Old Mother Hubbard

Having survived the extreme pain of the Bad Back and having been to see an osteopath, I made a miraculous recovery and while not quite 100%, things are much improved. I have managed to work in the flat but draw the line at picking up the chop chop saw.

This week saw our rather formal carpenter Mr George make considerable progress in the form of cupboards in the hall. We have finally boxed in the ugly gas meter and have a cupboard which perfectly fits the ironing board and clothes horse. We probably should have measured it first but it’s a lucky coincidence so storage is on the horizon.

This week Mr George returns to tackle cupboards and bookshelves in the living room and a wardrobe in the front bedroom. For a flat without a single cupboard, it will be a great pleasure to finally unpack a few boxes.

Devon and Back

Friday morning and we set off to spend the weekend in Devon with my sister and her kids.

We left our new carpenter Mr. George building cupboards and shelves in the hall (exciting progress) and set off by train from Waterloo. I was still at work so emails and phone calls kept me busy until we arrived. Why he is called Mr. George is a mystery but we’re going along with it despite the temptation to abbreviate.
Devon was glorious and in full summer bloom. Everything was green and lush and a far cry from our little prison yard! We explored a new village, visited the dog, ate an obligatory Devon cream tea and argued over cream or jam first. Still unresolved but apparently I’m Cornish.
We arrived back on Sunday evening excited to spend Bank Holiday Monday making renovation progress.
The cupboards weren’t finished but were looking good and so we decided how to spend the day. Letad would tackle painting while I would clean and organise the mess of tools and materials in the kitchen. Then we’d regroup and decide what else to do. All good it would seem.
I started tackling the kitchen and soon had it cleared. Back to sweeping up dust but it had to be done. I started moving things back in a nice orderly manner when I picked up the chop saw and suddenly something snapped.
The most excruciating pain, I had done something extremely bad to my back and collapsed on to the outdoor table while I struggled not to pass out. Eventually I managed to stagger inside and lie on the bedroom floor, walking was nearly impossible so I crawled to the bathroom, not easy when everything is in a state of construction.
I was very cold and in shock and so managed to ease my way into the bath. I stayed there for a long time mainly because I was stuck and couldn’t face getting out.
Eventually I managed to walk very slowly and very gingerly to the bedroom where I crawled on to the bed and haven’t been able to move since. I have a new respect for people who have slipped discs or back pain. It is extremely painful and incredibly debilitating.
And so now I’m stuck. I’m really not happy, the day is wasted and I have no idea how long this is going to last. It doesn’t look like I’ll be going anywhere for a while…

Life is short

I went to the funeral of my colleague’s husband today. A man cut down in his prime by cancer, 44 years old, a wife, two daughters, a full and happy life. Over. 

No words are adequate to describe what she must be going through. 
It makes me appreciate the life I have, the trials and tribulations, all so trivial. 

20 miles

Today was community day. We spent the day doing art projects with primary school kids in an under privileged area.

I cycled to meet two of my colleagues. That took forty minutes and then it was another twenty minutes to the school. About ten miles there. 
The day was fun, I met some nice kids who were eleven and twelve, on the brink of secondary school and we made some surreal art out of clay. Then I rode ten miles home.
It was a nice day luckily so (compared to yesterday when I rode home in pouring rain and got soaked) I meandered back along the canal, Little Venice and the elegant boulevards of Maida Vale.
And just in time to see the last of plastering finished…

The novelty of opening and closing doors

Coming home from work, a most welcome surprise, finally after many months, a door on the loo! But wait not only that, a new door on the bedroom, a knob on the front door and ta da, the double doors installed at last and they worked!

The front door with knob… to be painted

Door on the loo! To be painted
Double doors in the hall… to be painted

Skirting board in the living room… to be painted

It would seem we have a weekend of painting ahead of us…

Crossing the Threshold

I came home to find a new front door. It felt real. Solid and heavy. For the first time it felt secure to close the door. We opened and closed it a lot to hear the satisfying click of the deadlock. 

No bathroom door yet, that will happen tomorrow but big surprise, skirting boards in the front room! That should keep the wood lice at bay!
Progress at last!

Making good

One of the building terms I hate the most which seems to get used the most is “making good”. 

What that means is bodgy patching of bodgy work as far as I can tell. 

There’s a fair bit of making good to be done in the Flat with the Most Potential and hopefully by the end of this week, we will have made good on a few things. 
Moving things along this week. 


After several weeks, the doors are finally being installed this week. 

This means we will finally have a door on the bathroom which is beyond exciting. 
A new front door rather than the equivalent of a piece of cardboard and a new door to replace the hole in the living room. 
Also to be installed are the bane of my existence, the double doors into the back bedroom. Heavier than any door known to man, I only hope the walls are strong enough to support them. 
It’s strangely exciting!

Skirting the Issue

Fed up with trying to find a carpenter, we decided to take matters into our own hands (which we would hopefully still have at the end of the day.)

We set off to Homebase and bought a mitre saw and a work bench and set to work cutting skirting boards for the hall. 
Things have slowed down recently due to a lack of workers and a lack of funds. That problem was solved, two free workers available immediately. 
It was strangely satisfying as we measured and cut the angles carefully. Of course the walls aren’t straight but the cuts are. Filling will be required. 
By the end of the day we had cut all the boards for the hall and still had all fingers intact. 
Even leaning the boards against the walls, things looked more finished than they had. 
We settled down to watch a couple of DIY programmes and were inspired to keep going.