I am an expert

Yesterday we left a well known carpet suppliers with three rolls of really quite decent carpet. We bought an end of roll brownish carpet for our bedroom, a lighter brown off cut (4 x 2.2m) for the spare bedroom and another greyish off cut for the hall/stairs/landing. Total cost = £277 (the 2 off cuts were about to go to the skip and we paid £49 for each one of them). The man who sold us the carpets was clearly thrilled to be getting rid of them, and very dubious that I had anywhere near the wherewithal to lay them.

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What he didn’t know was that I had ordered a ‘kneekicker’ from Amazon for £27 [put it on the carpet, kick the pad with your knee, it the grips on the kicker and pushes the carpet away from you] and I had watched a YouTube video on how to lay a carpet.

We had taken up the h/s/l carpet (leaving spiky things and underlay in place) so we could sand down the gloss and repaint the woodwork. We had done the walls a couple of weeks ago. This did leave us with the obstacle course of getting up and down the stairs without puncturing our toes (on the way up) and heels (on the way down). I’ve only got a couple of scars. After the paint had dried I decided to replace the landing carpet, which is shaped like the net of a cube (a cube that has been dismantled, but is still joined at some egdes). In my book that easily makes it the most difficult to lay.

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the net of a cube..

I put the new carpet on the floor and laid the old one on top of it. I then drew round the outside with a felt tip and cut off the spare bits with a Stanley knife. Ten minutes later it was down. I used a metal wedge and a hammer to knock in the edges, and secure it into those funny metal things that join two rooms (there must be a name for those). It was done. And, even if I say so myself, it looks like carpet … and it feels like carpet! Tomorrow I have to lay the stairs, but that does look like a more straightforward job, and next week we’ll do the two bedrooms. A slightly bigger problem, I hear you say. But, hang on, the YouTube vid I watched showed an Aussie fitting out a room as big as out house, ergo, I have done the course and am set to carpet any room you like.

[For the record, Jen’s on Monday and again today. Carpet laying for the rest of the week. And Mary’s and London for Saturday/Sunday. It’s all go….]

Redbush tea – D minus 1

They’ve gone and changed the BBC News App. I know it may sound strange for someone trained to kill the Queen’s enemies (not with my bare hands, well certainly not recently) but I am a man of routine. I like things to be much the same as they were last time I looked, unless I decide to change them. Or unless they are introduced in a gradual curve. With plenty of notice. When JP changed the school operating system from Windows to Google Chrome (and its associated Google Mail) overnight – the only way to do it – it knocked me sideways. I absolutely got Windows and Outlook. I was a black belt. I knew where everything was and how to access it. I could do magic with it. The idea that all my stuff had moved from the box sat in front of me to a warehouse run by Sven and Erik in Eindhoven (aka The Cloud) was beyond my comprehension.

ok Sven, where are my files?

ok Sven, where are my files?

In the end I got used to working with my head in the clouds (at six feet four it happens a lot) although I still struggle with not having a bullet proof filing system and having to rely on tagging every document and using ‘search’ to find the one I want. With Windows you can imagine their filing system – see it, even though it’s electronic. The folders looked like folders you used to hold documents in, adorned with paper clips and India tags. Big boxes of stuff in an order and under headings that makes sense. In The Cloud you have to remember key words of the document and then ask Sven or Eric to dig through a pile of stuff you’ve left out on the desk in the vain hope that you might recognise what you’re after. It doesn’t work well – well not for me and people like me. Thankfully I no longer need to find things I can’t find, except sometimes Doris’ car keys. At that point help from any Low Country folk, I’d even take Sven and Eric, would be welcome.

I have had a brief look at the new App. Where’s the latest Australian Open results? And what about the distinction between what’s happening in the World against things which have made the news in our v small country? I guess I’ll get used to it. I hope so.

good coffee shop...

good coffee shop…

It rained all day today. Well, that’s not exactly true. It wasn’t raining when we left for Cappagio Scalo (the local big town five miles away) on our bikes to forage for some stuff for Mary and Annie’s arrival. We stopped at a lovely cafe in the centre of the town and sat on big sofas chomping away at cake we shared and drank top-rate coffee. Then it started to rain. And it didn’t stop. All day. We foraged at Eurospin and cycled back in hoofing rain. C had put her Gortex trousers on. I opted for shorts – Empire building. Big mistake. My Gortex jacket did what it was designed to do and shed water like a snake losing its skin. My shorts decided that they would double as a receptacle for any water that was hanging about. By the time we got back to Doris they were soaked and I looked like I’d had an unnecessarily large accident. Thankfully the sosta is now empty – our Dutch friends having left probably because they’d caught glimpse of us showering ‘al fresco’.

drying out

drying out

Being made of good British stock we, yesterday, were undeterred by the weather. We may some Florentines for the impending arrival of our friends, sorted some more stuff out and we both went for a run. I ran for about twenty five minutes, quite well. By the time I got back to Doris C was off. I always fret a little when she is out. She’s reasonably new to ‘consistent running’ and I’m never completely relaxed until she’s back, still standing and using both of her lungs (an ex-smoker). As I’d left

Mrs Florentine

Mrs Florentine

before her I had no idea how long she had been out. But after about twenty minutes back at Doris I was getting a little concerned. I called her on our walkie-talikes (we always run with one, just in case – but their range is not great). Nothing, I made some tea. Still nothing. I walked out of the sosta and eventually the pink apparition came into view – she runs in a luminescent pink sweat top to deter, well, everything. The long and the short of it, she had run my route but added on another click and a half. I hate it when she runs further than me….

Avoiding the rain we sorted some garage stuff out whilst the tea brewed. And then we settled into our rotuine. Supper was chicken and chips (not, you’ll be pleased to hear, in a basket) and M.A.S.H. entertained for another hour. I did a little bit more work on my top secret project and we retired having had a full day – from a full timing perspective, you understand.

it rained a lot

it rained a lot

It rained all night and it’s raining this morning. I was up at two winding in the awning which was only out a tadge to provide some protection, but even then the wind was giving it a hard time. Forecast is for rain all day, but brighter tomorrow. Mary and Annie arrive today (yippee – redbush teabags!). I’m being collected in an hour or so to go and pick up the hire car from Agropoli and then we need to be at Naples airport, about an hour and a half away, for five o’clock this afternoon. V excited to see what car I have to play with…

you need a big one of these at the moment

you need a big one of these at the moment

I’ll let you all know tomorrow. Have a great Friday.