Category Archives: Domestic Projects

Everything has slowed down…….

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……even me! I have not done any electrical work for quite some time now which in itself isn’t a great problem, it’s just that I have to look for other things to do. I have mentioned that I am thinking about redecorating the stairwell and hallways and replacing the carpet up to and including the first floor. The decor can be the same throughout as long as it matches the carpets. I would really like to paint all the wood work white in colour and have a dark grey carpet and perhaps a very pale shade of grey on the walls. The problem is that there is a lot of wood to paint and carpets would have to be lifted until it was done. Of course I can concentrate on one floor at a time but even so it will be a long time in completing. With that in mind and the cost to do it I have decided to delay starting the work for a while. In the meantime I have been busy doing smaller but necessary jobs which financially have cost me nothing. I am also going to take the time to build a stand for a table lamp for the small lounge as I have been unable to find one ready-made or one and of the right size which I can paint myself. As I write this on Thursday evening I am proposing to start on that tomorrow morning as I have all the materials in the cellar and don’t have to buy anything. I did very little during the morning except to dig out some weeds and a few Montbretia shoots in the rear garden. The season is just right for the Montbretia to start growing and what few I had been unable to dig out along with the Bluebells last year and earlier this year are beginning to show themselves. Montbretia, at least those in my garden, have been quite easy to remove so they aren’t really a problem. I did spend a little time relaxing on the patio before lunch and afterwards I went out shopping for the two new table lamps.

Before I could use them I replaced the supplied 13 amp plugs with 5 amp ones so that they can be switched on at the door together with the floor-standing lamp. Each of these lamps incidentally has its own switch in case I don’t wish to use them. The first picture shows the lamp I have been trying to purchase a cabinet/table for but am now making myself. The second is in its intended place alongside the computer on which I am writing this. My other computer I keep upstairs in the guest bedroom. The one you see is the larger and runs Windows 7, my preferred platform whilst the other runs Windows 10 which I don’t much like and only use if I have to. I do run it frequently though to keep it updated, especially the security programs. If you’ve got really good eyesight you may be able to read the first half of this post on the screen in the second picture! I am now able to leave the computer on top of the cabinet and sit on the stool to use it now that I have made the stand for it. It is designed to spread the load and prevent the legs of the stool from digging into the carpet. I like making things that work!

The seat cover, though not purposely a matching colour just happened to be right. It is one of two stools we have had for many years.

Shirley Anne

Ticking over

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Now that I have completed the redecoration and refurbishment of the small lounge at home I am beginning to consider redecorating the main hallway, the first floor hallway, the top floor hallway and the staircases in between them. I am considering hanging new, embossed wall paper and painting over it with white emulsion. I may decide to over-paint the stained wood work with white gloss but if I do it will take much time. Following that I would like to replace the carpets up to and including the first floor in a different colour from what it is now. 

The carpet looks its age and is well-worn and a little discoloured. If it isn’t possible to obtain the exact replacement I am thinking to replace it with one of a different colour, possibly a crimson or dark green colour. If I do replace with a new colour I would only replace the ground and first floors together with the intervening staircase as the carpet above the second floor is very much unworn and in good condition. It is at the moment just at the thinking stage as far as the carpet replacement goes though as far as the decoration goes it may happen far sooner. I have other things to consider in the meantime. Today, that is Tuesday 16th as I write this I actually filled-in my tax return form, took a walk into the village and posted it. I had all the collation work done weeks ago but as usual I wanted the time to recheck figures. The small lounge project prevented me from doing that but on Tuesday morning I finally had the time. This time next year I may be returning an empty form, that is one devoid of any profitable declarations as I may have fully retired by then, who knows? In the afternoon I went on the hunt for a small cabinet and to purchase some scatter cushions for the new suite in the small lounge. 

As you can see I found the cushions (£5 each) but no luck with the small cabinet as yet. I will keep looking though. Following that I went to the pub for an hour, just for drinks and to chat with people for I had eaten earlier.

