Following my success with the recipe scrapbook, I decided to get cracking with my wedding scrapbook for a bit more cathartic organisation. I started filling it with my wedding ideas from before the day, along with some memory bits like ribbon from the bridesmaids’ dresses, our flight stubs and honeymoon itinerary. We only got married a mere six and a half years ago. I did do a bit when I was pregnant and on maternity leave, but other things soon beckoned (like the SATC boxset, hello Helen!), and it fell by the wayside. I’ve found a renewed energy for wanting these things sorted now, firstly to keep them away from little sticky hands, and secondly to preserve them for when the owner of those little sticky hands becomes interested in mummy and daddy’s wedding and I can show her everything we (or I) did to prepare for it.
Hallelujah, the photo wall is done! I think it was one of those jobs where the thought of actually doing it was more taxing than the actual action of doing it. As I mentioned, I have some family coming over today for the bank holiday weekend, so we’ve bitten the bullet and just done it. I keep walking into the living room and they take me by surprise, as I’m so used to that wall being empty now!
In my humble opinion, I think it looks great! I sat down on Friday and updated the mock up I’d done in Illustrator, and we used that as a rough guide. There’s still a few spaces for more photos, so we can add to it if we want to.
So… here it is! All 24 photos (for now).
Oh dear, oh dear. I haven’t posted in almost a month, and literally nothing’s changed, house-wise. A lot’s been changing with me, but house-wise it’s exactly the same.
The prints are all safely nestled in their frames, and are waiting patiently on the dining room table to be put up on the wall. According to Barry, I’m in charge of logistics of how we’re going to arrange them. That should go well. The pressure’s on to get them up this weekend, because my Aunty and cousins are coming on Monday for the first time and we want it to look great.
In kitchen news, the great black wall still lies unfinished, and we’re going to cave. Next door have given us the number of a painter/decorator so we’re going to get a quote. In the last month, Barry’s moved jobs as well as started his own company, and it’s just not going to happen, so we’d rather get it sorted. The stairs are going to be a major issue anyway, best leave it to the professionals.
As well as the black wall, I think we’ll get a quote for our room to be painted so it no longer looks like a shooting’s taken place, and (wait for it), we’ll need our third bedroom painting as it looks like that will be the nursery.
Yes, I’m pregnant, up the duff, bun in the oven, knocked up. 14 weeks and 2 days to be precise. I’ll try not to harp on about it, I know it’s not a baby blog, but my mind has been on other things lately and I’m poring over prams instead of paint like porn in my lunch hour.
We were dithering about which room to make the nursery. To begin with, the baby can reside in our little nook off our main bedroom, but I think it would be nice to do up a bedroom for when it’s ready to move on and be a bit more independent. At about 6 months. Charlie’s giving us lots of good advice, and she thinks that would be good for the daytime anyway, and then the baby can get used to the room.
We initially thought the spare room with the yellow bed, as it’s the nearest to our bedroom. However, Barry’s made the excellent point that it’s nearer the road, and therefore noisier. They’re both the same size, so I think we’re going to go with the one that’s further back. We’ll have to get rid of the double bed that’s in there, but I think we’ll get a nice fold-out sofa bed in there for when Barry’s family comes over.
We won’t know what colour we’re going for until around October time (forget team yellow, we want to know!), which is also putting the brakes on which colour and design of pram we want. For anyone who’s interested, we’re getting an iCandy. Now I’m going to daydream…
The living room floor is in! We still have some work to do (painting skirts/painting radiators/painting doors/putting beading on/never mind the photo wall), but we can walk on it, and it looks great! I think Barry has RSI from putting it in, and he couldn’t face starting the kitchen.
A couple of things we were selling on eBay finished yesterday – the radiator with the leak went, and the kitchen trolley thing went for £102! That will cover either the photo wall, or a trip to Ikea to get some white drawers etc. I really didn’t want to leave the red ones in because they hurt my eyes now because they don’t match, but Barry won’t let me take them out, because we use them, or some such reason. Progress photos below.
Barry’s been a busy boy (say that five times quickly after a few drinks). He’s made the box to cover the fuse box. Twice. I didn’t like the purple on white action, so he had to make another door in white.
He’s also been sawing away at the cornices and pelmets, so they’re done, and we’ve made the interesting discovery that Tipp-Ex ® is nigh on exactly the same white as our wall units. Good to know.
This means that the units are done! The peninsula can’t be made until we’ve got the flooring in, so that’s it for now.
We’ve been comparing the flooring samples to the units; it’s definitely got to be white. For the quantity we’re wanting for the kitchen and living room, it’s of no benefit to us to get two rooms’ worth together, so we may split it into separate lots so we can at least have one room sorted. It will definitely be the kitchen first due to the concrete flooring!
We’ve also put the dining room table back up because it doesn’t look like flooring in there will be changed very soon and we’re both tired of eating off our knees in front of the TV.
You know the drill, photos below!
Did a few bits and bobs yesterday. Barry put the new lights up while I cleaned the kitchen windows and then he sealed the boxed off boiler pipes with silicone and the cooker hood with liquid metal. We also remeasured the kitchen and the living room and looked at flooring again – if we get the one we want, with cheap underlay, it looks like it will be about £750, so Barry’s investigating cheaper options!
In the meantime, I’m sewing material into some boot top covers – we’ve got fancy dress next month for Barry’s birthday, and I’m going to be (wait for it) Supergirl. Can’t wait!
Following yesterday’s post, in which I explained how I was sorry for not picking up the phone to the eBay woman, I would now like to take that back.
Exhibit A is the texted conversation from yesterday morning:
The kitchen is incompatible with the plumbing, so I need to sell it. could you offer it to the next highest bidder for me please. many thanks
I’m sorry, but you will have to relist it. I can’t see the next highest bidder now it’s been sold, and it was possibly different bidders for all 3 items. Sorry unable to help.
