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Wednesday, June 20

Over Productive

Last night was totally crazy. I may even have ruined some trousers and a shirt in the process of doing what I did. There. That's a hook into a "please read me". I'll qualify it with the fact that I've met people in various stages of crazy, and actually very little of what I did last night qualifies as even nearly as crazy as them. I was certainly closer to crazy than Katie Melua, though, so that's good.

I scooted homewards from work, spent a few seconds in the house, unloading the car and girding my loins for the evening ahead. I measured the ceiling joists a bit to get a good estimate for the insulation I needed to buy. Then I headed out, car prepared for the transportation of this material.

To Tesco for some essentials, including food. I had comedy to accompany the trip. Very nice - Jo Caulfield, Radio 4. I ate my food in Tesco car park (as I often do with Tesco food) and then headed to B&Q. Around this point the heavens had opened and the storm raged. There was thunder AND lightning. I could even see lines of lightning coursing through the sky. That was fun.

Arriving at B&Q during what felt like a mini monsoon, I went in. I decided that the bare wire that pokes out of my house for my exterior light probably needs a light on the end of it, especially if there's going to be loads of rain. I contemplated how much fun it would be to fit such a light in the downpour we were experiencing. I then ignored that and set about choosing one. I bought an energy saving lightbulb to go with it and then went for the insulation material.

The insulation material I was buying is stuff I've used before with a friend in Leeds. He buys it in 2foot by 4foot sheets. Despite going to two B&Qs in this part of the world, I've only found it in 4foot by 8foot sheets. This is a problem, since my car is not big enough for this sort of thing. So I had to cut it before taking it out the shop. The convenient place to do this might have been near where you get the sheets. I tried to ask someone if I was allowed to do that - rather than just crack open the stanley knife I was buying and start wrecking their stock in anticipation of paying for it all. The guy I asked was too busy to give me a yes or no answer. What a plonker. He could have just said one way or the other... but left me waiting. I got bored and then asked someone else. We concluded that the sensible solution was to just buy it whole and cut it up the other side of the till. Fine!

So, I ended up with 4 sheets of the stuff to cut into 4 pieces each. That's 12 cuts I had to make. I did this on the floor of B&Q watched over by a matronly indian lady, who couldn't quite suppress her amusement (well, our shared amusement) at how much effort I had to put into it. I was sweating profusely and covered in dust and bits of insulation material when I was done.

Then home. The rain had stopped, so my car didn't get soaked as I loaded up the 16 pieces of now 2 by 4 insulation. The lack of rain also boded well for my fitting of the outdoor light. I had a small mishap with getting the right holes for the wallplugs provided in the kit, so I had to go searching for some of my own. The power in my house was off, since even I am not stupid enough to do exterior electrics after a rain storm with live cables (even though they were terminated at the switch). So, I pondered whether I might have been shaving a yak, when I was in my boot looking for a stanley knife to open the batteries to fit to my new torch in order to find the wall plugs to plug the holes to fit the exterior light that I'd bought on a whim, when I originally set out to insulate my ceiling.

Anyway. I did a reasonable job of fitting the light... but the bulb proved to be a nightmare. Here's an interesting fact about energy saving lightbulbs. They don't sodding well fit! They're too big. So, they're dim, take a while to warm up, and don't fit the fixtures. Total bollocks! I'm all for saving energy, but get a life you hippies - if Edison could invent a lightbulb of a standard size (I guess he had it easier, given that his size was the standard when he invented it) then surely we can make it all work now. Surely, these larger bulbs need more glass!? Tossers.

I ended up with an exterior light that was all fitted, but didn't go on. Great!

Then I spent about 90 minutes putting insulation into the ceiling. I paired this up with burning my head on hanging lightbulbs and falling off my ladder - a bit. I did a few sheets. It's slow and fiddly work... at least it is when I do it.

Then I set out to nip to Tesco (again) before picking up a friend from work. She was due to finish at 10. I reckoned on being able to get to Tesco and back just in time to be ready for her call. I managed to be at a reasonably logical meeting point at about 10.30 or so. She ran very late. It was about an hour later she surfaced. Not her fault. In fairness, I had agreed to wait for her call, but put myself in a position where going home was foolish, as was sitting around doing nothing. A no win for me, I'm afraid.

Dropping her at home, I returned home. It was late. I had a few things still to do on my computer, including a bunch of printing stuff out and bill paying, which took me into the small hours. I had a shower, I answered some emails and then hit the bed.

Quite a busy night.

I hope the trousers wash ok.


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