Admittedly I haven’t been around here on these pages (or those of www.codeunit.co.za for that matter) all that much as of late – never mind my poor neglected www.houseofc.co.za of course! I could of course say that one of the reasons for this is the time and effort I’m putting into generating my portfolio site (ruggedrockstudio.codeunit.co.za) on the side, but that would be a lie as most of you would have guessed by now – I’ve pretty much been spending all my time, money and energy on getting our new home up and running and in ship shape before the big furniture/appliance move arrives on the 25th of this month.
So far a huge majority of all our household contents have been shifted across to our new home and neatly packed away in their respective places. In the process we’ve discovered that the kitchen holds surprisingly more things than what we ever could have hoped for, the bedroom cupboard space is more generous that what I had at the flat and the dining room table looks pretty damn awesome and is even more functional than ever before in the braai room.
Oh, and don’t let me get started on just how awesome the office space is.
On top of all that, we’ve made the first baby purchase, having bought a nice second hand white cot for Jessica, Chantelle and the rest of the Montgomery tribe have been hard at work cleaning the carpets and the fittings, and I’ve being having a field day outside, happily landscaping and discovering my green fingers (which I’m enjoying tremendously).
So in other words, so far everything is on track – though I have just learned that Chantelle now has a bee in her bonnet and wants to paint two of the rooms, namely the bedroom and the bathroom.
In other words, the sleeves remain rolled up high.
This weekend is the last weekend before the big furniture and appliances roll in, so I need to tackle moving Ficus, rip out some plants, tidy up even more cement slabs, move my computer equipment and then handle some paint brushes.
I won’t lie, I’m loving every second of all this. Now, who would ever have thought it? ;)
The last couple of weekends really haven’t been about unwinding and taking some time off from work, rather it has been an exercise in maintaining one’s composure when confronted with the pig sty that your home has turned into as well as the physical fatigue associated with moving around just about every piece of furniture in the house between nearly all the rooms!
Thankfully though, that has at last come to an end when on Friday the carpet people came in and laid down the carpet in the second room (at last our concrete floor had seen it fit to dry itself out properly), meaning that I could finally shift everything back in there (a great temporary storage facility before we go baby shopping mad), leaving only some books which still need to find their way back into the bookshelf, that we’ve now changed our mind on and opted to keep, lying about. (Sorry Mom!)
Charles has in the meantime come and picked up Andy’s old bed now that our newly purchased one has arrived and as an added bonus, I managed to help out Uncle Louis and Aunt Thelma up in Sedgefield by giving up my old LG television to replace their old clunker which had finally given up the ghost. (Thanks Pops for organising this!)
So in other words, it means that the house is almost back into shape, apart from the already mentioned couple of books lying around and the contents of two drawer sets which still need to be swapped around in order to buff up our bedroom’s new upgraded luxury look.
And at least my feet are now warm and fuzzy when I hang up the washing on our Venus portable clotheslines in the spare room! :)
However, not so warm and fuzzy is the fact that our newly purchased, week old, R8,000 bed decided to pop a slat or two in the base, judging by the “badump” sound that was followed by an almost immediate sag in the middle of the bed! Needless to say, apart from being horribly disappointed and wondering if we have maybe made a mistake in picking the bed that we did, I can only hope that the nice people over at Bed City sort us out ASAP! (I have already set the unforgiving Chantelle loose on them)
On top of that, we still haven’t heard about the suede headboard that Boardman’s is looking into sourcing for us, seeing as the first one they offered came pre-marked with blue ballpoint pen and scratches!
And then of course there is that small matter of us actually being in the process of making that all important decision regarding entering the housing market proper – which kicks off on Saturday in case you’re wondering…
Sunday morning and I needed to get up and be ready in time for the early morning arrival of Ryan, who was coming to test out some or other compatibility issue with his Xbox 360 on my TV set. As it is, the test proved only that there definitely seems to be a problem with his newly bought console, probably something with either his display card or display drivers because the console can seemingly not render shadowing correctly, leaving only a very frustrated and fuming Ryan in its wake.
With Ryan come and gone, it was time for Chantelle and I to hit the road to church, attending what would be our very last visit to the Parklands CBC church that Chantelle has called her home for the last couple of years. With us now both based in Gordon’s Bay, it has become impossible to attend this particular church and so we needed to say our goodbyes to the group. Unfortunately Gary, the pastor and main reason for staying affiliated with the church for as long as C has, was not there as he was attending some other Easter church conference elsewhere, meaning that we got a nice and different from the usual Easter sermon from Steve instead.
