Almost there…

So the re-wire went pretty much without a hitch, and in the end it was done in a day and a half which was quite amazing!. This week the builder has been in filling the chasing and then skimming it so it is level with the backing paper. I literally cannot thank him enough for getting it right, the thought of taking off all the backing paper in the house was giving me sleepless nights!

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It’s currently drying back today and tomorrow it should be ready for him to sand down and then I can re-paint either touch ups (my bedroom which has recently been done) or the whole rooms – everywhere else!  I’m having lots of fun with paint charts at the moment and driving everyone mad with tester pots. But we’re pretty much doing the house up to sell now, so I’m thinking light bright and neutral to make it look fresh and clean.  I can’t wait to see it done.

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Day 1 of the Re-Wire

Well all in all day one, which is the hardest day wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Walls were channelled out for the new switches but my lovely electrician managed to keep them neat and to a minimum. In Miss L’s room there is a channel to the ceiling as hers were throughly plastered into the walls. But in other parts of the house only a few inches were needed.

Our ‘new’ kitchen lights from 2 years ago were indeed illegal and never should have been fitted. They are metal and went into an unearthed circuit so they had to be remedied. Instead of pulling out the bathroom or taking down the kitchen ceiling like some electricans had suggested there has been a neat hole cut, new wired are in and it is now all safe. Hurray!

Top tips if you are ever in this unfortunate position.

1. Get a LOT of quotes, and talk to a lot of electricians until you find one you are happy with. They all have different methods of working find one that suits you.

2 Dust sheets, buy what you think you’ll need and then triple it. You will need them over everything sometimes twice! Also don’t get them from Tescos they suck as they rip far too easily. Wilkinsons did the best ones by far and were only a £1. Duct tape them down to keep the dust out.

3 Go outside when they are creating the dust, seriously your lungs don’t need it. I was wishing yesterday that we had a summer house to hide in, the dog run had to do 🙂

But the lights are in downstairs and today they are working on upstairs lights, new board and earthing. Almost there!




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The Re-Wire

So this started innocently enough…I was getting electric shocks from my kitchen sink!

Mr VP though I was going nuts but it only happened when you stood on a certain part of the floor with bare feet. But when I convinced him that I was going mad and to replicate it then of course it was a ‘real’ problem.

So I popped on Facebook to ask friends if they too had ever had shocks off their sink. Responses ranged from laughter to TURN THE ELECTRICITY OFF NOW!!!

Heeding my wise friends, I called out an electrician ASAP. Now we’ve lived here 10 years and in that time I’ve had new kitchen lights and more recently we’ve actually had National Power here fixing the main incoming power to the house and they were here a whole afternoon checking the place out. So I wasn’t expecting anything major…oh how wrong was I!

Electrician had a look and there was a sharp intake of breath – this is never good. I need a new consumer board (fair enough it looks old) and then ‘and did you know your house isn’t earthed?’ WHAT??

That’s why I was getting the shocks off the sink the power was looking for an out and not finding one. A not earthed house is basically a death trap waiting to happen.  After my initial freak out he called an older colleague in and they put a temporary earth in while I got some quotes for the work. At this point it was standing at £1200 plus VAT.

I called in 5 more electricians for quotes only to be greeted with more horror. Because standards change all the time our lighting circuit also has to be replaced or none of them will change the board and do the earthing. One electrician even walked into my new bathroom and told me he’d have to rip it all out! He was told his fortune 😉

This means that I have to pull up all the carpet in all the bedrooms and upstairs hallway, move large furniture etc. And because its a 1930s house it’s likely most of the cables coming down to the light switches are in the plaster and have to be channelled out and then replastered.

Because all of our rooms have backing paper on the walls due to the previous tenants, it will mean stripping and repainting ever room that’s channelled.

Yes I cried – A LOT!

Quotes in ranged from £2000- £4000 and it’s a bit like garages who do you know who to trust? In the end my plumber recommended me one if his friends and he came in at £1700 and he likes to make minimal mess so here’s hoping.

So next week, work starts. I’m trying to be positive and see this as a reason for a re-paint and freshen up of the place, but I’m finding it quite difficult with the worry of just how bad it could get. Miss L’s bedroom ceiling has a massive crack and I’m hoping that wont get worse.

Wish us luck!

