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Friday, 23 January 2009

A dry start to the day heralded a nice stroll to school.
It was quite a slow walk as we took our youngest to nursery today.
He seems to be doing well at nursery and now into his second week in getting used to the routine..
After the walk home, it was straight off to work and back up to yesterdays job to finish off.
Today was a bedroom and bathroom carpet in this house.
The floor was OK, but had previously had a carpet nailed to the floor and so I needed to remove all the nails.
I didn't count them but there were lots and lots,god only know what the person was thinking when they nailed it down? But it certainly wasn't going anywhere!
I then realised that 4 doors in the room were going to be too tight when the carpet and underlay went down, so I took them off and planed them to the correct height.
I did this before the underlay went down so I could use the room I was working in to trim the doors.
So then it was time for the carpet and underlay to go down, and this took me most of the morning...somehow.
I got all the doors back on and had the bedroom finished in time for lunch.
I must add my thanks to Rob E Doux for arriving in the house just as I was about to take the new carpet upstairs.
Talk about perfect timing..he literally knocked on the door as I was wondering how to get this big lump of carpet upstairs...Thanks Rob!
After lunch, which was a fried egg butty, I went back to the house and did the bathroom carpet.
This didn't take too long and then it was a trip to the tip with all the rubbish and old carpet tubes.
I decided to let the boys walk home by themselves seeing how the weather was good and left them to it.
I headed up to the new head teachers house to do his bathroom and stairs...well make a start anyway.
On arrival it turned out the decorators were just finishing off in the bathroom and I didn't fancy the stairs today, so I'm doing that in the morning now.
It was now about 3.30 so still time for another job..
I gave Dave and Michaela from Nundeeps a call as they had a bedroom carpet to do.
I have already done all their bedrooms and bathrooms as part of a major refurbishment that is nearly done.
This was the last carpet to be fitted and I think they were pleased to get it down as it has been a long time coming, and I think they can see light at the end of the tunnel now.
They have been decorating and doing other maintenance since November with only 2 days off!
This one didn't take me too long as the room was clear and gripper down.
So it was just a case of carpet and underlay.
I was probably only there for an hour or so but managed 2 cups of tea and a good chat.
If their workmen get looked after so well, I would certainly like to be a guest there!
I wish them well in their new venture for 2009.
So that was done, and so off home for Friday night fish and chips.
Normally in the summer this is a weekly treat, take away and eat out on the green watching the sun going down.
But in the winter, I'm happy to settle for just the food!
After tea I needed to drop Mike at panto rehearsal, only one more to go for him and then it starts....I think a week tomorrow...
Watched the Island Parish special featuring the Scilly Boys on BBC 2
Well I'm not sure if any of you saw it, but wow what an experience!
They must have been so close to being lost at sea,a very well made programme that was highly emotive and provocative .
Obviously it went a bit deeper for is living here as we know all the boys.
I rowed with Tim in the Serica for a couple of seasons and hold him in very high regard.
I think even more so now, knowing what he had to go through just to be with us today.
So glad it was a happy ending, it could easily have been a tragedy.
On that note, I'm going to turn in as its getting late and there's another full day tomorrow!
No pics today...I was just too busy fitting carpets and running around in the car...