Shame, Chantelle was already heartbroken after saying her goodbyes to Carol who organizes the singing duties of which Chantelle has been a part of for so long, that I decided to make a detour after church and go to our favourite soft serve place of choice in Blauwberg, namely the legendary Total garage Boutique ice cream shop. However, as if to drive the nail further into Chantelle, we arrived only to find this historical monument to the world of soft serve ice creams complete and utterly demolished! So it was with a VERY heavy heart and a tear in our eye that we turned our backs on Blauwberg and made the trek back to Bellville one last time.
Instead of returning to my flat however, we went straight through to Monty’s place to employ the help of Rob, as we needed his bakkie to transport the TV cabinet unit that we were about to purchase from Home Depot in Tygervalley, the same place from which we had just previously purchased our dining room table set. Luckily he agreed to help us and pretty soon we had the boxes loaded up and a bank account that unfortunately was feeling considerably lighter! :(
After a brief visit with the Montgomery’s in which Chantelle stole back the final load of her stuff still accumulated at her parents’ house (I am sure Mom wishes Claire would learn from her!), it was off to my flat to raid the final cupboards and pack the final boxes for my great trek. TV, microwave and all, we packed my Jetta to capacity and hit the road, eager to get back to Gordon’s Bay to get the last bit of unpacking done and get to bed as soon as possible. My flat contains now only the bare minimums – a bed, four chairs, a desk, a table, a work chair, a fridge and a single lamp. I have one knife, a fork and a teaspoon and one or two glasses at my disposal and that is that. Talk about squatting for this last week – I can only hope Ryan has enough food at his place for two…
Our arrival in GB was marred just a little by the fact that we arrived home to find that Andrea hadn’t fulfilled her promise of emptying the place of the last of her stuff yet, meaning that we were still going to be unpacking in what remained a little bit of a pig sty with all her stuff still lying around. Nevertheless, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work, pretty much working the entire evening away and only stopping for a single pizza break which Chantelle had gone to pilfer from the Debonairs down the street.
I tell you. I am getting so sick and tired of the this packing and unpacking story that I can’t wait for next month when everything will be done, I’ll be settled in and will finally be able to enjoy the last vestiges of good weather that we are enjoying before the wet winter sets in and floods the house, a depressing story for another day!
Anyway, we worked ourselves until standstill, and when my feet finally had enough of the tiles it was time to hit the shower and get into bed for a very well and very relaxed night’s sleep… without the terrible arm pains of the night before! :)
Chantelle arose early enough thanks to the fact that she needed to get ready for work and of course, being the concerned boyfriend that I am, I did my best to keep her in bed but sadly to no avail. So instead I got up as well, snuck in an early Easter egg from the little hamper mom had given us and set about waking up with a nice strong cup of coffee and some early morning TV.
With Chantelle eventually out of the flat, it was time to once more roll up my sleeves and dig into the mess that currently was the kitchen. Although we had got a good start in on the kitchen over the course of Saturday evening there was still a lot to accomplish, so I pretty much had to complete the “crap-pack” job by unpacking, wrapping and then moving all of Andrea’s junk out of the remaining cupboards and then set about restocking the cupboards with all of our crockery and cups that we had brought along – which meant I got EVEN more unwrapping to do. Oh the joy :(
Despite the job wearing on for more than a couple of hours, I stuck to the task at hand and eventually was rewarded when I stepped back and could actually see more than half of the counter top space, including our nice new shiny Russell Hobbes kettle and toaster in their full glory! Of course, this newfound visibility did come at a price, with the other side of the flat holding all of Andrea’s stuff threatening to burst its banks any minute now. Oh well, as long as I’m out of the flat before that happens! :)
With the last little tidying up bits and bobs done, it was time for me to start heading back, making my first stop the guest house in order to return Chantelle’s flat keys. On arrival she treated me to breakfast by preparing a fabulous toasted cheese and ham sandwich (more like a brunch by then to be honest) which I then supplemented by wangling one of the guesthouse’s muffins out from her iron-fisted grip. My goodbyes said and a “last touch” later, I was back on the road heading down to Ryan’s place.
While I was a bit tired and lethargic by the time I reached 3 Spolander Street, Ryan was the complete opposite, being a radiant bundle of energy as he bounced through the house after having seen Terrance’s Xbox 360 perform on both his TV and LCD monitor. With those two final tests complete and a lot of happy bouncing later, Ryan navigated straight to Kalahari.net and placed his order for one of these beasts (currently on a massive special), thereby welcoming him at last into the next generation of gaming. (If I wasn’t buying furniture and appliances at the moment, I might very well have joined him on this slippery slope mind you!)
