Ptolemy And The Oven

My bird is back. And he now has a name. It seemed only right.

Ptolemy still leaps up on the bird table and scoffs all the seed in one sitting. Or rather, one precarious balancing act on the rim of the wood. We’ve tried to discourage it. Mike gave him his own little pile of seed on the drain cover below the kitchen window. But Ptolemy gobbled that and then flew straight to the bird table and demolished what was there as well. The table has developed a distinct cant to the right. Breakfast over, he seeks out a little suntrap in which to rest and digest his meal. Unless it’s raining. Today he had his head stuck into a hydrangea with his back end sticking out..


In other news.

Last week I ordered the appliances to go into the new kitchen. In a previous and more affluent life, I’d have got the kitchen design company to do all the running about. But needs must, the project management buck stops here. I found the best price online and they’ve just been delivered. But oh for heavens sake, what a palaver.

The supplier insists that each item is checked on receipt. Any returns must go back there and then, or not at all. I wonder if they’ve ever tested out their own process? How many couriers do you know prepared to hang around while you unpack and minutely inspect two ovens, a warming drawer and a hob? Especially when they’ve just had to wheel them several hundred yards down a 1 in 4 hill?

Not many I would suggest. And definitely not those who have already had a bad day. “WHHAAT? I haven’t got time for that…”

Much pacing about. Hands flying around and voices raised. Mike tried to placate him and showed him the instructions we had received from the supplier. I start tearing at cardboard and plastic wrap, but the packaging is complicated and it’s taking an age.

“We’ve got other deliveries to make you know….  and I’m running late already…”

I refuse to be intimidated. I’ve been told to inspect and inspect I will. Justifiably, as it turned out. Three out of the four items were scratched or damaged in some way. Most of the delivery now needs to be repackaged and pushed back up the hill. It didn’t go down well.

“That’s not in MY instructions… I only came to deliver them!” He snatches his phone from his back pocket. “You’ll see..” One couldn’t fail to be impressed by the man’s confidence and air of self importance. Clearly more suited to the stage than delivery driving, he punches in the number for Head Office and presses the call button with a dramatic flourish. No signal.

At the top of the drive, there’s a queue of cars in the single track road waiting, impatiently, to get past the delivery van. We get to keep the steam oven, but I can do without the grief. Not least because, next week, we’ll have to go through it all again.


2017-11-06T22:08:59+00:00November 1st, 2012|Tags: , |


  1. Vera November 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    Oh dear, the trials of making a home! But at least you are going to have a proper kitchen soon. I am going to have to make do with a temporary kitchen for ages yet, but hopefully the non existent window (which means non-existent although does have two shutters which are useful in keeping out the rain but not the humungous draft) will have a proper window put in it. But what a dreadful waste of time to have to unpack and then repack those appliances, plus have a miffy man wanting to get to his next delivery. Hope it’s sorted out for you soon.
    By the way, just what is a ‘steam’ oven?

    • Jessica November 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      Vera, it will be worth the wait.
      A steam oven has a tank of water in it and cooks with steam as well as heat. It’s supposed to be great for vegetables, and for keeping meat etc. really moist and tender. I’ve not had one before but, in spite of this year’s disasters, I’m still hoping we will be able to grow lots of veg and steam them to retain flavour.

  2. Sue November 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Ptolemy is an excellent name for a pheasant.

    • Jessica November 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm - Reply

      It needed to be something with sufficient gravitas..

  3. Rosie November 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Ptolemy pheasant, love the name! Oh, my what a palaver – hope it is put right soon. I sort of know how you feel (but without the incline and blocked lane!). We built our kitchen from scratch – had to take everything out and start again. The thing that caused us the most trouble was the casing for the eye level cooker. Our units were off white but they sent one beech coloured unit, they said don’t send it back, they sent another – beech. Third time they sent the white but said to use the drawers we had, but they were beech! They sent a white drawer, we needed two! We had to live for a while with one beech drawer until they sorted it and we had two unused beech units to deal with. A steam oven sounds intriguing:)

    • Jessica November 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm - Reply

      These things are sent to try us, Rosie. And oh my, they do!!
      I will let you know how the steam oven goes, when/if I get it working. Long instruction book! 🙁

  4. john November 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Ptolemy….I like that

    • Jessica November 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm - Reply

      Or Mr T for short. Or other names when he tramples my lavender…

  5. Susan T November 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Ptolemy is rather a handsome chap isn’t he. I think I would let him scoff all the bird seed too. We were so lucky with our kitchen refit, one chap did the lot, it is now 7 years old and looks as if it was put in yesterday. What a pain about sending stuff back. I am an awful wuss and hate having to complain about things, but you stuck to your guns good for you. I am sure it will be wonderful when it is all in and you can cook up a storm.

    • Jessica November 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm - Reply

      I hate having to complain too. But it seems to be needed a lot more these days, things are not as good as they used to be. Oh god, I sound like my mother!

  6. BadPenny November 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Super name for a Pheasant !

    Oh my goodness what a to do ! We had this with a new bathroom – unwrap & inspect in the garden !

    I’ve never heard of a steam oven – sounds good.

    I had a new oven sent just before Christmas one year with a heap of family arriving … it needed wiring in by an electrician & a gas fitter to do the gas bit. Then it didn’t work ! I rang the Helpline… ” Help I have the Inlaws arriving & no oven !!!”
    It turned out , after an hour on the phone with a lovely man – all the dials were on the wrong places….we had bought the one in the shop display & someone ( probably a boy ) had fiddled with all the knobs !!!!