Thursday, 22 January 2009

A dry start to the day which was good as it rained from yesterday afternoon right through to sometime early this morning.
We had the most rain in the UK apparently.
Looking around the place with lots of puddles and a heavily waterlogged football pitch,I can believe it!
We are lucky living on an island because we have no rivers,no flood plains and no trouble from heavy rain really.
It all just runs into the sea!
So after the trip to school, it was straight to work and down to the quay to see what came on the Gry Maritha.
She sailed from Penzance yesterday evening, unloaded and headed straight back to Penzance due to the bad weather forecast.
I think they docked in Penzance at around 1 a.m this morning, so my hats off to them for a great effort, well done boys!
The ship had brought in some underlay for me, which I am in a desperate need for, all of a sudden.
I received 4 rolls and realised that I really need another 5, so they are on the next boat for the weekends and Mondays jobs.
After the pick up I was back up to the head teachers house to do the big lounge.
It was a daunting room being 9 metres long and having 2 sofas and a piano to move and old carpet to take up.
It went very well and even though I didn't get there until 9.30 I was done by 11.15.
So I was happy with that!
Thanks to Richard Vaughan who gave up an hour of his time to help me with the furniture and piano...I couldn't have done it by myself!
So after that I had 3 calls to make, to drop off samples for more work coming in..
It seems that after a slow start to 2009 the work is now coming in thick and fast.
There is plenty of work to go around too, clearly, as my chief competitor seems to be busy too, and I am now fully booked until March and now have jobs through March to be getting on with, so its looking good on the work front!
After lunch I headed up to Carn Friars to do a small lounge carpet.
On arrival, the customer had lifted the old carpet which revealed quite a ropey old floor, a mix of concrete and century old wooden floorboards.
This was is a proper scillonian old, granite cottage which are just thick (3') granite walls built straight onto soil with no damp course.
The joists supporting the wooden floor are also just laid on soil propped up in places by the odd well positioned rock here and there.
I reckon the floor was original, dating back to when the house was built and must well over 100 years old.
By now it was quite springy and a little rotten in a couple of places.
Fortunately there was actually a carpenter in the house so we asked his opinion.
He recommended a full replacement... I agreed and left them to sort it out and moved onto the next job!
I shall go straight back when the new floor is done.
Doesn't seem to be allot of point putting a top quality carpet down on a ropey old floor.
So the next job was up near Pilots Retreat and a house that is due to be let on a semi permanent basis to someone working on the island,not sure who..
But Island Properties are handling the let.
Being a let I decided to take some pics showing the steps required in fitting a carpet, however I took the pics with my phone, and now the battery is flat, so will update with pics later.
I fitted the bedroom carpet with new underlay and it looked good.
I will be back there in the morning to do the second bedroom.
So a good productive day really and lots more to come,I will probably need to work this weekend to catch up as there are lots of people who are ready for carpet...

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Today started as well as can be expected for a Wednesday.
The was rain in the air while on the way to school, and having seen the forecast for it to get worse as the day went on, I made the brave decision to cancel football practise due to bad weather.
This is much easier to do at the start of the day while you can tell all the children and most of the parents before the start school and not have to worry about phoning each parent individually.
So with that sorted I was off to work.
It was the new head teachers house today to do a dining room and hallway in a wood effect vinyl.
He hasn't moved in yet and as such I have taken the bold move of taking a pic of my work.
I probably won't do this very often, I was quite impressed with my work today and the way I managed to pattern match two pieces of vinyl through a doorway, it was a perfect match and made the join barely visible...Ideal!
Vinyl fitting in an area like this is actually quite simple for me to do, it is the smaller areas like bathrooms that are normally more time consuming...
There was a fair bit of floor preparation on this job today as there had previously been a carpet fitted.
So I needed to remove the old staples and make sure the wood floor was as level and smooth as possible.
Vinyl is only as good as the floor it goes down on..If you have a rough floor you will end up with a rough job!
The other bind with this vinyl is that to make a decent job of it, it needs to be stuck down all over.
This can take as long as fitting the whole piece sometimes.
I had a couple of calls to make and samples to drop off today as well as the various different "Taxi" trips for wifey and the boys.
I reckon I probably spent an hour in the car today on all the different errands!
I finished the vinyl job at 4.30 in time for another trip to town for wifey.
Then it was home for tea for the boys before dropping wifey into town for a meeting.
At 7.30 Mike my eldest son was off to panto practise and wifey was ready to be picked up, also had time to pick up some fresh bread and milk as the Gry Maritha had made to rough trip to the islands with lots of goods.
I finally finished running about at just after 9 when Mike called to be picked up and now here I am typing this.
It was a good busy day and one more like what it should be lie for this time of year.
My biggest problem now after my distinct lack of work earlier in the week is now quite the opposite with 4 jobs all ready to go and awaiting my arrival!
Why couldn't they have been stretched out just a little.
No they all come along at once.
So its gonna be a busy few days for me starting tomorrow in the head teachers house to do a big lounge carpet.
And then off up to a job at Carn Friars.
I think the variety I get in my work is one of the best things about my job!
Not sure where I go after that though...
As predicted the weather did worsen and it rained all day more or less,and the wind has picked up too.
But its not too bad, just feels allot like winter!
Looks like we are in for a very similar day tomorrow...

