Don’t you think this shave hook looks a bit like a shield, or possibly a badge? I do.
Shave hook £3.49; tub of slightly more user&environment-friendly than the usual highly toxic, highly flammable, highly corrosive paint stripper £12. For £15.49 I get “entertained” for about a week, day-in, day-out, however bleak the weather.
The rats nest remains a rats nest and one of its real low-points is its entrance, both our porch, which despite its new roof is still leaking like a sieve through its blown window seals and our hall, which is still sporting the same orange flowery carpet that enhanced (!) it when we moved in. It was old and threadbare then and another seven and a half years of wear and tear have done it no favours although it is now clean, possibly for the first time in 20 years or more because it got Bisselled twice recently. The wallpaper has been chewed off the wall at the top and the bottom of the stairs done when Lola was a little puppy with razor sharp teeth. There is an inglorious glory hole under the stairs, which has been thoughtfully fitted out in deepest red stained cheap tongue and groove board at some time in the past. For some reason the previous owners of the house chose to only carpet to half way into the under-stairs glory hole so there is a strip of non-matching (brown with beige flowers) carpet in the back. The balustrades, spindles and bannisters were almost certainly painted white with a single coat of paint at some time shortly before we bought the house and now the years of other colours glow through as though reminding us that there was once something else there. There is no door on the dining room because a previous owner decided to take out the original pine panelled door and replace it with a plastic folding door, which we couldn’t live with so we took it out when we moved in, subsequently regretting our haste because we later discovered our door frames are not a standard size – they are quite a bit bigger and therefore a new door for the room would be prohibitively expensive. Another odd thing is that on one wall, someone has attached a piece of plasterboard over the plaster, then wallpapered over it. It’s completely obvious and we have no idea why anyone would do that. Anyway, enough of our warts, suffice to say the overwhelming feeling I get when I greet guests to our home is deep shame.
Connected to this confession of the pit we live in is that it’s bloody raining again and we are resigned to another washed-out summer so I’m trying to find jobs that I can do without spending any money (I think fifteen quid for tools is acceptably close to nothing). So, for the next week of rainy days I will be sitting scraping paint from the banisters, spindles and balustrades trying to make a small start in the renovation of this important part of our home. All it’s going to take now that the fifteen quid is lining the coffers of the DIY shed from which they were bought rather than my purse is time and energy.
So, if tomorrow dawns wet, picture me, sat on the stairs just like Kermit, CD on the CD player, singing and scraping…you can’t get more worthy of a medal than that in normal life (obviously I exclude really heroic behaviour from the term “normal life”).