Sunday, December 07, 2008

Learning curves

This weekend, I learnt:
- that I can not get masking tape to stick to anything. Except my fingers.
- I really do not have the patience for finicky things, like laying masking tape for painting.
- painting is unavoidably messy.
- whatever colour you chose, it will not look like it did on the colour swatch.
- when painting on a stepladder, do not just step backwards.

One room down, two more to paint, then we can move in!

Now that we're back at our still-furnished current home, I have time for some Christmas online shopping. So, dear user-friendly Woolworths website, please walk me through this:

I am looking for nice Christmas hampers, in December. December is the time for Christmas shopping, so I guess that the Woolies website would have a link to their lovely Christmas hampers online.

Go to home page (that's, if you'd like to follow along.
Login (as learnt from experience, if you don't log on at first step it will lose everything that you have packed into your shopping cart over the last 20 minutes. No remorse. It's my own fault really, for not knowing this).
Look! Right in the middle of the page, a handy little 'Christmas Destination' link. Click Here.
Now, hampers. Christmas hampers.... 'Fragrance Fair' No. 'Delicious meals and treats'? Hopeful, but no, that's recipes. '1001 reasons to love Christmas, I mean Woolworths'? Not right at this moment, thank you. Okay, let's try the top tool bar. 'Gifts'
Hmmm, no, no no. No hampers. And we seem to have lost the Christmas spirit altogether.
Let's try the shop for gifts link at the bottom of the page. Obscure, but this is what Christmas is all about... frustration in not finding what you're looking for.
Ooookay, might still be on the right track, general theme of red and silver decorations. Hazard an educated guess at Foodies Gifts.
HOORAY! Five clicks later and I've found what I'm looking for. That's not including the clicks that it took me to find it the first time, then lose it all because I failed to log on before starting the process.

Who does their web research? Without reading the stats, I'm guessing that online shopping baskets at this time of year largely include Christmas gifts. Therefore, put a easy to find link on the home page, make it easier for people to buy more. Call it MAR-KET-ING.

I was getting close to sending my family money in an envelope. Less clicks and aggrevation, and more for a lucky postal worker along the way. Woolies. You aggrevate me.

The website is still aggrevating me because I am STILL trying to put through my purchase. I realise that I have confused the system because I am trying to request a different address to the one that I used in 2005. Things change. It would be great if their database could reflect that.

Woolies, please ensure that my purchases get to their recipients in time. That would make up for your useless website.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


After many viewings, much negotiation and frustration, we have finally found a new flat in The Hague. It's little (most places in the city are), but it's liveable. We have the keys, but not before paying a whopping 2500 euros. In the Netherlands, if you rent a place through a real estate agent you, the lessee, have to pay the commission - standard one month rent. Plus the month deposit and first month up front. Ouch.

But we have the keys. Woo hoo! It's on a trendy street, with many restaurants and boutiquets and conventiently directly across from our local pub. Hmmm... I have already informed Mills's mates (yes they are HIS mates in this case), that they will not be crashing at our place after O'Caseys closes every Saturday. Forget about it.

Now for the painting - although the landlord pays for the paint, we have to paint the place ourselves (or arrange for someone else to do it). No cardboard signs attached to lamp posts with "Peter the Painter" and a cell number scrawled across it.... Sometimes, I miss cheap labour.

Once the paint work is done we can move in. It's going to be interesting to see how and where we are going to fit everything in. I think we might end up looking like an eccentric second-hand furniture store, but Mills reckons that I am just being my usual paranoid self. We'll see...

But WOOHOO! We have a new flat.