Friday, April 9, 2010

and it continues

After the high of the soil delivery in the morning and arrival of the lovely woodfire the rest of the day took a bit more of an odd twist..
I'd had to cancel my hairdresser appointment because we had an impending reticulation expert coming to "do a quote" mid afternoon.

Yesterday finished off a little crazy,. Our first quote for reticulation was finally in the works by 7.30 last night. yes 7.30. In the dark!. The retic people were supposed to be here around 4pm but didn't show. At 5 I rang the company to ask what was happening. At 5.15 we got a call to say they'd been delayed and would be at our house within 45 minutes. hmm Fine, but sunset is 6pm. By the time they arrived it was nearly 6.30 and definitely getting dark. In the car was contractor, his offsider ( his wife) and their 2 year old daughter who was obviously over tired, hungry, plain grumpy and fed up. Great! After a short chat he said he needed to do a water pressure test but then said he'd forgotten a wrench and a bucket and asked if he could he borrow them from us. errm remaining light was almost gone. Then he asked his wife to organise the timing of the bucket fill on her phone since he'd forgotten his timer. Hmmm
Meanwhile the toddler was getting more and more grumpy. Crying, falling over in the dark, running off with the bucket etc etc.

Anyway eventually water pressure was tested. Pretty haphazardly. Both Hubby and myself commented afterwards that there was no way it was done accurately and that their fill time was out by at least 5 seconds. Then he pulled out a metre stick and began to measure the site. All would have made sense if it hadn't been getting to the stage where you could barely see anything at all. After discussion we said we'd add an extra metre to the lawn area and take a metre off the garden as it made the lawn area quote easier as for over 100m2 he could do a cheaper rate.

Our rectic man, let's call him "Bobcat Ben" (not his name) demanded to know what lawn we wanted. Now we weren't contracting them for lawn, just the reticulation but we were willing to see what they said. Anyway when we told Bobcat Ben we wanted EZ ( Empire Z) he said , "Oh are you sure? I can get Palmetto cheaper." ( this is without knowing the price) "It's much better." "No," I said. "We want EZ. We've seen Palmetto and we aren't interested." Then he told us he could get EZ as well and of far better quality than the quality we could get from the turf farm. He asked the price and we told him. He didn't seem happy that we were getting it at such a good price but eventually after much muttering he claimed he could get it at a price that would save us over $200. By this time his partner had retreated to the car to entertain the toddler while Bobcat Ben continued to tell us how go a price he would get us. I asked a few questions primed by the wonderful Fu from H1 to which he knew some answers but not all. He did seem to say some of the right things and at this stage I was almost still willing to consider him. Despite the 2 + hours late, the unprofessional and haphazard way he seemed to be treating the job etc. Almost I said. But then he wanted to know who was doing our fence. He insisted he could also do that for us. We supply the goods and he'd do it. hmm Now given he'd be taking his dodgy water pressure estimate back to the actual retic shop for the man there to draw it up and that he was just the man "doing the job." I was at the point where I really didn't think much of what was being offered. Anyway eventually at about 7.30 they left. Our kids were starving since we'd had to delay dinner until they left. Both hubby and myself decided no matter what bargain price we get quoted by them we won't be taking it. Too much risk of cost cutting and a job not done well.

So our lovely soil sits piled up waiting for a machine. We were all set to organise our retaining wall man/ friendly bobcat driver to shift it but we've had a recent rethink. 2 of the 3 retic guys have said they also have bobcat access for the retic and can spread it themselves. So we'll be waiting until our quotes finish for reticulation before organising the bobcat work. One of our retic quotes is from a landscaper who is a qualified horticulturist and who installs lawn etc as well. It will be  interesting to see what he thinks.  I had a quick email from a guy during the week who said that for the retic it would be roughly between 1800 and 2500, and that for a paid quote he would come out.  At least that means we have a ballpark figure. 
Friday. a quiet morning catching up on some phone calls, still seriously searching via the net for an old, used, manual ute . So a few phonecalls about that too.

Booked our fencing man. or at least  told him he has the job. Should be in the next few weeks. he'll ring a week or so before hand to let us know an exact date. :) It's starting to happen.  A few more people on the forum. are putting lawns down at the moment and I am itching for our garden to be underway but even though it's been painful watching everyone else start I want it to be done properly and this time I wanted us to have reticulation in. It all comes down to $ in the end. So we've been waiting and then waiting some more.  It's been 9 months since we moved in so it would be wonderful to have it all happening finally. It's also a perfect time to  be planting so that's very exciting.

This afternoon the gyprock guys finally returned to sand down the plaster work that was done on the ceiling about 6+ weeks ago. No we wait again for the painters to come in and seal then repaint. blah.. hubby has been ringing the builders every week for months ( his weekly call he even ticks it off now when he's done it) to get the last bits of maintenance done on the house. This is from the 3 month check up. At this rate we'll have been in 12 months before it's finished.

We are waiting for the plumber to return. He told us he'd be back last Monday. He'll be a fortnight late if he returns next Monday.

Just a quick shot to show some of the dust. I should have taken a picture of it gathered up from just one room. The pile was huge. It's so fine. Luckily we covered up most things that could be effected but it was still a dusty cleanup afterwards.

While we were huddled outside at one stage I spotted this odd fungus in the back yard area. At first I couldn't tell what it was. I couldn't resist pushing it over with a rock. I've taken a shot with my mug next to it for size. nasty looking orange colour underneath. I didn't think I should drink the remaining coffee after placing it that close to it.

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