Shirley Anne

Another Monday morning

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It would be another Monday morning spent at home. No electrical work for quite some time now and I am beginning to think that maybe it is time to quit. Actually I hadn’t published my advert for this week so that might explain things though I have turned down quite a number of offers these past few weeks. I am not desperate for the money the work brings me, I can manage without it. So what was I to do for the day? Well during the replacement of the faulty radiator in the small lounge a few days earlier I had to drain down the whole system and as is usual in doing that air gets trapped in the radiators and pipes. I had vented off all the trapped air in the radiators but found the towel rail in the bathroom still problematical. The picture below was taken a couple of years ago soon before the bathroom project would be finished. It shows only the lower section of the tall radiator.

It turned out that I hadn’t vented the radiator completely so that was one of the first jobs for the day. While I was in the bathroom I took the opportunity to clean out the dead flies and moths that had found their way inside the ceiling lights. Before I had made a start on venting out the air in the radiator I gave the base I had made for the stool in the small lounge to stand on another coat of paint. I placed it on top of the boiler in the cellar to dry more quickly, actually anywhere in the boiler room is warm enough as we often hang our washing in there for it to dry.

Next job was to refit the two wall lights in the small lounge after I had cleaned them up. I decided after all not to replace them with new fittings as they match with the ceiling light.

And here are the switches which control the ceiling light, the wall lights and the free-standing lights I might plug into the dedicated outlets, one of which is the new floor standing light.

The switch plate is difficult to see because it blends in with the new decor but if you click on the picture it will be easier to see. Click on all the images to magnify them.

All that and a few other things not listed before lunch at one o’clock. Now what was I to do in the afternoon?

Shirley Anne

 

Just about complete

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I have yet to refit the two wall lights but as far as the room being completed is concerned it is finished. I am looking for a small unit to place against the wall opposite and facing the windows on which I will place one of the two table lamps I propose to purchase in the near future. It will stand near to where the guitar is in the next to bottom picture. As I write this on Saturday evening the furniture arrived earlier today and at last I am able to actually sit in the room again! Here are the pictures…

In the two top pictures you may be able to just see the red covered top of a four-legged stool standing between the sofa and the cabinet. I am in the process of painting a base unit I made yesterday for the stool to stand on. It has four recessed holes for the legs to sit in and it will spread the load when anyone sits on the stool to prevent the legs digging into the carpet under the weight. The stool is only there if I wish to use the computer while it is on top of the cabinet instead of on my lap. Now that the work is mainly complete I am already thinking about another project I can start in the weeks ahead. Maybe I’ll just shelve the idea for a while.

Shirley Anne

Nowhere to sit

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Having been told by the carpet fitter that he would arrive at eight-thirty on Friday morning I duly arose early. I waited for eight-thirty to come, then nine-thirty and I was about to give up on him arriving any time in the morning when ten minutes later the door bell rang. It was the fitter. There was no apology nor explanation, only a cheerful smile. I simply accepted that he hadn’t kept the appointment and let him get on with the job. I made him a strong cup of tea with little milk just as he likes it and thanking me he began the work. I popped in a few times to see the progress and chat with him and he was only too pleased to chat. Maybe it is his ancestry which makes him a chatterbox like myself though I hail from different stock. Although he was born in this country I have been led to believe his family are of Italian origin, and Italians like chatting. He is a pleasant person and has been to our house four or five times over the past few years laying carpets as well as the artificial turf we have on the patio. Soon the work was finished and he had taken a mere hour and a bit to do it.

Yes it is a pale grey colour and is designed to match the grey pattern of the wall paper. The curtains match the colour of the stripes around the ceiling as well as the other colour on the wall paper. I spent around twenty minutes vacuuming the new carpet of all the bits and pieces that are produced in laying carpets and having to empty the vacuum out twice before I let Robbie (in the picture) vacuum up the smaller bits I had missed. I had to empty his tray three times, well he is only little! I often wonder why carpet fitters don’t vacuum the new carpets after they have laid them. Maybe it only happens in other countries? While Robbie was busy wandering about the room I began to move the furniture in, the small cabinet, the coffee table, the television and its table, the guitar and the new floor-standing lamp. Now those things are all very well and good but I couldn’t sit on them (well maybe the coffee table) and be comfortable. I received a message on my phone informing me that the settees would be delivered between eleven o’clock and two o’clock the next day, Saturday as arranged. Well I hoped so.

