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Flat update - John C. Kirk

Jul. 18th, 2004

01:44 am - Flat update

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I've spent most of the last two days (Friday/Saturday) down at the Croydon flat, trying to get things sorted out. There is some progress being made...

After the discussions earlier in the week, there was a big silence for a few days, and I couldn't contact the builders. The plan on Monday was that the electrician would be in Fri/Sat/Sun, but he didn't turn up on Friday. After a couple of phone conversations, we've now gone back to the original quote. I'm being deliberately vague there, but suffice it to say that I'm starting to feel as if I should be wearing a wire...

While I'm waiting for the builders to sort stuff out, I've been arranging for various appliances etc. myself, so things should be arriving at various stages over the next week or so. As part of this, I now have 300m of Cat6 sitting in the flat; I'll only use about 100m of that, so let me know if you have a need for any in the future.

The builder and electrician did turn up today, although they won't be in tomorrow. So, I get 1 day (well, half a day) out of 3. The result is that they've taken the old plug sockets off the walls, and pulled up some floorboards/removed skirting boards to get access to cables. So, things are now happening (after a 3½ week pause), but they're still in the "getting worse before they get better" stage. I'll be happier once we progress to the "actually getting better" stage.

A slice of life: the builder phoned me yesterday evening, asking me to bring £1000 along today. I told him that I'd need to go to the bank (i.e. over the counter) to withdraw that much, so I could only get him £200 on such short notice. That was actually a lie, which I'm not entirely comfortable with, but I'm trying to hold onto money as a carrot to encourage more work. I did get the builder to sign a receipt for all the cash I've paid so far, so that's good. I thought I'd have to convince him (so I'd prepared arguments in advance), but he actually agreed quite readily. Mind you, I then wound up paying him an extra £200 after his car got towed away, and he didn't have enough cash to get it back and pay the electrician...

No word from Transco about the gas meter installation yet - their 3 week deadline expires on Monday, so I'll chase them on Tuesday if I haven't heard anything by then.

One downside of all this is that I've barely touched my project recently - even when I'm not actively dealing with flat stuff, it's still a distraction, and I find that I'm not really in an academic mood by the end of the day. I'm in London all day tomorrow, so I'll try to make some progress with it then.