About Me

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Starting the spare bedroom...

I am so excited about creating a lovely spare bedroom where friends and family can come and stay!  We had a spare room at the flat but it was only really big enough for a single bed and also housed the keyboard, desktop PC, and all the (many!) instruments we own, plus half of my clothes... so it was crowded!

I wanted to strip the wallpaper adjoining the ceiling before the plasterer skims them next week, but I think I will finish the entire room tomorrow.

Photos of the total mess so far:

Spare room cleared of everything apart from the bed (which is going on Freecycle) and the carcass of our old DVD/CD unit (which is going to the tip):

Bedroom 1 full of the contents of Bedroom 3 and the Study:

Going well!

A view of the ceiling for posterity... as artex goes, it's not too bad, but... it's going!

Trail of devastation left in my wake...

Ian with the wall containing a ridiculous number of rawl plugs (we've uncovered 9 so far...):

Update 30/5/14:

All wallpaper removed:

Thursday 29 May

The weather's been so meh lately, grey and drizzly so I've barely been out in the garden.  Got home to blue skies and warmth this evening so here are a few pics...

Snapdragons in flower in memory of my Grandad :)

David Austin "Charlotte" growing leaves:

Wild strawberries:

Second attempt at broccoli: 

First attempt at broccoli still looking weedy and pathetic despite potting on:

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Pre-Plastering Preparation

I am a little cautious saying this for some reason; I worry something will go wrong, but... the plasterer is coming round next week to start on the tons of plastering required in the house.  Yay!

Next week he will be skimming ceilings in bedrooms 2, 3 and 4 (including patching the holes left by the warm air vents), and also sorting out the kitchen/dining room plasterboard.  Graham will be round to run the pipes for the two remaining rads whilst the plasterboard is off, and they'll add a stud to hang the rads from.

So this evening I've been back stripping wallpaper so he can skim the new stuff in without having to do the entire room.

Just after I started in the kitchen (cos I always forget to take "before" photos):


Dining room (still need to strip the rest of this wall going left to the patio door)

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Sunday 18 May

Tomatoes x 4, pepper, cucumber:

8pm post-dinner watering session:

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Bathroom Sealant

When Graham had the side of the bath off to lay heating pipes etc, we discovered that the sealant around the bath was letting water through.  It also looked quite minging.  It was mouldy sealant covered up with that sealant tape stuff that never (in my opinion) works.

So, I decided to replace it.  Now, I should point out that I have re-sealed a bath once before, and it went fine *smug*.  Here's proof:

So, I knew what I was doing.  I was confident.  I even had some leftover sealant from the last time!

Well.  We all know that pride comes before a fall, don't we!

 Before: (scuse hair)

I made various crucial errors as I went along, most of which I didn't realise were errors until a little way down the line...

Fail #1: I used WD40 to remove the old sealant.  I definitely did this last time but for some reason it worked fine then.  Basically, as it is a water dispersant, it left a film on the bath that meant the sealant didn't stick.
Fail #2: I totally forgot about the need to masking-tape off the area to be sealed, which ensures a neat line.
Fail #3: I couldn't get some of the sealant out (it became very very sticky, like super-gooey chewing gum or something), so I decided I would just...er... seal over the top of it.




I knew it looked bad but decided I didn't care, since we'll be replacing the bathroom soon.  As long as it kept the water out, right?!

Yeah.  Well.  The next day, I noticed it was peeling up at the edges and water was getting underneath it.  It had barely stuck at all.  It was at this point that I realised this was probably due to the WD40 residue.

Sealant needs to dry for 24 hours before you get it wet, so this wasn't a job I could re-do one evening, so it's had to wait a whole week - a week of me worrying about how much water was getting through :S  It was part-way through this week, as I stood in B&Q buying more sealant, and I said to Ian "that's funny, this one says "bathroom sealant" but the last one just said "all purpose sealant" that my Fail #4 occurred to me like a lightbulb above my head.

I'd used the wrong sealant.  I had forgotten that we'd bought the all-purpose stuff to seal around the edge of the lino we laid in the bathroom in the flat, and that was the stuff we had leftover! Urgh.  What an idiot.

So (thanks to my Dad for doing lots of Google research for me), today I stripped off the old (new) sealant with a stanley knife, then put Unibond sealant remover on the remaining gunk, left it for 3 hours (get me, reading the instructions!), scraped it all off, cleaned the surfaces with Methylated Spirits (get me with my 7 Ps! (Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance)), laid masking tape, sealed, swiped the bead along with my finger, and removed the masking tape.  Phew.


I am slightly concerned about posting this, in case I go to it tomorrow morning and find it's all a total disaster again, but I'll cross that bridge if and when I come to it!

Saturday 17 May

Hot!  Much of today was cloudy but hot and muggy with some sunny spells, during which it was even hotter!

Loads of photos from today...

Mum and Dad popped round so we sat in the sun and drank tea, how British!  Here is the view from where we were sat:

Courgettes planted out into the big bed; the first time I've ever had two plants!  They suddenly look very small in the big, big, bed...!

Laying out the bean-planting plan:

Teeny tiny beetroot seedlings:

Planted out:

Gorgeous rose, which I'm pretty certain now (thanks to a friend from work) is Zephirine Drouhin - amazing scent, gorgeous flowers and no thorns!

Possible blackspot on a few leaves, though, which is worrying...

Ian got to work with the hedge-trimmers out the front of the house.  No "before" photos but it's looking a lot neater!

Every time I look at the front of the house I realise we reeeeally need a new garage door - the current one is peeling and dented...

We finally built the garden table!  We bought this set about two or three years ago but had only ever made the chairs...


First wild strawberry.  I know I said these grow like weeds in my garden, but I have left lots as I do love wild strawbs.

View from new garden table:

Ian surveys his land:

A neighbour brought round a bottle of wine for us as he had meant to do so ever since we moved in!  6pm crisps and rosé in the sun :)

Dinner al fresco for the first time this year:

And finally, a little comparison photo for you - the pic on the left was 22 February, and the one on the right was today.  I think it's important to look back every now and then and remind ourselves that it has changed a lot, even though it doesn't always feel that way...!