Back to the house project

Well, after a couple of months that were taken up with work and holidays, I finally have time over the next few weeks to get on with the house again.

The main project is the study, which is still just a pile of boxes, but there’s a few other things to do as well – mainly putting up bookcases and Tetris-ing things around.  I’m mainly working this week, but at the weekend I will have time to get started on the bookcases –  meaning we’ll have access to our books for the first time since January.  Exciting!  I’ve almost forgotten what we actually have.

I’m glad I’ll finally be able to get into that study next week as well – I’m looking forward to having a whole extra room.  Eventually.

Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #7

We’ve been doing this for a whole week.  Doesn’t time fly?

Day 7 takes us to 11th August 1986.

August 1986
In August 1986, the world looked like this, complete with the freedom to put a toddler in whatever ungodly beige thing I’m wearing here. Not one of my finer looks!

Let’s see what might have been blaring on the radio while I was toddling around that balcony.

Now! That's What I Call Music #7
Track 1: Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer

Great start!  Awesome upbeat song, a real classic (doing the chair dance right now).  The video won lots of awards but I’ve never been a fan of it, though I’m sure it was groundbreaking at the time.

Track 2: UB40 – Sing Our Own Song

I do like the almost MIDI-videogame-music-esque instrumentals that run through this song.  Nice tune too.

Track 3: Sly Fox – Let’s Go All The Way

Nice beat, but the tune’s a bit dull for me.

Track 4: Level 42 – Lessons In Love

And with the awesome guitar intro to this song, Level 42 are reminding me that I really should buy tickets to that show I was talking about yesterday.  I love this track.

Track 5: Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money)

I’m so glad Pet Shop Boys have caught the eye of the Now! compilers!  I love pretty much everything they’ve ever done, and this brilliant track is no exception.  Love that slow synth intro that bangs into the chorus – awesome.

Track 6: Pete Wylie – Sinful!

Repetitive beats, lack of melody, boring samples, not really my thing.  It does get slightly more interesting as it builds.

Geth arrived home while this was playing and thought it was by James.  I’ve not asked how many drinks he had at his work’s wine reception, but it looks like a few.*

Track 7: Stan Ridgway – Camouflage

I do like this jaunty tune, though the vocals annoy me.  If I can find an instrumental version, I think I’ll be adding it to my regular playlist.

Track 8: The Art Of Noise and Max Headroom – Paranoimia

Like the synth at the start of this, like the sampling, love Max Headroom.  Fun track.

Track 9: Chris De Burgh – Lady In Red

Blurgh, far too much cheese here.  I don’t dislike everything he’s done, but this one is a real eye-roller.

Track 10: David Bowie – Absolute Beginners

Lovely song, up to the usual Bowie standard.  Nice video too, featuring a red phone box (though it’s filmed in black and white).

Track 11: Genesis – Invisible Touch

I really like the Genesis singles of this era.  Great catchy chorus, great instrumentals.

Track 12: Simple Minds – All The Things She Said

It’s bad that when I see that title my mind automatically goes to the 2002 Tatu hit, right?  I think that’s pretty bad.

This song, meanwhile, is a great upbeat track from Simple Minds, no male-gaze lesbianism in sight.

Track 13: The Housemartins – Happy Hour

Happy hour, happy song, happy Dee, quite literally.  This one always cheers me up.

Track 14: Big Country – Look Away

One of the Big Country songs that irritates me for some reason.  I think it’s the tune.

Track 15: Furniture – Brilliant Mind

I’ve always really liked the atmosphere of this one.  It builds beautifully.

Track 16: Midge Ure – Call Of The Wild

Nice pop tune, but it’s a bit forgettable.

Track 17: Wham! – The Edge Of Heaven

Were Wham! still going at this point?  I lose track.  Great catchy song though.

Track 18: Owen Paul – My Favourite Waste Of Time

I’m going to call this a guilty pleasure.  Should I feel guilty about it?  I’m not sure.

Track 19: Amazulu – Too Good To Be Forgotten

Unfortunately this song does not do what it says on the tin.  It may be unforgettable, but that’s due to the irritating tune that threatens to become an unwanted earworm if you hear it too often.

