Photos

Well, we've been living here in the bungalow we're renovating, for, oh, about 4 weeks now.
It's pretty spartan - we are basically living like internet enabled peasants, but it's actually not bad. Much easier than a caravan.
The wife works, I do this and housekeeping and sprog management (I'm a housewife, but with more tools).
After a few last minute panics (hot water, kitchen sink) and the general hell of packing, storing and moving, we were pretty dead.
Anyway, having found places to keep everything, settled down with a cooking routine that works with a combi microwave, rice cooker and slow cooker only and finally got the computers reassembled, here are a few piccies.
I did say "peasants" - don;t expect much.
Work restarts in ernest next week, where the first order of business is to connect up 3 ring main circuits. Then it's the bedroom floor - about 4 days work there and we can decamp from the kitchen (did I say peasants?). Then finish the bathroom.
After that, lay in proper lighting, then duaghter's room (window, floor and paintjob) and we'll be fast on the way to civilisation.
Fit kitchen and do hall and that will be most of the ground floor done.
Kitchen floor has gone from this:
http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/bastardfloor/2009-09-19-img_0001.jpg.html to http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0049.jpg.html
That's not my tiling I confess - I did fix the subfloor though and got a commendation from the tiler. The slate is a relatively inexpensive Indian Green, sealed with a colour enhancer. We're very pleased with this.
Fire fitted: http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0051.jpg.html
The fireplace internals were rendered by me in a rustic style (*cough*) and whitewashed. Need another coat of two to clean it up post fire fitting. Not bothered to clean up the opening totally. The main wall is mist coated (not a bad paintjob, honest). We might leave it a little rough and paint the main wall, or we might do something with a few tiles - we're undecided. Anyway, it works for now.
Quick bit of crude blacksmithing with a blowtorch and the neighbour's anvil to knock up some hooks for the fireguard.
http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0059.jpg.html http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0060.jpg.html
It was a quicky, so no effort made to clean up vice marks from the final bending. Finish is oil-blackening - heat red hot, quench in a tin of oil, repeat a couple of times. Same for the wall hooks which started out as zinc plated.
Ikea TV stand becomes kitchen cupboard:
http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0064.jpg.html
Temporary[1] hot water: http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0066.jpg.html http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0067.jpg.html http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0068.jpg.html
[1] Temporary means about a year.
Computer "racks" now installed in hall: http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0072.jpg.html
If you check the photos, you are being web served by the little black Shuttle lower down the left hand shelf. The actual photos live on the black RAIDed fileserver at the bottom. yes it's all running Linux (debian, ubuntu and OpenWRT on the WIFI doobrey up top).
I'm very pleased with these:
http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0074.jpg.html
Pity no one will ever see them again.
Isolation and flow restrictor valves for bath and bathroom basin:
http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0079.jpg.html
Bath supports and framing:
http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0083.jpg.html http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0084.jpg.html http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0085.jpg.html http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0086.jpg.html
And lighting (5 x 20W SELV)
http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0088.jpg.html
Very pleased with that too - good even lighting, no shadows and fully IEE approved for being over a shower/bath.
Funky plumbing for dishwasher/washing machine:
http://photos.dionic.net/v/public/bungalow/movedin/2009-12-12-img_0069.jpg.html
It was a deliberate design decision to not have the u-traps behind the machines as the under-stair space was available. After some thought, it became clear that I might as well have a single custom u-trap in 50mm rather than two - if one appliance space isn't used, the risk of the associated u trap drying out and becoming smelly is removed.
In fact that assembly works extremely well. It's quiet and can (under test conditions) cope with at least 50l/min of flow (rather more than needed).
The U trap has both clearing points on top - I did consider on cap on the base for easy draining, but feared that could become a gunk trap - so went for keeping the main U smooth in the end.
Well, until a couple of weeks, that's all...
--
Tim Watts

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Tim W wrote:

How big and how wide ;-)
Sorry, couldn't resist
Dave
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wibbled on Sunday 13 December 2009 01:28

Me or the tools?

