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 The uneven concrete/chipboard has been superseded by black and white checkerboard lino...a drastic improvement.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

More on this later...but for now, chess anybody?

Posted by Lucy

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Day Twenty-five: Park St Marathon Weekend

A day of errands and jobs; all compounded by the fact that Lucy goes to Sweden on Wednesday and our team will be down 50%. I made a list of "to-do's" and "to-buy at Bunnings" and we got on with it. I began with the somewhat fool-hardy task of paint-stripping the piece of bluestone under the front window. Like absolutely everything else at the house; there is never simply one layer of anything. I burned and scraped off at least 4 thick coats of paint that covered up that elusive rock underneath, only to be met with a sticky tar-like substance that covered it all. When I tried to strip the paint of the little faces underneath, they turned out to be sandy cement and i managed a sphinx-esque nasal removal on one of them.... Basically, I kind of buggered the whole thing up- but at least the olive green is no-longer.

Lucy joined the plasterboard sheets of the bathroom ceiling, then mum and dad came over and aided with the garden and bathroom respectively. Lino is being laid in the back area on Monday, and Lucy & dad put down some cement over all the rough patches in readiness for a smooth un-furling.

I sanded, grinded and chipped the last traces of paint from the front door to ready it for painting. We then had a welcome break when Toby and Melika paid us a visit and we gave them the grand tour. There was just enough time in the day to undercoat the front door in a lurid shade of pistachio (a test pot we were toying with painting it- a definite NO) and then we sealed the exposed brick walls in the kitchen and called it quits.

Posted by Alice


Friday, 6 January 2012

Day Twenty-Four: Aesthetic Activity

A hive of action today as our friendly carpenter & electrician returned for a few finishing touches; adding some mini-cuts of weatherboard around the window in the kitchen, filling holes, putting up lights, attaching powerpoints and light switches. Their work is almost complete!

In the meantime, I finished the grouting, the sanding and the undercoating of the bathroom. I fixed the plasterboard around the door frame in the bathroom, cleaned the bath (it took a good half hour) and completed various odd jobs. Alice painted some more sills and made a small brick wall around a future-herb garden then buggered off to work. Dad arrived to fill the holes in the bathroom floor with cement, while mum planted the back garden with flower cuttings & ferns from granny’s garden; which looks quite promising. Long gone are the days when the garden was but a junk pile!

Posted by Lucy

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Day Twenty-Three: Duo Back in Action

My first day back in overalls in three weeks: it feels good. I ceremoniously begun with a power tool; the orbital sander, which I took mercilessly to the front door.

Lucy dedicated her morning to her proferred least favourite task: grouting. According to her; (I didn't partake) squeegee-ing powdery grout into the tiny gaps between tiles and then coming back a couple of hours later to scrub all the excess out is tiresome, to say the least.

I got on with the idiot-proof job of painting all the windows in the house a slightly darker shade of "vanilla" than the walls. I managed a couple of interior doors too, and Mum came over and planted our first tree: a lemon. In cosmetic news; mum also added some more roses in the front garden and Lucy stuck up some pistachio-green "feature tiles" above the vanity in the bathroom.

Posted by Alice

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Day Twenty-Two: The Bathroom (continued)

The plan for this morning was to grout the tiles in the bathroom. Alas, due to the heat it has to wait for another day, such that it will dry and set properly. So instead of actually grouting, I spent quite a while preparing for the grouting, which involved scraping all the excess glue off the tiles and out of the cracks. Riveting stuff.

The next task was to join the villaboard sheets with special tape and a fair bit of plaster. The heat did have an advantage, as it meant the plaster had dried by the end of the day and I managed to sand and undercoat the walls. I had a surprise visit from Mum later in the afternoon, and together we managed to paint our way around the skirtings in the hall. 

Posted by Lucy