Day 53 – Door 2

My feelings towards rehanging doors have not improved over the last 24 hours.

Here’s an extract from a conversation I had with myself earlier.

Me 1: What were they thinking?
Me 2: Who?
Me 1: I hope that the current doors of whoever spent the last thirty years painting over the hinges squeak really loudly.
Me 2: Didn’t we have this conversation yesterday?
Me 1: I also need to take off a few centimetres from the bottom of the door.
Me 2: Don’t you mean millimetres? Please don’t take off centimetres.
Me 1: Millimetres, silly. Oh God, that’s just the sort of thing I’d do isn’t it.
Me 2:
Me 1: Hmm. A jigsaw just isn’t going to cut it. (Laughs at unintended pun).
Me 2: You need a planer.
Me 1: I’m sure there must be a tool perfect for this job.
Me 2: Yes, it’s called a planer.
Me 1: I wonder what YouTube says.
Me 2: It’ll say buy a planer.
Me 1: People seem to be using a planer.
Me 2: Are you even listening to me?
Me 5: I wouldn’t bother Number Two. I gave up a long time ago and I’ve slowly slipped down the rankings of internal conversationalists.
Me 1: Excellent. It’ll be here tomorrow.
Me 2: You did measure and mark off how much needs cutting off before you removed it right?

Stay measured, stay safe.

Day 52 – Door


Bloody screws

Q: How long does it take to remove a door?
A: Over an hour and a half.

Removing doors is probably my least favourite DIY job. I try to avoid doing it at all costs, but I’m currently laying the new floor in the little bedroom and needless to say I need to take a few milimetres off the bottom of the door.

It’s the first time we’ve decorated this room since we moved in and my heart always sinks further when I see that all the screws have been painted over that many times the bit you put your screwdriver in* has vanished under twenty layers of gloss.

So I spent half an hour carefully removing the built up paint. The screws still wouldn’t turn.


The door is now on the landing and I’m pretending that it has been locked for many years and we don’t know what behind it. Although if it were a door it would take you onto next door’s landing.

To cut a long story short I lost my temper a little. Hit it with a hammer a few times. Jammed the screwdriver into various bits of the hinge. Hit it again. Tried different size screwdrivers, including the screwdriver bits for the electric drill. I even tried drilling the screws.

After getting all but one out I eventually gave up and instead of removing the door from the hinges I removed the hinges from the door frame.

I’ve ordered some new brass hinges and now that the door is off I think I have a better chance of getting the screws out.

Of course I still have to saw a bit off the bottom of the door. But I can’t do that until the floor is finished.

So that pretty much sums up my day.

We did have steak for tea though. I didn’t realise how much I’ve missed it until I took the first succulent bite.

Tighten your screws and stay safe.

*Apparently the bit you put your screwdriver in is called the ‘drive’ and it is situated on the ‘head’ of the screw.

Day 45 – I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

Waltz for Koop

Waltz for Koop

On a previous post (this one I think) I mentioned about not having any aural distractions while gardening.

Decorating definitely needs a soundtrack and I’ve been going through old playlists on my phone. I suppose they are the modern day equivalent of the mix tape.

I’ve created playlists for all kinds of moods and occasions, meals, wedding, a chilled night in, a function out.

The thing I’ve noticed though is that one or two tunes keep tuning up across a number of playlists. Tunes I would’t necessarily reach for, but a joy to hear.

One of the songs is Waltz for Koop by Koop and another is Joe Jackson’s Steppin’ Out. Three different playlists today and they were on both.

Lilly Allen also turned up today unexpectedly with Somewhere Only We Know. Unexpected because it’s not Christmas and unexpected because about ten minutes later we had a call from John Lewis to say our table was being delivered today.


Loft access all nice and painted

I was rather hoping a song about winning the lottery would come up on one of the playlists, but to be fair the chances of me winning are pretty slim as I don’t enter.

On the plus side, U2 haven’t yet appeared on any list.

So the decorating continues. The wall is now a luscious lime colour and the door to the loft has been retuned to its rightful place.

I still have three walls to paint tomorrow, probably twice and then the rest of the weekend will consist of me swearing a lot at the laminate flooring.