Shirley Anne

Just couldn’t resist

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I often talk about putting off doing jobs or part of them until later or the next day. Throughout the time I have been refurbishing and redecorating the small lounge I have relented on my decisions to put things off until later and have done them sooner than I said I would. I simply cannot stand around knowing something needs doing and not doing something about it. As I write this on Thursday evening the small lounge lies empty and ready for the carpet to be laid on Friday morning. All the work that needed to be done to reach this point has been done, even the connection of the new radiator.

In yesterday’s post I said I would leave off connecting the radiator on its right-hand side as that would have meant draining down the system but this morning I just got on with it and drained the system. First of all I removed the radiator from the wall and painted the supporting wood work I had fitted the previous day. While the paint was drying (about a half-hour) I began tidying up the room and then drained the pipes. This radiator is connected at the bottom on both sides and the right side needed cutting back with a small length of pipe added to reach the radiator as the radiator is slightly smaller than the one I removed. When I finally attempted to refill the system nothing happened. The storage water tank at the top of the house had a blockage in the pipe. You have to remember the house is four stories high if you include the cellar so constantly having to climb the stairs is really tiring. Anyway the system filled and it was time to bleed out any air from all the radiators. I have no doubt I will have to pay special attention to the bathroom towel rail which always gives me problems after a drain-down. That will have to wait. So the room is empty as I write….

I managed to assemble the new floor standing lamp and replace the fitted 13 amp plug with a 5 amp plug as the lamp will be plugged into one of the several 5 amp sockets in the room. They are all switched from one of the three switches by the door. This means any lamps plugged into the 5 amp sockets can be switched on entry to the room. The added advantage of this system is the sockets are on a separate circuit breaker from the ceiling and wall-mounted lights. Incidentally at this point in time I haven’t replaced the two wall lights as I am thinking of purchasing new ones to match the floor lamp and maybe a couple of table lamps too. We’ll see.

I drove off to the retail store to purchase three LED bulbs for the floor lamp and a couple of door knobs to fit to the cabinet. Driving back I was praying and thanking God for supplying me in my need, I am always thanking and praising God by the way, and I was thinking out loud that I could do with some electrical work to help fund my projects. Thirty seconds later my phone rang and it was someone asking for my services! I thanked God and drove to the house. Following that small job I went to the pub for lunch. It was three o’clock and I hadn’t eaten since seven. I didn’t want to stand cooking, I’d had enough for one day though I did fit the two door knobs when I returned home later.

Shirley Anne

Had to do something

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Why is it that something goes wrong just at the wrong time? Talking about the leaking radiator in yesterday’s post it was now a case of do or die, I chose to do. I had to wait in for the guy to install the curtains and he didn’t arrive until eleven-thirty. He finished by one o’clock but as he was working I had to point out two things that were wrong , first the rail dipped in the middle and second the wood packing beneath the right-hand side bracket was longer than those beneath the other two. He was going to leave it that way until I insisted he did something about it. In the end I took the packing into the cellar and cut it to the right size for him and provided a thick washer to place beneath the centre bracket to straighten out the dip. The company booklet tells us that they employ professional installers who have years of experience. I guess the guy they should have sent wasn’t feeling well on the day! Incidentally the organisation doesn’t provide their workforce with ready-made spacers which considering they are often needed is not good practice. I should have been able to leave him to do the work and find a quality job when it was finished. That wouldn’t have been the case had I not stepped in. Anyway he left at one and a little later the radiator was delivered minutes before the new floor-standing lamp arrived. At the time of writing the lamp is still sealed in its box as I hadn’t the time to open it. I had a quick-lunch then drove off to the supplier who had delivered the radiator as I wanted to ask them a couple of questions regarding the connections. Having discussed what was needed I purchased the items for around £12 and drove back home. I spent a couple of hours trying to decide which way I could support the three radiator brackets because the shape of the skirting board made fitting them difficult. I managed to fit them and temporarily hang the radiator on them, even temporarily connecting it to the left-hand valve. Unfortunately the right-hand pipe and valve are too far away at this stage to connect them too. Added to that, the valve needs to moved to the lower position for the new radiator requires that way of connection. That will mean a complete drain-down of the system in order to cut the pipe and fit the connections. You can see in this picture taken at the end of the day.