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

So Tuesday is here and its much the same as Monday....
Only today I managed to put down a carpet!
It was a large hallway carpet in a house up on Jackson Hill.
The job went well and looked good when it was done, so nice to get some work done finally.
Tomorrow should bring more work with another house nearing completion of decorating.
Weather wise it is feeling cold with quite a biting wind and the odd hail/rain shower, but for the best part of the day it was sunny.
I finished early and went down to pick up the boys.
With them picked up, we all went into town for a spot of shopping before dropping them off at home.
While darling wifey got the tea ready I took the chance to nip out and get some photos.
I hadn't taken any by this time and the sun was beginning to set.
I figured the best place to take pics of the sun going down today had to be up on the Garrison with the sun going down behind Annet and the Western Rocks.
There was quite a sea giving the Western Rocks and in particular the Haycock a good pounding.
Phill had taken an amazing pic of the Haycocks and Bishop Rock just the other day, and I felt inspired, so had a go myself, only from a slightly different angle.
With the sun going down and the mix of lots of sea spray, big waves and my huge zoom I was quite chuffed with my pics...
There was plenty of opportunity for photos just sat in the car outside Star Castle and I happily snapped away until the sun went down.
So with the pics in the bag I headed home for a super meal of lasagne that wifey had knocked up in no time...delicious!
Tuesday night is POOL night , so I headed out at 8 p.m. to the Atlantic Inn, our home venue, where tonight we took on the Golf Club B team or was it "A" team......
Anyway we won 6-3 even though I managed to lose my singles game and my doubles game ( No help to the team tonight!)
A good night was had by all, as usual and it was good to catch up with 2 of my mates who have just got back from a skiing holiday, they had a few stories to tell.( None that interesting,but good to hear if they are your friends, lol!..)
And that's about it for today.
Tomorrow I'm hoping to be heading into the new head teachers house which is nearly ready for me I believe.
Apparently there will be severe gales and heaps of rain tomorrow,might make the football training interesting!!
The pitch is already very muddy, so it will be called off if there i rain in the afternoon...we will see.
I have also added a pic of my eldest son who is clearly following in my photographic footsteps...bless him!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Its Monday again and its surprising how quickly it has come and gone.
The day started with good intentions, but before I'd left the house, a message came through delaying my first job due to decorators not being finished..
So I enjoyed the short walk to school and back and set about sorting out some paperwork..yawn!
I guess it had to be done and with that done, there wasn't too much to do.
A hand full of phone calls and I needed to drop a carpet pattern book down to the quay to go to St Agnes.
Got that done and thought I'd check the progress of some of my customers decorating...
I have managed to book a job in for tomorrow, so this paid off!
Having heaps of spare time I was keeping my eyes open for photo opportunities.
I saw Peter Hicks kite surfing around the Porthmellon area so headed that way to get some pics.
Peter moves very fast on a breezy day like today, so I set the camera to continuous and shot away.
I must have nudged the manual focus button at the same time because all my pics came out fuzzy. How annoying!
It was getting cold standing on Newford Island taking pics and must have been colder for Peter out there in and on the water, so I headed back to the car having noticed and shower approaching..
Then it was more or less time to pick up the boys and after that time for one last call.
And that was about it.
Just before typing this I heard some thunder is the distance but it seems to have passed.
The weather is talking about random snowfall and they had a bit in Penzance today, so I live in hope that we get to see some.
I love it!
So tomorrow WILL bring some work and not before time!
Looking forward to it....
To finish off I have to add this bit of text that popped up today in the Daily Star.
"Chaos gripped the Scilly Isles as winds hit force 11 – one short of a hurricane. "
This was part of a piece about the weekends weather being very bad.
Although it was windy, I can assure you it was far from "chaos!
Just goes to show how much drivel is written just to fill a newspaper.
I see from tonight's local weather that we had a gust of 65mph.
Hardly scary!!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