Actually, the reason for being at Ryan’s place was in order to pick him up so that we could travel through to Dean’s place for a planned Sunday afternoon braai, though Dean’s place this time being not so much as his and Zania’s place but rather his mom’s house in Kraaifontein seeing as she was out on honeymoon having just been wed on Saturday! As they say, when the cat is away, the mice will play! And seeing as his mom does have such a nice house set up for entertaining guests, we simply could not turn this opportunity down!
We got there a little later than expected thanks to Claire arriving at mom’s place just as we were leaving, which was a little bit of bad timing as she had driven all the way through from Newlands just to pop in and say hi to Ryan. Of course, we did invite her with for the braai, but instead she shunned our offer and locked us outside so that she could play with the cats or something like that.
Seeing as Sunday was an absolutely stunning, heat-soaked day, I was more than pleased to find Dean in the pool when I arrived, meaning that I immediately pulled out my own swimming trunks and joined him, having had packed them in just in case such an emergency situation arose. It wasn’t more than a couple of minutes before Ryan and Evan joined us in the pool and as men will be men, we were soon tossing an oversized beach ball around while Ryan tried to drown me every time I wasn’t looking. Sneaky bugger. Also, Evan managed to look a right tool by forgetting his sunglasses on and going under, much to the amusement of the rest of this mangy bunch!
There weren’t too many of us at the braai, only really Dean, Zania, Terrance, Evan, Ryan, Zania’s sister (eventually. She only came to eat and run) and myself, but it was more than enough to be able to waste the day away with throwaway chatter and bubble blowing. Yes, bubble blowing. It turns out that Ryan seems to have somewhat of an obsession with blowing bubbles and we left him to his own devices armed only with a kiddy’s bubble liquid pack to amuse himself for the rest of the day.
Despite all my trash talk concerning Dean’s braaing, once again he did an excellent job and produced meat far superior to what I could ever produce myself and we all hunkered down on the patio to enjoy a delicious (if somewhat strangely timed – ‘luncher’ perhaps?) lunch that was followed up by the perfect dessert for a hot day in the form of jelly smothered in cold chocolate mousse.
When Evan eventually departed so that he could go off to his sanctioned computer game league match, the rest of us pretty much followed suit (much to the relief of Dean I imagine because he had specifically rescheduled the braai earlier because he has an early drilling job out in Saldanha on Monday morning), though I did make an concerted effort to at least grab the last two beers out of the fridge, the only remainders of my six pack of Amstel that no one but me had touched the entire day! I drove Ryan home and we quickly ran an ingenious test on his TV-in card to see if it would allow us to play the PlayStation 2 off the PC monitor, something I am looking into for my move to Gordon’s Bay (because Chantelle watches a lot of TV and I don’t feel like stuffing a TV into my small “man room”). Thankfully it works perfectly, so that is the route I’ll go (thanks for the idea Ryan) and to sweeten the deal, Ryan even let me borrow his Vodacom modem expansion card with its aerial to test out the next time I am in Gordon’s Bay because I get such crappy reception with my own Vodacom USB modem.
By that stage of the day I was knackered, the long day in the sun, all the beer and the labour of Saturday and Sunday in the flat taking its toll on me, so I said my farewells and went back to the flat, intent on going straight to bed… which turned out to be a lie because I ended up chatting with Chantelle on the phone and then packing three boxes of kitchen stuff first! Oh, and squishing in a little bit of blog writing as well.
C’mon 31 March, I want to move in already!!
Saturday morning I was up bright and early, immediately getting to work on stripping my flat down even more, making it look more and more like I am in fact squatting and not living there at the moment. Being on the seventh floor of a block of flats has the nice advantage of a beautiful view, but it pretty much ends there I am afraid. It is such a bugger to move things between the flat and the ground floor and I am positive that I spent as much time waiting for the lift as I did actually packing my boxes full of stuff :(
It didn’t help that the wind was blowing gale force either – I am kind of surprised that none of my plants were actually uprooted in the moving them downstairs process because the way the wind was ripping at their leaves certainly indicated that they were holding on for dear life! My first and only really minor disaster also occurred when during disassembly of my figurines, the not all that greatly balanced Skifel managed to tear the connecting spike from the base off when I tried to pull the two apart for easier packing. *sigh*, looks like it is time for good old super glue again. Actually, come to think of it, that was the first thing that really went wrong during this whole now month-long process – other than Skifel I haven’t had any other breakages whatsoever! Quick, touch wood!
It pretty much took the whole morning to load up the car, and by load up I mean pack to the brim – even the back seat was covered in bedside table and chair! We had originally organized with Chantelle’s dad and brother to come through to the flat on Saturday afternoon to check out a couple of things and bring through some stuff on the bakkie, but with Robert dropping us for the naval festival that was on go (and when I say drop I mean that Chantelle never actually asked him in the first place if he was going to help us out) we cancelled that plan and thereby gave myself a little more time to get through to Gordon’s Bay without leaving too much stuff behind.
