Our new home

Post

Comments Off on Our new home   |   Travel

It is 2015 and it is time to resurrect my blog as Anna and I are travelling again.

The garden

The garden

We spent the last two years and a little more renovating our basement flat in Krakow in Poland. We did this because Anna had finally sold her father’s flat and we needed a new place to stay. I had reservations. It had been used as a store room come junk repository for 20 or more years and I just could not envision it becoming habitable again. Anna had faith, but she had seen it used as accommodation before.

When we arrived this year it was finished but essentially bare other than a sink, a shower recess and a toilet. Oh yes, and only some of the power points worked. It later transpired that one circuit was not connected.

Verandah

Verandah

Our first task was to buy a bed. We decided to start with the guest accommodation and then be fussier about ours. Our gracious upstairs neighbour, Witek, drove us to Ikea. We saw a few sofas that interested us and eventually decided on a suitable unit. We paid for it at the nearby casa but then had to arrange transport. This was of course at the other end of Ikea. Anyway we needed some exercise after the long aeroplane trips. We got there a few minutes before 4pm but Witek did not get to the desk until after 4pm. The lady was adamant that they would not deliver tomorrow because we had not placed our order before 4pm. Witek would not take a step backward and explained that we were here before time but the queue delayed us. She agreed.

We spent the night in an hotel just off Main Market Square. The bed was nice and so was the shower but, there was no soap or shampoo, two tea bags, no hair dryer, no biscuits etc. Thankfully it was only one night.

Bathroom/Laundry

Bathroom/Laundry

The next morning we went to Auchen, a French version of Big W and Woolies combined. We needed a kettle among other things. Next door we bought a washing machine. Anna could not survive without her favourite toy. That filled the morning and in the afternoon the sofa arrived. They rang to tell us when they would be coming. That would be a good innovation in Australia.

Now for the hard part. I love Ikea instructions. With Anna’s help we were progressing well until the final assembly of the sprung section. It folds and there was a little piece of metal that sort of got in the way and I could not understand what purpose it served. I tried a few ways and received advice from Kasia, Witec’s wife. I was totally confused by then. Also the spanner supplied with the kit failed completely and I need to find a substitute. As I took a little walk I saw the instruction for collapsing the bed. This piece

Ikea Sofa

Ikea Sofa

of metal fell into place when so doing and it finally made sense. I was able to complete the task. I think Anna is over buying from Ikea 🙂

The next morning I rose early and made a cup of coffee with our new kettle. I did this on the bathroom floor. Unfortunately when I showered the recess leaked water all over the floor. Closer inspection revealed a missing bead of silicone which was quickly fixed. Anyway, when Anna went to make her coffee, out went the power. After some routine troubleshooting I established that the kettle was at fault. I tried drying it carefully but no success. Luckily I had had my coffee. 🙂 Later we took it back to Auchan. It took about 20 minutes to complete the formalities with a lady who looked like we had spoiled her day. When we got to the end she told our refund would be ready in a week! The kettle cost 25 PLN and the taxi cost 19! I provided my assessment of the French in English to Anna.

Kitchen

Kitchen

Jumping ahead, we returned in a week and were told that no a refund takes two weeks. The assistant heard me express my opinion in English and rang his supervisor. He told him it would cause an International incident. The supervisor apparently said words to the effect of “stiff cheddar”. Eventually the assistant took pity on us and said he “would take the risk” and refund the money. Something like 8 AUD.

Our other shopping was progressing very satisfactorily. We found a kitchen we liked and a fabulous shower with an old fashioned waterfall head and a “normal” hand sprayer. When it came to installing it I asked Anna where she would like it? She said exactly in the middle above the tap. No worries. Up went the brackets. When it came to putting it all together I found that it was just a centimetre or two too long and fouled the tap when you raised it. It was usable in the short term but we would need a new tap unit with the handle underneath. Almost any other position other than central placement would have been fine. Add another lesson to life.

Bedroom

Bedroom

Shopping continued; we were looking for a bed for ourselves. We went way south to a place that had a bunch of furniture shops. Quite a lot of choice but we needed a sofa that extended forward rather than sideways and it could not be wider than 190cm. That reduced the choice significantly. Anna found a “lovely” purple jobbie. I could have lived with it, just, but hoped we could do better. Sometime later we found the perfect piece. As we paid for it we had to sign a waiver to the effect that if it could not fit into the house it was our problem. We had not measured the doors but I looked at it and felt fully confident so we proceeded with the purchase.

Study

Study

Hallway

Hallway

The day before delivery the carriers called to give us a time. They called again 30 minutes away. By this time I had been looking at the doors. They were getting smaller by the minute. I was less and less confident that the unit would get inside. Then it arrived. It had been on steroids since I saw it in the shop. All wrapped up in cardboard and cling wrap, there was no way it was going through the door. Well the carriers knew their job and with a little bit of leg muscle from me they got it in. I think one more centimetre would have been too much. I was a very relieved husband.

The next item to arrive was the kitchen. It was supposed to come Wednesday but they rang on Tuesday and asked if they could come at 8pm Tuesday night. Super. Two blokes came and put it together and attached it to the walls whilst Anna and I sat in the warm evening on our verandah. All went well except one cupboard was too big for the space. We would put half in the bathroom and mount the other above the fridge. They did not like this because it would be onto a plaster box covering pipes. They were worried about the pipes and the carrying capacity of the plaster. We left it sitting on the fridge in the meantime.

Next morning Anna and I went to buy a sink now we knew the size. Another easy job. When the plumber came to install it, being my helpful self I moved the fridge as the water pipes were behind it. Crash. I had forgotten the loose cupboard. It glanced off the plumber and ruined the sink. Thankfully it was reasonably cheap and easily replaced. More thankfully the plumber was not injured and willing to continue so long as I did not “help” anymore. He also replaced the tap for the shower.

So that was pretty much the house done. All that remains is a cook top and that is in hand.