I finally rang the guy to come and see about installing lights and he came last week and had a look and told me what I need to buy. So I did a quick search on the internet and found the details for this place, which is basically a big warehouse selling end of line lights and seconds and that kind of thing. I had bought one lamp from a big DIY place not long after I moved in as I at least wanted to put one up in the bathroom. Turns out that like so many of those chain DIY places, the staff hadn't a clue/didn't care about what they told me and what I bought isn't suitable for a bathroom at all. So, I'll put that up in the bedroom, which is also where I have the sewing machine set up and it'll be a good worklight and I can continue to just use the bedside lamp for those times when I don't need a bright light. The place I was at today had two guys who really did seem to know what they were on about and they were very helpful. I dithered about the light for the kitchen for ages and finally chickened out of getting the blue one and went for a more standard three-light arrangement. It had nice white glass fittings but one was broken and another broke when he was taking it down off the wall but he had already told me that since they couldn't find any others of that type I could take a different colour glass fitting from a different light if I wanted so I got some nice bright orangey/yellow ones instead. I may go back and get that blue one I was looking at though - I wasn't sure it would provide enough light for the whole kitchen but I might go back with the chair cushions and if the colour matches well enough get it anyway and see if it would work. I'll wait and see how money goes for the rest of the month. As well as those I bought a very simple red lampshade for the sitting room. It is very slightly damaged on one side at the top but you can't really see it, I could just feel where the chip was when I was holding it. And I got a properly enclosed one for the bathroom (plus an explanation from the guy on what to look out for in future which was handy). At a grand total of 85 euro for all three, including bulbs (the three bulbs for the kitchen light are energy saving ones, the other two just ordinary incandescents but sure spares are always handy to have) I think I didn't do too badly. I saw about five other lights which I really liked, some of them more expensive but all for far less than you would pay in a 'normal' shop. I got chatting to another customer while I was there and she said she had also used the services of an electrician they had given her the name for before and he was really good and very competitively priced so I also got his number from them. Always handy to have that kind of a contact. All in all it was an hour very well spent.
As it was raining this morning we didn't do any outside work in the garden. I wouldn't have minded but the head gardener decided we would work on seed saving instead. During the year at whatever time the seeds are ready for harvesting the flowers or stems are put into paper bags and then during the winter the seeds are actually removed and sorted. So today I tried to get at the seeds for meadowsweet, which are so tiny it's impossible to completely separate them from their hulls. Then I did something which was a member of the mauve family and finally some hollyhocks, just so I could have something easy to do before I went home.
In two weeks time there won't be any working in the garden but two of the members of the 'workers' cirlce' are going to give a talk on propogating, which should be interesting. On that Saturday I won't have to be there until 11 o'clock so I am going to take the chance to go to a shop I found up the road from me which sells wallpaper and carpets etc. The bathroom here has horrible lino tiles laid on the floor and I'd really like to get proper tiles in there (with proper grouting rather than the lines of dirt which seem to line the lino tiles in there at the moment) but although I could probably get tiles relatively cheaply, getting someone to fit them could be expensive so I thought in the meantime maybe I could try buying an offcut of ordinary lino and just laying that myself. I couldn't do a worse job that what's down there at the moment I don't think and at least with one piece of lino the dirt wouldn't be collecting in the cracks. Besides, a gray floor is just depressing to look at. They also had large offcuts of carpet in that shop (I window shopped for about twenty minutes there last Sunday) and I was thinking I might get one big enough to use as a rug in the sitting room. It would protect the wooden floor somewhat and be a bit cosier in winter I think. I'll have to measure the floor space but they had fairly big pieces for about fifteen euro so it might be possible to do. Rugs to cover that much space, even cheap ones, cost at least sixty or seventy euro and hundreds if I wanted to try and buy one I actually like. I was half thinking it might be possible to use the sewing machine to sew an edging onto a piece of carpet but I'm not sure how feasible that would be. Am getting caught up in a lot of plans at the moment but it's good to keep chipping away at the various things to do around the place so that I can make the place a bit more homey for myself. The lights will make a big difference and as soon as they are installed I am going to invite some people over for dinner.