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Since the last entry several things have happened. I guess the first and most important one, given the content of the last entry is that we took the house with the feature walls I linked to back there. We moved house on Good Friday and it took us a week or so to get almost everything sorted. The move was bloody hard work but thanks to Jane's colleague and partner (Alison & John) we didn't have to hire a van, and they gave us so much help I don't think we'll ever be out of their debt.

The new house is mostly great! I'll take & post some pictures eventually. It's an ex show-home and all the main rooms have feature walls - for example the living room wall is turquoise with patterned wallpaper. It doesn't sound that nice but it really is. It's about as different from our old house as it's possible to get. It's significantly bigger to start - the old one was a 2-up-2-down with huge kitchen, small living room and an extension for utility room, and an enormous garden, this one is 3-bed with a large living/dining room, fairly small kitchen and a tiny garden :)

Since moving, we've discovered that this new house has significantly less storage than our old one. So we've had to buy new furniture - a new oak wardrobe (well actually Jane's parents bought the wardrobe) and sideboard from Colour Supplies, as well as a new 2-piece sofa (3-seater and 2-seater, brown leather) from the Shrewsbury Alan Ward sale as they're closing for a refurbishment. So we're now skint. But we'll have a nicely furnished home with plenty of storage, so it's all good :)

In other news, I have a new job! This happened rather suddenly at the end of March. I went for an interview with the company which lasted almost 2hrs on the Tuesday, then Monday the week after I was offered the job! Didn't take me long to accept it, but working the month's notice at my current employer has been a weird experience.

The new position is with a company called Transactis, and my job is "Application Support Engineer", which as far as I can tell means making sure data gets from point A to point B and fixing it if it stops. The company are part of the Shop Direct group who own the Littlewoods & Very online catalogue shops along with various others.

It's a significant pay rise for me, and a slight increase on the commute (yeah I know... but it's only a slight increase and hopefully they'll be moving somewhere where I can get the TRAIN to work!!! What a concept!). It'll also involve working some on-call, which will be an experience but shouldn't be a bother.

Being on-call means that I probably won't be able to do the next show with OMTC, which I am slightly disappointed about, because it's panto and panto is relatively easy. Having said that, taking a break every now and then is a good thing, gives us time to breathe. Both Jane and I were in the last production (The Sound of Music) which was just about a sell-out. Fabulous show in the end, despite grumblings during the rehearsal process.

So, that's all the news that's fit to print. How about you?
location: LL11
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 02:51pm on 04/03/2012 under , , ,
We've been to see a few properties over the last week or so, and also not been to see several properties that we wanted to see - agencies are a bunch of incompetent goons I swear - so we've got a good idea of the local market again.

We saw this place ( on Saturday, which although nice and would have been a big change from where we are now, just didn't feel right. Things I can explain: it was single-glazed, had only 1 parking space (for a large 3-bed house?), was in the grounds of a nursing home, and somehow felt unfinished. It was like it needed a bit more work to be complete. I can't explain exactly what was wrong but it wasn't right.

However, on the same day we also saw this place: It's an ex show-home on a new estate and is slightly oddly shaped but is also well-maintained, a good size (3 good-sized bedrooms), has 2 bathrooms and a downstairs loo! You probably don't appreciate how exciting this is!

We shall be applying for this on Monday morning. I hate this phrase - "applying for". It feels almost dirty. Even more irritating when the agency in this case are the same agency we're with now, so it's not like they really need to do credit checks and the like. We've been paying rent to them every month now for 2yrs, you'd think they'd trust us some more by this point.

Yet they're still going to charge £200 "reservation fee" (admittedly this goes towards the deposit if we're "accepted" so I'm not so bothered about it) and £100 "admin fee" as well as the rent & deposit, all payable on the day of the tenancy starting, though what they claim that's for I'm not entirely sure? Perhaps for photocopying/printing the agreement.

