Some Building Work Required

OK so following on from my latest post about my new business venture in outdoor pursuits, I had some work to do!

After working from home in previous roles I’ve had, I’ve always found it difficult to concentrate and work a full day because of all the distractions that go on in our house. Our house has often been called a “Mad House” by our visitors and that is largely due to the fact that the people that live in it are mad! Mainly my kids, who seem to get louder and crazier as time goes on.

So, the decision has been to build my own private work space by extending on the side of our property. The other interesting decision about this idea is that I am going to do it myself. I reckon I am pretty handy at building and more importantly I know a lot of good mates who have various skills and will help in exchange for a couple of beers. Or I hope they will!

After reading this interesting article about the 5 rules of Extension Building    I am now ready to take on the world! This is going to be a building project of immense proportions and I am really excited about being a construction master. Builders have always amazed me at their trade skills and of course there are so many skills to learn. On a recent holiday to Cornwall I saw some building work which really impressed me. It was a house which was set right in-between two banks of woodland and the build was only at the foundation and “shell” stage so I could see exactly how it was being constructed. This framework has been the inspiration behind my own design for my office extension, I have even gone and got some plans professionally drawn out by an architect and have submitted the idea to the council for the usual nonsense of planning permission.

This will probably kill my enthusiasm somewhat because we all know how long that takes. The new business will need some storage space for all the equipment, for the different activities we will offer. It needs to be spacious as I hate small rooms and want a nice area for my desk and computer.

I will keep you posted and display some photos when we start the work.

 

New Business Idea – Outdoor Pursuits

We all have ideas and plans that at the time of creating them we are all very enthusiastic and full of energy for our chosen idea. But as time passes the mood we were in when we came up with the idea changes and more often than not we cant be arsed with the idea of continuing. Especially something that requires a massive amount of discipline like writing a blog! This website idea was great and for a while I really wanted to create a following but the posting stopped and I didn’t care for it anymore.

Well now Im back and I’m  just testing the waters with a new business idea so i thought i would share it here on my blog. Mind you this blog is probably just a note to myself now as all my avid followers have probably disappeared through lack of interest.

So I have decided to try and set up an outdoor pursuits company in Newquay.

I love the outdoors and I love sports and I love Cornwall. So it just seems like a great idea. If I can make a living out of it then it will be superb!

A Whole Day Lost

When it comes to technology if there is going to be a problem, you just know its going to be a big one.

Today I had the task of switching all my files, work, photos and other stuff from my laptop over to a brand new super duper desktop. I knew this was going to be torture and I just knew something was going to go wrong.

Not least because I had decided to buy a computer without an operating system. If you ever get a bright idea to do this yourself, don’t OK. Trust me don’t do it unless you are buying the disk with the computer in the shop.

I didn’t want to go into town to buy an operating software disk because it was too much hassle. I had the idea to download it onto my laptop, but it on an external hard drive and then plug it into the new computer.

This sounds straight forward but it unfortunately turned into a situation where i wish I had a short and quick way to end my life! It started with me forgetting to take the damn hard drive to my office to having to drive into town anyway because my USB stick wasn’t big enough for the job.

Then the one i bought didn’t flippin work, so I had to spend hours on the live chat with the software support team. Then  I finally got it up and running after more calls to the support team, only to experience a very similar situation with installing microsoft office. Which I can not live without.

By the time everything was good, set up and ready to do business, I had to go home.

Day gone.

Funny as **** Campervan video

I absolutely love these guys.

I can’t believe the BBC let them go after the Jeremy Clarkson controversy. I don’t think they will ever get a better program to show on their network. So funny….

Just watching this gets me excited for our challenge. Traveling is fun, any kind of mission that involves vehicles, a few mates and unreliable, old engines is a recipe for ridiculousness!

I think I may have found a Sponsor!

We have been very busy getting our great VW Charity Dash organised and it has involved quite a bit of prospecting local businesses to raise the funds needed to make the event possible.

Pretty much all the money raised will go to charity, we just wanted to cover the fuel costs and have a bit for the admin side of things. Lots of businesses have expressed an interest in our venture but not many have put their money where their mouth is but I think we have one that will!

We are just getting all the details sorted, I convinced them by saying they would get full coverage of their company on my website and facebook pages. So I will be writing a kind of review on their company and telling you all how marvelous they are….

Which from what I’ve been hearing they very much are, and if they are prepared to sponsor a great cause then they get my vote.

In the meantime I am doing some work on my van. In its current state I dont think it would make it to Bristol, let alone a full tour of the UK. Part of the love of VW’s is of course the mechanical side of it. A lot of people get involved with these campervans becuase they thinks its cool or whatever, but if they are not mechanically minded or the practical tyope then sooner or later it will end in tears.