I would be dropping the radiator the next day to enable the painting of the wood work supporting the radiator’s brackets and then replacing the radiator and making the left-hand connection permanent in the process. The other connection will have to wait until I get time to drain the system, something I am not looking forward to because refilling it can be a nightmare getting the air out in places. In any event it will take all day, perhaps two to do that work. The last time I drained the system down was when I installed the towel radiator in the wet room last year and at that time I carried out some minor alterations to pipes to make bleeding out the air easier. Maybe it will be so this time. The carpet fitter would arrive on Friday morning so I had to clear out the lounge on Thursday too. Happy days.

Shirley Anne

Eleventh hour

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I took the short walk of about a half-mile to the doctor’s surgery on Tuesday morning to have my blood pressure checked and to arrange a repeat prescription. Actually the doctor presses a couple of keys on the keyboard to place the order at the local pharmacy and about three days later I collect my prescription. It has been a few years since it was all done on paper and the patient took the prescription to the pharmacy themselves. That done I walked back home for my belated breakfast just before nine o’clock. The morning was supposed to occupy my time clearing out the lounge of paint cans, brushes and all the other paraphernalia associated with decorating but it didn’t work out quite that way. Yes, I did clear out the room but in the process I noticed a small brown stain at the bottom of the radiator near-to but not where the lower valve was. In a recent post I mentioned there being a small leak on the valve connection but I had solved that problem, this was a short distance away. I wiped it clean and felt for the presence of water and there was an extremely slight amount. I wiped that away and it appeared again. The radiator was showing the first sign of corrosion. It meant a replacement but first I had to drain it down and avoid spoiling the decorations doing it. I set everything up and released any pressure using the bleed valve beforehand. The mess was kept to a minimum and it was just as well that the new carpet hadn’t been laid for some dirty water ended up on the floor. The old underlay absorbed most of it but that will be getting replaced when the carpet is fitted. I struggled a little but I managed to get the radiator outside and parked it near the entrance to the garage for disposal later. Now I had a space where the radiator had been and brackets fitted to the wall and skirting board which most likely wouldn’t be suitable for use with the replacement radiator. I decided to go and purchase a new one immediately but the store didn’t have the size I wanted (about 6 ft x 2 ft) in stock but they would deliver one the following day which was fine. I wanted to at least fix the new one to the wall before the carpet was laid and if I couldn’t do the plumbing immediately I could do it later. I would have to drain down the whole system if it was not possible to connect the radiator without altering the pipework. I would only discover that during the fitting of the radiator. The new radiator cost me £88. It was now well after two o’clock and I went to the pub for my lunch. The following day would hopefully be better.

Shirley Anne

The end

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Today as you read this and depending on the time the small lounge project will be almost complete. Today the furniture arrives, yesterday the carpet hopefully will have been laid and a couple of days earlier the curtains should have been fitted. I am writing this on Friday evening (5th) having had to spend the last two days for the most part at home attending to the needs of the guys who tiled over the hearth yesterday and today and the gas fitter who installed the new fire. Here is the finished result…..

A vast difference and improvement I think you’ll agree. I will post pictures of the whole room in a forthcoming post. I will say that the fire being rated at 4.5 Kw produces far and above the power needed to heat the room. I doubt it will ever be used at the highest settings though it will provide rapid heating of the room should it be necessary. I suppose gas fires in general don’t differ much in capacity so their level of use will be determined by the size of the rooms in which they are installed. I am well-pleased with the new look fireplace though. It was a little after two-thirty when I got the chance to get out of the house. I had to post the registration document to the manufacturer for guarantee purposes so I had to visit the Post Office for a stamp as I hadn’t any left. Another bright, warm and sunny day made the walk very pleasant and once I had posted the document I took a walk down toward the beach and my local pub. I’d had a snack at home so it was more for a soft drink and to meet anyone who might be there. A couple were sitting outside enjoying the sunshine. It was a new friend whom I hadn’t seen for three months. She had been out walking for a few hours in town and was now tired. They remained long enough for a short chat then left for home. I went into the pub for my drink and saw a few people in there before returning home myself not long after. When I got home I spent some time on the patio before giving the garden plants another showering with the hose pipe. That’s the way it goes when it doesn’t rain for days on end.