First things first though, I still needed to mosey on down to Spar to buy the meat and drink for Sunday afternoon’s braai with Dean and company, so I duly took a nice walk down and purchased all my ‘necessary’ consumables (translated means beer and meat. After all, what else does a real man need around a fire?) :)
That done, it was off to drop off some stuff at Ryan’s place before hitting the road for my date with destiny – cleaning out Chantelle’s flat. Seeing as my liefie was working, I first headed over to the guesthouse to pick up the keys from her and then set about cleaning up the flat. Now Chantelle has been gracious enough to allow me my very own ‘man room’ in the flat, a space that will function as my office and retreat, as well as the only place where I get any decorative say whatsoever. However, seeing as I have not moved my desk or table over yet, it pretty much acts as the repository for all the stuff we’re bringing into the flat for the moment. So you can read it as being a great big mess.
Of course, the first thing I did manage to do while unpacking the car and moving my ton of boxes and other miscellaneous items to the ‘man room’ was to hear a screw hit the ground as I pulled my speaker stands out from the car. Great stuff. So there I was for about 15 minutes squatting on the ground looking for this missing screw. Giving up in disgust, I raided the fridge as consolation and on returning to my ‘man room’ made the grand discovery of finding the ‘missing’ screw wedged in the speaker stand pipe! Yeah, the less said about that one the better…
The problem with us taking over Andrea’s flat is that Andrea herself isn’t quite moved out yet. So what Chantelle and I have done is basically take out all her stuff (i.e. the stuff we don’t want to swipe from her) and move it to the patio space, while at the same time moving all of our crap into the now vacant area. The end result is a ‘man room’ with all my stuff lying around, a fairly sorted bathroom, a sorted out bedroom (sans main light though thanks to a leaky ceiling which apparently is a huge fight with the body corporate at the moment), a neutral lounge and a packed with Andrea’s stuff patio. Which only left the kitchen for my Saturday activities – probably the room with the most work to be done in to tell the truth!
Nevertheless, I rolled up my sleeves and got stuck in, removing Andrea’s stuff, wrapping it in newspaper and piling it into boxes. At the same time, I began removing some of our stuff from their wrapping confines and pushing them into now marginally cleaner cupboards. Thankfully the kitchen has ample packing space, because by the looks of things between Chantelle and myself we have enough kitchen stuff to feed an army!
A rather tired Chantelle eventually arrived home after a long day of work, all ready for bed, but I managed to keep her awake with a delicious fish and chips supper from the nearby Ooskus fisheries and before she could settle down again, I convinced her to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in as well. Luckily she does not like the idea of me working unattended outside of the ‘man room’, meaning that she was motivated enough to work and by late Saturday evening we were able to call it a night after getting a substantial amount of work done and resulting in a flat that is steadily beginning to take on shape as OUR space. Apart from the torn paintwork where I ripped out the existing sound system cables of course.
But goodness gracious me, it really is amazing just how much of a hoarder Andrea turned out to be! :)
Last night I made another delivery drop in Gordon’s Bay as we had organised for Andrea to be there for a little impromptu meeting. I was a little late in arriving thanks to the trains being a little delayed and me stuffing my car with as much miscellaneous stuff (like my home PC, pot plants, clothes, etc.) as possible and arrived to find the two girls complete with wine glass in hand and awaiting upon their saviour for the evening – the pizza delivery guy.
Happy in the fact that I had timed my arrival to perfection in order to receive warm pizza (thanks Andrea for organising!), I unpacked the car and the three of us sat down and got to business, discussing things we would like to do in the flat, what Andrea needs to move out and a few other administrative issues.
So far so good, as Chantelle’s (for now) flat is looking pretty packed, with my boxed and black bagged stuff basically having taken over the smaller ‘man room’ as we have now dubbed it and Chantelle’s stuff overflowing in the kitchen. Already Chantelle has begun clearing out Andrea’s stuff and moving it to a common point, making Andrea’s life easier because she just has to arrive and load stuff into her car while at the same time giving us more space to start packing out in.
As it is, the final ‘big push’ at the end of this month when I officially move in should be a pretty smooth affair because if things continue at the pace that they are currently moving, we’ll basically have the flat already sorted out by then! Organisation, organisation, organisation. What more can I say? :)
No moving stuff around this weekend for us though – the two of us are off to Franskraal for a well deserved weekend away along the coast! Looking forward to it already…