Sunday, 24 June 2007

The White Elephant

Day 330 - Before the apocalypse, originally uploaded by xrrr.

Our crappy summerhouse is jinxed! I put it on eBay last week and it sold for £45! Great I thought, someone is going to come and collect it and pay for the pleasure of taking it away. Or so I thought.

The winning bidder was supposed to come on Saturday but went AWOL. She stopped answering her emails and the number registered on eBay was disconnected so I was stuck.

Mindful of the fact that the builder is starting work on our garden and patio on Monday I need to make sure that the summer house is gone.

The buyer finally replied to my email on Monday afternoon with some excuse about not being able to borrow their boss's van after all. Rubbish.

So I hit the internet. Emailed all the other bidders and put an advert on Freecycle. I had an email within 3 minutes offering to come and collect the following evening. Fantastic. Or so I thought.

15 minutes later I received a phone call from one of the other bidders offering to drive from Wells to Guildford to come and collect and pay me the same price as the other winning bidder! I had to turn them down because I had already accepted the other (for free) offer.

The next morning I contacted the Freecycler to double check arrangements and she told me that after thinking about it that it was going to be too much of a rush and was not going to bother. I was not impressed. I mentioned the turned down offer and laid on the guilt. She agreed to send her husband round that very evening.

The chap turned up and I thought I was going to be lucky. He told me he used to be a set builder for the BBC so I thought we would have things down in a jiffy. Or so I thought.

Turns out the "crappy" summerhouse was not so crappy after all. It was very well built. It took us 2 hours just to rip out the internal panels and take off the doors. Leaving us with this progress:

Day 349: Going..., originally uploaded by xrrr.

Depressed at our lack of progress I told the guy that I would not mind if he did not come back the next day. That chap remained optimistic and said he was going to come back the next day with his teenage son to carry on with the demolition. A quick remaining job then. Or so I thought.

The next morning I got an email from the Freecycler saying that she had discussed it with her husband and they decided not to continue and would not be coming back. In other words she talked him out of it! I am not surprised to be honest.

When I got home I had a go at removing all the plastic and the glass from the windows. After 2 hours of (quite fun) demolition work I ended up with:

Day 350: ...Going..., originally uploaded by xrrr.

At this point I had to stop because there was too much junk in the way. I called a rubbish collector guy and told him the situation and he offered to take the junk and dismantle the rest for me. Great no more work for me. Or so I thought.

The man with the van quoted £350 to demolish the rest and take it away. That sounded a bit steep so I asked him to just take the stuff for the skip and I will do the rest.

I phoned my mate Rob and we agreed to have a go today at taking down the rest. I am not surprised the guy quoted £350 as it took us almost 5 hours to cut down and break up the roof and frame.

Because we did not have a skip or a van we (Rob mainly) had to chop up the wooden blocks to make them fit into the car.

I made 3 trips to the skip with Alison's car literally crammed with stuff each time. The boot was full floor to ceiling and the passenger seat was pushed forward to get even more space. It is amazing how much stuff you can fit into a Ford Ka!

Day 353: ...Going..., originally uploaded by xrrr.

Unfortunately I ran out of time before the skip closed and still have about 2-3 car loads of stuff to take. Hopefully the builder who starts the garden work tomorrow will let me put the stuff in his skip rather than me going to the skip another 2 or 3 times.

The site is now cleared, and the White Elephant is no more! Hurrah!

Day 353: ...Gone!, originally uploaded by xrrr.

At least now we can see out of our dining room window:

Day 345, originally uploaded by xrrr.

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