So, we’ve been in our own home for over two years now. How is it coming along? Rather slowly is the answer.
Having helped other friends with their decorating over a few years, we roped in all the help we could get when we first moved in, and got both bedrooms painted. We also then got the sitting room and study painted, more slowly, after Dan learned how to do plastering on the moon-like surface of the study walls.
In an attempt to move things on, we also got the hall painted over Easter time. I say we – a great deal of help came from Dan’s mum Jen, who brought her trusty paint pad with her. (She also kindly painted over the roses on the tiles in our bathroom the previous summer.)
So, it’s now just the kitchen which needs painting. As it has a pitched roof, it will be quite a job putting up new lining paper. The plan is also to put in a new cooker and fridge, and it’s probably best to do them all at the same time…
The other job we are trying to gear up for is redoing the bathroom. One of the Czechs in our little church group, T, is very helpfully a tiler by profession. Another in the group, O, has been hard at work doing the bathroom and the kitchen in his own flat, and I suspect we will be drawing advice (and possibly numbers of plumbers) from both.
Given that cooking food and having hot water are necessary for much of the year in Scotland, I suspect we won’t get a great deal further until at least Easter next year.
There are other bits and pieces we want to do, like knock out the fake fireplace in our bedroom. I’m sure there are plenty of people who would like a go, if we put out an invitation that sledgehammers are the weapon of choice. (Only directed at the fireplace, of course.)
Both mums also helped tremendously in the garden at Easter time, moving a flower bed a foot to the right, and planting a magnolia, my birthday present from my parents. I’m hoping for some good blooms this coming spring. We had a wonderful magnolia in the garden in Malvern, where I spent my secondary school years, and as our flat is on the first floor, it’s nice to have something good to look down at in the garden.
My parents also came over in October to help with hedge cutting etc, and finally Mum and I planted some of my plants that have patiently remained in their containers ever since we moved here. Admittedly, they were in containers on the terrace outside our old flat, but it seemed a bit unfair to put them in a garden but not let them out…
Probably the main excitement for the garden is Dan’s lawn mower. It’s German. It’s bright yellow. It sounds like a dishwasher when you turn it on. Crucially, it collects the grass and is entertaining enough to make grass cutting fairly frequent.
One thing we do manage well, however, is buying bookcases. I think my brother is probably resigned to me asking for money for a new bookcase every birthday. It would no doubt cut down on the painting to put bookcases in the kitchen and bathroom, but as both rooms are very small, even I would have to admit defeat on fitting a bookcase in either.