So I thought I should explain what’s going on in the housing situation. As you know, we’re in temporary housing. But we’re actually also paying rent on our real house for August too. We’re not living there because the house is only partially furnished (more than partial, about 80% furnished)…but the main thing that’s missing is our bed! Also, the kitchen, while furnished…is gross. To clarify, what it’s furnished with in the kitchen is gross. As in, the plates, silverware, and especially the pots and pans. I don’t even know if they were properly washed…and the pans are just covered in black, sticky, tar-like…BLERGH.
So I spent a morning wrapping up everything in the kitchen and putting it in a box…that I then found out was too big to fit in the crawlspace off the office. But I packaged it all up and pushed the box with all my might into the office. Eventually we’ll go back and I’ll have E crawl back into the creepy crawl space and we’ll just put everything in plastic bags….it’s not like they have earthquakes. Whatever.
I had originally gone to the house because I had to meet our real estate liaison to go over how to work our electricity and gas. What? You thought you just run it and get a mail in the bill? Pfffft. This is Scotland people, nothing is that easy. Or if it is, it won’t let you on to that… So I was informed our house required separate “key cards” for each system. And each card had to be topped-off with money. And to top off each card with money, you have to physically go somewhere and do it. And then each card has to be inserted into it’s specific device on a weekly basis. And if there’s a massive snowstorm and I didn’t remember to top off, tough chaboobies, the power turns off.
We found the electricity card all right, but couldn’t figure out anything about the gas card. I found a pile of mail and saw a piece addressed to the owner of the house from People’s Gas and we made the executive decision to crack it open. Is tampering with mail a crime in Scotland? Who knows. Well we found the gas card and an information booklet that said to start the card on up, you have to insert it to the meter for a minute before you can top off. Now is the part where we spend 30 minutes trying to find a slot for the card. Going back and forth between all the various gas and power boxes around all the various crawl spaces in the house. The best being what seems to be the actual meter is in a crawl space under the stairs, without a light and I can only assume full of spiders. We were using flashlights and mirrors to see around the box to no luck. Liasion tries to call the gas company, it’s busy. He calls the management company, they don’t know what to do but say they’ll call us back. We drive the mile to ASDA to top off the electricity card (this is when I discover the man’s poor wife was sitting in the car the entire time), where I’m told you have to pay cash. I put all the cash I have on it (£12…still working on that whole bank thing).
Once home I stick the card in and we press the button a bunch…now the card won’t come out and it says it has £35 on it. At this point the property manager calls us back to let us know that a) They got rid of the key card for the gas and I’ll have a normal bill, b) they will be getting rid of the key card for electricity and a man will come to change it over, and c) the home owners topped up both to last until the end of the month. Oh well, that would be nice to know.
Then it was just a short struggle to figure out how to turn on the heat and water heat. It involved the 3 of us crammed in another crawl space. At least this one had a light.
In the end, everything is well. I’ll be billed for utilities like I’m accustom to. And even better, we discovered we have heated floors in our main room! I was overjoyed. It’s a real fancy system too, touch screen display, you can program everything (including Fahrenheit degree measurements!), and I think the floor can go up to 90 degrees. I will say the past 3 years we had heated floors in Chicago. They weren’t as fancy, they got turned on when we asked in the winter and remained on until we turned them off in the spring. There was no temperature setting or control, and there were a lot of cold spots, and some very hot spots. But now that it seems I’ll be having heated floors for around 5 years in a row…I don’t see how I can possibly ever not have heated floors now… I kid…sorta?
The other business that needs to be tended to in the house is the décor. About 85% if kinda creepy African-inspired pieces. Then there’s 5% very Asian-inspired, and 10% contemporary American crap you’d buy at Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond. Very interesting, but I’m so thankful we brought all our wall art to make it feel more like home and phase out some of the weirdness. But obviously our 2 bedroom condo that had 26 windows didn’t require us to have nearly enough art for a 3 bedroom house with 2 living spaces and a office.