Luscious lime

It’s the fiddly bits round doors and pipes that get me.

Tomorrow’s playlists are called ‘Set Up Music’, ‘Great Ones’ and ‘Party Arrival’. Koop is on all three but no Joe Jackson.

Stay tuneful and stay safe.

Day 40 – Good news and bad news or bad news and good news

Please select the opening paragraph of your choice. I apologise now for any imagery that may form while reading them.

Version 1

I discovered late in the day that it is World Naked Gardening Day. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I’ve spent the day inside fully dressed, decorating.

Version 2

I discovered late in the day that it is World Naked Gardening Day. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I’ve spent the day inside fully dressed, decorating.

So I’ve been sanding, sugar soaping and painting. Through the window I could see all flowering plants turning their heads up towards me. I suspect they were wondering if I will ever grace their borders again.

I’ll be back out there tomorrow for I am at the mercy of home delivery companies. I’m waiting on more paint, the most urgent of which will arrive on Wednesday. So tomorrow I will return to the garden, which actually looks like a mine field of cat poo.

They obviously love my pristine borders, with the carefully sieved soil adding to the “Andrex” type luxury, as opposed to the “Izal” bum ripping clumps of earth next door.

Teeny tiny things

On my early morning inspection of the estate, I do love to pay particular attention to the small things in the garden. Here’s a teeny tiny trip around my borders.

Stay fully clothed and stay safe.

Day 39 – Travel sickness


“Air” vent.

The last few days of rain have meant that I have had to find things around the house to break do.

So now I’m turning my focus on decorating the small bedroom. I say bedroom, it’s actually a storeroom for all our dust.

Seriously, I don’t know where it all comes from and it certainly doesn’t come from the air vent in the wall as, I discovered today, all the holes have been filled with concrete.

Is it any wonder that if you spend more than an hour in there the oxygen levels fall to the equivalent of being on the summit of Everest?

I popped my head into the hole earlier this evening and I swear I could hear John Malkovich’s voice.

The plan is to drill some of those holes open again and hopefully get some proper air flow going.


I’m also going to change the flooring. I took up the old carpet and underlay this afternoon and plan to replace it with laminate flooring.


A fragment of Linoleum flooring

I was pleased that finding hidden treasure isn’t limited to the garden.

Stuck to one of the floorboards was an old piece of linoleum flooring.

This was the type of floor covering I remember from my youth. Just about every room would have had it, usually with a rug or two to hide any worn patches. We didn’t have carpets at that time.

As a young child I remember the feel of the Lino under my feet and I remember how brittle it was, although Dad was none too pleased about my fascinating discovery and new pastime.

In the kitchen at the old family home, I remember Dad taking up the Lino floor exposing  some old black tiles. I remember Mother wanted a blue Dandy Cord mat, which was duly installed.

One corner of the mat covered an indentation in the tiles below, just deep enough to hold a tooth and a sixpence.

I can only presume that Mother contacted the Tooth Fairy to inform it that teeth would no longer be left under pillows. I’m sure it was delighted to hear that it no longer had to drag itself all the way up the stairs with the cash.

Once teeth stopped dropping out, I found a new use for the little hollow under the mat.


Random picture of the uncovered floorboards in the small bedroom

I used to (still do actually) suffer from terrible travel sickness. So I would be given a tablet to ease the symptoms before we set off on any long journeys.

However, just the smell of the tablet, let alone the taste of it, would make me feel ill. Mother tried everything to make it more palatable, including incorporating it into a jam butty.

But I could still smell and taste it. So I’d find a way hide it under the mat while no one was looking.

I’m not sure Mother had much faith in the tablets, as she would always pop the pink ‘sick bowl’ into the car. Again, just the sight of it would make me feel nauseous, even now, just the thought… hang on I’ll be right back.

The tablet in the hollow under the mat routine worked well, until the one time I forgot to remove it on our return from several sleepless nights in a freezing cold and North Wales rain drenched tent, whose walls we were never allowed to touch.

Mother was none too pleased. Not long after that Dad replaced the floor with vinyl tiles that, over the years, developed an strange indentation near the spot once visited by fairies.

Stay non-bilious and stay safe.