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Dr John Hawkins

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Posted on 2015/01/02 10:59:58 (January 2015).

[Monday 22nd December 2014]
Both Chie and I went to work today, and this ended up being Erika's last day at nursery of the year.

After work, I went and picked Erika up from nursery, and rather bravely got on the tube with her to head up to the new flat, as we'd arranged to meet a builder there this evening to give us a quote on a new bathroom and one or two other things. I managed to leave work a bit early so probably avoided the absolute peak of it, and anyway I think things are quieter this week as some people were already off for Christmas.

On arrival at the nearest tube station to the new flat, Erika and I went and picked up Chinese takeaway, where the lady working there took a shine to Erika, and gave her a fortune cookie and a lolly (I slightly wished she hadn't given her the latter, as despite my best efforts to hide it Erika did not forget about it throughout dinner). The fortune cookie said something along the lines of "you will make lots of new friends in the coming months" which was exactly the sort of thing we wanted to hear given that we'd seen be moving to a new part of the city. The lady in the Chinese takeaway obviously recognised the fact we were new here and selected it from the appropriate barrel accordingly.

We took our Chinese takeaway back to the flat, where Chie met us a little while later, and then a bit after that the builders came to take a look around. I think it took a week or two before we got the quote back from these particular builders, but this was one of the worst we had - they'd just focused on two of the jobs we'd said we wanted doing, forgot all about the test, and quoted a really high amount for those two. Something like 3000 for the partition wall removal. A subsequent builder who came and quoted for this a few days later came up with an estimate of about half that (although I suspect largely just because on the site where I'd advertised the job that's what I entered my budget as) and then the final builders we actually got to do the work quoted half that again (although perhaps not an entirely fair comparison as they also did lots of other work for us, and I suppose there's some economy of scale in things like waste disposal).

Anyway, although this evening turned out to be a bit of a waste of our - and the builders' - time, it was sort of fascinating (in a disconcerting way) to see the wildly different figures quoted for the same bit of work.

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