This week I’ve been in New York for three days. I arrived on Tuesday afternoon and went straight to a meeting and here I am, three days later heading back to the airport. Surreal.
I didn’t go anywhere, didn’t do anything other than work and didn’t take any photos. It did rain though and the weather was quite horrible.
The three days were important as I was onboarding (a dreadful corporate term) a new team member who will be taking my late phone calls and giving me back my evenings.
What will I do with all that extra time? Or should I say, what will I paint?!
From Thursday evening to Tuesday morning (5am) I was in France.
The weather was mixed but it didn’t stop us from compiling the “Complaints List,” all the things a guest could possibly complain about and then we got on with fixing stuff.
From a broken dishwasher (still to be replaced,) damaged gates (now patched up so less shit than they were,) a rotten shutter and a cracked mirror. These are the details we felt the most discerning guests would complain about ie me.
Gardening, cleaning and general maintenance weren’t included although we did manage to invest in a new power jet and proceeded to jet wash almost everything. The result, everything is now covered in mud.
My pet succulents are doing well and the garden is looking quite spectacular. Once we tick off the Complaints we should be all ready for AirBnb.
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
(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.
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 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!
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!
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…