This is the life! Ulog #7

Today was just one of those days when it was the ideal mix of many things coming together to make it such a pleasant and enjoyable day!

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The morning

Well, we were supposed to start the day settling the bill with the carpenter/builder that has been working in our house for the past 2 weeks. However, at the last minute, he called in sick with a fever and so that meeting was cancelled! That left us with an unexpected lack of things to do for the morning which is always a great thing to have!

However, my wife decided that we should use the morning to start repopulating our sleeping rooms again, as she didn’t want to spend another evening in the attic on the guest foldout bed…. and I had plans that we should have a little barbeque this evening to take advantage of the great weather that we are currently having in the Netherlands!

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A slight detour

I want to quickly write about the amazing work that our carpenter/builder has been doing in our house. Our place doesn’t have much in the of built in storage, and so, when we heard great reports from our neighbours about this great carpenter at a really good price, we thought that we should ask for smallish things to be built for us! Next time, we will ask for a few more things.

There were four things that we wanted done in the near future. We wanted a better set of wardrobes in our room that better used the space that we had, we wanted a wall-sized desk/storage for our oldest daughter’s room, a sliding door to replace the normal door in the study/baby room and a decent storage solution (we currently had old wardrobes) for the shed.

For the wardrobe and the wall desk we had to sketch up some ideas for what we had in mind. This was pretty weird, as we had never done anything like this before. However, we had them done in our amateur designer vision sort of way…

Our first meeting with him was pretty weird, he is Polish and speaks very little English or Dutch, and so he had a friend come with him to help translate and to go over our plans and to see what would work and what wouldn’t. Anyway, the two guys were hilarious… we would say something, and then they would natter away amongst themselves and then just come back with Yes or No, we do this….It was pretty blunt and to the point, in a sort of friendly sort of way!

Anyway, the building wasn’t scheduled to take place until after the summer as he was quite busy, but at the last moment, he asked if he could start straight away! Which of course caught us whilst I was away on tour and my wife was run down with concerts and kid juggling. However, we really wanted it done and so on the single day that I was home, we cleared the rooms and were ready to go…

Anyway, fast forward to a few weeks later and here are the impressive results of the wall desk that took shape from the scratching that you saw above!

Actually, we even threw him curve ball when he had finished and we realised we hadn’t accounted for the lack of power outlets, which would be essential for the future! So, the morning he came to varnish the table we told him… He just stared at the table for a long while, and just said “it would have been easier yesterday” (Although, I’m sure there was more than that said in Polish…), and a few hours later there was this on both sides of the desk, with no visible wires or cutting!

This guy is a complete genius!

Meanwhile our shed has much more space and storage now that it has everything built to fit. In fact, it starts to look like a shop!

… and we couldn’t be happier with the sliding door, which replaced an inward opening door that chewed up all the space in a small room. We found out how funny the guy was when we returned home and saw his work finished on this door and frame and saw that he had put some little guys up on the top!

Anyway, I won’t include photos of the wardrobe at the moment, as it is a complete mess in our room with clothes and shoes everywhere, but suffice to say, we are completely happy with our much better use of space! We already have a wish list of things that we want him to make for us! A cabinet for my violins/violas and d’amores, a small desk and large shelving/bookcase for our room and a complete desk/shelving/bookcase for the study are already on the list…

The other incredible thing was that he cleaned up so amazingly well after he finished that the rooms were actually CLEANER than when he went in. An industrial vacuum does wonders, but even the shed and garage were swept clear of leaves and all the grime and mud that had accumulated over the last few years…

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Back on track!

So, the morning was spent putting up curtains and filling shelves and wardrobes…. followed by a quick trip to the garden centre to pick up charcoal (I think I want to upgrade later to a gas BBQ…) and a couple of indoor plants for the girl’s rooms.

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The Afternoon

One of the best things about Netherlands is the ease of biking around. From the design of the roads/paths to the lack of slopes or gradients of any sort! When the weather is good, it is an absolute paradise (as long as it isn’t windy).

So, we went off biking to get meat from our favourite butcher and to visit the fruit and veggie markets. At times like these it is also really handy to have the truck bike… (bakfiets, or a bucket bike).

Meanwhile, I was having such a great day that I completely forgot that I had to work, so I had to race home and drive to a rehearsal… which was mercifully short. However, a bonus of doing the driving was that I could go to the food wholesaler and pickup heaps of nice beers/ciders/juices and ice cream!

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The evening

Until our trees grow big enough to provide a little bit of shade, the evening is the best time in our back garden. Midday proves to be too hot when the sun is out.

A lazy preparation of dinner while listening to some great music was just the bill for the end of the day. I was asked to put on music that wasn’t too much “rocking out”, as my oldest daughter describes the punk stuff… and so, Cherry Poppin Daddies it was, a bit of big band jazz mixed with ska/punk.

The little girl pigged out her mango and ice-cream faster than anyone else, and was busily going from person to person to try and get extras… Mostly just by getting really close, opening her mouth really wide and saying “AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH”.

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The Present

Well, I’ve now been sitting writing this pieces for around an hour. It doesn’t seem like the toddler is going to go to sleep anytime soon, but it has been like this for the last few weeks. This is my Steemit time, and soon she will suddenly stop chatting and singing and just keel over… soon…………

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