Alternatively it will end in a large bill form their mechanic. It’s the caring and nurturing of the vehicles whcih makes you a true campervan club member, not everyone enjoys that side of it. In my opinion if you don’t have thousands to throw away on mechanic fees, and you dont like getting your fingers greasy, then I advise getting a modern camper.

Our Chosen Charity

Things are shaping up nicely for our VW Charity Dash and we have chosen our Charity partner.

We have decided to donate to Children in Need. I know it has been and gone for this year and by the time we run this event in January the final figures will be in. But i’m sure they wont mind a few quid going their way, I was personally touched by a story I heard about a 11 year old boy who had a horrible accident falling out of a bus door and getting his leg crushed beyond repair.

I have a nephew and niece and it sent shivers down my spine so this charity seem as good as any to donate to.

capture

 

Our Roofing, about as good as our boiler!

Our roof has been nothing but a nightmare ever since we moved here 10 years ago.

The tiles look OK from the outside but the reality is that they are really are not OK. We have had problems with damp and in the beginning we never really understood what it could be. We got dehumidifiers in, we had the windows open in the morning etc etc.

But we still got mould spores and condensation on the windows. And the place just felt damp which wasn’t very pleasant. My girlfriend didn’t like it at all as it effected her asthma, and after putting up with it for over a year I finally got to the bottom of what it was.

I went up into the loft to find something that had been stuffed up there when we first moved in and I noticed that all the loft insulation was absolutely saturated. The strange thing is the fact that it was so wet I just don’t understand how it didn’t come through the ceiling.

We must have some seriously waterproof material in between the insulation and the ceiling?

Anyway, it explained the damp problem. We had a roofing problem, water was getting in.

So back then I went through the process of contacting lots of Plymouth roofing companies so they could come around and assess the problem. But that was very confusing because they all gave different verdicts on what needed to be done. The prices varied from £450 to get up there replace a few tiles to £5,000 for a full roof replacement.

The felt underneath the roofing tiles needed replacing and to be fair even the cheaper quotes said that to fix that all the tiles would have to come off.

A lot of work and a very big job…..gulp!

So some of them said they could patch up the tiling on the outside that was causing the leak and it “might” be OK for a few more years but eventually the roof was going to have to come off and the proper job done. My opinion was not to mess around and bodge it up, this was a house that we planned to have for the foreseeable future so we really needed to do this job right.

So last week we went ahead with the work and we chose Roofers Plymouth  www.petenichollsroofing.co.uk  who we thought did a very good job. Pete and his team of workers did all the work over 2 days. They were lucky with the weather so when they removed all the tiles more water didn’t pour in.

One of the purposes of this blog was to review and rate products and services and I’m all for promoting local businesses so click on the link above if you live in Plymouth and need a good quality roofer. I will definitely vouch for them.

(editors note)  I must be open and honest here… I do have an agenda of some sorts!! I am hoping that local businesses will sponsor our first VW Charity dash so if I get a few customers going to them they might be persuaded to be a sponsor! So go ahead and give Pete a call! hehe

Rant About Plumbers

So its the start of winter. It has definitely got colder here in Plymouth all of a sudden so the heating hs had to go on. The start of 5 months of contant problems for us.

Our boiler has shot it. Its about 20 years old and it struggles with life.

Should I go out and get a new one?  Well probably, but because of the awkward position the boiler is in in our house its going to cost an arm and a leg to replace. There needs to be some piping removed out of a false wall, the wall needs to be partially taken down and its will be a right mess and a shitload of work for a plumber.

The amount of money it will cost would pay for another epic trip to Africa or Asia so I just can’t bear to do it.

So we have to get the plumber out to bodge things up for us whenever the heating goes down. The last plumber was an absolute joke and I’m going to tell you the story that he made up to try and convince us that he couldn’t come to fix our boiler for 2 days because……

His pigeons had escaped and he was driving around to different parts of the county trying to find them.

His bloody pigeons!

Here we were freezing our proverbials off, needing emergency rescue and all our plumber was worried about was some flappy feathered birds who had finally escaped and were enjoying some freedom for the first time in their lives.

Keeping birds in cages….I mean come on. I am not one of these animal hugging nutters but a bird is a flying creature. How can you say you like birds and care about birds, only to cause then utter misery by shutting them in a cage and imprisoning them for the rest of their life!

Animal cruelty, thus causing customer care cruelty!

We were freezing, let the birds enjoy themselves. Come and fix our our boiler for gods sake!

The VW Charity Dash

I am helping to organise an event!

Some VW pals and I thought it would be cool to mix our love of driving around the country in VW’s and raising money for a great cause.

The plan is to drive from Plymouth to john o’groats and back.

We aim to get at least 20 vans onboard and are hoping to get some local businesses to sponsor us to raise some dollar.

Please comment and put your suggestions on a great charity to help out and if you know of anyone who has a local business and wants to sponsor us please let us know and pass them our way.