...especially as I had to bite the bullet and buy a new laptop this week – GULP - another £500 or thereabouts. However, as I will be doing the majority of my work from home then it makes sense, and also if registered as self-employed then I can probably claim some of it on expenses or tax relief or whatever. The other laptop was pretty old in the grand scheme of things – we bought it in Sydney – and my brother-in-law (our resident IT Tech Expert and Support person!) checked it out and declared it was is just limping along with no hope of recovery. Oh well.
Let’s face facts, in a month when we also had to get a new combi-boiler installed (VERY expensive, eye wateringly-so) because we had no hot water or heating, and the new outside-door was fitted (kind of; see below), what’s another few quid of debt?*!
Ha! Ha! (hysterical laughter to mask the boo-hoo and wailing)
Why is it that all unavoidable larger expenditure happens at the same time?
Having said that, the other day, we did get notification from the ANZ (where we have our Australian bank account) informing us that we may be due some kind of compensation for the mis-selling of particulars linked to a loan. I think this is pretty much like the PPI pay-outs which have happened in the UK over the past couple of years. So, fingers crossed that we get a few dollars paid back into the Aussie coffers!
So, staying at home and carrying out the DIY jobs and things that always get put on a list and never usually ticked off, are actually being addressed.
Paul took a day off work on Friday in order to meet with the engineer from the company which is supplying the new door. We only have one entrance into the house, and it goes straight into the kitchen from the back yard. Anyway, the original door-fitter became very frustrated because – basically – the cottage is quirky, no walls or doors or windows are straight or a standard fit and subsequently, as he informed us, it was the most difficult job he had undertaken in his fifteen years history with the company. In the end, he admitted defeat and requested an engineer to visit and take action, as required. So, the engineer visited and did his thing (personally, I have no idea what he did) but left behind a nicely fitted door within its new frame, but with gaps in the stonework and whistling drafts of December chill. Those holes have now been stuffed full of bubble-wrap (very effective) and we await the next team of workers – well, a plasterer – to make adjustments and make it pretty! This should be happening some time this week – and certainly before Christmas.
Whilst waiting for the engineer Paul had a very successful day replacing the handrail and fencing for the yard steps which had rotted and looked very sorry for itself. It was a hive of activity and, naturally, I kept away from it as much as possible!
The old back door (basically just a plank of wood compared to the high tech, multi-bolted composite beauty of the new addition) has been turned into a work-bench in the shed (recycle, recycle). A few more hours were spent sorting out shed and greenhouse detritus, before up-turning the fire-bowl and burning the off-cuts, old confidential paperwork and the odd blighted potato plant! As you know from previous blogs, Paul enjoys a good bonfire (of any size) and happily finished off a positive couple of days with a bottle of beer, and the warmth and glow of the embers during an increasingly chilly and twilight afternoon.