Teething problems with the flat

I have spent my first working-week in my flat in Swansea. What a pleasure it was. A great sense of freedom from life in a Marriot.

Teething troubles

That’s not to say there have not been any issues. The shower does not work, the bed mattress is a lot on the soft/thin side for me, the TV did not work and the timer for the hot-water and heating is suspect. I also had to report that one of the bedroom wardrobe doors is in need of some attention before it does more damage scrapping the draw underneath it, or drops off althogether.

The TV was easily fixed. Wales has gone completely digital, so whilst the TV was plugged into the aerial socket, there was nothing for an analogue TV to pick up. A quick visit to Tesco allowed me to address this with a Twin Freeview+ tuner PVR for less than £100. Not as sophisticated as the units I have at home but good enough. I am so used to being able to time-shift the viewing of programmes, and hit the pause button on live shows at my convenience, there was little point going for a cheap Freeview box.

The letting agent got a sparky into the flat quickly to look at the shower unit but a completely new unit also produced only cold water. Now awaiting a visit from the water company. Water pressure seems very low to me, probably because of all the building work going on in the Marina area of Swansea. I fear this could take a while to resolve.

Having only been in the flat for a few waking hours on three nights, it is hard to be certain what is going on with the timer. I know I have had to reset it to the correct time a couple of times but it did seem to be tracking okay last time I looked (about an hour after a reset). We shall see.

A mattress replacement is being ordered. Landlord is contributing £100. I shall pay the balance, which I expect will also be around £100 for a decent mattress to support someone of my considerable bulk. A small price to pay to protect my back and give me a decent night’s sleep.

A chippie has been promised to go fix the wardbrobe door.

Rubbish & Cleaning

I discovered that I just need to pop my rubbish in a closed storage bay near the front entrance of the building (handy as I am the first flat) BUT the rubbish has to be in tied black bags. Naturally, I had purchased white bags! I have not yet been tempted to get the vacuum cleaner out. Not something I have ever had to do in a hotel of course, and an extremely rare practice on my visits home. Hope I do not make too much mess. I have resisted the temptation to have lots of books, newspapers and magazines strewn around the place, which is usually what kick starts my general untidiness. There is a washing machine, but given how low the water pressure is (the cause, I suspect, of the shower problem) and tenacy limitation that says one must be present when the washing machine is in use, I may not get much change to use it. Shame! (Not sure I want all my shirts the same colour anyway.) There appears to be two irons as well. No idea why.

Security

It is great having a small balcony, even if only a couple of feet above the pathway, onto the marina but not wanting to give passing thieves too easy an opportunity, I suspect the patio window to the balcony (which is not that easy to open) will have to stay shut most of the time, especially as we head into winter. Will be interesting to see how warm the flat gets into summer. I have a/c at home but in the flat would need to put the output pipe out through a ground floor window. Hum.

Cooking

I enjoyed cooking for myself in the flat. The hobs are electric rather than gas, so not huge fun but easy to keep clean. Kitchenware was adequate but not great so I purchased a flat-bottomed non-stick wok (so, not really a wok) which gives me enough room to stir things around properly and apply different amounts of heat to some things (unlike the provided shallow fry pans). I love rice as well so I purchased what I thought was a microwave rice cooker (we have worked our way through several of these at home over the years) – easier and less messy than a bowl with plates above and (deep plate) below. Sadly, it was a steam cooker for the microwave but not as I know it so I ended up having a home made mince beef curry on bread rather than rice on my first night. Many many years ago, I used to do most of the cooking at home but have got out of practice as time as gone by. I still usually do the cooking when we go on holiday (I did a brilliant Christmas dinner last Christmas on a narrow boat) – it is odd how I like a decent sized kitchen at home (or in a flat) but can cope in a small space when camping or on a canal holiday. I think my wife is especially looking forward to me getting into the habit of cooking again. There may well be a lot of vegan dishes (going back to my student period) as well, which may be a bit of a shock to them. Must get some pulses and start soaking them.

Roll on next week.

Posted via email from kyber’s posterous

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