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what is everyone doing?


Sideshow Meg
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I really, really couldn't.

There was plenty of opportunity for my neighbour to invite me round as we drove home last night, but my lighthearted remarks about finding an excuse to call were not picked up.

 

Anyway, I think she was rather looking forward (in a nervous, star-struck sort of way) to 'baby-sitting' the lady in question herself, and letting hubby have a nice time reminiscing with his old chum. As a librarian she would have plenty to contribute to a bookish conversation.

 

If I had gone RR might have asked me which of her books I had read/liked - and as I can't usually remember the book I read last week, and haven't read one of hers since 2005 (and that was No Night Is Too Long :( )

 

But it is fun to think that she is just two doors away from me at this very moment :D

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... like the time Margaret Atwood - whom I admire exceedingly - was doing a signing in Paris, and I dithered and dithered and eventually said: "Which of your own books do you like best?" (pause for quick cringe, even several years on) and she shot back: "I never answer that question." Bang. Just like that.
:D I queued for 2 hours to meet Bret Easton Ellis after a reading he did of Glamourama, and was calm, collected all the while, thinking of some great questions for him. Once I reached his table, I froze, and hubby had to speak for me.
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I once queued for over two hours to speak to Chuck Palahniuk and get him to sign a pile of books and a poster!! He was so astounded when I (a grey-haired 60-something at the time) sat down that he was the one who was dumbstruck. He could not believe I actually read and liked his books.

 

I asked him about his views on education and rearing of children and how that impacts on a lot of his litereature - as it did at the time. We had a great conversation - much to the annoyance of those still in the queue behind me.

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Oh, the idea is always appealing but I have resolved never to meet my heroes because even if I could think of anything interesting to say (unlikely), I'd be terrified that they'd be different in the flesh than in my imagination.

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I once accosted Colm Toibin at a wedding and after telling him how much I enjoyed his books embarked on a critique of the religious content of his first novel, not helped by the amount of champagne I'd consumed. Fortunately, I think he'd had as much as I had and was very nice about it.

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I once accosted Colm Toibin at a wedding and after telling him how much I enjoyed his books embarked on a critique of the religious content of his first novel, not helped by the amount of champagne I'd consumed. Fortunately, I think he'd had as much as I had and was very nice about it.
Respect!
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:D I queued for 2 hours to meet Bret Easton Ellis after a reading he did of Glamourama, and was calm, collected all the while, thinking of some great questions for him. Once I reached his table, I froze, and hubby had to speak for me.
I did exactly the same a fortnight ago after going to see him speak at the London Literature Festival as part of the launch of "Imperial Bedrooms". Unfortunately, I don't have a hubby to speak up for me. All rather embarrassing.
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I am currently enjoying a couple of weeks of down time before term restarts on 12th Aug.

I have just got planning permission for a small extension to my kitchen, and I'm trying to spend my downtime sorting out quotes and deciding who to get to do the work. I'm pretty useless at this sort of thing, and it's all becoming a bit of a worry. I had a kitchen salesman out yesterday, giving me the hard sell, but I wasn't for having it (and I'm quite good at saying no to a hard sell). I don't know if I should let the builder do it all or get a specialist kitchen fitter for that bit, and what is worth spending money on in terms of kitchen quality. I feel a bit out of my depth ...

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I don't know if I should let the builder do it all or get a specialist kitchen fitter for that bit, and what is worth spending money on in terms of kitchen quality. I feel a bit out of my depth ...

My only advice here is to get a quotation from kitchen specialists. It will be very expensive and if you leave it they will quite probably get back in touch a few weeks later and offer you a discounted price.

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My only advice here is to get a quotation from kitchen specialists. It will be very expensive and if you leave it they will quite probably get back in touch a few weeks later and offer you a discounted price.

Ah! I did get a quote yesterday from the salesman. It all felt a bit dodgy - he said they had been let down by a contracter and could do me a special price - 13K down from 21K. I don't live in a world of 21K kitchens, so 13 still felt very steep, and I wasn't sure I needed "bespoke" and "luxury". He came down to 12, but I wasn't at the stage of making a decision. Maybe it will come down further ...

The other thing that felt dodgy was the way he delivered the price. He ripped off small squares of paper and wrote the two sums - actual and discounted - on a square each and handed them to me. Why he couldn't just say them out loud, I don't know.

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My parents are getting a new kitchen fitted this week. They have hired a s/e fitter to do the work and he told them to go to a place called Howells or Howdens to get their kitchen. Apparently it's 70% retail prices as it's a trade shop. They ended up getting a 12k kitchen for 3k and he charged £1000 to fit it.

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Will be interested to hear what your parents make of the Howdens kitchen, Hazel, as that's what the builders I have seen would put in. I don't know about the discount - they only sell to trade, so I don't know how you can test their claim that it "should" cost x amount. I think kitchens are a bit like DFS sofas - everyone gets theirs at a discount of some sort. It's all very confusing!

 

The smarmy bloke yesterday was very anti-Howdens, claiming they were made of newspaper and chewing gum or the like, but I could easily believe he would supply the exact same thing and just charge more. I asked him outright, how is yours better, and he just used the words "bespoke" and "luxury" and "quality" a lot, but he couldn't quantify that.

 

(Typing that, I realise what an English teacher / BGO member I am! Analysing the language of the salesman ...)

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a place called Howells or Howdens .

Out of sheer nosiness I Googled those names, and amongst the Howells I found a furniture company

called Hovells.

Would you furnish your home from them?

(Our house often looks like we did ;) )

 

 

I imagine the company in question is Howdens, but it is trade only, not retail, so you have to buy through the fitter.

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Will be interested to hear what your parents make of the Howdens kitchen, Hazel, as that's what the builders I have seen would put in.
Well, they were put onto Howdens by the guy that's going to fit theirs. They originally were going to go to Ikea but the fitter said...

 

claiming they were made of newspaper and chewing gum or the like

pretty much that!

 

Dad was impressed with Howdens, but then I wouldn't take my father's opinion on anything!

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