If you saw me, you'd definately be able to resist :-o
--
Tim Watts

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Tim W wrote:

Nice reply.
Dave
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And yet the picture dates begin from Sunday 11 January 2009...
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Ignore my post, still dizzy from last night.
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wibbled on Sunday 13 December 2009 09:02

Have a wee bevvy did we?
;->
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Tim Watts

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Housewife with angle grinder?
Excellent pics.
After my recent problems with a leaking pressure relief valve, you might want to re-consider the *out of sight* discharge.
regards
--
Tim Lamb

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wibbled on Sunday 13 December 2009 09:32

Certainly sorts out the JWs

Good point. It is only temporary (I sell the heater on ebay later) - there's a bloody big tank to the left of that pic waiting for some central heating to connect to it. Hopefully the valve will last that long.
One thing I learnt is that those valves are painful with crappy taps. I recycled an old kitchen sink complete with taps for the kitchen (temp). The hot tap tends to turn off when it gets hot (expansion I guess) - and of course that makes the water hotter.
It then gets to the point that the valve operates and sets up massive pipe vibration. Need a valve with some hysteresis in. Or 1/4 turn ceramic taps that can hold a stable flow (never had a problem with the bath).
--
Tim Watts

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Tim W wrote:

As an aside, what's a clever bloke like you doing at home looking after the kids? You'll never really be any good at it you know :-) I can only assume the wife's even cleverer
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wibbled on Sunday 13 December 2009 11:39

Hehe :)
Well, it's weird. I can cook a wider range than the missus, though she has some good chinese numbers (being Chinese). Oddly enough I don't mind housework either. She hates it.
I have a BSc (Physics, 3rd class - too much computer wibbling on the VAX).
She has a 1st class BSc (equiv, Nanjing Uni) and a PhD in CompSci...
I used to work as a senior Linux sysadmin for a well known college in London. They had a reorganisation. 4 colleagues got the boot, I got a "promotion" to Systems Manager (the extra hassle, no extra pay) so that was a signal to move. Next company were a dead loss - so I did a special development project with a mate's company which went very well. It was near the end of the first phase that this house came available, so having concluded that builders were an expensive hassle who couldn't be trusted, we decided I'll do the house up, with a small call on the odd trade (plastering and large room tiling in this case) and I'll do the rest and fix the kids. Gave teh company 3 months notice to ease the handover and remained on good terms.
The kids had been suffering from being bounced around random nurseries anyway and we weren't happy having to effectively give most of one salary to nurseries and have no flexibility (have to get kids at 6pm on the dot, still have to cook for them etc) so that cemented the argument.
The youngest still goes to nursery, but only to the extent of using the free time alloted by the government - so he gets the benefit of a couple of hours playing with other kids.
SWMBO is more ambitious than me. I was happy being a Linux Sysadmin - I have no aspirations to "management" (I hate people managing). So right now, I'm helping her with a security course she's doing - we're building firewalls together on our Linksys (how romantic).
I expect to attempt to return to work in perhaps a year when the house is done, and both kids are at the same school all day. Not sure what as. Possibly unix sysadmin somewhere. Or do something completely different. Ideally something based from home, so I don't have to keep stretching employer's goodwill when the sprogs are up the creek.
That's about it really.
--
Tim Watts

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Tim W wrote:

A fascinating glimpse into modern family life! It all sounds bloody stressful to me, but then I'm at the age where everything does.
My grandkids (7 & 4) are in a similar situation re being bounced about to child minders etc. It all kind of works until e.g. somebody comes home with norovirus and all the complicated arrangements fall apart. Two weeks of wondering who's going to throw up next, and who you're going to infect. Bloody clever virus though, because the family as a whole is either suffering from it or contagious with it for a couple of weeks, but at least it has the decency not to infect everyone at the same time.
Good luck with it all. Rather you than me. In my day family life was rather more straightforward
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wibbled on Sunday 13 December 2009 16:42

