All I seem to be doing lately is painting. It is now January 3 rd. For so long it was vinyl silk emulsion and over the last couple of days it has been gloss paint. Whenever I do a project I really enjoy the construction part whatever it may be but when it comes to filling in holes and painting it bores me soft! With the construction there is always something new to tackle or a problem to solve but with the decorating part of the job it is the same thing day after day until the job is finished. Maybe that’s why I am not a fan of the decorating stage. Most of the current project has involved just the decoration aspect. Initially it was the filling in of the countless holes and gaps everywhere before any painting could take place. The painting stage was and is never done in one go, there are usually a couple of coats of paint to apply, sometimes even three and the work never seems to be getting anywhere. Over the past couple of days I have been painting the door frames in a red gloss paint. Originally they had been painted with emulsion being as they are only in the cellar but as I had some red gloss paint left over from painting the worktops in the new utility room I used that. I had to purchase another can though as there wasn’t enough. Today as I write on the 3 rd I have completed the painting of the frames except that they may require touching up here and there later. One frame was shown in yesterday’s post, here are the other four..

The white emulsion on the pipes close-by will need retouching as keeping the red paint off them was unavoidable. They are over the gym and workshop doors. One door frame yet remains to be painted, the one to the small store room. It can be seen in yesterday’s post. Once the painting is finished I will be able to cement the floor in readiness for that to be painted too.

Shirley Anne


Only the one

Gosh it was cold on Wednesday morning (Jan 2) as I started off on my morning walk. As I expected there weren’t many people about, partly because it was just after the new year and maybe because it was cold. One thing I did notice was the night club near the route I sometimes take wasn’t open and blasting rock music into the local district for a change. All was pretty much quiet save for the occasional car driving by. I was glad to get back home for once though I do enjoy it whilst I am walking. I hadn’t slept long getting only five hours. I was awake long before the alarm was set to go off and in fact I disarmed it. I paid the price for the lack of sleep later on in the day. So after breakfast I was ready to do a little work. Let me tell you about breakfast or rather where I eat it. Usually it is either a granola or muesli else it is porridge. I have it all with fruit and a fruit drink too. The ‘breakfast room’ keeps quite warm throughout the night even though the heating isn’t on. A fridge and a fridge/freezer keep the temperature topped-up. The curtains (drapes) are kept closed even though there are double-glazed windows. It is surprising how that reduces heat loss from a room. The doors are kept closed so there’s nowhere for the heat to escape, result…the room stays warm. Below that room is the utility room in the cellar which stays even warmer because of the freezers in there. My work though was in the cellar hallway which isn’t heated though it gets warm enough if the utility room door is left open or the boiler room door is likewise left open if the heating is on. I digress. Anyway I wanted to begin painting the door frames with red-coloured gloss paint but only had enough for just a little more than one frame..

I would need to purchase more and did so later in the morning. I downed tools and watch some catch-up tv by which time E was downstairs having breakfast. She had shown me a problem with one of the worktops in the workshop she has at the top of the house. I refurbished the room a couple of years ago but with the weight of all the paper she had stacked upon it she thought it was damaged. It wasn’t but rather than take the risk that it may buckle later on I decided to install an extra support beneath it. However, that had to be made and painted before it could be fitted. I took measurements and made it then gave it a coat of gloss paint but it would need another coat the next day after which it would be ready to install. We then drove off to purchase the paint and some more paint brushes. I didn’t do any more work that day. See, I am keeping to my word by not doing as much work each day and relaxing more.

Shirley Anne

Nice way to start

It was the morning of the first day of the year (according to the calendar of course) and I had slept for over seven hours in one go! I had retired to bed around nine-thirty but didn’t nod off until after ten. E asked me if I had been disturbed by the fireworks being set off by neighbours celebrating the new year. Well I hadn’t as I was fast asleep. It must be around forty years or more since E and I paid any attention to the passing of the old year into the new. We are of the opinion that it is just another excuse for getting drunk. Be that as it may I never arise from my bed with a hangover these days having given up on alcohol some years ago and certainly never on new year. After breakfast I had made up my mind to finish off the painting in the cellar, that is wherever it needed a coat of white emulsion. To that end I stayed down there for three hours and had it almost completed. There only remained a small area not reachable with the small set of steps I was using and I didn’t wish to get the taller steps from the garage just for that. I would tackle that the next day instead as I would still have to retouch some of the white paint anyway. I include these two pictures which don’t look too much different from those I posted a day or so back though in fact the stairwell had just been completely painted with its final coat.