Shirley Anne

Scratching around

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There is nothing more boring for me to find myself scratching around for something to do when doing something is what I want. I do take time out though but when I find myself standing around because I am unable to work it is annoying. On Thursday morning I was up early and after my breakfast I gave the  little cabinet another coat of the special priming paint. It is amazing stuff which blots out stains or in this case the varnished surfaces I intended painting white. It also dries within thirty minutes and can be painted over after two hours but I had no intentions of doing that. I was expecting the guys doing the tiling of the fireplace to arrive at eleven o’clock and by the time I had finished it was after ten. It would be after lunch before I could even consider applying some gloss paint. It would be inconvenient to continue as the guys might want my assistance anyway. Apart from that the paint odour wouldn’t have been nice to put up with for anyone working in the room. While I was waiting for them to arrive I decided to water the front garden which I had sadly neglected for a few days and was in need of the watering. It was about fifteen minutes after I had done that when the guys arrived. It was eleven-fifteen. They didn’t stop for long as they then drove off to purchase the materials and have lunch on the way. The work actually began around one o’clock and progress was slow

It was almost five o’clock by the time they left and the tiling by then was finished as far as the cutting and laying of them was concerned. They would return early on Friday morning to do the grouting.

You will need to click on the images to see the detail (and the difference between them). During their stay I was struggling somewhat looking for something to occupy myself. I asked them at what time the gas fitter would install the new fire and they indicated sometime on Friday afternoon. I asked if it would be possible for him to arrive sooner, I couldn’t face another whole day twiddling my thumbs waiting to the work to be completed. Still I have to admit the work is being done properly even if it seems at times to be slow.

Shirley Anne

Never fails

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On the face of it I would have little to do on Wednesday but I was eager to do something to support the progress in the small lounge. All the decorating was done so it was down to getting the other things out-of-the-way. One of those was to refit the radiator and I did that first. All seemed to be fine with that once I had bled out the air to prevent it circulating and finding its way to the upper rooms. I raised the room thermostat to test it under operating conditions for a while before throttling back on the thermostat. The day, even that early in the morning, was warm and the heating didn’t need to be on. I moved to the coffee table and placed it back on its legs after I had painted the underside the previous day and sanded down the top surface. I then painted it again and touched-up the paint on the radiator where I had missed when painting it the day before. It was then that I noticed some water on the floor at the base of one of the supply pipes, the lower connection was leaking! It never fails does it? I try my best but sometimes it isn’t good enough. The radiator was now full of water so slackening off the connection would result in more water escaping, much more. Why couldn’t it be the top connection which wouldn’t leak out much water once the valves were closed?  It had to be the lower connection didn’t it? Anyway the problem as I saw it was not the fitting (valve) itself but grit trapped between the surfaces preventing a water-tight seal. With that in mind I slackened off the connection, the one on the right of the valve body with no paint on it and actually part of the radiator and re-tightened it a few times to allow the water to flush out anything that might be there. It worked but I checked it out a few times during the morning just to be certain. I had nothing further left to do but wait for the delivery of the piece of furniture I had bought the day before. It wouldn’t arrive until the afternoon so a visit to the pub was out of the question. You will know now that soon after the cabinet was delivered yesterday I had it coated with the primer. It was a gloriously sunny and warm day on Wednesday, ideal to sit out on the patio, if I could be tempted!

