Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Twelve Days Of Christmas

It's about this time of year that I should regaling you with tales of innovative, crafty and oh so special Christmas decorations. Sharing the delights of my home-made mince pies and the mulled wine wafting through the house as it sits at that just right temperature 24/7, I should be demonstrating how to make a Christmas presents look beautiful with nought but an old bin bag and some twigs, all whilst the snow comes gently down and Nat King Cole croons away in the background.

My Christmas countdown has included a slightly different kind of preparations. Less coverings of snow and Christmas knits, more layers of dirt and building overalls, a distinctly dull and laborious process of stripping, dipping and sanding.

Staircase progress has been made, requiring approximately 30 minutes a spindle, it is slow, laboriously painful progress, but progress none the less. Having stripped back to the wood and painted one coat on approx three quarters of the stairs it now becomes apparent that they will all need re-sanding, re-painting, and then probably doing for a third time. I'm all about reclamation and restoration but at times like these the words 'you could just buy a new one' start to become alarmingly appealing.

As any eBay regular will know a part of its charm, is the 'danger factor!', the slight element of the unknown, the risk, it could be a total bargain, it could be a heap of s**%. The, I'm bidding, Oh God I've bid, what if I win... but I don't want a pine table to seat 12 from Cornwall, Oh damn I've won it, roller-coaster of emotions that keeps us addicts coming back for more. You never know quite what you'll get, a fireplace smashed into a thousand pieces perhaps, maybe a bath that turns out to be miniature, some doors that couldn't fit in the house unless they were cut in half and although things often aren't quite perfect, you somehow find a way to make them work.

My latest purchase was no exception. I required 2 more vintage radiators for the bedroom, white would be fine, black even, or bare metal. Of course I ended up with 3 silver radiators with no feet or brackets. 2 for the bedroom, 1 for my ever expanding collection that adorns the hallway. I hate adding to the costs which somehow defeats the object of eBay but there was no choice but to send these bad boys to be dipped. They arrived back a kind of metallic, rust colour and filthy as hell. I set to with the bleach, washing them to within an inch of their lives and coating with a lacquer to prevent dirt coming off constantly.

A small amount of welding, banging, butchering floor-boards later they are in. Not to everyone's tastes I am sure but I rather like them and, they seem to work!