Blogging from the Murcia region of Spain until early June, when I return to
the Highlands of Scotland for a few months

'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Monday, 18 February 2008

Progress on my house and other matters

In the event the roller-blind I mentioned in a previous entry was not delivered last Monday, but I did have a 'phone call early in the morning from the installer to tell me he wouldn't be here that day, because a close relative had just died the previous evening (cancer, I discovered later); he said he would contact me in a few days. Very sad, but it was very thoughtful and responsible of him to keep me in the picture, when he obviously had other things on his mind, so I wouldn't have to wait in the house to no purpose. True to his word he 'phoned again on Wednesday to say he would be here shortly to install it and a little later he arrived and half an hour later was on his way again. I'm very happy with the new blind, although it is not as opaque as I imagined it might be, so I will need to be careful not to prance around the living-room naked at night - not that I'm prone to this kind of activity and not that I can imagine anyone would want to trouble themselves to observe such a bizarre spectacle! The next day, Thursday, he turned up again unannounced just before 10am with the replacement for the damaged venetian blind for the back bedroom that I mentioned before. As he had already fitted the wall brackets it was only a matter of clipping on the new blind, testing it and going on his way. All done in ten minutes and it's perfect! I popped down to the shop later in the morning to pay the bill - I absolutely hate having outstanding monies to pay (see later in this post about that, too) - and as I felt good about that I popped across the road to the nearby flower shop and got a very nice bouguet of deep orange and yellow variegated tulips made up as I love fresh flowers in a house. Of course I needed to go and buy a vase to put them in and found a plain glass one, perfectly-shaped for the job, on the next stage of that day's shopping expedition - and here they are this morning:




The first flower display
in my new home





- they won't last much longer, but I'll pop back to the flower shop tomorrow or Wednesday to get another bouguet and probably make it a weekly thing; €15- or so well spent!

However, all was not lost on the Monday as just as I was about to pop off to do some shopping, the man who had done the fly-screens came to take measurements for the rear patio enclosure; I had refined my ideas over the weekend and discussed them with him and it's going to end up as a kind of conservatory with a couple of sliding glass doors to the rest of the patio which isn't going to be enclosed. He came back last Saturday with some drawings and a quotation, which although not cheap will I think achieve the result I want - to be functional, sturdy and reasonably attractive. On his instructions/guidance I had also managed to find the correct kind of double outdoor tap fitting for the tap he is going to fit for the little plant irrigation system that will need to be installed before the tiling work is done on the garden.

I mentioned earlier I don't like to have any unnecessary outstanding debts. Of course I had already settled with the shop where I got my 'white-goods' and beds for everything that has already been delivered; indeed I've already paid for most of the two single bed frames that are still awaited (as the factory sent the wrong colour before) leaving only a token amount outstanding until the correct frames come, relatively soon now I hope. However, last week I also went along to the place where I'm getting all my living- and dining-room furniture to pay for what has already been delivered. I ended up having to force the money on them (more or less!) as they were embarrassed some items had been delayed (because the factory making them had ceased trading) and didn't want to accept any money until the order was complete. However, I would then have been left carrying around several thousand Euros and didn't feel entirely comfortable about this so they took that 'wodge' of cash off me, I'm glad to say; I've still a few thousand more to pay when the other things come. Probably this may read bizarrely to some people, but I absolutely positively loathe having debts outstanding and apart from current credit card usage until the bill is settled each month have no debts whatsoever - that's the way I like it, I'm afraid.

Okay, to wrap-up this ramble, I took another trip up to Murcia last Saturday and managed to get to the other huge shopping centre I had missed the motorway exit for the previous week, and found my way to the vast Ikea store there, where I managed to find a number of smaller items; a couple of nice lamps for the living-room, a key cupboard to hang on the kitchen wall and several clocks - I wanted a kind of mantel-shelf clock for the living-room and had so far been able to find only wall-clocks. Also a couple of small alarm clocks for the bedrooms. And various other sundry items. I shall certainly be going back to that store again in a few weeks time for certain other things I noticed they had.

Oh yes, The patio furniture was delivered as promised last Monday, flat-packed. After a bit of effort I managed to get both the big set for the front and the smaller set for the rear erected. It took me a few hours as I'm not particularly skilled at this kind of assembly-job on furniture and of course there was a small piece missing from one of the tables - a moulded foot. However, a trip that afternoon up to the shop where I got them produced a replacement so all is well. They look good and are practical and quite comfortable.

Once I've had everything delivered over the course of the next few weeks I'll be putting up a post with the details of all the places I got furniture and equipment for the house; so far I've been very happy with all my contacts in furniture stores and the curtain and bathroom suppliers, so it seems only fair to let others know of people who seem reliable and nice to deal with; there are many more to choose from of course.

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