we only figured this out after we’d returned the trailer and all.

So on Sunday Tanya and I loaded the lighter unit in the Rand-Lover and the bloody heavy one on to the roof, took them through to Kommetjie, and returned with a Welsh dresser which is almost but not quite too big for the space we have. And five chairs, which are lighter in colour than the ones we had, and as such blends in better (I’m told, I’m ovary-deficient).

I don’t have a picture, I’m afraid, so I shamelessly stole this one from Tanya.

I need to modify (using a wood chisel and hammer) the trim around the top left corner of the door, so that I can move the Welsh dresser a few centimetres to the right, lose that white stipe poking out. Don’t stress, a previous owner pre-modified that whole area, I just need to finish what they started.

Then on Monday we took our four dark wood chairs through and returned with the sixth chair.

We’re getting there…





… fortunately the other three fellows are strong.

Friday, we loaded the old living room furniture and the washing machine on Frank’s uncle’s kick-ass trailer.

Then we went to the in-laws’ soon-to-be-ex-place, where we unloaded the furniture and washing machine and loaded what used to be their living room furniture, a washing machine, a display cabinet, a bed, and a pot plant. And the piano.

And then we drove back to Fish Hoek rather slowly, and unloaded the whole mess.

The new furniture carries the contented kitty seal of approval.

Tanya had to unpack and repack all her cats to move the lounge display cabinet.

Ended the day by driving through to Bellville and having supper with my folks. We stayed over, because some damn fools were running all over the mountain Saturday morning, which means that we’re effectively isolated because of road closures, and we wanted to go to the Bloemendal bubbly & oyster thing. Which was lekker.





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