Sunday, November 14, 2010

First Project Done & Dusted ......

I've been busy the last few days - setting up "The Shed" so that it is more user friendly.  Not completed yet, but I have finished the workbench and tool storage facilities.

It's not perfect, but for a bumble-fingured not-so-handy man like myself, I am rather proud of the finished result.  Two work benches in place, and plenty of peg-board "backing" where I can hang all my tools (at least those I retained when we shifted).

Still got some floor space to clear, which will involve getting rid of a few larger items; such as a filing cabinet (the computer desk inside should have enough space for the few items retained that were in the cabinet); an old Winfield "shed" unit (would really like to keep this, but just can't justify the space it takes) and the branch chipper, which, although the most useful garden implement we've had, probably isn't needed here.

As a true Aussie, the irony of the situation is not lost on me, either.  I have made a lot of use of the tools and the workbenches themselves in actually building the feature and now that everything is setup, probably will have far less need for them all into the future - but at least, if and when I do, I should be able to find everything.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Now for the Positives - the Shifting Bouquets .........

And, there are a lot of bouquets (in no special order) to hand out ..................

Maddens Lawyers: at all times kept us well informed and acted promptly and efficiently during both the sale of Ziegler Parade and the purchase of the 'Castle".  Congrats to Heather for her prompt, professional and at all times friendly manner.

Wilson Real Estate: via Lucas Wilson made our sale and purchase very easy - and played a major part in getting a very good price for us on Ziegler.  They can probably improve on their internal communications a bit but this shortcoming had no overall affect on the transactions.

Rod Stephens Builder: a HUGE bouquet.  Rod, his contractors, sub-contractors and staff have all been BRILLIANTExcellent communications, quality product.  With continuing presence of builders on the site as they complete other houses, they are always happy to lend a hand if we find some little problem.  Shelley in the office - what can I say?  If you want someone with great communication and inter-personal skills, steal her away from Rod as soon as you can.

Currans Removalists, Allansford: were excellent.  Delivered boxes as soon as needed, kept us in the loop as S-Day approached.  They were running a little late on shifting morning, but kept in touch via phone to let us know what was happening.  Steve & Jason, who actually did the move were very pleasant, friendly and organised - I think they may have done that sort of thing before.

Rod Andrew, Electrician: was at all times helpful, with excellent work quality.  Didn't even blink or baulk at all the extra points and wiring we were asking for.

Rod Payne, Sound/TV Systems: a little concerned about this Rod (seems to have been a lot of Rods involved) at one stage but discovered he had been quite sick (it was funny dealing with him afterwards because he could barely speak due to an almost complete loss of voice).  Did the extra wiring, etc. for TV, sound system and the projector.

Andrea Bellman, House Cleaning: Andrea and colleague did a final clean-up at Ziegler before handover.  On time, efficient - what more can I say?

Austar: they went from potential brickbat to probably a neutral (rather than bouquet) status.  Had a lot of trouble initially getting them to schedule our installation, but they came through about a week after S-Day.  When things started to roll, they kept us well informed at every point and their installer did a quick and excellent job.

All of the above made our move that much more pleasant and endurable - we thank them for their approach, attention to detail and professionalism.

Shifting - The Brickbats or What Should have gone Better ......

Thought I'd start by detailing where we had problems associated with our recent shift - mainly because there were really only two problem areas.

It took two weeks to get the phone and internet moved.  I suppose some might say we did well, but in fact, it was well planned for.  About three weeks before Shifting Day (S-Day) I approached the Warrnambool Telephone Company (WTC) to ask them to handle things for us.  Why?  There was some doubts about what lines were available into the Park, so I wanted someone who knew about such things to "manage" the disconnection/reconnection of such services.  Three days before S-Day, I revisited them to ask how things were going.  I became a little concerned when they had to get all the details again - fairly obviously, we had 'slipped through' their system unnoticed.  I was assured that things would be okay and they would call the mobile when they had news.  On S-Day+1 I enquired again and was advised that Telstra had acknowledged the order and they were awaiting advice on when it would be scheduled.  Eventually, they got back to me and advised it would be on Wednesday, 10 November: S-Day+14.  Telstra duly arrived on the 10th and completed the work.  I feel that WTC clearly dropped the ball on this one and let us down to the tune of about two weeks.

The other brickbat goes to the ANZ Bank.  Although we were not dealing directly with them, the purchaser of our house in Ziegler Parade was.  ANZ was very tardy when it came to approving the buyers finance (this criticism, to be fair, could probably be levelled at all of the major Banks).  However, in spite of having plenty of warning, they also held up settlement for a number of days.  This meant that technically the new owners could not move into Ziegler Parade as planned, which potentially put them to great inconvenience and potential added costs.  We got around this by providing them with a pre-settlement occupancy agreement which enabled them to move at a more convenient time.  We did not pursue the question of rental for the few days involved, since it was clearly not their fault.

So, I guess all in all, we fared very well when you consider all the possible things that can go wrong when shifting house.

We're in - and almost organised ......

We've been in the new house for just over two weeks now - delay on reporting due to problems getting phone & internet connected (see follow-up messages re the bouquets and brickbats of the shift - mostly bouquets, very few brickbats).

Been fishing once (not even a bite) and hope to get down to the river later today to try again - it's so close and easy, you've gotta love it.

Have updated a number of furniture items to fit in with the new set-up.  Bought a 40inch Sharp Quattron full HD TV, so have discarded the old TV unit in favour of a smaller, less intrusive one.  Built some matching tables and a computer workstation - I am thinking of hiring myself out as an "Allen key" expert having become quite accomplished at putting all this stuff together.  All I know is the whole damn place seems so comfortable, not to mention sparkling new.

Starting to get "The Shed" set up as well.  Built a couple of work benches in there and am in the middle of erecting peg-board to house and display my copious collection of tools.  Need to get the electrician back to put in a couple of power points and light, but that should be pretty straight forward.

Austar, TV antenna, phone and internet are all up and going, so the services side of living is pretty well taken care of.  Still need to hang a few pictures, including Robbie's Olympic relay torch.  Guess I'll just have to find the time between fishing and staring quietly and contentedly from the pergola.  Lots of happy 'sighs' can be heard from the premises.
Phone number and e-mail addresses have not changed.  Our new address is:

L107/125 Jubilee Park Road,
ALLANSFORD, Vic., 3277

 At this stage have to say it's been a huge success and we couldn't be happier.  Plenty to do, not because things HAVE to be done, but simply at our leisure and because we WANT to do them.