Since Christmas, while the weather has been cold and wet (is spring ever coming?) we have mainly been inside progressing with jobs that give you almost no pleasure at all.
Jobs that you really want to pay someone else to make go away, but you know you can do them yourself and so…you force yourself to. But, they are really horribly time consuming and really completely boring.
Jobs on this list include:
- Painting architraves
- Painting skirting boards
- Stripping wallpaper
- Painting doors
- Touching up paint on walls that have been chipped while doing something else
Repeat until you want to kill yourself.
Over the last few months we have painted three doors, three rooms worth of skirting boards, stripped wallpaper from four walls and moved furniture around several times a day it would seem.
We’d just put these things off, knowing they’re no fun, but when you finish you go, ‘oh, wow, why did it take us two years to do that?’. Sound familiar?
A few pictures of our progress since January…
I think most weekends in 2016 we have been doing something with a paintbrush…but, it’s the little jobs that can sometimes make the difference. The beautiful ornate skirting boards we had made based on the original old ones look absolutely stunning with the white beads really complimenting the orange walls. The kitchen door – although it took 4 days to paint (16 hour drying time, WHY?) – now looks super smart re-hung. And I definitely don’t miss the awful flowery wallpaper in the hall and landing greeting me every time I come home now.
Some lovely other finishing touches downstairs too. We got this stripy rug from John Lewis which we love for the lounge:
And it’s amazing what finally hanging long lost pictures can do for your sense of achievement…So next up is our spare room. Plastered last autumn but since then filled with “stuff”, we’re currently laying a new floor, replacing a window (first time we’ll have double glazing in that room for almost three years!), new skirting boards (groan, more painting), new radiator already in, new cornicing being ordered, walls and another old/new door to paint.
Currently in the exciting stage of choosing the wall colour (my favourite part!). I think we are in the blue/green zone currently, with front runners being Vert de Tere or Dix Blue – cue more sample pots…
Things I’m loving & recent reads:
- I only recently read my first Maggie O’Farrell, after several people couldn’t believe I’d never read her. I read Instructions for a Heatwave and devoured it. Did not want it to end. Definitely will be reading more!
- I was lucky enough to get a proof copy of the upcoming Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. Again, my first Chris Cleave and I absolutely loved this. Set in World War II, with a fantastic leading female I whipped through this and then cried at the end. He’s doing an event with Newham Bookshop at Wanstead Tap in June which I’m hoping to go to. Thoroughly recommend (out this Thursday).
- I read Fiona Barton’s much hyped The Widow in January on release. I enjoyed the beginning, but for me, it didn’t quite deliver…fantastic concept though.
- Post Serial (enjoyed the second season but not as much as first…) I am having a love affair with This American Life podcast. You can get recent episodes free through your podcast app, but I was recommended their own app – £2.49 and over 500 episodes at your fingertips. Each one explores fascinating real life stories and I cannot get enough of them at the moment. People are just so interesting.
- We’re doing this thing of trying to watch everything we record on our box, rather than having series of things building up for months (a common habit for us). Just watched the absolutely stunning, and moving Show Me a Hero – the latest by David Simon (The Wire) about the Mayor of Yonkers in New York during a controversial public housing bill in the late 80s. Oscar Isaac plays the Mayor and wow, a six-part masterpiece. Look it up!