All the doors in the hallway now had their signage returned and each had been retouched with white paint where necessary. The small storeroom to the right of the steps which had been my previous project had its door completely repainted again for the third and final time. All this was done that morning. The next day I would hopefully paint the then presently blue door frames in red.

Shirley Anne

I did try

When I began refurbishing the cellar hallway I was kind of hoping I would have finished it by the end of the year but unfortunately I couldn’t. Well I suppose I might have done had I worked eight hours a day for a few weeks but come on I am 73 and deserve a break! It is December 31 st as I write this and I have completed another three hours on the project. I went out for a walk just after two o’clock (in the morning) and after breakfast did some more painting, mainly the doors but other things too. Even after two coats of paint there is still a tinge of the original blue colour showing through on a couple of doors so they will need touching up later. The extra pieces of timber I had to fix to the doors have as I write only the first coat of paint applied so again they will need touching up later also. I am satisfied with the walls and ceiling so they can be considered finished. I did as much as I could in the hallway itself then moved up the stone steps and began painting the area above them until I decided to stop work for the year! Sounds daft but I would carry on with the work the following year which was the next day! So taking note of what still requires doing, touching up the paint on the doors and giving one of the doors another complete coat of paint, painting the door frames and architraves in red emulsion as elsewhere in the cellar, complete the painting of the stairwell, cementing the gaps and holes in the floor followed later by painting the floor twice over. Still quite a bit to do and it will take weeks rather than days as I don’t intend rushing it or doing too much at a time. My next project will simply be garden maintenance and digging out the fruit tree stumps on the Mound.

The protective glass screen and wallet for my new computer tablet arrived today having been told earlier it would arrive on Wednesday so I’m happy about that. It had been my mistake not ordering them when I purchased the tablet a week or so before Christmas. Even that arrived before Christmas having been told it would arrive at the end of December.

Shirley Anne

February already

Yes but I am writing this at the end of December! Another year over and now I am wondering what will occupy the days ahead. Much of my time last year was spent indoors doing refurbishment in the cellar rooms and although there is other work I could do inside the house I doubt that will happen, in the near future anyhow. I would like to spend more time in the gardens this year and perhaps that will happen but I also intend to spend more time in recreational things. Time will tell. The thing is I know I am at that time in life where I either curl up and do little or try to remain active and do whatever takes my fancy even if that means working at something. Would I be happy sitting around doing nothing and seizing up in the process or being active doing those things I enjoy? I think I would be happiest when being active in some way. Time marches on relentlessly and soon we discover we have less of it to look forward to so it is always best to enjoy life whilst we can.

Ecclesiastes 8:15 : So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

I have met a few people who seemed to have given up on life and I found that very sad. When we look at life we should realise there is nothing we can do other than to live it. We ought to be happy and if we are not we ought to do something about it otherwise what is the point? We each know what makes us happy, not what we think will make us happy. Often what we think will make us happy doesn’t do so when we get it.

Will I make it to next February? Well I do hope so but in the meantime my plan is to be happy, to enjoy life and to remain that way!

Shirley Anne

Two days left

I write on Dec 29 in the afternoon just having eaten lunch. I had been working in the cellar hallway for a couple of hours earlier and it was all woodwork. There was only two working days left before the end of the year and I had it in mind to give everything a second and final coat of paint but there were still some minor issues to sort out first. Not a great deal of attention had been given to the doors and door frames down there when they were installed as most of them showed gaps or had been installed incorrectly. A couple of the doors were slightly warped, namely the one for the larder and the one for the utility room. I have taken steps toward reducing the warp on each. I have fitted thresholds beneath those doors which previously had none and fitted extra timbers either to the tops of the doors or the frames to eliminate the gaps. Those timbers have yet to be painted as I write. So this morning I concentrated on completing all those fiddly extras. It was around one o’clock when I stopped work for lunch but didn’t actually get to eat anything for a hour. E and I watched a movie during lunch and once it was over I didn’t much want to return to work so left the painting until Monday. Even when that was done there would still remain the floor. That requires the same cement treatment the other rooms had before it can be painted over therefore it will be early January before I can sort it out. The final stage of the hallway refurbishment involves doing the stairway and in fact the stairwell will probably get a coat of paint and repairs to the stone steps before the main floor is started upon.

Although it looks newly painted it isn’t. The second step up from the bottom needs a cement job on the right-hand-side behind the black post. There is some minor work to be done at the top of the steps too. Incidentally the window at the top of the steps is the double-glazed unit we made when we built the wet room a few years ago which is obviously behind the wall.

