Monday, December 01, 2014

2014 the hobby year that never was!

Hi Folks, welcome back to the blog and to the tail end of "2014 the hobby year that never was!”

As I’m sure many of you guys know the blog has been deathly quiet over the course of 2014 and I can only apologise for this, unfortunately this was the year the real world caught up with me and my family caused untold life and hobby catastrophe. I apologise for the wordiest post in the blogs history but I thought you might enjoy it.

The year started well with a few odds and sods done but then we decided it would be good to finally get moved and a house bought so the things were packed away in prep for moving and that’s when the troubles began. Initially it was going to be a nice quick purchase followed by some building work and then in, boy were we wrong!

Around halfway through the purchase our vendor “discovered” the house needed to go through probate and this left us all packed up with nowhere to go and we ended up moving in with my In-Laws on the assumption a month there then another for building we would be on our way. Well the good news was the probate and purchase did only take an extra month so come the end of May we were ready to go and we got the keys.

That was an interesting day as on route to get the keys some Muppet decided to reverse back around the corner of a junction they had half driven round in to the front of our bright red car, far from apologetic they advised they didn’t see us (its bright red for god’s sake!) and it’s not their fault. No injuries and luckily admissions and their stating they didn’t see us was caught on camera so they didn’t have a leg to stand on, still that was another lot of hassle we didn’t need.

So June began with a flourish and our builders moved in with all good plans and promises and work began…. Well the tools got moved in… the builders turned up a week later and then work began… except it didn’t… then the builders came back a week later and then work began… except it didn’t… can you see a pattern here! Eventually we tied the builders down and some work was done. Some walls were knocked down, some went up, some wires went in as did some pipes. All good? Well I bet you can guess what’s coming!

That’s right, three whole months later on and with a total of a months’ worth of work (their estimate) to be completed and they were still less than a quarter done! It finally came to a head and at the end of august after 8 separate deadlines to complete we finally asked them to leave site and terminated their contract. Strangely the day we told them that we couldn’t stop getting calls from them, amazing seems as for three months we had barely being able to get hold of them.

So they were asked to leave, their tools were gathered and they came to collect them with more excuses, whinging it would only take another month (when politely advised why it hadn’t being done two months ago then they decided to leave it), threats of legal action, demands for more money and some attempts at intimidation – note being polite works wonders when some muscles decides that he knows best – so all good they left and despite their promises the house was ready and there was only a small amount of work to do we were left with what can only be described as a shell!

Despite the promised and contracted work we were left to complete:
Full plastering
Central heating to fit
Boiler to fit
Electrics to repair – the new electrics they fitted were condemned
Bathroom to fit
Kitchen to fit
Floorboards to replace
Hole in the roof to repair
Water to plumb in for the entire house
Bathroom and kitchen to tile
Door frames to fit
Doors to fit

And those are just the big jobs, so what had they done for three months? By all accounts not a lot, put some plaster on in the hall so first impressions were good, removed a small chimney, knocked two smallish walls down (that didn’t need taking down), replaced those walls with one side of stud work (didn’t do the other side and made the walls the wrong size), attached one radiator but no pipes to the wall and ran some of the electrics.

So this left us with a dilemma as to what to do, it left us with the only option someone who has just being screwed over by tradesmen has to make, spare time and friends! Well that Sunday we met with a family friend who advised us on what was needed, recommended some very good tradesmen (if you are in Essex and need some tradesmen let me know and I’ll send their details) and then the work began in earnest.

Since the end of august until now we have worked every waking hour, weekend and even some nights to get things resolved and the house liveable and I’m glad to say there were some dark days, like the day we got both the electrics and boiler checked to be told they were useless and would take a lot of time and money to be correct, or in the case of the boiler and central heating to actually be installed – after being told they had being by the builders. That was a great day, and by far one of the darkest as to top it off on the drive back to the In-Laws a van decided to drive in to the back of my car at a roundabout, and I bet you can’t guess his excuse!

So things progressed and the house has finally got done in mid-November, when we take all the time and people working on it (including repairing the roof where the plumber went through) we reckon there was all in all two more months work to be done, but fitted around work and life its being a long hard slog but we are finally there. With all this going on and with living at the In-Laws, living in the building site, going away on courses for work, working and building as you can image something had to give and unfortunately that was of course the hobby’s (both 40k and airsoft) and the blog. So now after a whole year life is getting back on track and it looks like the life is actually coming back to my life.

Lots of other things have happened over the year, some good, some bad, some meeh but mainly there was lots of DIY and work that almost made everything else disappear and 2014 really has been a year that has flown by with no real appreciation of the time we’ve had and life in general.

Despite everything please don’t despair though, life really is good, we now have a home and all that’s left is those silly little five minute jobs that take you 5 years to get round to doing. We have finally settled in and most importantly 2014 is the year we found out we were having our first child. Yes amazingly on top of all that was going on my wonderful wife was producing new life, and unbelievably did all she could to help with the house whilst pregnant. She is just simply amazing!

Now we are coming to the end of the year, the baby is due any day and life is so on the up its unbelievable after the year we have had. so for Familia Millest it seems like 2015 really will be a new start and hopefully we can share some of the hobby side of life with you all and thanks for reading as to why 2014 really was “the hobby year that never was!”
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