Shirley Anne

Odds and ends

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Having completed the bulk of the work in redecorating the small lounge I could begin to do the smaller jobs. The first thing I set about doing on Tuesday was to fill in a few small gaps with caulk and then store away the things I had finished using and cleaning some of the brushes. The next thing was to offer the radiator up to the wall on the brackets in order to mark the position for drilling the wall for the left-hand top bracket Having marked the position I replaced the radiator on the floor for painting later. I then drilled the wall and fixed the bracket. One of the things I had to do at some point was to clear the hearth and score the hard granite surfaces to enable the tile fixing compound to adhere when the tiles would be laid later in the week so I began doing that. I had to use the end of a metal-working file to score the surface and hoped it would be enough. That was hard work and it took me quite some time to do it. I finished that and then applied a second coat of gloss paint to the underside of the coffee table. It would be the last coat to the underside. Whilst I had the brush and paint to hand I gave the radiator a coat of white gloss paint. That may be all it needs as it was already white in colour. Once the radiator is dry I would re-fix it to the wall and connect it up but that would be a couple of days away. I had finished what I had intended to do so I made myself a coffee and sat with it out on the patio in the warm sunshine. It was eleven o’clock. Just before noon I drove to the pub and had my lunch. I got to speaking with a guy I know who is a decorator and I asked him if he was working. He told me he just got fed-up with working and had taken the afternoon off. I know exactly how he felt. I was telling him that I was looking to purchase a small sideboard but that I wanted it in white. I had been searching for one using the Internet but could find what I wanted. He suggested I visit one of the local charity stores and see if they had something so after lunch I started out to look for one. I drove to a local street in the town where I thought I might find one but on the way I recalled the Salvation Army had an outlet next to their citadel in that same street. I have often visited the citadel but never the adjacent store. I was in there for only two or three minutes when I saw something that was almost exactly what I was looking for. All it needed was to be painted white. Here it is with the drawers to the left and the shelf in front just after I had applied the same priming paint I had used for the room wood work. That wasn’t today as you read this it would be the following day an hour after it was delivered. See tomorrow’a post.  The price was £35 and they would deliver it the next day for another £5. I bought it knowing it would be unlikely that I would find a better piece of furniture and especially for that price. I think I was meant to go there. The reason I wanted a small sideboard is it will be the only piece of furniture in the room besides the seating, coffee table and television because I want to keep a minimalist theme for the room. The tall bookshelf I had in there had become so cluttered and many of the things, including the books, were hardly used. By keeping little or no storage space in the room it will stay uncluttered.

Shirley Anne

Suddenly it was done

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Monday in the UK was a national holiday with many people taking advantage and getting away from home for at least the one day. Not myself however, E and I have never spent these one-day holidays away from home mostly because travelling on the roads is and was always a nightmare. Who wants to spend hours in traffic trying to get somewhere only to go through the same process on the return? Congestion is a problem we have in the UK on major trunk roads at the best of times. I have always spent the time at home either relaxing outside if it is nice weather or working either for myself or for others if the opportunity arose. At the moment as my readers will know, I have been redecorating a room at home so I wanted to take the opportunity to press on with it with the hope of possibly finishing the main part of it. I spent seven hours stopping only for a quick-lunch and finishing the work at four o’clock……..

Continuing where I left-off in the top picture I finally reached the left-hand side of the window frame having started hanging the paper a few days ago on the right-hand side.

As you might guess the most difficult section was that shown in the last picture. It was there that I found the walls misaligned the most, not a great amount but enough to cause me problems. I wasn’t defeated however and managed to get around them. That means I have finished the major part of the decorations and only have to touch-up things here and there. My next job will be to offer the radiator up to the wall so I can measure where to place the left-hand wall bracket I had removed because it was too high. The other bracket was at the correct height and I replaced it when the wall paper there had been hung. I will have to drill the wall to fix the left bracket. I need to paint the front of the radiator also before I replace it permanently. It is easier to do that while it is supported on the floor and of course that will prevent the paint ‘running’ too. When that is done my part in the work will be complete.
The end of the day was warm and sunny and because the garden has had little rain lately I wanted to water the plants again so I began doing that. I wasn’t going to get away with just watering however, I found a few Montbretia and Bluebells which I immediately dug out.

