It's all going swimmingly. Quite literally for the fishes. So last weekend (Sat 19 & Sun 20) we had to clear everything out prior to the arrival of the decorator. Books, ornaments etc are really quite simple, box them up and carry out, dining chairs also easy, just pick them up. But a 16stone fish tank complete with fish? No, not really something to even consider picking up. Managed to borrow a 3 foot tank (thanks to Helen and Helen's dad), wonderful we can just transfer water and fish from one tank to another, however, nothing is ever that simple is it? Especially not in this house...
Friday we started by setting out water to stand and for the water treatment chemicals to evaporate. Saturday morning dogs and I set off for Pickering to collect medicine for Maia and to buy some additional gravel. Upon our return we set to with a will by starting with cleaning out the borrowed tank and to make sure it was water tight, then cleaned all the new gravel, desludged the large filter to ensure the water was as clean as possible and also removed some bits of tank decoration to be cleaned. Then everything needs to dry before we go any further so that leaves the rest of the afternoon for moving more stuff and a small bit of destruction - my favourite job and I'm quite good with a lump hammer! But seriously I wanted to remove the additional molding from the picture rail which was really quite an easy task for the strip above the bay window and it certainly made it all look so much better, showing off the cleaner lines and so much more in keeping with the house. Everything done and cleaned up in time to watch tigers first home match of the season which they duly won but didn't manage a try - never mind, 11 players out injured and we still won. The new Cat stand looks amazing, there's always next week.
Sunday rolls round and it's time for the fish to move house, water decanted by the crate full and dragged across the hall before being poured in the temporary tank in the sitting room. About halfway down and it's time to move the fish before they get sucked up the siphon. The small fish were very good, easy to catch and carry across in water filled bowls. But then came the big ones and the algae eater (Edgar) and the YoYo loaches were not so accommodating - I was soaked, man are they strong?, and really, really big. You don't realise when they're in the tank but Edgar and Mrs Bossy were both bigger than the bowl. Anyway all in the new tank, clean decorations added and new water. Time for lunch. Then the grotty business of emptying the old tank and cleaning it, a very smelly job but not that difficult. finally the fish are sorted. Next on the list, photocopiers. Well they came in this way, they must go through the doorway. A spot of applied geometry and rather a lot of brute force later and the one we're keeping is out in the hall. The other one can wait for the logistics team to collect. And at last I can get at the second piece of molding, this one was not so compliant as the first one and decided to part company with the picture rail and the affixing nails but off it came, in several pieces and the nails came out too, one by one.
And that's it, we're done, just one final job - block the office door so Hebe can't help with the decorating.
Monday and Lon arrives to start, we discuss the paint and I set off to buy many, many gallons of varying shades of yellow. Upon our return there's a message on the answerphone, the logistics team will collect the old printer today - hooray!
Lon finishes on Thursday a day ahead of schedule, for TM that's a miracle! And it all looks fantastic - I'll post up pictures when it's done.
So this weekend we've been polishing and cleaning furniture. The bookcases have come up a treat and if you didn't know you can't tell that the top of the new fish tank table has been varnished. Carpet will be laid on Thursday to give the gloss time to set.
And finally - for now, the first lamp arrived today and we assembled it this evening, the tall uplighter and it fits the scheme very well.
So that's it, you're just about up to date. When the next phase goes according to plan (I can hope can't I?) I'll tell you all about that too!