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For both of us we are in the “busiest” time of work. For Joelle the kids are all sick now and yes it is urgent to see them 20 minutes after the end of the clinic as he/she has been ill for at least three days when we didn’t bother to bring them….. For me it is the end of the year and everyone is busy making sure that their departments have every bit of information required for their year-end reporting. If there are system issues then I wouldn’t have time to think. Luckily everything has gone smoothly – and yesterday was the quietest day I have had in the whole year. Everyone was too busy to bother me!

Even though we are both busy at work – the house is coming along in leaps and bounds. I hardly know where to start. Let’s start with the thing nearest my heart – food 🙂

The smoker – I just could not get in touch with Lang, the more that I looked the more that I saw they had a name for very poor customer service and also for poor looking (but effective) welds on the less important areas of the smoker. So I decided to look further afield and at the moment I am in touch with a company called “Pits by JJ” and am hoping that I can work something out with them. Talking of smokers – I smoked ribs for the first time yesterday and it was one of the nicest and messiest meals that I have ever started a fast on! I even have left overs for supper tonight!

The garden – moving slowly inward. This is the area that has made the most movement over the last two weeks. All the outside tiling and stone areas have been prepared. This includes whitewashing plus the creation of concrete bases etc The two flower beds for the climbing plants in the social area have been built – and look great. We have decided on the stone that we wish to use for the natural stone we are using for the stairs and the area near to the entrance of the house. We have designed how we are doing the stairs. We have also started to speak about lighting of the garden stairs and also about fences and handrails for safety. This week we also took home 10 tangerines (many more left on tree) and have to pick the pomelos as well to promote extra growth. It can be a shabbat treat.

Outside lighting – I have samples of the two possible lights (they are identical but different sizes) and we need to look at them and confirm if they work for us. They are technically not waterproof – but the only way they will get wet by the electrics is through someone spraying them with water from underneath. The kablan is happy with them from a water perspective as well.

Wood – I have started to chop up the wood in a way that will be more useful to us. It is hard work as it hasn’t really dried out enough yet. I am also starting to move it into a place that is out of the way.

Railings / Fencing – Two different suppliers came to the house yesterday to show off the options that they have as well as measure to quote for the work we need. Outside we need some kind of front fence which will also be used as a separation of two different garden areas. This really is an issue as we do not like any of the options that we have been shown in either steel or aluminium. In Israel, wood is really not an ideal but we may need to use it as that is all we really like. If we do go for wood I am not looking forward to the maintenance. We also have railings on the stairs and by any drops. We will need a grill to cover an “English Window” as well as one patio window as well.

Garage – We do not wish to have a garage door and we do not have planning permission for it, so we have ordered an automatic parking barrier which will stop others using our garage. It is a small thing that will drop on the to the floor whenever we wish to park – and will stay up when the garage is empty.

Outside doors – the space for the outside French door has been finished. We started looking at doors (more about this later) and we are really struggling with the main front door. We just do not like the outside doors that are available. All the aluminium ones are as ugly as hell – and the wooden ones just will not last due to the heat.

Inside doors – We had a meeting with Hermetix at the beginning of the week where we confirmed everything that we ordered. We confirmed the door designs, chose the colours and locking mechanisms. We also selected a door handle but do not like the handles they have on option – we are going to look for a different option from the shops. All the Hermetix doors will be measured next week.

Inside railings – the guys that are doing the quote for the outside fences/railings will also be giving us a quote for the stair railings. These are going to be the simplest possible. We do not want anything that looks too fancy.

Wardrobes – We ordered the boys and our wardrobes last week. When I got home I realised that I am supposed to pay an additional payment for delivery/installation of over 10% of the build cost. Considering we are buying fitted cupboards I was not happy with this and I complained. I am awaiting a response through Tamar about this.

Interior design – talking of Tamar, she is keeping everything moving, arranging meetings and specialists to come, nagging us to make decisions and look at different options. We still do not know where she finds enough hours in the day to do everything.

Natanel’s bed – we went to one store in Talpiot but their beds were too low and looked so babyish. We wish to put a desk underneath and so it will need to have a reasonable height.

Carpentry – quotes have gone out to a couple of carpenters. We have a partial quote back from one, but we are still waiting on this – one of the most important (read expensive) areas of the project.

Kitchen – we now have a quote for a kitchen in the basement. We are waiting on another two so we have not seen it yet. We want this (and the other carpentry) to be in before the windows.

Bathroom glass – our glass person came yesterday and we realised that the glass door in our en-suite will actually hit the shower head if it is opened inwards. As we have rain showers we are not worried about water spraying too high and so we have dropped the height of the glass slightly. We had a big discussion about the shower in the kids bathroom and I said that we are staying with a double door for the boys. We do not think there is enough space if we have a single door as it is being used on a bath and not a shower.

Bathroom – There is an access panel for the air conditioning unit that was included in our bathroom that I never even knew was needed. It looks really cool and has been nicely done.

Kablan – The kablan has continued with all the tasks. Finishing off the window spaces, testing grout with our tiles (we still have to make one choice), preparing the walls for painting, electricity, completion of interior tiling and the tiling of the front upper mirpeset (balcony) amongst other things that I may not have even noticed.

Fireplace – The base that we will be using for building our fire on has been completed – I need to go and collect that early next week.

Shopping – Some extra meaty crockery has just come in that I need to collect which will allow us to take our every day numbers up to 10 place sittings. We have ordered and received some bedding, rugs, cushion, pillowcases and a clock from the Man City football team website shop to decorate Natanel’s room. The actual items were reasonably priced, but the delivery and import duties/tax doubled the price.

That’s all for now,