Then of course there's the period of overlap, which is all going to be a bit odd. Our tenancy formally ends on the 7th April, which this year is Easter Saturday. What letting agency in the world will actually do anything on a bank holiday weekend? I'm curious how they'll want to work it. I suspect it'll go one of these ways - either we pay them a few days less rent (it's only £30 or so but it's better in our pocket than theirs!) and hand it back on Thursday, or we hand it back on Tuesday having paid nothing more (seeing as it's not our choice).

I want to keep the overlap (paying rent on the new and the old place) as short as possible - 2 days should be enough but I suspect we'll end up with more because agencies are evil, right?
Music:: The Secret War of Harry Frigg
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
location: LL11
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We've been renting our house here in Wrexham since April 2010. We've been perfectly happy - it's a nice house, it's a good and quiet area. The owner of the property lives near-by and is a good owner, he deals with things as they need dealing with and is a nice bloke

On a technical note: we signed our agreement with the agency, they are our landlords - the owner of the property lets it to them who then sublet it to us.

A few months ago the owner of the property approached us asking how much we paid the agency. We talked and it turns out he's paying them £100/mo in fees, plus fees for finding tenants and drawing up new contracts when the fixed term tenenacy expires. He suggested that if he could get management of the property back from the agency then he'd reduce our rent by £50/mo and he'd still be better off.

Nothing much came of this until a week or so ago when he told us that the agency had been back in touch with him, giving him 4 options:
  1. We carry on with the tenancy as agreed, nothing changes
  2. They kick us out and find him new tenants at a cost of £400
  3. He takes over management of the property for £1,400 (+ VAT)
  4. They return the property to him, empty.

Now he's understandably a little unhappy at this, however it's all in the agreement that he signed (we have a copy of this, it's awful for the owner). He now wants nothing more to do with the agency which rules out options 1, 2 and 3. He seems to be of the opinion that he'd rather lose a current good tenant and a regular income "because of the principle of the thing".

I talked to him about this and, told him that the course of action he'd taken was going to lead to us leaving, and not through choice. He didn't really say anything, so I think he either doesn't understand the problem thoroughly, or he is too wrapped up in "the principle" to care about the impact it will have on him and us.

So, tl;dr - we're going to be moving house in April.

The next job is to find somewhere... but where? Too many options...
location: LL11
Mood:: 'pissed off' pissed off
Music:: Pan Am - Ep 11/22
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 06:06pm on 25/07/2010 under ,
Jane and I have been talking since we moved into this house about having a house-warming. Well we eventually got round to arranging a date, which was this weekend gone. We invited 12 or so people, suspecting that probably half of them wouldn't be able to come. Our house is fairly small and having more people than that would make life uhh, interesting ;)

We were quite pleased with the response, with 8 or so people responding positively. However, come this week, guests were dropping like flies. We lost 2 couples to illness, another couple of people to double-bookings, and one to forgetfulness. So in the end, we had David and Dawn turn up about 1530, with Lou & Al here about 1600 but they had to duck out about 6. So the house was warmed by us, Dawn and David. I guess in hindsight, the 1st weekend of the school holidays was bound to be a bad weekend!

Ahh well, we had a good time :-) There was beer, Pimms, home made pizza, cheese, crackers, and quite spectacularly random music thanks to both Spotify and David. It was great to catch up with D&D - it's been a while since I saw either of them. I think we worked out that it was January at Rachel's birthday party.

This means that it's our turn to visit them next! Best get planning!
location: LL11
Mood:: 'grateful' grateful
Music:: The Simpsons - Any Given Sundance
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 09:36pm on 18/05/2010 under , ,
Really, I will. I don't remember when I last did. If it was before we moved house, there's two reasons I haven't updated:
  1. We STILL don't have proper broadband access. We won't do (according to TalkTalk) until the 6th June. That'll be 2 months after we moved in. About 3 months after we informed them that we were moving. We're on a T-Mobile PaYG 3G USB dongle which does the job... kinda. I's heavily restricted between 4pm-midnight though, because we smashed the 1GB fair use policy in about 3 days...
  2. I am SO tired in the evenings. Seriously so. I'm getting up at 0630-0645 in the morning, leaving home at ~0730, getting to work just after 8. Leaving work ~1730 and then getting home about 1815. That feels a long day, I'm not sure it really is though.
So yes, house good, work OK but need new job where I can advance and travel less, and get more money. Mwahahaha.
Mood:: 'exhausted' exhausted
location: LL11
Music:: Friends on E4
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:44pm on 27/03/2010 under , ,
Twitter's had all my updates lately. Anything more than 140 characters is too much to think about.

