I do like it when the house is nice and clean. I only wish it would stay that way for a while. With the weather here being so dry and windy and the whole area being so sandy the dust is a real nuisance. You wipe a shelf clean at lunch time and by tea time you can see your finger trail as you wipe it across that same shelf. And with our hairy dogs, when you vacuum and wash the floor it looks lovely. But by the time you’ve rinsed the bucket and put the mop away there are new tumbleweeds of hair rolling across the floor.

Today was a housekeeping day. I worked inside and Stephen worked outside in the garden. Then this afternoon a trip to Bunnings.

The security screen installer cam and fitted the new screen in the bathroom. All of our windows and doors finally have security screens. It’s only taken me 3 years to get around to getting this last screen.

Still no word from the fencer. I guess he’s taking this week off. No word from the neighbour’s insurance company yet, either. Hopefully they’ll approve payment of his half for the entire length. There are strong wind warnings out for tonight.

And to finish up, a couple of pictures…

The veggie garden today

The veggie garden today

A dog and his man

A dog and his man

Rain, beautiful rain…

It was raining when we woke this morning. I think it might have rained all night. The wind was also blowing. Very strong wind. Anywhere else they’d call it a gale.  The fence was creaking. We could hear it from inside. Loud and clear.  And from outside you could see the movement. I think the capping is the only thing holding the damaged section together.We hadn’t heard anything from the fencer – no quote or report for the insurance company so I called him. He blamed the office and had them send it out late in the day. While the price is what we expected, his report is nothing more than a note on the quote. And his quote was only for 11 metres, not for the full 25m. Probably because, even though his note/report states that the remainder of the fence is only held up by the shadecloth that is attached between the fence and the house, he only expects the insurance to pay for the currently damaged section. He did append another note saying that the full length of the fence is 25m and his above rates would apply. Not quite part of the quote itself.

There’s no way we’ll get everything sorted now before the new year; hopefully we won’t get much more of this wind. The last thing we need is for the fence to come down.

I spent quite a bit of time today researching the options for teaching computing classes. I made calls about hiring computer rooms and found out that there are a lot of free or cheap beginner’s classes that are funded by the government. I also found out that there might be an option for me to do some volunteer training. It might be a good way to ease back into it. It might also be a good way to make contacts at a local council where I can hire the computer room. I can also then tailor any classes I might want to teach around the free and discounted classes, so I’m not doubling up and trying to compete, but supplementing and offering the ‘next’ step. It’s certainly food for thought.

Stephen really didn’t want a farewell ‘do’, but his boss wanted to give him one. It was organised for tonight and was quite nice. Dinner at a Bella Fonte’s restaurant at Hillary’s. There wasn’t a big crowd at the farewell, which made Stephen a bit more comfortable about it. Just a couple of managers and the core tech services team, so not a crowd. It was a pleasant evening and I got to catch up with a couple of people that I hadn’t seen for quite a while, and to meet some new ones. Stephen’s manager did comment that I should polish my ABN because he might push some geological reconciliation work my way until they find a replacement for Stephen. That part of the job used to be mine, so I could do it, but I won’t be holding my breath. I doubt they’ll be interested in spending the money on a contractor.

Fences, friends, food and furniture fun(?)…

The other day I called our insurance company to make a claim for wind/storm damage to our side fence. Our fences are made of Hardiboard, a type of corrugated cement sheet and they don’t stand up well to the the type of weather we have here in Perth, with all of our strong winds. I don’t really know why it’s such a popular fencing product, probably because it’s so cheap. Anyway, our side fence is quite damaged with cracks and holes and in parts it’s really looking ready to disintegrate. The last thing we need is to have the fence fall down. The next door neighbour on that side is 89 years old and not in good health. He has two little dogs and of course there are our two dogs to worry about as well.  I called a few fencing contractors the other day, but wasn’t able to find one who builds the hardiboard fences. It seems that Colourbond is the way to go now. I finally came across a contractor who was willing to say more than, “no, I don’t build that type of fence”. He explained that the Colourbond fences are actually cheaper, and of course they last a whole lot longer. He also suggested that we claim the fence on our insurance because the damage would definitely be caused by the wind and storms of the past 12 months. I had thought it would have just been considered normal wear and tear.

Our back fence. The yard looks nothing like this now.

Our back fence. This shows the fencing material. This photo was taken when we bought the house. The yard looks nothing like this now.

I took his advice and submitted a claim. I got a call this morning from the claims manager who’s been assigned to our claim. She asked why we weren’t making the claim with our current insurer.

Me: Ummm because you are our current insurer.

Her: No, your policy with us expired on Sept 29

Me: No, I’m sure we paid it.

I’d already turned the computer off because I was heading out for lunch with friends, so I turned it back on to check the payment record. She put me on hold while she followed it up her end. She came back just as I brought it up on my end. Yes definitely paid. “Sorry, a mistake here, everything is fine. Would you like us to send out an assessor or would you like to organise a fencing contractor yourself to write us a report and give us a quote? No need for more than one quote”

They were great when we made the claim after the hailstorm so I hadn’t expected any problems. I called the contractor who’d been so helpful and he’ll be out tomorrow to quote and prepare the report. Of course it’s a shared fenceline so the neighbour will also have to submit a claim to his insurer. They may require more than one quote, I guess, but that will be up to them.

After that I enjoyed a very nice lunch with a couple of friends that I made at my last workplace (neither work there any more). Amanda is moving to Brisbane and it’s probably our last chance to get together before she leaves. It was so good to catch up with them both. The food was really nice as well. We went to a Japanese/Vietnamese/Thai cafe, Tao, on Scarborough Beach Road. I had Edamame and Tempura Vegetables, Lynne had Teryaki Chicken, I think, and Amanda had Pho Ga (Vietnamese chicken noodle soup). Yummy food, I’d definitely go back.

Now for the furniture fun(?). The question mark is there because I don’t know how a visit to IKEA could ever be remotely considered fun! I’ve only ever been to this one IKEA store and I’ve only been there twice before because I hate the experience. On the first visit I saw a bathroom wall cabinet that I really liked, but it cost a bit more than I wanted to pay. Over that past couple of years I’ve looked around for something similar but never found anything else I liked as much so today I decided to bite the bullet. I knew exactly what I wanted, but finding it is such a drama. You can’t just go directly to the section you want in an IKEA store.

I finally found the cabinet in the display area and wrote down the details of where to find it in the storeroom. Finally found my way to the storage racks…and there’s something else in that position! I’m so ready to just walk out by this time, but I kept telling myself…no…you’ve made it this far…you can’t let it beat you… So, I wait in the queue at the checkout only to be told by the checkout chick that she can’t help me, they don’t have computers at the checkout, only cash registers. I have to go back to the info stand at the end of row 9 and ask there.

Don’t let it beat you…stick with it…you’ve made it this far…

Back to row 9 and the info counter. Waiting in line again. Finally told that “oh yes, I’m pretty sure I moved some of those this morning, they are now in row 35 section 33. Grrrrr.

Row 35 section 33. Yes, there they are. Into the trolley and off to the checkout. Now there are long lines at every checkout. Even the express checkouts are moving slowly.

Don’t let it beat you…stick with it…you’ve made it this far…

Through the checkout and out to the carpark. Argh! You can’t take the trolley to the car. You have to leave it in the pick-up area with your package (that was just too heavy to comfortably carry) and bring the car around to pick it up.

I was sooo pleased to finally get out of there. I am never going back!