Friday 26 September 2008

Domestic duties

We are considering whether or not to embark on another round of building work. We had plans approved in November 2005 but we only implemented a reduced scheme, namely to convert the attic. To extend to the side or rear feels like a bigger, more expensive piece of work, but we may as well test our appetite for it by revising the plans and getting a quote. Given the current dire economic forecast we may struggle to extend the mortgage at a reasonable rate, so any plans may have to remain a dream for now. Planning permission on the original scheme runs out on November 2010 so we have a couple of years yet.

Aside from potential big expense, the small expenses keep on coming. Our trusty Bosch washing machine broke down after 7 years service and the fan oven has been out of commission since early in the summer. The Bosch needed the brushes replaced to drive the motor to drive the belt to make the drum turn to wash and spin the clothes. The oven needed (another) new element. It's the second replacement since we bought the oven with Sharon's "Caeserean money" in 2003. Sharon treated me by getting the hedges cut when I was at work (one less autumn chore to do) and we had a long overdue carpet shampoo too, restoring the bedrooms and living room to something like their best. So shoes off the next time you visit!

Alas, Europe lost the Ryder Cup 16.5-11.5 to the USA at Valhalla. There was some great golf played, especially on the Saturday, but the Sunday was a bit of an anti-climax with Europe never really threatening to overturn the 9-7 deficit and the US team showing far more determination and ability than in their last two record thrashings. At least the competition is alive and kicking once more as Europe's five wins out of the last six, whilst always enjoyable, had rather taken the sting out of beating the US. Scott appeared for a brief supporting session on the Saturday before the requirements of fatherhood drew him home. The advantage of the venue being Stateside this year meant I could watch most of the matches with the boys in bed, making use of the V+ recording feature too.

I was in London for a couple of days this week, attending a Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit at the plush Royal Lancaster Hotel by Hyde Park. We were staying at the Washington Mayfair and enjoyed a fine Spanish meal on the Monday night and a stroll to work across Hyde Park on the Tuesday. It's a nice part of the city but you'd need a couple of million just to buy a bedsit!

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