Sunday, 22 August 2010

Knocking On Heaven's Door

The garden is proving to be a real success. Due to absolute lack of knowledge or skill we are taking the best route available, total avoidance, which basically means that no end of dull tasks are being completed. Shelves in under-stairs cupboard built with paints and DIY materials neatly stored - check, plug sockets hanging loose in bedroom for last 6 months installed - check, mismatching light switches replaced - check; patchy paint work that needs touching up - check; progress on garden...... hmmmmm.

My personal distraction is project front door. My recent smug satisfaction at the purchase of 3 reclaimed doors is fading fast. Yes I knew they would need a little TLC, but a little TLC has become ALOT of work, and I am only on stage 1 of door number 1. Stage 1 = paint stripping, a couple of hours I thought - a couple of weeks more like.

Nitramors, disgusting chemical that it is, is one of my favourite DIY products. Amazing to watch the paint squirm and bubble under its toxic power and so satisfying to peal off multiple layers in one go. But this door...Layer upon layer upon layer of primer, matt, gloss, this door has seen many incarnations - its blue period was a highlight, the brown not so much, I wonder how it will feel about it's new life in grey, if we ever damn well get there. It has literally become a battle of wills, I have dealt with damp, animal infestations, crumbling walls and rotten beams, I will not, cannot be beaten by a door!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Dry Bones

Firstly my I apologise for my absence, I know this must have left a glaring emptiness in your lives for a while there.. but fear not... I am back, the house is in one piece (mostly) and the rennovations continue.

You will be pleased to hear I have not been wasting my time indulging in summer revlery (much), oh no, faithful as ever to my cause I have been attending a course on interiors styling. Oh yessir plans, mood boards and cuttings galore a legitimate excuse to sit round and discuss the merits of grey with people who actually care!! It has only increased my love of all things interior and the desire to somehow get paid for my relentless enthusiasm.

Progress in the house has been slower of late, part inundation of numerous guests, part (mostly) lack of funds. It's an expensive business this renovation lark and much as I would plow on relentlessly I am lucky enough to be surrounded by wiser folk who remind me that beautiful tables and lights are all well and good but you do need food and electricity to accompany them!

Still, manual labour costs nothing and so it is we set too on the garden. My house skills may be ammateur, my gardenning skills are zilch! Some things are obvious, the current placement of enormous metal shed in the only spot that gets sun all day might not be ideal? The crazy paving looks shabby (not in a chic way) and the oversized beds full of weeds need some attention, that's where the knowledge ends!

Thanks to hints and tips from green thumbed family members we know what we are aiming for, simplicity and low maintenance being the central themes, we now just need to figure out how in God's name to do it! Preliminary efforts have been valiant, the boy ripped down the ugly shed and filled skip number 5 in record time. We have dug, ripped down rotten fencing, moved soil, removed literally panes and panes of glass and litter.

Along the way I uncovered a sufficient number of bones (yes bones)burried in the garden to leave me convinced that I may well have bought the house of a murderer (the boy insists the bones are not big enough to be human, but still.... gagtastic!). The results of our back breaking labour.... a large patch of sand and rubble!

Current debates - decking versus stone, grass versus paving, shed in the garden or round the side... As well I know, there is nothing like learning on the job, watch this space... it could be interesting!