Shirley Anne

Cube and pear shapes

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In yesterday’s post I wrote about rooms never always being perfectly shaped, walls never always perfectly aligned with adjacent walls and the problems they cause when hanging wall paper. Far be it from me that I should place any blame on the construction problems I face when doing such work and how it affects the result. No, I always work around such problems and compensate so that I end up with a good job done. I suppose even professional decorators are presented with similar problems and have to work around them. It proves that we don’t live in a perfect world after all. Back to my decorating and I faced another minor problem on Saturday as I returned to do a little more work in the lounge. On Friday evening my next-door neighbour asked if I could cut-back a large shrub she has in her front garden, I had cut a much larger one for her a few months ago and didn’t mind doing it for her but I thought to myself why doesn’t her son do the work as he lives with her! According to her he just isn’t capable, more likely he is too lazy. He is a police sergeant and works some odd hours but never all day long. When his father was alive I never saw him lend a hand when his dad was working around the house. I told my neighbour that I would do the work the following morning as I was far too tired to make the attempt when she called. It meant I would have to put off my own work for an hour or so but I didn’t mind. I had plans to do far more than I actually did on the day however because I was still tired. On Friday I had gotten this far..

but on Saturday I only managed to get this more done even though my neighbour phoned whilst I was eating breakfast and apologised for asking me to do the work. She told me not to do the work because she had now asked her son to do it.

I was relieved for that meant I could concentrate on the wall paper. I managed however to only hang three drops. The first one partly above the door and including the lighting switches and motion detector (house alarm) on the right hand side proved very awkward and difficult and in all took me an hour to do. I had of course disconnected the power supply to the switches and removed the switch plate until the paper was in place and reconnecting it then. I managed to hang it all in one piece. Very difficult considering its shape and the fact that it was in a corner where the two walls are a little out of alignment in one place. I had to leave the sensor in place and work around it. Amazingly all went well but the second drop was difficult to match-up because the walls were slightly askew. Again I managed to do it and I thought I might be able to get as far as the fireplace but I had to stop after the next drop. I was making too many silly mistakes, I was tired and I didn’t want everything to start going pear shaped. It didn’t matter as I had plenty of time left to complete the decoration before other work would commence by others, the installation of a new fire and tiling of the hearth and the installation of the new curtains. I decided I needed the rest so I planned and take a break and leave the work until Monday.

Shirley Anne

Old scars

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I sometimes wonder why I make plans because when I do they frequently change, usually because of circumstance. So my plan for Thursday morning was to ensure the bare plaster of the walls in the small lounge were sealed and that’s what I did. I had purchased a ready-mixed paper adhesive thinking it was ‘size’ or the conventional powder you mix with cold water to form a paste. However, it was a very thick paste based on PVA adhesive. I had to take some and mix it with water so that I could brush it onto the walls as I would have done had it been an ordinary paste. I mentioned in a previous post that the walls were already smooth and therefore unlikely to absorb the paste from the paper but I applied a coat anyway. Whilst doing that I began to think back to the last time the walls were bare in 1989, how we had to patch it up in places and repair the plaster work when we installed the fire surround. I remembered how much that unit had cost me, £400 because it is made of oak.

I noticed that the door required another coat of gloss as did the skirting boards in some places and also the fire surround. I decided not to do anything then but attend to it later after lunch. I had to drive to the carpet store to select and purchase a new carpet in grey together with some new underlay. I went to the store I always use when buying new carpets and asked if I could have the same fitter I normally have to lay it. I paid the full amount  (£800) and set a date for it to be done which will be 12th May. It was now lunchtime so I gave myself a treat and dined out at the pub for the third time in the week. I knew that once I returned home it would be to do some painting and I was feeling a little reluctant but returned home soon after I had eaten. I got to work immediately and had the painting done in an hour. Again I was hoping it would be the last time I would need the gloss paint. Before I put the brush and paint away I right-turned the coffee table I had upturned the previous day to paint the underside and I gave the top a coat of paint. The whole table will need another coat before it is finished. Now I was ready to hang the paper but it would have to wait until Friday. However, I had a small electrical job to do on Friday morning and there might be more to come later. The paper hanging would have to wait but if I couldn’t do any of it on Friday I would be able to do so on Saturday.

Shirley Anne