Sunday, 12 February 2012

Day Thirty-three: The Grandeur of the Green Door

Oh the luxury of not having to work on Sunday and being able to renovate all day! I can't believe I just said that… but now that the finish nears and the return to school looms; the hours spent working on the house are dwindling and I'm appreciating the handiwork more and more. I also enjoy wearing workman's overalls at all times… 

Anyway, today I rolled over to Park St mid-morning to be greeted by a hive of activity (mum and dad) and a number of visitors. I took solace in the tranquil act of applying brushstrokes to the windowsill whilst a great degree of heated debate (bickering) went on inside surrounding the grand hanging of the curtains. They eventually went up in both bedrooms, during which time I undercoated the front window, and greened-up the door-frame for the second time. I should mention that mother made the curtains using Ikea fabric- the undersea special is my all-time favourite and is a nostalgic nod to my childhood room.

My parents left me to it, Claire came over for afternoon tea, and I then had a solo session doing one of the jobs I've been very much looking forward to: reattaching all the old fittings to the freshly-painted front door. I spent about 45 minutes giving them a final scrape and clean, then screwed them into place. Irrespective of whether "Fir Tree" was the nicest shade for the job (debatable), my front door project is finally finished.
Posted by Alice

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Day Thirty-two: Odd Jobbery

Nothing particularly inspirational happened today; myself plus dad plodded on with the odd jobs that amount to many and fill a lengthy list. 

Dad finished rendering around the fireplace, put up the toilet-roll holder (luxury!), chiseled off the excess wood on each door that prevented them from closing, put locks on the windows (Abbotsford beware!) and tended to the roof, which leaked last night, as it doesn't yet have the mysterious "flashing". 

I sanded, then painted the front door frame in the same violent shade of green as the door. I'm less than thrilled with it, but time constraints dictate that its fate is sealed as such for a while. I finished up by sanding all life out of the front window sill in preparation for painting in the foreseeable future. Oh, and we saw a Tawny Frogmouth.
Posted by Alice

Friday, 10 February 2012

Day Thirty-one: Walls and Floor

Today, shelves were put up in the kitchen (recycled floorboards) and the gradual move of kitchen stuff continues. I couldn't resist the tiniest bit of interior decoration before getting to work.

Mum painted the cornice in the bathroom, then aided me to put up my mirror; which looks pretty good if I don't say so myself. When she and dad left, there was nothing for it but for me to get on my hands and knees and scrub every square centimetre of the lino to remove the deeply ingrained dust. I sympathise with the plight of deck-scrubbing sailors/pirates; it was quite the back-breaking task. But the lino, she shines!
Posted by Alice

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Day Thirty: True Grit

Driven by good intentions (and coffee beans,) Anna and I commenced work on Park St. bright and early this morning. I began with a lick of paint for the front door (the third coat) in the hope that it will become a less vivid shade of GREEN as it gets more thickly applied. The logic in this is questionable; as was the idea that we should completely clean the kitchen and start moving our appliances and crockery in. Anna mopped and swept the kitchen floor twice over and had us looking pretty homely by lunchtime. It was then that our carpenter, electrician and plumber arrived and decided there was no time like the present to replace the kitchen roofing, so I joined in and we got stuck into it.

Dishearteningly for our kitchen; there was 100 years worth of dust (that's about an one inch fluffy blanket) covering the ceiling above it- all of which had to be swept, shovelled and blower'd out (singlehandedly by ME), and copious amounts of which made their way straight back onto every surface in the kitchen; "like icing sugar through a sieve", as Anna romantically put it.

Thus we concluded our day nice and ironically at roughly the same point we started it; by re-cleaning and re-moving everything back into the kitchen. Kept us busy, to say the least.

In summary: our hot-water service got a hat, the kitchen got a roof (and aeons of dust inside it), the fireplace got some TLC (plaster & concrete by dad) I got some splinters and a sunburnt "builder's cleavage", Cassie & Wendy got a sticky-beak, and we all got some refreshment down the road.

Posted by Alice

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Day Twenty-nine: Back in Bizzo

Lucy is still freezing her toes off over in Sweden (inside new pony-hide brogues, I hear) but three weeks of luxury and gluttony in Tokyo have restored my desire to get my hands dirty once more.

I returned to park st to be greeted by my own reflection in the hallway floor: it had been polished last week- or at least the floorboards of suitable quality had (which completely excluded the bedrooms.) Unable to keep themselves away; mum and dad had also done some work on the living room fireplace and the bathroom now has skirting.

Considering the end is in sight, I began the first of many thorough cleaning sessions; I mopped, dusted, swept and vacuumed until the aforementioned vehicle over-heated and so did I.

Posted by Alice

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Day Twenty-Eight: The Finale

Today we went out for a celebratory/farewell breakfast before heading over to Park Street for the final time. I planned to grout the tiles in the kitchen, but sadly ran out of grout and only just had enough to do the splashback. I then painted the bathroom ceiling and walls for the second time and it looks much, much better!

Meanwhile, Alice sanded the front door (for about the 17th time I think) and the gave it the first coat - colour looks good but not as dark as we’d hoped for. However, the man at the paint shop told us to wait and see, apparently the colour changes quite a bit with both time, and coats of paint. We also painted the back door and a few window frames, before giving the house a final clean and tiny in preparation for the floor sanding.

For now, we say à bientôt to the house for a little bit.

Posted by Lucy


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Day Twenty-Seven: The End is in Sight (Unfortunately)

Today was the second last day at Park Street before Alice and I go our separate ways. For once it was Alice, not me, who was frantically running around eagerly completing some remaining odd jobs. I spent the morning in the bathroom sanding the finishing plaster, which is a lovely job as the fine dust showers down and gets into and onto every thing. Before I could undercoat the ceiling, I attempted to sweep and vacuum up as much of the dust as I could, but the lino still maintained a pearly sheen. While I took a break to get my hair dyed (PINK) Alice went to the hardware shop to agonize over choosing the front door paint (GREEN). 

Alice helped me to undercoat the bathroom, then we teamed up to finish painting the walls. Work slowed due to the arrival of Anna, with a fridge in tow) and Theo (empty-handed, but held the odd paint tray to "assist"). Nevertheless, the job was completed; although it will most definitely need a second coat tomorrow…

Tomorrow we hope to give the doors a coat or two before we leave so as not to leave the house looking quite as derelict as it looked before. 

Posted by Lucy


Monday, 9 January 2012

Day Twenty-Six: Checkmate

The exciting news for today is that we now have a rather nice lino floor in the kitchen and bathroom! The uneven concrete/chipboard has been superseded by black and white checkerboard lino...a drastic improvement. Due to time constraints and concern about the quality of the finished product, we got somebody to put the floor down and he did it in a grand total of 15 minutes (excluding the hours he took making precise cardboard templates, and cutting the lino to size etc) using only double sided tape. Amazing stuff.

The speed of his work meant I only had a short break from my tiling, now there is a row of pistachio green tiles that follow the kitchen bench, and a creamy ‘splash-back’ behind the cooktop to make it fireproof (don’t forget the wooden bench, tounge-in-groove walls etc). A few were brought home for dad to cut so it will all be finished tomorrow!

I have also finished plastering the bathroom ceiling, so tomorrow after a quick sand it will be ready for an undercoat and the first coat of real paint...both of which are well overdue. The exterior doors and windows have also been sanded in preparation for a paint, and I spent a fair while (and used a fair bit of putty) filling the numerous holes. Overall a very productive and exciting day, the end is definitely in sight!

Posted by Lucy