Track 20: Doctor & The Medics – Spirit In The Sky

Never been sure about this cover.  It’s very nearly a pointless ’80s cover in my book, as there’s little to differentiate it from the Norman Greenbaum original other than the harder guitar and interesting synth hooks, but I can’t help but love the video.

Track 21: Bananarama – Venus

My favourite Bananarama song!  Perfect piece of pop.

Track 22: Bucks Fizz – New Beginning (Mamba Seyra)

I do quite like a lot of Bucks Fizz’s stuff, but I’m not hugely keen on this one.  It’s a bit dull.

Track 23: A-ha – Hunting High And Low [Remix]

I quite like this one, even though it’s one of A-ha’s slower tracks.  There’s something quite epic about it.

Track 24: Simply Red – Holding Back The Years

Nice ballad, though I’d have to be in a pretty sleepy mood to put it on.

Track 25: Billy Ocean – When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going

Love this classic soundtrack song!  Though I’ve never seen The Jewel In The Nile (or Romancing The Stone, come to think of it), which I should sort out at some point.

Fun fact: Boyzone did a pointless ’90s cover of this in 1999 (well, I shouldn’t really call it pointless, seeing as it raised a lot of money for Comic Relief, but you know what I mean).

Track 26: Jaki Graham – Set Me Free

Nice upbeat pop song, though I’m not hugely keen on the vocals.

Track 27: Nu Shooz – I Can’t Wait

With a band name like this, what can go wrong?

I do like that jingly bit at the start.  I also just realised that Mann sampled this for Buzzin’ in 2010 and now I’m annoyed on Nu Shooz’ behalf.

Track 28: The Real Roxanne and Hitman Howie Tee – Bang Zoom (Let’s Go-Go)

The rap bit’s all right, but the sampled tune irritates me.  Not a fan.

Track 29: Lovebug Starski – Amityville (The House On The Hill)

‘Not on Spotify’ Type 1: lazy tribute version substitute.

Nice cheesy horror-themed track, very ’80s.  One for the Hallowe’en party playlist.

Track 30: Midnight Star – Headlines

Argh, that irritating vocal!  Not a fan of this one.

Track 31: Aurra – You And Me Tonight

Lot of spoken samples in the intro, repetitive backing track, dull vocals.  Not my thing.

Track 32: Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald – On My Own

Pretty dull ballad, though the tune on the chorus is nice.

*He’s just informed me it was three.

New shiny things

After a couple of days of dribs and drabs of small deliveries of house stuff, the big Ikea order arrived today!  Most of it (I’ve already assembled the replacement lamp) is still sitting in the middle of the living room, as there’s no space to assemble the units or put them in their eventual places yet.  And just when I thought I’d reclaimed that bit of living room floor.  Oh well.

I also finally finished the wardrobe cull.  It’s amazing how much stuff I realised I just didn’t like or want to wear, and in total I’ve probably got rid of about 75% of my clothes.  To be fair, I am now spending a lot of time online, fantasy shopping for replacements, but I’m trying to be good and only (mostly) buying things I actually need.

Now that the Ikea order is here, one thing I can do is start putting stuff into its proper storage boxes.  Hopefully I’ll have a properly functioning dressing room, at least, by the end of the week!

On with the cull

I spent today getting on with my wardrobe cull.  I got rid of a lot of dresses, underwear, scarves and hats, and a lot more shoes – I’ve now got the previous total down to 59 pairs.  That’s a pretty big drop, and it means my new shoe shelves will look really neat and uncluttered.

Well, at least until I replace all the thrown-out pairs with new ones!

No, I’m kidding.  Like with everything else in the house, I’ll be instituting a one-in one-out rule once my shelves are full, in order to avoid things getting back into the chaotic hoarding state that has made this house move so stressful.  Neither Geth nor I have ever been in the habit of throwing things away, but that has to change from now on, for my own sanity.

I’m quite looking forward to seeing what it’s like to live without mounds of stuff everywhere!

