We got a local electrician to sort our TV. They left us their contact details some months ago when they came to install our Digiturk (TV) system. Thanks to their extremely efficient and reasonably priced service the dish now has a double cable, one to the front and one to the back. All we need to do is disconnect, move, and reconnect the digiturk box depending on where we want to watch TV. Now, when winter arrives we can sit snugly in the front house and have loads of channels, most of which we never watch. Seems sensible… CSI every evening if we want…. We also have loads of DVD’s to help the cold nights pass. We picked up the Borgias series 2 and Game of Thrones series 1 on our trip to the UK, eye candy for the long dark nights.
We needed to get a plumber to do a couple of tasks, a tap that did not work and a new cistern along with the parts that fit inside. We made use of a contact from a friend, a plumber she said was good. It turned out that we could not just replace the cistern, we would need a completely new toilet. The work is now done, he was efficient and very good value.
We need to get antifreeze put into the solar water system. A member of the family across the road from us works for a solar power installation company, so we’ll ask them to do it. We’ll probably get charged much the same – it is not expensive, and at least the money will go locally.
We need to get a glazier to fit a new window pane. A pane in a double glazing unit is cracked. Again, an old friend should be able to help, she is married to someone who installs double glazing. Not exactly the same but they will know someone who can fit new glass into a double glazing unit.
We have a little over metric tonne of firewood stored away. Thanks to friends who helped us last winter we know where to get good quality firewood. Our neighbours say we should get some coal because it is more economical, burns slower and hotter. There seems to be mixed feelings about using coal, not everyone seems to think it is a good idea. We shall look into this, see what options there are and how good the coal is. We can order coal from the same people who deliver our calor gas and drinking water. They recognise our phone number and know where we live.
There is a theme – Personal contacts. Having a relationship with people who provide a service is very much how things are done here. We are gradually building up our lists of contacts, builders, carpenter, electrician and so forth. There has been a certain amount of trial and error, last year at first we initially bought wood which was not so good, we were very much new to it all and learning our way. (Oddly those same guys bought wood round to us this year, having assumed we would buy it – we didn’t). We still are learning our way but we are getting better at it and much less reliant on others to point us in the right direction. Hopefully we will, someday, be in a position to help others as we have been helped ourselves.