Monday, 30 April 2007

Kitchen Update

What was I thinking when I typed that things could only get better? To put it simply, the kitchen is not happening.

After waiting since last Monday, Jaguar Fine Kitchen's Drew Jeffrey rang on Friday morning & advised us to get the tradespeople here for first thing this morning to install the kitchen. With electrician & plumber ready & willing to work for the kitchen crew, Drew Lockland from Jaguar Fine Kitchens has rung to inform us that they have sent an email and I quote:

"As a result of discussion with David Banks [the owner of the business] I am instructed to advise that he is not prepared to advance any further with the installation of the kitchen unless there is an agreement in writing from you to extend the time for installation and completion of the kitchen and fitting of the bench tops. As Drew Jeffrey explained to you there h as been a delay as a result of the painting of panels etc not being to our satisfaction.

In addition, there have been delays with Drew getting final instructions from you in terms of final detail for your kitchen. As he explained at the time it was a matter of getting it right the first time."

This is all news to us! You've seen the plans. I can bore you with every detail right down to door knobs etc. What more could they be asking for? And, more is the point, why hasn't anyone rung or come out to the house or something to find out what it is they don't already know. If they were having problems, why didn't they say so? A polite phone call goes a long way to soothing tension.

We stipulated from the outset (and made a point of it before signing anything) that the dates for installation were part of the contract because it fitted in with work commitments (Paul's supposed to be in Perth this week; I was going to do a teaching contract). We even said from the outset that if these dates did not suit then we would find another kitchen company to do the job rather than fluff around.

Having said that, we understand that there are unforseen delays. Why didn't Jaguar Fine Kitchens simply ring and politely tell us that they would not be here today (or last Monday)? They signed the contract with dates to be met many, many weeks beforehand. They knew way back then whether it was possible to achieve. It had an option from the beginning to say 'no' Sigh!

I'll let you know what happens next.

Stay cheerful. We are still seeing the funny side of things ... just! (little washing up & I'm losing weight going up & down that ladder!)


Thursday, 26 April 2007

Flight of the Kitchen Reno is stalled!

Don't ask me why, but our kitchen hasn't arrived. It has been 4 days.There is no word from Jaguar Fine Kitchens as to why not, in fact, they won't answer their phones for us to find out. Not happy, Jan!

Add injury to the mix. A certain party who shall remain nameless (until the annual Christmas newsletter goes out) fell off a ladder, put a hole in the wall and broke a bone in his foot not allowing him to weight bare until the next 6 weeks are up, at least. This, of course, means that he's off work for five days, grounded from travel for at least 2 weeks and, being the worst patient since Adam & Eve were cast out of Eden, is going to need a lot of attention. More miserable still, Jan!

The birthday was a real blast. Not! Waiting, waiting, waiting ... Grrr!

I guess that the only good news is that it can only get better.

Hoping you are experiencing lots of happiness & laughter in your world.


Wednesday, 25 April 2007



(a family favourite)


  • 1 cup plain flour

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup rolled oats (I substituted porridge oats as that’s all I could find)

  • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut

  • 125g butter

  • 2 tablespoons of golden syrup

  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

  • 2 tablespoons of boiling water


  1. Mix most of the dry ingredients together (flour, oats, sugar and coconut)

  2. Melt the butter and golden syrup over a gentle heat

  3. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the water, stir that mixture into the butter and golden syrup mix and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix until you can’t see any more white flour.

  4. Bake in a moderate (180C) over for about 15-20 minutes til golden

  5. Remove from the oven when you’re happy with their colour, leave on the tray for a short time and then lift them off with a spatula to cool on wire racks.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Yes it's my birthday! Kitchen renovations have been taking up my sanity but AUSTPOST is like FEDEX. She just keeps on delivering in rain, hail & kitchen disaster.

A heart-felt thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone. Belonging to a couple of online cross stitch groups means that I have received Blissful Stash from all over the globe. I'm not going to name names in case I miss someone out. That would be dreadful! Let me just say that I am overwelmed at people's generosity. I never expected anything like this!

Happy stitching and lots of love,


Saturday, 21 April 2007

Kitchen Renovations - what next?

This is what all the fuss is about - the new stove.

The mudmap to where we are now headed.