The big news: Jane and I are moving. We've been looking around for ages for somewhere to move to and we spotted a house that looked good on paper - off the beaten track (I am SO fed up of our house vibrating with the lorries that go past), proper off-road parking, nice and ticked all the right boxes. We went to view it and I think we both felt the same - it's perfect.

This is the house on the agency website.

Rent is significantly cheaper than our current place, council tax is significantly cheaper too! The only downside from my point of view is that it is about 20 minutes further away from my current employer. However I don't mind this - the savings we are making will pay for the extra petrol, I am certain.

We move on the weekend of the 10th April. We have a van hired and will be doing it ourselves. I looked into the cost of someone doing it for us and was horrified! If we were going a long distance I might not mind paying £600+, but we're going about 20 miles! We don't have any majorly huge furniture, I estimate that we can do the job in 2 runs if the van's big enough (it should be a long wheel-base sprinter or equivalent), 3 if not.

The hardest thing is going to be getting stuff in at the other end! Going in the back, there is a set of 7-8 fairly steep steps, and the front you can see in the picture here:

It's going to be a hell of a week - because the week we move is also show week. The timing of this move is both perfect and awful. I had the week of the show and the week before booked off work anyhow, the current tenancy runs out on the 13th April, and the current landlord wanted to increase our rent. Everything just seemed to happen at the right time. Sunday will be the worst because we have a technical rehearsal on Sunday afternoon, which screws up one of our biggest opportunities.

Our house is currently resembling a minor disaster area. The small bedroom has been emptied and turned into a box room, containing nothing but boxes of books and a bed! The living room contains several bin-bags full of either recycling, charity shop donations or rubbish, an old ironing board and the components of some self-assembly furniture that we're disposing of. The kitchen contains boxes. So many boxes!

I think we're where we need to be with packing. The books are packed, and they're often the worst thing, second perhaps to the kitchen, or maybe clothes.

I have been doing some work around the house - stuff like replacing the sealant in the bathroom, touching up some paintwork where it has been knocked or scuffed. I don't know if the landlord expects that but I'd rather do it, when it costs pennies and a little time, rather than not do it and have them try to charge us for it.

In non-house moving news, the show (Annie Get Your Gun) proceeds apace, and I think again we're where we need to be. There's 2 weeks (3/4 rehearsals) now before the show starts and things are relatively smooth. I need to do some work on not losing my damned voice yet again, I've now lost it twice in a month - though I suspect the reason for it this time is that I never quite recovered from the first problem.

Work is work, is work. I've been getting involved recently with some stuff that's involved some direct contact with the directors, which is both good and bad. Good because it may once and for all make someone realise that I can do more than I am most of the time, and bad because the kinds of things that tend to come from the directors are frequently pains in the asses and involve lots of time spent listening to people whinge. Not something I'm good at or something I want to waste my time with. You got a problem you want fixing? Let me fix it instead of complaining at me about the fact it's not fixed yet.

And as a parting comment: Toblerone Cookies are both delicious and addictive.
Music:: Hannibal on Five USA
Mood:: 'tired' tired
location: CH3
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:01pm on 30/07/2009 under , , ,
I've arranged to possibly meet up at their new house in Chippenham on the weekend that we're down in Bristol. It would be good to see where they're going to be living, and where they're spending all their time at the moment, decorating and sorting.

