I continue to maintain my feeling of pride.
My mum’s coming to visit tomorrow; so I’ve spent today tidying and cleaning the office/library/spare-room in which our spare double bed* is located. I’ve emptied, sorted, and prep’d for disposal the contents of our first aid box, which largely consisted of tablets that expired in 2010. I’ve hoovered, recycled, and sorted some books for charity-shop-homes. I’ve finally given in and accepted that I’m unlikely ever to actually read the Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister trilogy, despite having picked it up in hardback years ago. I’ve actually been harsher than I’ve been for a while.
I sense I could get rid of more books if I really tried. Indeed, I think Long Way Round and Long Way Down will go, while I loved the show, the books weren’t that well written.
I even gave in and chopped the cable off my alarm clock that I bought aged 15, and put it in to be recycled. It still worked, but the cassette player door’s been broken for years, and frankly, I don’t use it. I’ve not used it for years. I had it plugged in for a few months occupying space on my bedside table, but I never actually used it as an alarm clock, and eventually decided it was just sucking power for no good reason.
Anyhow, that aside I’ve also moved all the tools back to the garage (±a few odds and sods). I’ve painted the bit of the doorframe to Kathryn’s office that needed painting – so that’s now had two coats and looks pretty respectable. Washed the brush’n all. And removed that final bit of masking tape. There’s a couple of spots up on the ceiling that want touching up, where I managed to get blue over the white (grr).
Kathryn is pleased with the office, which feels much bigger than it did, ‘n I think it’s looking pretty nice, so yay, generally on that front.
I also ran the strip of caulking under the shelves in the hall:
The trim there’s nearly ready to be painted too, so that should come together pretty well. It now matches the rest of the wall (in terms of paint colour) and the whole house is starting to feel more whole. I wasn’t originally planning to caulk under it, but it turned out that there was a fair breeze coming in from under the house (despite being insulated under there); so I decided to throw a strip of caulk down and make it look pretty at the same time.
I also did something which isn’t on the list (well, it is now, just so I could enjoy crossing it off) – I hung the lamp shade in the entryway. Granted it makes the house look a bit like a brothel (it’s red and yellow, to go with the stained glass) but hey, we barely ever switch it on.
I do, at some point, need to install an earth on it, because it’s actually a candle-holder that I’ve modified somewhat. I’d actually like it to have three-core cable, with an earth to the metal of the shade, but I’ve not got any appropriate cable kicking around, so for the moment it’ll have to wait.
Whilst I’ve been dinking at lunch time, I also discovered something I didn’t know existed, and decided I want it. Sadly, I can’t find it for sale anywhere:
Meh, so that’s my news. Now I’m going to go hide in the kitchen and washup.
* A fold-out twin-single-mattress double. I’m amazed it works, but it does :)
So, it’s not quite finished. As usual, time has got the better of me, and my mother’s coming to visit on Wednesday, which means that Tuesday is to be spent tidying. It also meant that we needed to clear out the library-cum-my-office-cum-spare-bedroom (not ‘beadroom’, as I first wrote. Awesomely over-spec though our house is for our needs, it does not have a specific room entirely devoted to beads).
This meant that for the past few days every waking moment not at work has been spent toiling in Kathryn’s office. I kind of wanted it to be finished before Christmas, anyway, as a kind of mini-Christmas present. It’s been left ’til last, just by dint of being full of stuff, and me thinking ‘it won’t take long’. And in all honesty, it hasn’t really. I’d've liked to have done some stuff to a better standard. The filling of the gap between the floorboards and the skirting is not terribly neat, but it’s ‘okay’. There are bits of wall I’d've liked to have spent much longer on. There’s the hole by the window which I’d love to have filled better, but which just kept disintegrating, so ended up being stabilised with ‘smoothover’ and just left, because I’d run out of filler.
But incredibly, the smoothover did work. It took a lot of sanding, and I was awesomely thankful that I’d bought more sanding sheets for the electric sander which did most of the grunt work. I was also very thankful that I’d bought a massive roll of cheap-ass wide masking tape which I used to tape the plastic sheeting back down multiple times, and which I used to seal around the door. Anyway, after several tedious hours of sanding, it was done. The wall was smooth, or at least, acceptably close to smooth. Good enough that after several coats of paint I reckoned it’d look okay.
Granted, afterwards, I was a mere ghost of my former self. Mainly because I was entirely covered in filler dust.
Whilst the room was a state I also took the opportunity to uncover the original panel door. Thankfully, the 1950′s hardboard’s just nailed, not glued, so a few deft slices with the stanley knife, some brute force, and ten minutes with a claw hammer, and the door was nail-free and, err, brown, in this case.
It also revealed how awesome the original doorhandles were.
If only someone’d saved them.
They were probably bakelite. I wish I could lay my hands on a set to fit to the entire house. But I’ve never seen more than the odd random one, and I’d rather like them all to match. They now make a chrome version but at 25 quid a handle I’m inclined to think that’s a bit much (with 6 doors to rehandle).
Err, I digress.
So, anyhow, I slathered layer after layer of paint on. Two coats of ‘white’* on the walls, two coats of basecoat on the sections above the picture rail where the artex hides under many layers of evil. Then two coats of lumitec white over that and the ceiling, two coats of the ‘eco’ paint on the walls. And finally, today, three coats of paint on the trim.
We headed down to see if our local independent department store had shelving timber, but they did not. Which is a shame, because if they had it would have meant that I wouldn’t have had to, essentially, hurl the un-unpacked boxes of stuff back into Kathryn’s office. We’ve also had to put the bookcase back in to her office to hold things that should have been unpacked on to the new shelves that aren’t there yet.
But I’ve mounted Kathryn’s EmergenTea case on the wall:
And the room is looking pretty lovely, if I do say so myself:
All in all, I’m quite happy with progress on that front. I also finally connected the radiator up, bled it, and lo, the room has heating for the first time ever.
Beyond the shelves, I still need to paint some of the door frame, attach the sockets to the walls (but the screws seem to have gone walkies), hodge the wires back up into the ceiling and screw the light-fitting to the ceiling, cut-and-fit the blanking plate for the air-brick that opens directly into the room (which was blanked off rather crudely when we moved in).
Anyhow, it means that I can cross some stuff off the jobs list. Which is good. And I feel a damn sight better about the house progressing.
* We had some of a ‘value pack’ of Dulux white, which looks nothing like the Dulux ‘lumitec white’ topcoat we use on the ceilings. It sort of looked vaguely brown. Although, to be fair, it was pretty old.