Shirley Anne


….where was I? Oh yes, working in the cellar, the bottom of the house, beneath ground level at the front of the house but at ground level at the back! It is handy when accessing the rear garden or for bringing in the groceries from the vehicle in the garage. Much of the food is stored down in the cellar either in the larder room or in one of the freezers we have down there. It became necessary therefore to tidy things up and that had been my aim throughout the past twelve months or so. As I write this on 29 December I have almost completed what I had set out to do plus a little more along the way. Two rooms remain as they were, the larger store room and the largest room, the workshop. The store room has so much stuff in it not belonging to E and I so not much can be done in there until it is taken away. The workshop needs much clearing out too but maybe that might get done this year who knows? I was again in the hallway down there this morning doing a little work. I had been for my walk, had my breakfast and watched some catch-up tv and now it was time to work. My efforts were concentrated on fitting thresholds at the base of three of the doors…

From top to bottom, the gym door, the store room door and the workshop door. As the store room floor is a couple of centimetres higher than elsewhere in the cellar because it had a screed laid over it years ago I had to lay two pieces of timber across the floor one on top of the other. In each case the timbers were screwed to the floor with a thick layer of floor tile cement beneath them to aid with levelling and to give extra grip to the floor. Another piece of timber was screwed along the base of each door to effect a better seal. Why the seal? Well it gives a better appearance and effectively prevents the spiders we know we have in the store room and workshop from migrating throughout the cellar as they once did. It is impossible to stop that entirely I know but it will help. That was all the work I did today for a change but tomorrow?

Shirley Anne

Going nowhere

So who is in charge? Who directs things in the background? Who motivates your thought processes and keeps you on the wrong path? We may feel that we are in charge of our lives, what we think and what we do but often our choices are limited without us realising. Since the fall of man there has been a struggle to regain what was lost. When God created mankind we were created perfect and had a life everlasting but as soon as we rejected God’s word we lost it all. He through whom we were tempted was given authority over the earth though not necessarily over man. Adam was given free will and he chose wrong though it was Eve who was first deceived. We have that same free will to choose right from wrong, that is God’s way from all that opposes Him and who is it that opposes Him? Satan, the deceiver. He too was created perfect with free will but chose to disobey though we are told he became infatuated with himself raising himself above God thinking he had the power to do so. He didn’t. God however didn’t destroy him but instead allows him temporary freedom to reign in authority here. Satan though has no authority other than that which we ourselves allow over us. He is the father of lies, a tempter and if we succumb to his wiles we lose every time, we are pulled away from the love of God though God still loves us. Following Satan leads us nowhere but to death, in Christ Jesus we have overcome death and it has no power over us. In Jesus there is life everlasting and the promise of redemption and reconciliation with God from whom we were originally separated because of Adam’s sin.

We can either remain in prison or we can change our direction in life and choose the right path, not one we think is right by our own standards but by God’s standards. We need to follow Jesus for he is the only way back to God.

Shirley Anne

Way too tired

I had spent the best part of Christmas day alone in the house. I had been working in the cellar throughout the morning and although E was at home she was getting ready to visit her mom and I only saw her for five minutes. Our youngest son was staying over for the holiday but he also went out. I thought I would be ready for sleep when I went to bed in the evening but sleep didn’t come and I had planned getting up early the next day for a walk. When the time came for me to get up at two o’clock I still hadn’t slept a wink! Though I was tired I found taking the four plus mile walk very refreshing and easy. When I got home at four-thirty I ate breakfast and remained tired from that point until bedtime. Had I taken a nap I knew I would find it difficult to sleep later so I fought it off. For an hour or so I spent the time filling in some more holes and removing some surplus furniture from two doors followed by painting three of the six doors in the cellar hallway with their first of two coats of white emulsion. Two of the doors are shown below with their signage removed to make painting easier.

There was no need to paint the doors in a gloss paint, vinyl silk emulsion is good enough especially down in the cellar rooms. E prepared a coffee for me and I stopped work for the rest of the day as I was by then really tired. I prepared an early lunch and E went to see her mom again for the best part of that day too. She would see different members of the family this time and that was the reason for her going again.

Shirley Anne

….in the morning

I mean Christmas day in the morning, I did this….



…and this….

That is giving the whole room, the walls and ceiling its first coat of white emulsion. Bright isn’t it? I think so. The room had been in an awful state very much as the other rooms I had refurbished during the year. By the time you are reading this at the end of January hopefully the work in the cellar will have been completed. It wasn’t the only thing I did that day for I spent a little time in the rear garden cleaning and hosing down the area in the Plot where we keep the composting bin. It had been looking a little neglected when I went to tip more compost in the bin.

Moss loves the area and leaves get trapped too. In all I spent around five hours working before I decided I’d had enough.

Shirley Anne