Let the Decorating Begin

I started the week as a woman with a mission! I decided that Michael and I (mostly me) can’t put off the last three major decorating projects that are desperately needed to make this house look respectable. So, to kick us into gear last Saturday I went and ordered carpeting for the hallway stairs and the middle spare room upstairs. I did let them know I wouldn’t be ready for it till at least September and they were ok with that.

We’ve just been putting it off for ages—the downstairs of the house is just about done and ready for a few final touch-ups and a few minor decorating bits like curtains and a floor for the downstairs loo. Not too much considering what’s been done to date. The entrance hall lets us down—and so do the stairwell, our bedroom and the study/spare room. The room doesn’t really have a purpose yet—it is basically the catch-all-the-junk room at the moment. So we’ve talked about mapping out a plan of action, but we haven’t actually put anything on paper as of yet—but we have agreed to a few things.

The major things we need to do upstairs before the real decorating can begin are:

1. To order and install a Solatube light in the middle room. When we added the extension it blocked any natural sunlight from the room. It always feels like I’m in a cave up here. So we saw these sun tubes on Grand Designs and are hoping they’ll do the trick.

2. We have also decided to put in a new loft entrance with fold-down stairs. This will also go into the middle room.

3. We need to gut out the one built in cupboard in the house which is in our room.

4. Strip all the wallpaper from our room and the stairwell to see what kind of condition the walls are in.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? See the problem yet? To decorate, we need to create yet another mess. Anyone who has done a building project will know—the thought of cleaning up all that dust for days on end would put anyone off! To add to my troubles—it takes me forever to figure out how I want things, and then even longer to pick it out. So you can see why I put it off!

So last Sunday was supposed to be the day we started—did we? Of course not! It took us forever to get moving in the morning. We decided that Michael would run to the Farmers market and get a few staples for us. Then he set about to finally change the kitchen tap which has been dripping forever. Three hours later the tap was installed. During that time Hazel helped me to clean and organize the larder. I hate when it gets disorganized. It doesn’t help my inability to plan meals ahead of time—something I was working on.

So we get lots of lovely good food and I organize all the food, after having cleaned the fridge the night before, so what do we have for dinner? You guessed—a take-away! Not the usual Chinese take-away—we went for a curry. It was the kids 1st real curry. We’ve done some jar stuff in the past but nothing major. Kieran likes spicy food, it’s Hazel who needs to work on it a bit. Kieran dug right in, and when it was too hot for him he just kind of inhaled some air to cool his mouth before putting the next fork-full in! Hazel did really well—agreeing that she likes the flavours but needs to get used to the heat. I could have ordered one of the sweeter varieties like a Korma, but decided on a mild heat sensation or else she’ll never try it. Her favourite bit was the Naan bread, which didn’t surprise us. So we had a day without starting on revamping the upstairs!

The week progressed as usual except for Wednesday. No, we didn’t start decorating! Kieran needed his MMR booster—they sent out three previous dates for him, all of which we couldn’t make and all the time me dreading taking him. We are for the boosters, though part of me hates the whole process—especially if they get upset. As neither has ever gotten upset before, I don’t know why I worry. He took the two injections with out so much as a whimper. These two amaze me sometimes. I used to kick and scream and cry so much—the doctor would wait till all five of our check-ups were done and then call me back in. He was no dummy—save the wild one till the end!

To celebrate Kieran’s braveness we went to buy some stickers. We headed up to recorder class early and did some shopping. We went to Woolworths for a pack of stickers for both of them, then we splurged and went to a sandwich shop to get something to eat in the park and then we stopped off at Thornton’s to get us all a piece of chocolate for dessert. I know they hate when I come in and just get three chocolates, but that’s all we need. Hazel said she wanted the pink champagne truffle—the woman whispered to me that she couldn’t have it due to the alcohol. So what was the 1st one I asked for-you guessed! Come on—like she’s going to get intoxicated from one piece of chocolate!

The kids and Michael all went to Badgers again—and all still enjoyed it. The forms were brought home and filled out that evening.

On Friday I decided it was time to face the music. No, not decorating—my library fines. I seem to have a real mental problem with libraries. I’ve always managed to either amass a huge fine or get kicked out of them. Yes, kicked out! No, I’m not joking—I’ve been banned from a local library, a town library, a county library and even the one at University. They finally consented so long as I sat in one section and didn’t come with anyone. I just can’t seem to get anything back on time. Since we’ve been together I’ve really tried—but I’ve failed many a time. This last time I forgot to return 3 kids videos and about 15 books for about 3 weeks. Yikes! Anyway—I called re the fines and was told I didn’t owe anything. They were having an fine amnesty and wrote mine off! Wasn’t that great?

Needless to say—we went to the library. We had a nice stroll in town—no rain to be seen all day. For those back home—it rained almost every day in June. We got the kids some new card paper and went to the market. We got some nice fruit—I think we’ll go back. I like that they let us pick our own from the stand—the other major one doesn’t let us pick everything. After that we went to their building society for them both to deposit a few pounds—they like this banking malarkey! Then we had a nice browse at the library. I got Hazel a few beginner reader books, so hopefully she’ll enjoy something new. And I did write the due date in my diary.

Michael took Friday off to help one of his friends clean his house as it was moving-day. Being guys you know the new owner will have a bit of work on her hands, but they gave it a go! He was back about mid-day and cleaned the inside of our cars. It’s amazing how much cleaning of cars there is around here since someone bought himself a new car! I spent the afternoon weeding out from under a hedge on the border with our neighbours. My arms have so many little scratch marks—but it was worth it. Michael took Hazel to ballet and Kieran and I spent some time together. We made smoothies for everyone. He did a great job cutting up the bananas and putting everything into the blender. I love when they are so proud of themselves.

So today—yes Saturday, the day to start ripping the wallpaper down and moving our bedroom furniture around. Did we? Of course not! The sun was shining- and we can’t be inside on a nice day, now can we? Michael and Hazel took Kieran to ballet. While he was there they went for a drive and washed my car. After a snack when they all got back Hazel & I headed to Sainsbury’s and the guys went out back for Michael to work on some digging. (He’s been tiering the back garden into three levels-one year and counting!) Hazel is a great helper in the shops. She is also really into bringing our own bags and brought her rucksack to pack things in. She was also in charge of the list and faithfully crossed everything off.

When we got back the guys had the barbecue ready so we made some burgers and a salad for lunch. The rest of the day was spent gardening. Michael built two raised beds for Kieran’s pumpkins and we planted out about 45 vegetable plants—not bad, huh? We even made fajitas with all the trimmings for dinner! So a busy day in the sun. Will we get some decorating done tomorrow—well, that depends on the sun!

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