Kitchen Renovations (Reconstruction - part 1)

Warren, the plumber and his apprentice, Shane.

Warren & the electrician, also called Shane.

David, the apprentice plasterer

Brett, the plasterer, & David.

It just needs sanding and we are ready for a paint job.

After the destruction, there's always a certain amount of rebuilding before the new kitchen goes in. Our house was no exception. Plumbing, electricals and plastering are all 'behind the scenes' necessities that one spends a fortune on & doesn't 'see' when the kitchen is finished, but one enjoys the benefits of. I'm painting on Sunday before the kitchen goes in on Monday.

As we had ripped out the kitchen & the plumber already had a huge hole in our back garden because the former owners had fitted the house downpipes stormwater drainage into the sewerage, we decided to move the sink to under the window. In for a penny, in for a pound. What was another 1m of plumbing likely to cost?

Monday, 16 April 2007

Kitchen Renovations (Before)

The new kitchen is finally going in! The following pictures are what we had before we started. This first one was taken before we signed the contract to buy the house.

My theory has always been that you need to live somewhere for a year before you start changing things around. Having done that, we decided we needed a new upright stove with a decent sized oven. e couldn't get the same laminex. It would have been a quick and easy job.

The holes were in the wall for about a week before Paul saw them. LOL. Warren, the plumber, and I were trying to find some pipes, etc.
Warren's advice: 'Sell up! Buy another house! It's not as easy as it looks on TV!' I didn't listen. Maybe I should have...

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Stitching Again

No pictures to post today, sorry. Thank you one and all for the stitching vibes. I needed them.

I must admit that there's nothing like procrastination to get a girl going. I've just finished emptying out the kitchen in preparation for the cupboards being ripped out in the morning but beforehand, I had spectacular urges to go through every piece of stash I own and sort it on the shelves. I know everything I own to the nth degree LOL. Anyway, here I am now, sitting on a camp stool, watching Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire with Paul & Terry and sorting out colours for my 'Love' sampler. Between us, we've worked out that the best colours are the blue I'd already chosen (824) and a deep plum colour (3802) for the contrast.

Terry and I went to the Stitches and Craft Show on the Gold Coast yesterday. I'm afraid we haven't got any stash to report (I know already that I'm over supplied). How pathetic is that? LOL We're simply keeping each other motivated to keep stitching even when we don't feel like it. This is good.

Have a wonderful week every. Happy stitching.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Monday, 9 April 2007

Easter Weekend

We've had a mostly quiet weekend. This is our first Easter spent in Brisbane since we moved here in 2004 because it's usually the weekend we go south to Paul's parents' place near Port Macquarie, NSW. As we have just came back from a long trip & we are seeing Mum & Dad very soon, we thought we would take it quietly & paint the living room instead.

Nice thought ... no action. Yes, we did take it quietly. No we didn't paint a drip!. The walls are still dark salmon & the new British Paints Aran White is still in the tin.

Our weekend consisted of breakfast each day with one or other family member, and then yesterday evening, we had a fun dinner in town with friends from Canada whom we originally met in Austria (look for blogs which talk about our plans for a trip to North America). Apart from that, as we've got no furniture in our living room we've lounged on the bed, snoozed, read books, eaten copious amounts of chocolate & watched DVD after DVD. Life's tough! LOL

I hope you too are enjoying your weekend.

Happiness & laughter always,


Sunday, 8 April 2007

Please Send Inspiration

I haven't stitched in over a month. Please someone, send me some stitching inspiration vibes! LOL

Just kidding. I've temporarily lost the stitching mojo. The fact that I don't have a chair to sit on (they've all gone to the upholsterer whilst the kitchen gets renovated) probably doesn't help.

Friday, 6 April 2007

A Long Weekend

It's a four day weekend here in Australia and Paul & I are having our first Easter long weekend at home together. In the three other Easter seasons we've known each other, we've twice driven to Laurieton, near Port Macquarie on the NSW mid-north coast, to visit his parents and once tried to find a getaway without kids.

We are preparing for the kitchen renovations.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Back Home

I hope everyone is well and happy.

Holidays are great breaks from daily routines, don't you think? We've been to Perth & the Margaret River region, we drank some good wine, ate some wonderful food & now we're home. It's time to return to the quotidien. Look for updates of my cross stitching efforts soon.