I’m NEARLY there with the landing!  Just one top coat of Milk White to go on the bannisters and I’m declaring it done, although in truth I’ll probably paint that loft hatch white as well over the next few weeks.

Dougie has been back.  Remember we had a problem with the hot water not working and Jeff the heating engineer told me the switch had been unwired in the boiler?  Dougie gently reminded me that he’d fitted a master control switch for the boiler next to the manifold and had we checked that the hot water was on…?  Sure enough, one quick button press from OFF to CONTINUOUS and we were in business, so I shall be ringing Jeff tomorrow to tell him I’m an idiot and asking him to come back on a dry day and service the boiler!  I also need to order some oil, but the padlock on the tank has rusted shut again and Mick is in London until tomorrow evening.  It’s not super-low, so it can wait for a couple of weeks, as they won’t be able to deliver with (a) carpet fitters and furniture vans parked outside next week or (b) the landscaper digging up the parking area to gravel it.

Anyway, Dougie has nearly finished the kitchen lights, which look great, and will be popping back and forth over the next fortnight to finish everything else off.  (They’re all silver, but they reflect the wall colour, so look turquoise in this picture!)

We emptied out my office a bit further at the weekend – I’m thinking I should have maybe gone for silver appliances 🙁  Oh well, when these need replacing I can change.  I absolutely refuse to have integrated ones, I hear nothing but grumbles from people who have them!

Parcels are starting to arrive now – the three Velux blinds are here, the two Roman blinds are in transit, the curtain poles and curtains have all arrived too, but it’s all sitting in the office for the moment.  I took advantage of a Debenhams one-day 50% off on bedding and bought 5 duvets, 10 pillows and a king-size mattress protector (all the singles were gone) for £100, but at checkout they advised delivery for the Highlands was up to 2 weeks, so I hope they get here in time for the photographs, otherwise it’s going to be a sprint over to Tesco.  I’ve also ordered all the lampshades and cushions from a fantastic local business, Just Wright Crafts, I’m particularly fond of this Highland Cow lampshade which will be going in the hall and will hopefully put a smile on people’s faces when they walk in!  I’ve found some plain white wooden candlestick-style lamp bases on eBay, so have ordered one to see what they’re like – hopefully they’ll be fine for the bedside tables and the living room.

Tomorrow is Black Friday and I’ll be shopping primarily for the following:

  • Television
  • Blu-ray player
  • Freesat box
  • Bluetooth speaker for kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Bedspreads
  • Bedding
  • Towels

However, Schofields Insurance has put together this incredibly handy list of 200+ items you need in your self-catering cottage, so I think I need to print it out and start ticking it off.  For things that are easily breakable or stainable, I either need to shop within an hour’s drive (e.g. crockery from Tesco – their new Fox and Ivy premium homeware range actually looks very good) or buy generic (Out of Eden’s plain white Egyptian cotton bed linen) so it can be replaced by another brand if necessary without looking mismatched.

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