OK. I might just change tops and sink, so not a total disaster.
I really didn’t want to get involved in either the fact that plumbing matches the kitchen, not the other way around, or selling the kitchen to another person who could turn out to be just the same, and still be embroiled in this madness. I’m emailing her the photos of the kitchen so she can relist it (when her computer’s back up and running), but that is it! My part is done!
We were at a 105th birthday party yesterday (happy birthday Jaye and Carole!), so didn’t get much done, but we did nip to B&Q in the morning to buy some lights and get the right cooker hood filters (thanks once again to Jason K, who was brilliant. Bet he loved seeing us again!). We decided on some lights from B&Q, like the other ones I wanted, but in a circle instead of on a rod, and £10 cheaper. They have disappeared from B&Q’s website though, we’ve got a habit of choosing lights that are about to be discontinued!
Barry’s also bought a coffee machine that lights up, very exciting! And he oiled the main bit of the worktop so it’s really glossy and smells nice! We also took the protective plastic off the stainless steel splashback, which is always very satisfying.
I spent quite a bit of time last night on my knees, doing something truly filthy. Yes, that’s right, I was cleaning the kitchen floor of wood dust. RtJ has finished!
There are still some bits for us to finish off (cornice/pelmet), but he’s done everything we wanted him to, and he was very reasonably priced with it.
When I got home last night, we first of all had to drive to the “special” eBay woman (more on this tomorrow), which took a couple of hours out of our evening. Then, when we returned again just after 8pm, Barry spent the next two hours fitting the tap and doing the pipework under the sink. I swept the floor and inhaled probably lethal amounts of wood dust.
Photos of the progress below…
Two good things happened yesterday, kitchen-wise: the joiner made a start and a man with a van came to pick up the old kitchen! Hurray!
I’ve included four photos from yesterday morning, before I went to work, and then five from when I got home and the man had taken all the bits away. The worktop has all been cut (including a hole for the sink), it just needs fixing. Richard the Joiner (RtJ, as he shall henceforth be known), broke several jigsaw blades on the solid wood and had to get some more! There’s enough of the worktop left for us to have a little bit of surface coming out of the wall by the door – we’ll just need to get a brushed stainless steel post.
RtJ has also cut some plinth for underneath the oven so you can’t see the bodge job of making it higher, but it means we’re going to run out of plinth, so may need to have some further bodging of using end panel for some of the plinth area. Barry and I nipped to Wickes last night to get some glue and silicone so he can continue today. Barry also spent a lot of last night preparing the pipework for under the sink so he can do that quickly once RtJ’s finished today.
The man who collected the old kitchen couldn’t believe how many parts there were to it. He was glad he’s not the one putting it back together! I’ll be very surprised if I don’t get at least one call from the eBay woman with questions about it.
Today marks our fifth wedding anniversary – happy anniversary, honey!
We’ve actually been together more than ten years, since university, when our only source of decoration in the halls was books (his, sciences, mine, languages), posters (his, the tennis player with her bum out, mine, more embarrassingly, the Backstreet Boys) and interesting rugs (his, ratty strips of woven cloth, mine, a fluffy pink heart made of a wandering fibre that ended up on everything I owned).
We then moved to a shared house, where we had the whole top floor which had recently been renovated. Again, we had no power over what it looked like and function and utility reigned over beauty. The only painting Barry did was the bathroom ceiling, in a paint that just wouldn’t stick and turned out to have sand in it for some reason. It all peeled off.
In our third year, he worked in Peterborough while I lived in Spain and France. Spain was your typical apartment with tiled floors and airless rooms (pictured). My entire flat in France was smaller than our current bedroom. In the fourth year, we returned to (fancier) halls, in which I don’t think we even had posters or rugs.
At the end of that year, finally, we rented a house together just outside of the city which had a bit of character. The living room was on the third floor – very topsy turvy! The kitchen worktop had to be oiled regularly – I think Barry’s looking forward to doing that again. The bathroom was a horrendous aquamarine when we moved in, but we asked if we could paint it white and we were allowed.
The first house we bought was another magnolia kingdom. The couple we bought it from had lived in it for a few years and never done anything with it. Ha! we thought. Lazy buggers! We ended up painting this strip in the lounge a purply-chocolate colour, one wall in our bedroom green, a wall in our spare bedroom red, and the bathroom pink. Thus endeth our decorating of the first house.
Our current house is our second, and we nagged Barratt’s to death to get a cheaper price for it. It can be done! All of a sudden, the market will crash, and they won’t be able to give you it fast enough. That’s what happened to us, anyway. We ended up getting it for £25k less than next door, whose house is a mirror image of ours.
We fell in love immediately with the top floor when we saw the show home. It consists of our bedroom, a dressing room/nursery and ensuite. Light streams from opposite sides of the house and it feels huge and airy. The whole of the show home was very black and silver, but it did give us some excellent ideas, even if it’s taking until now to implement them (like black walls up the stairs).
As I’ve mentioned before, we’d love to have built in wardrobes, but they cost an arm and a leg. In fact, I’m not sure my arm and leg would cover the cost.
I was talking to Jules about house blindness (after the carpet discussion), and we’ve decided that once you’ve been in for a while, you just don’t see “it” any more. “It” can be the bland walls you see past, the nail pops you choose to ignore, the hideous (sorry, vintage) carpet you no longer look at. We’d been “planning” to decorate for some time before we actually started this January, but it took a shock this Christmas to actually make us get up and do something, because we needed a project to keep our minds off things.
As my friend Michelle says (and no, I’m not talking about myself in the third person), you always need a project.