Plasterific

all filled in 1

Thanks to Barry, the holes in the ceiling in the living room and kitchen are now filled in and the living room lights are once again a-go-go.  It’s nice to see his lovely face again.  Whilst it added ambience, the light from the one standing lamp dragged from upstairs wasn’t excellent for eating tea by.

all filled in 2

We now have many huge grey patches of plaster that need to be sanded and repainted, but that’s going to wait until after Scarlett’s tea party when we are permitted to have a dusty house!

Sorry for the awful cameraphone shots!  If you looked down, you would see a hungry baby sat on my foot in this one.

The grass is always greener

Actually, the grass is not always greener on the other side because one of our neighbour’s dogs poos freely in their garden so they have giant dead patches of grass. A good reason to get higher fences. But that’s another story.

Barry has had a plan for some time of having decking in the garden. By plan, I don’t mean some vague concept of “we need to do something to the garden”; I mean plan. He’s drawn it out on graph paper so many times I’m surprised he can’t recite our garden’s exact dimensions. I was reluctant to consider decking at first. I’ve seen some examples and it can look very cheap, and it also requires some upkeep (a dirty word in our house), so I didn’t think much to it.

However! My ex-uncle (for an explanation, please see the post where we broke his sander) has lovely decking, which he put in himself and I really like, possibly because he’s stained it dark and surrounded it in pretty flowers.

And yea, I was converted to deckingism.

And yea, I had to google the word “yea” to make sure I was spelling it correctly. It looks a bit too much like “yeah”.

Regardless, let me give you, ahem, the lay of the land of our garden. Our garden slopes towards the back right hand corner. It slopes down to the right, and down to the far end. The patch of land most likely to get any sun at all is the back right corner, which is also where we very cleverly placed our shed. We used to have a rabbit, so there’s a big square patch of dead grass where the hutch was, and I hate the paving stones, which I’d call a “prison” grey. Hence the plan.

I’m not even sure this will get done this year after all the interior fun with the kitchen and living room, but I can tell you what we’re thinking. We’re imagining decking down the right hand side of the garden, and we’ll have to have two or three separate areas (with steps between them), otherwise we’ll end up about five feet above the ground by the end of the garden. Barry’s got visions of firepits and barbecues dancing in his head, but one step at a time, hey?

Updates on Saturday’s activities – it’s (as you can tell by the picture) been snowing, so we’re really in dire need of a radiator now! We’re being quite indecisive about which one to get, so I think some snappy decision-making’s in order. We nipped to Wickes to get some tester paints (not long and we’ll have the complete range) for the kitchen. After Karen commented about brilliant white not being so brilliant for walls, I’ve been wittering on about maybe a pale grey for the kitchen too, but Barry’s having none of it. In retaliation, I’ve painted two different greys on the wall (and in the corner, thanks Karen!) and I’m hoping he’ll come around. God forbid we have to paint it twice.

I’ve also finally finished painting the living room walls, as shown. There are still doors and skirting boards to do, but they’re going to wait until the kitchen’s finished. Meanwhile, Barry was fitting some of the plasterboard we took down into the gaps in the walls, which should hopefully make it a bit warmer as well.



He’s also plugging up the fan that went from the loo to the outside world, but the expanding foam went a bit wrong and it looks like it’s been really ill.




Our dining room table’s currently in pieces, and we’ve moved all of the chairs up to a spare room so they’re out of the way for when the kitchen comes (a week and a half, people!). It does, however, look to the casual observer that we’re ready to play musical chairs at a moment’s notice.

Feelin’ hot, hot, hot

The kitchen is now freezing, because the radiators have had to be removed. I seriously considered switching the oven on the other night while cooking at the hob, just for a bit of warmth.

Before we entered the Dark Ages, we were thinking about putting a small radiator under our bay window, but as the pipes come from above, this will be a really difficult job (lots of patching up), so we dismissed that. Barry’s mum once again had a great idea (this kitchen malarky was her idea in the first place) of having a vertical radiator.

These are the style we’re looking at on eBay. We started with B&Q and Wickes, but quickly switched to old faithful as they’re a third of the price, delivered. Can’t argue with that! This is now pressing as the temperature’s dropping, so I think we’ll order one this weekend.

I’ve also spotted (no pun intended) these white lights on the B&Q website. They are £40 each though, and I think we’ll need two, so we’d better raid the piggy bank!

Barry’s now put wood and plaster board on the end of the wall that was open and we’re coving the rest of them this weekend with plasterboard – hopefully it will help to keep a bit of warmth in.  Pictures below!

And the Lord said go forth and multiply your lights

Or something like that.

My husband seems to have harboured a heretofore unrealised passion for lights.  Our living room previously had two ceiling lights – one over the living area, and one over the dining area.  We now have 13.  I’m not kidding.

As mentioned previously, I fell in love with the Argos lights which we’ve built our room around, and this involved changing a single chandelier-style light to two of those instead, leaving a giant hole gouged in our ceiling.

We replaced our huge red light over the living area with a Belize light from Argos, which is a lot more discreet, and will make guests feel a little less like they’re being questioned when it’s on.

Then the husband decided that he’d quite like spotlights across the back wall.  We went for these inoffensive ones from Wickes, and initially he only wanted to have five or six, but I convinced him he really meant all ten.  As it turned out, joists run across where he was drilling, and he ended up having to drill holes in between every light he put in just so he could carve a notch to hide the wiring.

We spent a weekend plastering these holes, and all of the other various dents in the walls that we hadn’t noticed until now, and I got a brief lesson in grit size of sandpaper.  That may or not have been when I took the Reader’s Digest DIY Manual to bed.

Anyway, we’ve now got the bulk of the painting done, just the edges to tidy up, and we’re pleased as punch with our choices so far.

While all this was going on, we decided to have a mosey on down to B&Q and see what the kitchen situation was.  Over Christmas, we were telling my mother-in-law how we can’t use the downstairs loo as it emits a terrible smell.  Actually, it does that whether we’ve used it or next-door-but-one uses it, I think the pipes haven’t got enough of an angle to clear the waste.  Our house is over three floors, and we currently have a toilet on each floor, but our guests are asked to use the one on the middle floor anyway, due to the building problem (yes, we complained, as have our neighbours; they cleared them once but it’s recurring and we’re wasting our breath).  She made a passing suggestion for us to knock down the walls around the loo, as well as one of the kitchen walls, to make a giant kitchen!

I’ll post separately about the kitchen situation, but the long and short of it is that we’ve bought one, but decided to fit flooring in the living room after we’ve fitted the kitchen so that it doesn’t get wrecked.  RIP to the cream living room carpet, by the way, which now looks like it’s been attacked by paint.

I’ve fallen in love with this first white flooring by Quickstep, called Elina Wenge Passionata.  I’ve seen varying prices between £11 odd and £30 per square metre, and at 24m2, plus all the extras, it’s quite expensive (to us).  Cheapest we saw it at was NCS Flooring.

Ever practical, my husband ordered samples of a similar (but not the same!) flooring, which is Quickstep Girona white chestnut.  It’s got more of a grey tinge, which doesn’t offend me as the walls are grey, but I think the white would have lifted the room more.  We’ll have to see, but I think we’ll have to go with this as it’s almost half the price!