It’s been rather refreshing this week getting all dressed up with somewhere to go…somewhere other than B&Q…..with even the staff at O’s nursery commenting on the difference.
“You look nice. All summery” said O’s teacher on Tuesday.
“Thanks. First day back at work….” I explained with a smile as I planted a kiss on O’s already moving head as he dashed towards the breakfast table.
“I’m used to seeing you covered in paint” she went on.
“Yes. Well. You still will….” I warned as I handed over his bag and his little daily record book, O already busily helping himself to scoops of cereal, “…on Thursday”
Indeed, yesterday I reverted back to form and arriving at the nursery in my jogging pants and an old tee, my fringe (Im getting used to it) pressed asymmetrically across my forehead from its eight hours spent squashed on a pillow. I caught a look.
“Decorating day?” she asked pityingly.
I smiled thinly and left with a bit of an indignant humpf in my step. My destination? B&Q.
Ive missed writing about the house progress each day but the reality is that now, without one of us onsite, there is no such thing. Progress is up to us and with little time outside of weekends and evenings dedicated to it… I have one day a week….. its going to be slow. We have arrived at that tipping point in the project whereby we are faced with two alternative scenarios. Take the foot off the pedal and live in the house as it is …in a perpetual state of unfinished-ness. Or. Somehow keep up momentum and chip determinedly away. I prefer option two so last week wrote myself a little work plan for my one free day a week with a goal to be finished by mid summer ….though please note…..I use the word ‘finished’ to mean simply that walls are painted and carpet is down. So far so encouraging.
Depressingly I’m on week two and already I’m a week behind.
Before I could get stuck in to last weeks task however (to finish the hallway to include the soaring staircase wall I had worked out I could, even with my modest height, tackle fairly effectively with the roller pole) I had to clear out the weeks accumulation of boxes and furniture which have found their way into the, well, way. In their defence…or rather ours…..the reason for storing items in the hallway and landing is due to the little space available elsewhere so before I could shift my new tallboy (about which I have spent time this week musing over its transformation to linen cupboard….I may paint it white and paper the interior….) out of painting’s way I had to put a bit of order to the unorderly snug. Mindful that the refurbishment of the snug fireplace was also scheduled to which access was, at that point, severely restricted due to stacks of MDF offcuts and other paraphernalia in the way, clearing out the snug superseded the painting and I found myself carrying armfuls of rubbish….old foam packaging, flattened cardboard and empty paint tins…. out to a sprawling pile accumulating on our hard standing out front. Whilst undertaking this endeavour I was treated to comments and observations by next doors friendly but exhausting painter, currently tackling the front of our neighbours house and showing ours up to be the eyesore it is in the process.
“Haven’t locked yourself out have you?” he said on my first trip to out to the rubbish pile “Just heard the door…we’ve all done that haven’t we? Ha ha. Ha ha”
“Ha ha ha ha” I joined in. “No its on the latch.”
“Ha ha ha ha” I heard him continue as, front door propped open, I ventured back into the snug for my next load.
Reappearing moments later with my arms once again full, he indicated the freshly painted white wall separating our path from the neighbours on which he was perched.
“Walls a bit brighter now isn’t it? Hurts your eyes. Ha ha ha ha”
“Ha ha ha ha” I agreed. “Much better.”
“Ha ha ha ha”
I re-entered the house.
Third trip and he was still in situ, this time with a cup of tea in hand.
“Done a lot of work in there have you? Hard work isn’t it? Ha ha ha ha”
I smiled back and having run out of ‘ha’s’ of my own decided that perhaps I should make this trip my last. With adequate space cleared I gave him a smile and shut the door behind me. Painting could resume.
The watering down of the Earthborn paint continued to deliver results and application to the ceiling and walls was fairly straight forward until I decided, somewhat foolishly on hindsight, to navigate the ladder one handed, paint tray filled with thickened water swilling about atop. It’s legs, catching on the protective tarpaulin laying bunched (it is huge….our hallway is not so) on the floor beneath ended inevitably in a monumental splattering with me being the primary victim and thereby adding yet another Picasso-esque layering to my painting wear, arms, hands and face. Opening the door to the fireplace men I braced myself for comment.
“You’ll have your wages docked if you’re not careful” said one “carrying that much paint home with you.”
The other had caught sight of the refurbished fireplace in our lounge standing rather proud in its newly decorated surroundings.
“Blimey, that looks good doesn’t it?” he said proudly of his own work. “Looks just how a Victorian fireplace should do. Ill take some pictures and put them on Facebook. ….obviously I won’t put your name. Or address. Or that you offer painting and decorating…” He chuckled. “But I’ll put the ‘before’ pic up which you emailed me cause yeah, that looks good”
I left them to work their magic on the snug fireplace adding in a new hood and bars and blackening up the back. It doesn’t yet look quite as handsome as its lounge cousin as the pretty tiles still need to have their shroud of crispy green paint removed and the surround….chipped concrete as opposed to slate…will need to be painted. With a gift of a half tin of heat resistant paint being offered in exchange for their final payment its a job we have the equipment now to do so with fireplace finished (for now) and painting gear packed away following a successful job in the hall I finished my decorating day in the shower before returning to the nursery….sans splatters….to pick up my baby boy. Comments averted.