It was stressful as you say. Everything is an intricate web of dependencies and expectations that you will adhere to exact timings (a nursery in London is charging £5 for every 5 mins you are late, I heard recently) when no one you depend on is capable of adhering to times promised (trains, couriers, doctors, hospitals). This is definately not stressful in comparison. I've spent 4 weeks having a DIY rest and perfecting the household routine. The kids eat well and way better than before) and on time for a change and we waste less money buying crap (and wasting 'cos it's gone out of date) food.
Now that's all in order, I have to ease fixing the house back into the equation. The only aggravation is having to stop and do the kid run 3 times a day, and cook. On the plus side, it's a 10 minute walk to school so I can do that in filthy overalls if needs be. Cooking is either a really nice and healthy slow cooker job so that can be prepped in the morning and forgotten - or a simple oven bake of chips and fishfingers/chicken/chops and a quick wizz up of some veggies. Just need to think of a way for the kids to do something other than watch TV while I'm in the roof pulling wires/pipes...
I get them involved where I can - like playing "spot the cable" and calling me over a walkie talkie when the cable I've just shoved down the conduit has appeared in the backbox. They're also being trained in the art of collecting washing, dishwasher, simple cooking prep and lighting fires (supervised of course). Come spring, they can play in the garden and climb trees.

Indeed. One mouldy nursery never opened their windows and being near the station, it was used mostly by career parents working in London, so no-one would ever keep little Johnny at home unless he was practically dead. Result: bloody disease every 2 weeks, alternating between chesty colds and gutrot, which of course included us just to be fair.
In the end, I concluded: what is the point of 2 people working in order to give the best part of one salary to other people to give your kids extra grief. It's not a choice everyone can make, but having the opportunity we took it and I'm glad we did.
I'm degrading my employability by taking time out - no two ways around that in this country. But overall it's the right thing for us.

I think that's why I'm quite capable at home. Mum didn't work and she did all her own housework and proper cooking and I got involved. Dad left at 8 and was back just gone 6. That's something you don't see so much these days.
Cheers
Tim
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I guess you do it if you really have to but, if it's just to maintain a lifestyle, or because child rearing isn't stimulating enough for you, you're probably storing up trouble for the future. Kids want/need your time, and not much else. Somebody else's time doesn't really count (as my grand daughter implies constantly).

Seems to me jobs are about networking these days. Stay on good terms with people you've worked with and something seems to turn up. You're the devil they know, which puts you way ahead of the poor sods trying to break into the field (even if their programming is better than yours!)

Those were the heady days when one salary was enough to run a home.
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Stuart Noble wrote:

The curious and interesting thing is that it is a self fulfilling prophecy.
With the lack of necessity for employers to provide a living wage for a single family member, there is no recourse BUT to both work. One salary was never enough, so the other salary was compensated by using the labour of the at home person to save money. Mending clothes, cooking from cheap fresh ingredients, doing own housework, and DIY for dad at the weekend.
By cooking for yourself, you can save about 50% on food costs.
Without the need for smart clothes for work, clothing costs are reduced to a fraction.
Remove all te tax you have to pay, and the opportunity cost of not working is actually quite low.
My wife was travelling 120 miles a day to work for £33k a year in London. I calculated that we would only be £5k worse off if she stopped.
She probably contributes about £1.5k in garden vegetables now, and without a cleaner, that's the £5k easily met.
Thiobngs she/we dont do include
- eating out cos we are both to shagged to cook - retail therapy as a stress reduction measure after a weeks working - running two good up to date reliable cars - doing 15k miles a year *each* in them. We are down sub 10k together. - having to buy and wear suits and smart clothes. I get through a couple of pairs of jeans an half a dozen pairs of socks and underwear a year max. My wife now knits pullovers as well. They last about 5 years.
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On 13 Dec, 19:40, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

As people on benefits have realised.
It's really difficult to actually make money from being employed, unless you steal stationery and flog it off at a car-boot.
Owain
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Owain wrote:

Which is the insanity of this flavour of socialism.
Tax the spend, not the earn.
tax luxury goods, not necessities.

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On 13 Dec, 21:48, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Unfortunately most flavours of ism decide to tax both the spend and the earn. Whether condoms are luxuries or necessities, it only takes 50,000 12-packs for the 5% VAT to pay for Quentin Davis's bell-tower.
(Could be worse - in Ireland they're taxed at 13.5%)
Owain
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Owain wrote:

Ireland is a catholic country. They have religious objections to the things. Whereas in the UK you can get them free at any family planning clinic. Why pay VAT?
Andy
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I'll vote for that.
AIR purchase tax was discontinued because it was difficult to collect. Since then we have VAT foisted upon us.
regards
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Tim Lamb

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