The To Do List

As I’m gradually chipping away at things, my list currently looks like this:

    Fill, sand, undercoat and paint window frame in Little bedroom.
    Install curtain rod in Little Bedroom.
    Sand and paint exterior of hall cupboard
    Remove remaining wallpaper from hall for plastering.
    Sand and paint door frames.
    Fill, sand and paint front door
    Knock down kitchen wall.

(The last one is wishful thinking). I need to email the builder.

As I’m away most weekends and have a full time job, things are progressing very slowly.

Almost made it

With the third room almost complete, three coats of paint on the walls, two coats on the skirting boards and doorframe and several ailments along the way (who knew it was such hard work climbing up and down a stepladder?) I had to admit, I’d run out of time.

I hadn’t managed to finish the window frame and so the third room remains patiently waiting for the next ten days as I’m off to France and then New York. I’ll continue where I left off.

This is a very slow refurbishment!

It’s looking good though and when the scaffolding comes down, it will be a lovely room.

Along with the window frame, it’s time to find an old cast iron fireplace to plug up the hole in the wall.

The Ginger Weasel

The Summer of Scaffolding continues with the installation of a cage at the rear of our building. It seems that as soon as we finish painting a room, the upstairs neighbour (now named The Ginger Weasel) undersells (just one window) and then installs scaffolding which blocks five windows.

To keep things in perspective, Big T sent me a photo. It is an amazing likeness.

To keep things also in perspective the cage is apparently only going to be up for two weeks and I’m away for most of it but it didn’t stop me telling the builders off when they moved our furniture without asking.

Courtesy is always good and I’m sure if I went round to their homes and moved their stuff, well, maybe they’d understand.

It’s safe to say I’m now considered the Menace of the Mansions. I’ve taken over the role from the previous occupant who used to smoke cigarettes in the garden in her underwear…

I was tempted this morning!

On a positive note, Michael Bay Tree is looking better and is standing outside the only window the Ginger Weasel hasn’t installed scaffolding in front of (yet!)

The adventures continue!

Progress so far

Two coats later and it’s not looking bad (in my opinion!)

I will do a third coat and then tackle the woodwork. My goal is to be finished by Wednesday evening as other things will have to take priority.

Loving Farrow & Ball Cromarty, our paint colour which looks different in every room!

I am not Michelangelo

Today I am embarking on painting the Sistine Chapel, at least that’s what it feels like.

I am going to paint the third room.

I’m a very slow painter and for some reason, I find a roller hard to use especially when it’s on a pole but as our painter is in the South of France, I am taking over the paintbrush.

Yesterday I made good progress as I painted two doors, chipped the paint off the window frames where they’d been painted, cleaned and reinstalled window hardware and sanded and painted the inside of the hall cupboard, my pet project which I’m proud to say looks slightly less shit than before (so far!).

It’s been a lot of work as the walls were crumbling and needed rebuilding with polyfiller and half the cupboard had to be dismantled to get the shelves out so while it doesn’t look impressive, I’ve worked ridiculously hard on it. Most people would have knocked it out I suspect!

It’s not finished as it’s still a bit patchy and I haven’t touched the outside yet. I have four brass coat hooks to install and then it’s a coat and boot cupboard for muddy winter dog walking.

It’s certainly the ball on the end of the banister, a reference to the Little House Above the Boulangerie where Big T was obsessed with attaching a ball to the end of the banister but sometimes it is the small details which make the difference.

Right, onward and upward, up the step ladder…


A little bit Howard Hughes

I have become a little bit Howard Hughes by which I mean, obsessive reclusive.

I have eaten the same evening meal, and I mean exactly the same for five days. It might sound odd with scrambled eggs, black beans, avocado and a corn tortilla and spent my evenings chipping old nicotine-brittle paint off woodwork.

I’m trying to do something every day to keep things progressing, not matter how small, it means it won’t need doing again.

I hope this isn’t a permanent state. If I start going through boxes of tissues or washing my hands compulsively, I’ll have to stage an intervention!

Operation Bay Tree

For the past five years or maybe not quite that long, we’ve had a tall bay tree in a pot in London.

It’s fair to say it hasn’t been given much attention but has been able to survive on very little sun or nutrients, a bit like ourselves I suspect.

This week I discovered the Mansions are slowly killing the bay tree (also a bit like ourselves) as the poor leaves are dry and curled up and it’s a picture of misery. I can relate!

I have now launched Operation Bay Tree in the hope to save the poor thing. Plant food, water and a new location out from under a balcony so it can get the rain. I’m hopefully we can turn things around before it’s too late.

And a bit like ourselves, we are slowly inching forward with an end goal of Christmas for completion.