(Justified) excessive spending

I spent a lot of money at Ikea and other homewares suppliers today.  There should be lots and lots of shiny packages arriving this week.  It’s all stuff we need for the house, though, so I don’t feel guilty about it (I know I shouldn’t ever feel guilty about spending money on stuff I want as long as I can afford it, but broke girl habits die hard!).

I bought new shelving (the Kallax units for the boardgames, plus a couple of things for upstairs), a new kitchen bin (I’m fed up of the ridiculous balancing act required by our current small one), a lamp to replace one of the ones that packed in earlier this week, a magazine rack for the downstairs toilet, hanging shoe storage for our tiny hallway, a wardrobe rail to replace a broken one in the wardrobe that came with the house, a new rug for the dressing room, a chair and mirror for my dressing table (my old director’s chair that I got for my ninth birthday has sadly seen its last days), hooks and other stuff for making jewellery storage, and approximately 1,000 pretty storage boxes for the various shelves in the house.  I’m so excited about the packages.  All the packages.

I’m not done with homewares buying yet, but I definitely think that’s enough for this week.

Tetris and other block puzzles

You know those games (physical or digital) where you have to get a ball from one end of the board/screen to the other by moving blocks around so you can slowly work the ball through the path?  I’m terrible at them.  It always takes me ages.

That’s how I’ve felt about working on the new house for most of the last week.

The current project is to get everything into its correct room, if not its correct place.  What this means is I’m just constantly moving boxes around, trying to clear paths for other things to be moved through, filling one room and then another in an attempt just to have some tiny space to manoeuvre stuff.  It’s really tiring, and I feel like I’m going round in circles.

A big part of the problem is that there’s so much stuff that doesn’t have a place yet.  We’re going to be building new wall shelves out of our old Ikea Billy bookshelves to house the DVDs, videogames and some of the books, and I’ve designed a wall of Ikea Kallax units for the boardgame collection.  As such, until these units are in place, our books, DVDs, videogames and boardgames have to stay in boxes, and there’s a lot of them.

I know, logically, I am making headway.  I’ve spent today making rows of all the boxes that go in different areas, so once Geth gets home tonight and helps me with a couple of heavy lifting jobs, I’ll be able to fill the study with all the Stuff That Goes In The Study (as opposed to the all-kinds-of-everything totally random stuff that was in there before) and use that as a dumping ground to help me sort out other rooms.  After that, over the next couple of days, I can move my magazine Kallax upstairs, then move all the boardgame boxes to the space where their Kallax storage is going to live, and that will mean there’s a bit more breathing room around the piles of boxes of books and DVDs that are currently having to stay in the living room.

The whole thing really is doing wonders for my hoarding habit though.  I can’t wait to start sorting through things properly and getting rid of stuff.

One step at a time.  It’s just frustrating when there are so many steps.

Never moving again…

…well, at least until we have to leave Newcastle, if/when that ever happens.

The last week has been completely insane, with everything that could get complicated getting complicated.  The snow just hasn’t let up all week, meaning that various workmen have had trouble getting to us and we’ve had to reorganise things.  A particularly dopey delivery driver tried to deliver my new Pandora charm (a treat to myself for getting the move done) to the wrong address, meaning I had to go trekking out in the snow to try and find the tiny corner shop two miles away where UPS leave undelivered parcels.

Meanwhile, our phone, TV and internet, which was scheduled to be reconnected today, now can’t be, because the previous residents never bothered to inform their phone company that they were leaving the property, and so BT are having to do complicated legal stuff before they can get us connected (and didn’t bother to inform us of this prior to Geth calling them up today).  As a result, we’re now having to buy a temporary internet hub for the house to last us for the 10 days it apparently could take for this to get sorted out.

In more positive news, the carpet cleaning guy was at least able to show up on Wednesday, so our upstairs carpets are now clean, and we’ll hopefully be able to get the walls painted next week with help from my dad and his knowledge of house paint.  After that, I can get the furniture finalised in the upstairs bedrooms and finally start getting stuff unpacked.  It will all be okay – I just need to stick to the steps of my plan.

Also, I really hope this snow disappears soon, preferably until next winter.