I believe that they're leaving London for good on the 24th August, which I don't think I'll be able to take off as holiday as someone else is off on that day. I'm possibly planning to go down the weekend before and help out. Apparently they've already started packing, so there may not be much to do!

This weekend the Janey and I are off to a wedding of one of her friends in York. It's going to be a long day on Saturday, setting off from home fairly early and spending all day doing wedding celebration things. Then two weeks later, we're off to Bristol to spend a weekend there, with another wedding thrown in, this time at least it's only the reception, and we've managed to fit a weekend away around it. I'm looking forward to this weekend away quite a lot. We've not been anywhere for ages, and I spent 3yrs around Bath when I was 13-ish, so going back to the old stomping grounds will be an experience.

I'm sat here with a second glass of wine after having eaten my home made pizza, watching Babylon 5 series 1 again. Some of the acting in the first few episodes is truly ropey, but it rapidly improves and the storyline is top notch, mostly. Jane is at her parents', and I have no idea when or if she's coming back. I suspect she'll find me in bed, hogging the duvet.
Music:: Babylon 5
location: CH3
Mood:: 'full' full
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 07:24pm on 27/04/2009 under , , ,
Jane's at work, I'm on holiday. Whenever this happens it generally means I tidy. Proper tidy, rather than just tinkering around the edges which is normal.

So today I have cleaned the kitchen, the living room, the back room (and was THAT a challenge? I couldn't even see the bed in there) and moved everything into the bedroom that should be in there. This now, however, means that everything we own is piled on the bed and needs arranging.

We need more storage, but have no place for it to go!

It's been a good day, lots of stuff achieved that I've meant to do for a while around the house. Getting behind things and under stuff and making sure that everything's got a place. I now have a list of things to do tomorrow after picking up the freshly altered suit from Shrewsbury.

Speaking of the suit, I've been looking at getting a new suit for ages. However the arrival of a fair amount of Quidco money, the funeral of my granddad (on Thursday - he died relatively peacefully last Saturday morning, I forgot to mention here) and a wedding to attend in August persuaded me to spend some cash on a half-decent one.

I went into Shrewsbury on Saturday afternoon to try and find one, but I couldn't find one that fits my lardy backside in the places I would normally look first. I could have ordered online but I needed guaranteed arrival by Tues (we're off to London on Weds). I found 38 Above in Shrewsbury whilst wandering and they had what I need in stock. And they were really nice in the shop. They do unfinished trousers (for the taller gentleman, presumably) so had to ship them to a tailor and would normally be delivered back to the shop on the Weds, but as I needed them sooner they offered to pick them up from the tailor on Tues for me! Yay! It's also no more expensive from there as it would be to get a good one delivered from various online sources.

I've also implemented a new backup plan on the new install of Jaunty Jackelope (which so far, I've been really impressed by).
Music:: Doctor Who - The Impossible Planey
location: home
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:01pm on 23/01/2009 under
I've been investigating a random blanking plate which seems to be in place for no apparent reason, and lo it contains wiring for plugs, I think. See picture!

Without getting my multimeter out I don't know if it's actually wired up, but I'd kind-of assume it is. Must admit I really don't like playing around with 240V. (I'm OK with 12. I'm reasonably unable to hurt myself too badly with a 12V 1A PSU at work :)

Anyhow, the point being that I wanted to ask whether it's sensible to do a DIY job on something like this or whether to get a sparky in to do it? I guess they wouldn't charge much as it's all plumbed in already, but I'm a tightwad and think that if you can do a job yourself you should ;)
Mood:: quisitive
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 06:58pm on 27/10/2008 under
Just spoke to landlord, informed about the damage and they said they will pop round tomorrow to inspect and were very interested in the work being done without consent.

They said they'd write a letter to pop through their door. It's out of my hands at least, and all I have to worry about is hiring a skip to put in the most inconvenient place I can think of for them, when this is all done with. Well, it's either that or I buy a boulder, and boulders aren't cheap :)
Mood:: 'satisfied' satisfied