Pride comes after a reasonable degree of success in decorating

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So, it’s not quite finished. As usual, time has got the better of me, and my mother’s coming to visit on Wednesday, which means that Tuesday is to be spent tidying. It also meant that we needed to clear out the library-cum-my-office-cum-spare-bedroom (not ‘beadroom’, as I first wrote. Awesomely over-spec though our house is for our needs, it does not have a specific room entirely devoted to beads).

This meant that for the past few days every waking moment not at work has been spent toiling in Kathryn’s office. I kind of wanted it to be finished before Christmas, anyway, as a kind of mini-Christmas present. It’s been left ’til last, just by dint of being full of stuff, and me thinking ‘it won’t take long’. And in all honesty, it hasn’t really. I’d’ve liked to have done some stuff to a better standard. The filling of the gap between the floorboards and the skirting is not terribly neat, but it’s ‘okay’. There are bits of wall I’d’ve liked to have spent much longer on. There’s the hole by the window which I’d love to have filled better, but which just kept disintegrating, so ended up being stabilised with ‘smoothover’ and just left, because I’d run out of filler.

But incredibly, the smoothover did work. It took a lot of sanding, and I was awesomely thankful that I’d bought more sanding sheets for the electric sander which did most of the grunt work. I was also very thankful that I’d bought a massive roll of cheap-ass wide masking tape which I used to tape the plastic sheeting back down multiple times, and which I used to seal around the door. Anyway, after several tedious hours of sanding, it was done. The wall was smooth, or at least, acceptably close to smooth. Good enough that after several coats of paint I reckoned it’d look okay.

Granted, afterwards, I was a mere ghost of my former self. Mainly because I was entirely covered in filler dust.


Whilst the room was a state I also took the opportunity to uncover the original panel door. Thankfully, the 1950’s hardboard’s just nailed, not glued, so a few deft slices with the stanley knife, some brute force, and ten minutes with a claw hammer, and the door was nail-free and, err, brown, in this case.

It also revealed how awesome the original doorhandles were.


If only someone’d saved them.

They were probably bakelite. I wish I could lay my hands on a set to fit to the entire house. But I’ve never seen more than the odd random one, and I’d rather like them all to match. They now make a chrome version but at 25 quid a handle I’m inclined to think that’s a bit much (with 6 doors to rehandle).

Err, I digress.

So, anyhow, I slathered layer after layer of paint on. Two coats of ‘white’* on the walls, two coats of basecoat on the sections above the picture rail where the artex hides under many layers of evil. Then two coats of lumitec white over that and the ceiling, two coats of the ‘eco’ paint on the walls. And finally, today, three coats of paint on the trim.

We headed down to see if our local independent department store had shelving timber, but they did not. Which is a shame, because if they had it would have meant that I wouldn’t have had to, essentially, hurl the un-unpacked boxes of stuff back into Kathryn’s office. We’ve also had to put the bookcase back in to her office to hold things that should have been unpacked on to the new shelves that aren’t there yet.

But I’ve mounted Kathryn’s EmergenTea case on the wall:


And the room is looking pretty lovely, if I do say so myself:




All in all, I’m quite happy with progress on that front. I also finally connected the radiator up, bled it, and lo, the room has heating for the first time ever.

Beyond the shelves, I still need to paint some of the door frame, attach the sockets to the walls (but the screws seem to have gone walkies), hodge the wires back up into the ceiling and screw the light-fitting to the ceiling, cut-and-fit the blanking plate for the air-brick that opens directly into the room (which was blanked off rather crudely when we moved in).

Anyhow, it means that I can cross some stuff off the jobs list. Which is good. And I feel a damn sight better about the house progressing.

* We had some of a ‘value pack’ of Dulux white, which looks nothing like the Dulux ‘lumitec white’ topcoat we use on the ceilings. It sort of looked vaguely brown. Although, to be fair, it was pretty old.


Kate's allegedly a human (although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise). She's definitely not a vampire, despite what some other people claim. She's also mostly built out of spite and overcoming oppositional-sexism, racism, and other random bullshit. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, she's here to reassure that it's all fine.