    It’s worked a treat since ! Hope you get your kitchen sorted soon xx

    • Jessica November 1, 2012 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      Oh, what a nightmare. At least the oven was easy to fix, in the end!

  7. knitsofacto November 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Just catching up here 😀

    I have a Ptolemy, mine is known as Tolly for short and is a miniature wire haired dachshund with attitude!

    I am so glad I’m not alone in annoying delivery men by making them wait, or at least sign something to say that they wouldn’t wait!

    • Jessica November 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      Ha Ha. Love the sound of your dog!
      Delivery men make me so cross. The ones that think they rule the world anyway. Whatever happened to customer service?

  8. simone November 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    It seems Ptolomy is the least of your troubles!!!

    • Jessica November 1, 2012 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      Yesterday I was going to mist spray a terracotta pan full of airplants. But Ptolemy was just outside the back door, so I went down the garden and put the pan on a potting bench. Out of harms way, I thought. But as soon as my back was turned he’d hopped up on the table and was pecking at the plants.. I suppose he thought I was putting out more seed.

      • simone November 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm - Reply

        Oh! I see he is a bit of a mischief maker!

        • Jessica November 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm - Reply

          He is. Lucky for him he is also cute!

  9. wherethejourneytakesme November 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    I love the name of your Pheasant unfortunately we were not quite so adventurous and ours is called just plain Fred the Pheasant – he is so funny lumbering around the garden and often makes me jump. He must know he is safe with us being vegetarian!!
    As for the deliveries we had just the same problem when we bought the cottage. In a carefully managed co-ordinated exercise like you might find on army training manoeuvres we had a Cooker, Fridge Freezer and bed all delivered on the same day by different companies. We had to cross our fingers and hope they didn’t all arrive together! I think we got round the unpack and check obstacle by writing on the signature sheet that the carrier could not wait for us to check and then signed it. We found we needed a new Fridge door and they didn’t quibble about sending one to us.
    Let me know how the steam oven works out – I keep looking at them. It is so useful having someone out there to test drive all the things we have been thinking about for the cottage when the time comes, like Water Treatment plants etc! Can I put in a few requests??

    • Jessica November 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Ptolemy is safe too… although with all the seed, Mike has started to notice he is getting quite plump… I may need to put him on a diet.
      I have found the wonderful thing about blogging is that I have learnt so much. There is always someone out there who has done it before. By all means, lets share experiences.

  10. CherryPie November 3, 2012 at 12:39 am - Reply

    Your delivery problems made me smile, why do these things always get complicated.

    I have just had to have my bathroom repaired and refitted including the ceiling below (luckily it is the garage). All the fittings have gone really smoothly and the person who did the work advised that two electricians would turn up to install the ceiling fan (it is a local company, it provides all the services).

    ‘One’ electrician turned up and on his arrival I told him that the bathroom fitter had left some company ladders in the garage (they were needed for the task in hand). The electrician was expecting to install something quite different than was asked for. He then had to ring up for a second electrician to help him with the job. He hadn’t read the job sheet properly.

    He was rather grumpy so I left him to get on with his work after providing him with a coffee. He didn’t listen to a word I said either, the company ladders are still in my garage!!!

    • Jessica November 3, 2012 at 9:22 am - Reply

      I know. I had been dreading doing the kitchen because it is so disruptive. Bathrooms we still have to look forward to, sometime in the future! I hope yours is now looking wonderful and worth all the effort.

  11. rachel November 3, 2012 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Not a comment, really. Just got your query re ASCP, and would be delighted to discuss! Paint very easy, wax – hmmmmm. Just email me.

    • Jessica November 3, 2012 at 10:46 am - Reply

      Will email you later today, thanks Rachel.

  12. Denise November 3, 2012 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Brings back memories of a Dining Table we had delivered! Nightmare – think we had 4 delivered in the end-after 3 went back. Then when we accepted the fourth we sat down to a meal – and discovered a tiny scratch! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    • Jessica November 3, 2012 at 11:43 am - Reply

      Oh no. I often wonder if it’s me being over-picky. But when we pay so much for these things, they should be right!

  13. starproms November 3, 2012 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    That is a beautiful pheasant with a lovely name too.
    Re the kitchen equipment delivery, isn’t that just typical of life today! Good luck with the rest of it.

    • Jessica November 3, 2012 at 9:37 pm - Reply

      Absolutely. Thanks, Oma.

  14. Natalie November 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Beautiful pheasant! We have them here but I rarely see one.

    • Jessica November 8, 2012 at 2:26 pm - Reply

      He is lovely, especially when the sun is shining on his iridescent feathers.

  15. BumbleVee November 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    I’ve been reading on since I know you are in the same boat as I am….. yeh…delivery guys…know them well. And, you have to be made of pretty stern stuff to resist their attitudes and their flack ….. good for you. And,….how nice you had the husband to help…I’m mostly here alone in the day and have to be the bitc* all by my silly self. They all hate me. And…for the prices I’m paying? …who cares! When this is over I’ll never see them again.

    • Jessica November 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm - Reply

      It’s the same the world over isn’t it. Every time I move I think it’ll be different in the new place. It never is.

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