Working 9 to 5 (well, mostly…)

Week beginning Monday 12 November 2018

Day 6 at Workington House building site

We had been away in Brigg on Sunday night for a certain young lady’s 13th birthday. It was the first time we had done that journey and we enjoyed the tank crossing warning at Warcops.

Some other fun place names we passed were Great Heck and Eggborough.

My Eddie Stobart book gained a decent load of additions, some of my favourites include Wednesday Louise and Lola Anne. Yes, I am a loser and yes I sometimes wave at the driver.

We didn’t get home until 3pm so the builders were on their own, leaving us with visions of hell. With 3 guests checking in later that night, we left instructions about which rooms could and couldn’t be touched and we weren’t disappointed when we got home. Finishing touches on the fire doors and a new door on the dining room were all in place.

Day 7

The guys have had trouble with their glazer and had to collect all our windows and doors rather than have them delivered, so they didn’t arrive until midday. We were glad of the break! They still managed to get the two little windows at the back done before they left for the day. Tomorrow we might have a new back door!

Day 8

No doors today. They are working on more windows and our nerves are shattered – the noises are horrible! Anyway, room 2 and 3 have new UPVC windows now. I’m going to try really hard to not think about the carpets right now…

Day 9

Today a man arrives in room 3. The window needs finishing and the guys have promised to focus on that one so that it’s ready first. It was completed at 2.50pm and the man arrived at 2.55pm. We had to send him away (ON HIS BIRTHDAY!) to walk the streets for an hour. Luckily he was happy with the £5 Wetherspoons voucher we gave him to apologise for the mayhem and the smell of silicon sealant…

By the end of the day we also had new windows in our bedroom and room 1.

Day 10

Today everyone checked out and nobody is checking in so we are less tense.

I’ve made a start on varnishing the fire doors – 1 down, 4 to go…

All the windows are finished off and we have a new back door!! The lovely guys also got rid of two pointless doors in our utility rooms, which just made it feel like a maze.

Roll on next week for the much needed front door…

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Men at Work

Week beginning Monday 5 November 2018

Day 1 at Workington House building site

Our lovely builders arrived at 8.30am for the start of our renovations. Mark and his guys from Elite Joinery and Building got everything set up, including a scaffold tower in the back yard. Matt was on tea and coffee duty while they worked. By the end of the morning the tower was up, the back wall was stripped and the new bedroom doors were stowed away. Tomorrow the proper work begins…

Day 2

The lads were up on the roof while the sun was shining; replacing damaged slates, getting rid of our old tv aerial, checking over the gutters and getting ready to repair the chimney. The back wall is starting to look much better and we seem to have acquired a cement mixer. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to dissuade Matt from climbing the scaffolding…

Day 3

A sunny morning meant that the guys could crack on with the work outside. The top roof and chimney is finished and the back gable wall has been rendered. The rain came down this afternoon so the entire back yard is now a mudbath…

Tomorrow they have promised to start replacing the bedroom doors…

Day 4

The flat roof on the extension was stripped off this morning and a couple of the lads were up there with a mahoosive blowtorch fitting a new one. The weather was kind for the most part!

The other half made a start on our new fire doors so there was lots of planing and chipping and sawing going on. Room 3 and 4 are ready just in time for today’s check in, complete with exciting keypad locks.

These lads are going through tea and coffee like nobody’s business…

Day 5

It’s Friday today and we are tired. Thankfully they don’t work weekends and they’ll be leaving early today. The two lads are finishing off the bedroom doors so it’s very noisy again, though not half as bad as it will be when they do the windows next week…

Outside there’s some finishing touches going on to the roof on the extension and by some miracle, the sun is shining!

We have a full house checking in tonight (Stone Roses tribute band from Scotland, playing in town) and the lads just got finished by 3pm, giving us an hour to clean THE ENTIRE HOUSE. Now I need to crawl into a ball and sleep.

Halloween Shenanigans

Saturday night saw us dress to impress for a Halloween extravaganza at the local theatre.

Zonked Out On Acdo is a uniquely insane event combining the theatrics of Alice Cooper and the staging of an Iron Maiden concert all wrapped up with the set list of a Black Sabbath “best of album”.

They are not kidding with this description. It was a complete sell out with the entire town in either fancy dress or their everyday goth gear.

