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It’s been a week of home improvements, of the expensive kind. But it’s been largely successful, so I feel some spruiking is required.

A bit of background – our house used to be one whole dwelling, which was used as an accounting firm/home/teddy bear making facility (don’t ask). There was ducted air conditioning, an alarm system, a quite extensive sprinkler network throughout the big landscaped backyard and front yard, and backyard lights. When they couldn’t sell the whole dwelling, they decided to turn it into semis and just put a line down the middle. So they blocked off the air conditioning, cut off the alarm, and took all the vital operating bits (such as pumps and connectors) to the sprinkler system. Andy’s side (926) has the controls for air con and the alarm. Our side just has the dud vents and blinky alarm detectors that go on and off but do nothing.

We decided to get air conditioning installed and it seemed to make sense to use the vents/ducts that were already there. It took a while to organise the money to do it, but this week I got the chaps from J&J Metro West (whose office is right next to ours in Rydalmere) to come and install a new Daikin system (they ended up replacing the ducting but used the existing vents). They were really friendly, professional and well-priced – I’d happily recommend them to anyone.

Of course, since we had the system installed, the weather has been rather cool (much like how when you get the car washed it invariably rains). So I feel that has been our service to all of you living in Sydney: installing air conditioning has brought a cool change, rendering the air conditioning unnecessary. You are welcome.

I also had someone from Magnetite come in and quote to retrofit double glazing in the bedrooms, to cut the traffic noise down. But it’s unlikely to be installed til January, so I will let you know how that goes (I am SO looking forward to that happening).

The last thing I had done was to do an all-out offensive strike against the ant armies that are encroaching upon our domicile. The place had been fumigated before we moved in, and we even had the dude come back under warranty because there seemed to be more ants than were normal, but he wasn’t really much help.

Mum tried spraying, laying ant baits, putting down ant rid, ant sand, magic ant chalk (given to her by someone at work and, as it turns out, illegal in the US)…anything with ant in the title really. But after an initial cull, they would just cut a path around whatever measures we had taken, scoffing and laughing at our puny attempts. She has been getting increasingly stressed about the ants, their cunning and their evil. I had to point out that ants didn’t really operate under any sort of moral compass, but she didn’t want to have a bar of it.

The day they invaded the kitchen cupboards was the last straw. Although they did not breach our impenetrable Tupperware line of defence, they were everywhere and it was kind of gross, really. 

I didn’t really know who to call, so I just did some googling. Nationwide Pest Control‘s site impressed me, mainly because it was well-laid out, provided the relevant information (ie, what the service entailed and how much it would cost), and allowed me to book online. I got a call the next day confirming the appointment, and a call on the day to say the guy was on his way.

He was friendly, confident, took care of business and seemed to know his stuff. I made a point of telling him what I thought about the website, because I think positive feedback ought to be passed on, and he seemed very proud of the whole business. He reckons after a month of the ants carrying poison back to the nest and gradually dying out, we should be relatively ant free for at least a year, if not longer. Hurrah!

When I mentioned mum’s ant paranoia to the pest controller he said “yeah I’m pretty sure we’re not at the top of the food chain, we just exist to serve the ants.” Which of course reminds me of this:

But not for another year at least! Mwa ha ha!