After last nights late night, I was lucky enough to get a magical Sunday morning lie in.
It was well received.
So after breakfast I managed to get one of my boys away from the games room and we popped out to catch a bit of footie and see how the sea was looking.
The weather was actually quite good this morning, windy yes, but not too bad.
There were a few showers around today, but nothing like I experienced last night!
The forecast for the week is a mixed bag of wintry showers and high winds.
Hopefully we will see some more big seas and maybe some snow!
I always hope for snow as living on Scilly it is very rare and only ever last for a few hours before melting away in the afternoon.
This has been my experience for the last 15 years or so.
I have experienced snow over here in my life, we had a fair bit when I was at school I think in 1987.
We didn't go to school that day and played out in it all day.
I remember one more time when I was younger still when we had some too.
I think we must be due some, and this year seems to be colder than recent years..so here's hoping!
I didn't do much today,spent most of the day at home relaxing, watching TV and surfing the Internet.
My mother in law came around for a nice chat for a bit too, which was nice.
One good thing was that we were able to sort out a bit of an itinerary for our holiday to Devon which I am off on the 7th Feb.
We can't wait!
I'm hoping that this week brings allot more work to do.
I have one customer ready for tomorrow, so I guess I'll head up there in the morning.
Not much to talk about tonight as not much happened today, so cheers for now!
SATURDAY 17TH January.

The weekend is here and not much to do, sounded like a good start.
My day began with a trip into town in the morning to search for a pair of school shoes for the middle son.
We started with the charity shop, always a good place to start because you just never know!
No luck in there but t
he boys all managed to come out with a "new" toy.
So then it was down to Sports Mode the only other place on the islands where you can buy new shoes.
We seemed to arrive with
half a dozen other people which isn't good because it is generally quiet in the shop and only the owner was working.
So we had a quick look around, but the boy didn't fancy any of the shoes styles on display and with the owner busy with other customers we decided to carry on shopping and maybe have a look on ebay for shoes instead..
So we ventured on into town to get a few provisions.
A trip into town on Saturday m
orning normally means you are going to see lots of people you know, being a small island I know pretty much everybody here.
So walking down the
road is always a pleasant experience meeting your friends and stopping for a chat.
Some people will stop me to talk about a carpet they might want, actually that happens allot.
Any way with the shopping done, we headed home for lunch.
The weather was the days big story though.
After lunch the wind was picking up quite nicely, very gusty, but increasing strength all the time.
I knew that rain was on the way and decided to take a walk before the rain came.
I started off in Old Town and went up to Peninis Head, here the wind was right on the nose of the headland and
walking out there was invigorating but quite hard.
It turns out the wind was probably about 50 mph so its not surprising really..
For photography though it was quite tricky, the first problem was the sheer amount of sea spray around., normally just about when the biggest wave struck and when you wanted to take the pic!

Second problem was holding the camera still enough to take a pic that wasn't blurry.
I got a few pics, but missed out on getting a pic of what I was looking at because when the big waves came it was just to wet to take my camera out.
I stayed up there for a while,but on the horizon it was looking dark, so I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to get home before the rain.
Walking back down into Old
Town bay you really notice the shelter of the headland and there were birds here like little egrets, grey heron and green shank all sheltering and feeding.
I wasn't home long before the rain arrived and with it the wind got stronger.
Then I was turned into the taxi again, I needed to take my nephew to a party in town.
On the drive there was plent
y of little twigs and small branches on the road fallen from elms trees.
But other than that and the fact it was dark now you didn't really notice the weather that much,well not in the car anyway!
It rained pretty much all night and the whole time that I was out at my sisters meal.
Which I have to say was very good.
We went to Blues who put on a 3 course meal for £18.95 quite a bargain.
I had crab and prawn cocktail,rib eye steak with peppercorn sauce and sticky toffee pudding.
All very good and feeling full we headed back to my sisters house for a wee drink.
As I was driving I stayed on the squash!
While we were there a thunderstorm was moving in and it was nearing the time for us to relieve the babysitter, our neice...
Now I don't mind thunderstorms in the day time too much, but at night they seem to take on a more menacing feeling, coupled with torrential rain it wasn't going to be fun going home.
My son has a fear of these storms too so I was thinking about him at home.
With the storm getting worse I made the decision to go right then.
We waited for a flash and bang and legged it to the car running through steams and puddles.
Got to the car just as another big flash happened.
I was not too keen about this and realised the storm must have been right overhead now, the rain was the worse I have driven in, I'm glad we didn't have to go far and that no-one else was on the road.
We got home safely and waited for the next flash..and there it was seconds later.
So ran inside through more huge puddles and steams of water, and it was good to be home!
It must have been a matter of minutes and the whole storm had blown away a quick as it arrived and no-one at home was any the wiser with all 3 boys sleeping like babies!
And that's about it for Saturday 17th!