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My Canadian Experience
Contractor's Bill

Having been to the Beer store it was now time to head to the LCBO which is where you get the hard stuff and wines along with some beer. Essentially the LCBO and the Beer Store are the two places you get alcohol in Ontario.

I found a couple of interesting beers and got myself a few half bottles of wine to try out...

The Historic Ales from Scotland is a special mixed pack and they are not sold individually. The pack does include the famous Heather Ale.  The Kilkenny beer has a special can that gives you a traditional pub beer with the foam top. You just upend the can to pour it quickly into the pint glass and this gives you a pub pulled pint. I reckon this is the closest you can get to an 80/- beer in Canada.

I'm not a big wine drinker by any means so it made sense to try out the half bottles so I could see what they are like before splurging out on a full bottle. The one full bottle I did purchase I have drunk before and knew that I had enjoyed it.

The staff are quite knowledgeable and helpful and certainly the stores have a wide range of products so having a chat with them, especially about wines, is helpful.

On 8th December George my contractor visited to fit my book shelves and he also got me up coat hooks and also put a retaining fix to my grandfather clock. He tells me he'll be back next week at some point to try and get the remaining things done.

And so due to this visit I now have my dining room pretty much finished...

And as you can see I now have some items up on the walls with a small display over the mantelpiece

Got my coat hooks up and a new blind for the door window which Cyndi put up for me. She told me she'd look in on either Tuesday or Wednesday to put up the last two blinds, one on the Kitchen door and the other on the sitting room door. I still have to have the doors fitted to the dining room to complete the room. George also fixed my Grandfather clock to the wall.

The new book cases in my library. I'm going to see if it is possible to get a half book case so that they stretch wall to door and give me a little expansion room for more books.

And this is the old chair I bought for $30.00 which is nice and comfy. The traveling chest with a traveling rug over it makes an extra seat.

And as you can see with the new book cases in place my wee library is complete although I'll likely get a wee light... not sure whether to get a table lamp or a standard lamp to go behind the chair. I suspect I might go for a table lamp.

And then I got the bad news!!!  George also handed me my bill which was somewhat of a shock.  Mind you having watched various renovation shows on TV I guess I should have expected it :-(

The initial budget was for $15,000. That included $5,000 for the attic renovation.  George did come back to me and said that the guttering was much worse that he'd thought and advised that he couldn't do that and the attic within the price and advised that we put a stay on the attic for the time being which I agreed to. And so I was more than confident that my total bill would be under the $15,000 but to my surprise it was over by quite a bit.

And so as the gutters (evestrough) were only $1680 I wondered where the extra had gone. I did know that they had to do extra work in the bathroom as they discovered it needed a new ceiling and also needed an exhaust fan.  I think the most expensive job was the electrical upgrade and I certainly didn't think it would have been anything like that cost.  The floors also cost more than anticipated.

I think this is a case that he needed to communicate better with me and have given me some options to keep within the overall budget. He didn't do that so I just assumed all was going to plan. I confess to being irritated at this overspend.

I did note that my sitting room ceiling fan was rocking and so John, the electrical man, was told just to replace it.  I then got a new fan which rocks just as bad as the old one so this was an extra expense I could have done without. 

I also note in the original budget that the one set of stairs up to the house had to have an extra step added as the first step is too high. I was also to get the other steps completely replaced and that hasn't been done.

I'll be having a detailed discussion with George as to why we had this over run and especially why I wasn't given any warning on it.

On another matter I did get a wee present in from Scottish Food Overseas :-)

I laid out the present on the dining room table and you'll note I got a really nice bottle of Scotch (Macallan Single Malt 10 years old), Highland Oatcakes, Haggis, Scotch Marmalade, Game Soup, Sweets, Cheese and a Whisky Cake and also a Plain Scottish Loaf of Bread!
My thanks to Alasdair MacPherson for this :-)

On Thursday 15th December we got the first big fall of snow and according to the weather forecast this will continue for the next several days...

So looks like snow up to Christmas Eve <brrrr>

We also got a severe weather warning...

So at least there are plenty of alerts and of course the weather channel has them all.

And having seen all the weather forecasts I decided to head out and do some grocery shopping before it got any worse. When I got back I took a few pictures from the house..,

Looking out the back door and then the front door

and from the front door looking down the street

I might add that this week I also sent out 7 of my antiquarian books to the 7 volunteers that offered to type in these books for the web site.  I was absolutely delighted to receive their kind offer of assistance. The Canadian address has already got their book but guess it will take a bit longer for the others in the USA, UK and New Zealand to get their books. The seventh book just went out today to the USA.

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