helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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I haven't really been here for a few days. Friday was not my last day of evil summer school after all - while the group lessons finished, a few people continued with individual lessons on Monday and Tuesday. Between working all over the weekend and the fact I'm not breathing well at the moment, I haven't had enough functioning brain to read livejournal or talk to anyone on the phone.

Fortunately, I have absolutely no work between now & Monday, so I can get some house things and some organising done. Tomorrow's a 5p listing day on eBay UK, so I'll be posting all the clothes that no longer fit me that are worth trying to sell. I suppose I'll charity shop the rest. I need to get the camera's memory card cleared off so I can take photos, which means I might just get round to posting the Paris photos, you never know.

We also have concrete plans to do something about the breathing situation. I have really bad dust mite allergy (to put it into perspective, when they did skinprick tests for my inhaled allergies ,the pollen dot came up as a small red lump of about 3mm in diameter, and the dust mite allergen dot came up as a massive weal measuring about 8mm x 3cm - almost the whole width of my forearm. Unsurprisingly I came over all wobbly and was very violently sick as well. This is why "they" won't give me skinprick allergy tests anymore.) This is supposed to be dealt with by things like dust mite proof mattresses (yes, I have a latex mattress and pillow despite also being allergic to latex - it's trapped behind several layers of fabric so not a problem), opening up the sheets & airing out the bed every day, HEPA filter vacuum cleaner, etc etc. Except there's a limit to the amount of cleaning I have the energy to do on a daily basis, and it's much easier to limit the amount of soft furnishings instead. So we've been planning to rip out all the carpets in our house & replace them with wooden flooring since before we even moved here.

The money's been available for over a year, but I was too ill to do anything about it last summer. But Richard had a day off on Monday to recover from the paintball, and we went to the wooden floor shop to see what they had. By waiting a year, some different woods are available - and instead of the walnut we were going to get, we're getting something called iroko, which is a slightly redder dark brown that we like better. It's an African hardwood, supposed to be from sustainably managed forest. Always difficult to be sure of that (there's no handy Fairtrade label for building products like there is for food), but the company has ISO 14001 status, which after 20 minutes of wading through legalese I think means they monitor and document everything so they are sure of origin. Also the iroko is just the top veneer, and the majority of each plank is guaranteed sustainably managed Finnish spruce. The manufacturer guarantees not to use formaldehyde and to minimise VOC emissions, and the wood is classfied with the M1 classification of the Finnish Building Information Foundation. Because, y'know, the whole idea of using real wood is that it's better for the environment.

So we've placed the order, and it'll take about 3 weeks to be delivered, then we need to find the time to actually get the work done. But it's all set in motion now. The best thing is the iroko is about £6.50 per square metre cheaper than walnut, so we're saving about £260 - which means that money is available sooner for one of the other house projects we've been budgeting for. Also the wooden flooring we've ordered is what I want to call "Quickfit" because that's what chemistry glassware is called. Rather than having to carefully align it and glue it, it snaps into place. So it can be easily fitted by anyone with a modicum of common sense. We were going to fit it ourselves in any case as that reduces the cost from £5000+ to under £2000 - Richard is fairly mechanically competent - but I feel that the Profiloc stuff will probably save a few tears or curse words

And it was still cheaper than the walnut, which would have been the normal glue-together type!
Tags: allergies suck, house, hyperventilation

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