With crazy costumes, fireworks blasting out everywhere and giant homemade puppets, it was unlike anything I’ve seen before. The band could really play too, which is always a bonus!

Quiz night last week also had some dressing up with a bit of a Wickerman vibe…

Monday 29 October 2018

I had won some tickets for the speedway a few weeks ago and we finally managed to go the other night. It’s been nearly 20 years since I last went, but Hull Vikings are long gone these days. Luckily for us we ended up with a winning team – Workington Comets won all three trophies this season and we ended up seeing the final meeting, against Lakeside Hammers. The temperature was in minus figures but the crowd was buzzing and a few cups of hot chocolate kept us (just) above freezing.

Hopefully the team will have a home next year as there are plans to destroy the stadium and build a new one for the football and rugby teams to share – no planning permission for a speedway track included as yet…

Sanctuary’s Curse

Friday 26 October 2018

After a period of calm with relatively normal guests (apart from the super pasty Scottish germophobe, that we were convinced was a serial killer and the delightfully eccentric archaeologist with mad scientist hair, that kept a beautifully ornate bible on his bedside table and LOVED a chinwag), we were getting ready for an early night and just finishing up the dishes when there was a commotion…

After the blue-haired nightmare, we closed all dates that Sanctuary was in town. Last night was one of them but we made an exception for the nice sounding couple who were visiting family for 4 nights. We only had this one couple in, who had been here for 2 nights already, with no problems. It became apparent that the commotion was happening in our hallway and at that point a police van pulled up outside the building and separated them from each other. MUCH boozing had been done. After giving them some privacy (the doors and walls are like paper anyway) we managed to piece together what might have happened.

Someone on the street had seen him wallop her and called the police. He said they had just had too much to drink and she had lost her purse. She said everything was fine and she had no idea why the police were here, that red mark was nothing. It ended an hour later with him going to spend a night in the cells (much to her protestation) and her going up to their room alone. Who knows what this morning will bring but they are due to stay another night and we have a full house today!

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Anyway, we had had a nice few hours out in Keswick during the day with a couple of friends. We discovered that evolution is a hoax (the website is pretty hilarious – both in content and design).

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And we visited Arkwright’s shop – he wasn’t in though.

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“Southerner” Tourists Come to Town

I experienced a (very long) journey in the back of Ruby as we brought our lovely pals back from Brighton for a visit. It was interesting getting in and out of the back. She definitely isn’t built for rear passengers – or at least rear passengers over 4 foot tall…

Tebay services had a nice selection of onions for sale…

We showed them the sights of Workington – including the river, the sea, the carpet shop and Iceland. Mr P enjoyed a visit in his professional Royal Mail capacity to collect a parcel from our sorting office. Much tea was drunk.

After a grey day at home, the sun was shining. Our chauffeur took us along to beautiful Ambleside so we could tourist.

Since we couldn’t find any open pubs back in Workington we came home and had a heated board game session. Cheating was rife. We made sure to make use of Mr P’s electrical skills before they left!

Brighton Rocks

Ruby got washed up ready for the long drive to Brighton, only to get completely filthy the next day, when storm Callum hit. Anyhow, she did her first big drive for us with no bother and we arrived after 8 hours on the road.

We had a full weekend of appointments starting almost immediately after we’d checked in at our hotel. It was particularly nice to catch up with Good-Boy Ernest at the Signalman.

There was much eating, even more drinking and a little bit of dancing for good measure. It was nice to be back in hipster town but the bank account did feel the pain – “how much for that round of drinks?!”.

Big up to MPS, BSMS, ADQE, Mr Wood, The Preston Park Crew and especially, the loveliest bride and groom in the whole of Brighton – we love you all!

Painting and Decorating Winners

Buoyed by the success of redecorating our utility rooms we decided to make a start on the guest rooms. The bathrooms need a bit of colour (and they are tiny) so that’s where we’ll begin.

First we scrape and sand.

It’s dusty work…

Next we plaster, followed by more sanding.

Time for a Sunday lunch delivery from the Harbour Side Bar

…and finally we paint. Plus a nice new toilet seat for a blast of colour.

This was much less painful than the utility rooms. Maybe we’re getting better at this…

Now time for some super seasonal mince pies!