First of all... Happy birthday, Deanna! I hope you're having a fantastic birthday! :)
OK, on to the rest of the post...
Do you remember me mentioning before about someone I was trying to get in touch with? Someone who wanted me to call him, and then was meant to call me back? Yes? No? Well, it's the same person as the person who came yesterday. And I'm finally going to put you out of your misery as to who it is. But first I have to go back to last year...
This flat is a council flat. I don't know if that means anything to those of you in the states, but what it boils down to is that it's not my property, and it's not rented through a private landlord. The council from the area own it, and I rent it from them. Sorry if you already knew that, but I figured it would be easier to explain... Just in case. Anyway, that means that the council are responsible for its upkeep. We have to do basic things like decorating, cleaning, and anything involved in running the home, sort of thing. But plumbing work, repair work, etc... All them. So, anyway, last year...
Last year we got a letter... It was about this time last year, actually... And the letter said that the council had a responsibility to get their properties all up to a certain standard - set by the new health and safety rules, and various other things I can't remember - and as a result, they were going to be doing work on all their properties. The work would be done by the end of 2011, because all their properties have to be sorted before 2011 ends, but as to when it would be happening... Well, they said they'd be in touch about that closer to the time.
Then, this April, we got another letter from them on the subject. This one saying they would be coming to see us soon, and to look through this catalogue they gave us, and tell them what we want from the available options. The letter also wanted us to get in touch to acknowledge that we'd gotten it, and were wanting to work with them to pick our options, rather than allowing them to just do whatever. They seemed to want us to call as soon as possible, so we did. Then we waited, and waited, and eventually the guy called back.
To cut a long story short, the catalogue contained options for designing a kitchen and bathroom, including flooring. I'm sure you have guessed from that what the visit yesterday was about. Yep... Discussing the options we'd chosen, and having the guy from the council make a note of what we wanted, so that it's our choices that are used. We also have a designer coming before the work starts, and she or he will be working with us to properly design our kitchen.
We're having a complete new bathroom suite, complete with one of those baths with a shower over it (considered posh over here), and new flooring. The suite is white - we don't have a say in that part - but we got to pick the flooring and tiles.
And, as I've mentioned, we're having a new kitchen too... New flooring, new cabinets, new worktops, new tiles... And we got to pick it all... Even down to the door handles on the cabinets.
We're also having extra electrical sockets put in, a new heating system, an outside security light, and a new gas fire with surround (which we also got to pick).
The best part is, not only is this costing us absolutely nothing, but they "might" also be giving us some money to do the other decorating. Which is great, because I'd like to get the decorating done properly here, since we just did it roughly when we moved in originally.
Anyway, this should all be happening in the next few months some time. We'll be contacted closer to the start date to be told exactly what date it will be. It will probably take about three weeks to do... Give or take.