I could have

It was a rather cold morning as I stepped out for my morning walk but at least it was dry and there was very little wind. I was wrapped up in any case so it didn’t matter about the cold. As I walked along the road, a mere half-mile from leaving the house I came across two girls staggering on the opposite pavement (sidewalk). As I was walking faster than they I soon caught up with them and could smell the alcohol well before I reached them. ‘Good morning girls’ I piped up, ‘Have you had a good evening’ I continued. Both replied ‘Good morning’ and one tried to explain further what they had been up to but couldn’t find the words to say.’Take care now’ I said as I continued on my way. ‘Bye luv’ I heard them reply as they turned down the next street. It was ten after three and I wondered where they had been until that hour. It must have been at someone’s house for there are no bars open late in the village. The rest of the walk was uneventful as they usually are. I was going to finish the painting of the cellar hallway floor after breakfast though I wasn’t looking forward to it. I don’t know why I thought that way for it wasn’t so bad, not really. After painting the remainder of the floor which I had left from the day before I painted four more of the stone steps.

Naturally I left the middle of the set unpainted so that I could get back upstairs. I could have painted all of the steps later that morning but thought the better of it and left them for another day. In any event the whole floor and steps would need another coat. It is surprising how quickly the floor paint dries. It is touch dry in an hour and can be walked upon after two hours. It is the vapour (chlorine) given off which is the problem unless there is plenty of ventilation. After the second coat of paint all the leading edges of the steps will be picked out in white paint.

Shirley Anne


A bit for tomorrow

My first job of the day after breakfast on Tuesday (8 th) was to install the wooden support I had constructed days earlier beneath the worktop in E’s workshop at the top of the house. I had been waiting for the paint to dry. The support panel, a mallet, a screwdriver and four screws were taken up there to do the job. In engineering terminology the support panel was an ‘interference’ fit meaning it needed the mallet to persuade it to fit between the worktop and the floor! The screws were only required in case it might somehow move in the future! That wasn’t likely but nevertheless they were fitted. That done and it was time to get things ready down in the cellar for the next job, painting the floor in the hallway. For that job my safety mask was needed. Overalls and mask on with gloves on my hands I began first of all to retouch the floor paint in the small store room then it was outside the room and into the hallway.

Working from the top in the picture above I ended up in the main area at the base of the steps…

I was not able to paint the area to the left of the gym door (top middle in lower picture) for it had not yet completely dried out. I did paint the lowest two steps but obviously stopped there so that I could get back upstairs! I left the area you see unpainted on the right for by this time I’d had enough. I left it for the next day. As it happened the paint can was almost empty anyway though there was still enough to cover another square metre or so. There was another new 5 litre can of the paint in the workshop which hopefully would be enough to finish the work.

Shirley Anne

Hoping it has ended

I refer to the painting of the utility room floor and the obnoxious fumes it gives off for hours afterward.  It was Wednesday 14 th and soon after breakfast at three-thirty I was down in the cellar with my overalls and protective face mask on brush in hand and on my knees painting the floor. Whilst carrying out the work and wearing the mask of course, I cannot smell a thing. It is only a short time later and when upstairs can the smell be noticed and it is quite strong. If I open windows and doors it does dissipate but then the house gets too cold. If I keep the windows and doors shut it lessens the circulation and it takes ages for the smell to go. It’s sort of catch twenty-two situation so what I do is open the windows and doors for brief periods which seems to work. It is basically the chlorine in the paint which is the main source of the smell. So when I had completed the floor I was hoping for it to be the last time, at least in that room. I may consider painting the cellar hallway floor next year but if I do I know the fumes will be far easier to get rid of for I can open the door to the garden and a window at the top of the cellar steps and get through ventilation. I did the same when painting the gym floor. So the rest of the day I rested from work though there was still some to do, the room’s door, the inspection hatch and the kick boards. I would need to be down in the cellar to do any of them which was out of the question of course. It had taken me around four weeks to reach this stage but not really all that time in actual working hours. A little bit here and a little bit there soon eats away at any task.

Shirley Anne

A day off?

Well yes I did get a day off but as it was a Sunday I’m not sure that counts as I always take Sunday off. I did get a day free from having to water the gardens though and not just for one day but two. We had a good spell of rain so the ground became well-watered. Trouble is it wouldn’t last too long and I would have to resume manually watering the gardens, at least those plants which would otherwise die if I didn’t. On Monday morning (the 30 th) I got up a little later than I had been doing, about an hour later but still it was only three o’clock. I wouldn’t be taking a walk that day and I wouldn’t be watering the gardens either but I would be doing other things instead. First of all I ate breakfast after which I put on my overalls and mask and painted the next section of the gym floor.

When I had finished there was but a fifth of the original amount of paint left (about 2 litres) so all I could then do would be to fill-in the remainder of the floor in readiness. That would hopefully get done in the days following. I have placed an order for a further ten litres but as to date there has been no action from the supplier, something I would be chasing up during the week ahead. It was wise of me to choose Monday to resume painting because there was little wind to blow any fallen leaves into the room with the door being left open for ventilation. They accumulate in the area outside the door. I realised I hadn’t put out the green waste wheelie bin for emptying so that was my next job. It wasn’t simply to put out the bin however for I had decided to cut back the overhanging branches of the yew tree which were hanging over the public footpath (sidewalk). The bin had only been half filled but it was full when I had finished the pruning. I still wasn’t finished however for I had to hang out the washing I had previously placed in the machine before breakfast. When I had completed those tasks it was still only seven-fifteen! Of course many other small things got done later in the day. My plan for part of the day ahead were to visit a garden supplier to check out what was available for the island on the lawn project I was thinking of doing. I could end up purchasing something or not, it would depend on what I might find. The second supplier I visited was a few miles out of town and he had what I was looking for but the problem he had was that the hoist on his vehicle was out of action. He decided he would visit my home soon to see if the problem could be overcome in some other way. So at the time of writing I am waiting for his visit. All other materials I would need for the project would be sourced locally and I myself would collect many of them anyway.

Shirley Anne