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Changing your WordPress Username from Admin

Earlier in the week a few fellow bloggers were saying on Twitter they’d been hacked and how on earth to get their sites back?.  It sounded like a nightmare and I really felt for them.

Tonight I was on Twitter (again!) earlier and spotted a post from the founder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg about WordPress sites being force hacked – read it here

Basically there is a bot that’s trawling the web looking for WordPress site’s, with the Username of Admin. It’s then it’s trying various common passwords to hack them.  Which would explain why I was seeing so many people this week who’d been hacked!

So to protect your WordPress Blog there’s some ideas on Matt’s post, BUT change your password to something more tricky and get rid of the Admin User.  Don’t just delete it thought! There are some brilliant Step by Step ‘how-to’ instructions here, just follow them exactly and you’ll be able to protect your site.


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Weekend in York

Some old school friends of mine invited us up to York for the weekend and as we’d never been we jumped at the chance.  When I started looking in December, the train and the Hotels and B&B’s in and around York were insanely expensive.  So we thought we’d drive up and then back in a day but I managed to snag a £29 deal with Premiere Inn in Goole which was about 40 minutes outside of York – bargain!

York was amazing, really beautiful and historic and I don’t think we saw half of it!  We didn’t even get as far as the Shambles.

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We ended up at the Railway Museum as we all had kids with us and I wasn’t really expecting the kids to like it that much. 21st Century kids and old trains….but they LOVED it!  As one of my friends pointed out it’s a lot easier to be romantic about Steam trains than the bland dull ones we have now and I think she had a point.  Look at the paintwork on the trains and the artistry in their design.  As you can see the Dad’s had a great time explaining the engineering and old fashioned concepts like mail trains to the kids who were enthralled!

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We ended up in a lovely Italian which I didn’t notice the name of but it’s opposite the National Trust Shop, if you’re ever in York. And had the most amazing meal there and they were great with the kids. Really rounded off a wonderful day with old friends and their kids who are now firm friends with Miss L.  Looking forward to visiting York again!

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Pompeii Exhibition at the British Museum

The British Museum have currently got an exhibit of items from Pompeii on and the British Museum is a lot closer than Naples! So I jumped at the chance to buy some tickets (mine was £15 and Miss L was free).  They are going quickly apparently so if you want to go, get some tickets while you can they are on the British Museum online shop.

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Now I don’t think I’ve ever been to the British Museum before, if I had been I was very little and although somethings seemed vaguely familiar it was hard to tell if it was because I’d been there or seen them in books over the years?  Miss L was thrilled with the place though and it is VAST! We did a tiny amount of the museum before we went into the exhibit and then some after but we barely scratched the surface. We now plan to go back in our November half term when there will be less people there so we can explore properly.

If you are planning to go to the Pompeii exhibit make sure you get there at your allotted time, there will be a queue and it will be packed.  The show itself is broken up into the Community, Home, all the rooms of the home and then the eruption and death and you can see items from each area and there are a couple of films too.  I think you can take as long as you like to go round it and we did it comfortably in about 45 minutes without rushing.

I’ve always wanted to visit Pompeii, but never gotten around to it. I always think it must be a bit like visiting the Titanic?  It’s always seemed to me to be one of those ghostly places locked in time.  It’s a bit morbid, but nice they are still remembered, if you know what I mean?  You’re not allowed to take photos in there so I don’t have any to show you.

What struck me most of all was the modernity of the items.  They items are 2,000 years old but a lot of them you would have lying around your own home.. The everyday detritus you have lying about  your home, was what they did too: a rocking crib, a clothes chest, pictures of loved one, glasses for drinks, even window panes which were used almost like conservatories were still almost intact.  One thing which utterly fascinated me was in the bedroom section was a beautiful silver hand mirror. It looked like it could have been Victorian, it had elegant engraving on the handle it was round and just lacking the glass of the mirror.

When you get to the end of the exhibit there are some bodies which are plaster casts or a resin cast of the victims. Miss L chose not to look, which was fine. I’m an old softie and I found them quite upsetting.  At the very end there’s a whole family who died together mother, father and two children and I think pretty much everyone who was standing around me had a silent tear for them.

If you get the chance go I’d throughly recommend it, it’s a wonderful exhibition and well worth a visit.





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