Dream house, dream life, yeah right. Dream on…

Archive for November, 2011

Moving Day

Finally –  the painting is done (well  the trim in the bedroom needs a second coat but I spent  4 hours sitting on my  butt on the floor doing it yesterday –  it can wait). Today  council clean up  rubbish has to  be taken to  the street,  beds, shelves and the contents of the study have to  shuffle around the rooms. Arghh, friends arriving in 30  mins and I don’t know where to  start. Computers off first I guess…. goodbye cruel world….

A new postZZzzzzzzZZZZzzzz

Did you know it is possible to be too tired to even look at a computer? I feel like all I’ve done for 2 weeks is paint, clean brushes, paint, clean rollers, paint, sand, polyfill, sand, paint, clean brushes. Rinse and repeat. In direct conflict of my “I will not paint after dark’ rule I’ve just finished painting the wardrobe. I’ve had a good day of solid painting from 8am to after 10 pm. Going to sleep now, hopefully I’ll find energy to post pics tomorrow.

Over it

You know you are tired when you stand at the fridge and think that getting the sausage roll out of the two bags it is sitting in to heat it is too much effort.

I am so over painting. Peeled the green tape off last night around the skirtings etc in the lounge. Might as well have not put it there- in fact I’m sure I could have done a better edge to the skirtings with a brush AND it has peeled off a lot of the varnish (both new and old). So now I have to revarnish as well as try and clean up the edges.

So sick of painting and not even half way (on these 2.5 rooms) yet, then there is the living room, then the windows, the kitchen, the outside, then the sunroom… there is no light at the end of the tunnel because the tunnel has turned into a Harbour Bridge – by the time I finish painting it will be time to start again!

A day in the life…

Every time I paint I swear up, down and sideways that I’m NOT going to do any painting after dark, which would explain why I’ve just finished putting the first coat on the new study and the hall at 11:30 pm, but only if I lived in Norway. I hate to think what this will look like in the morning light, but at least one coat is on, it’s only taken me all day.

I started at 8am, recoating the edging to the kitchen benches – and scraping back the laundry edge that I had forgotten about. Talk about false economy – why am I doing a part of the kitchen when I need to get the rest done first? Because I don’t clean brushes requiring turps – and before I tossed the varnish brush after finishing the windowsill and mantle piece I wondered if there was any more varnish that needed to be done. The kitchen had gone sticky. And yucky. I scraped it off, sanded and revarnished late last night (anyone see a pattern here?). So first job today, recoat and position strange piece of furniture around to remind me not to touch the benches.

Then I started painting – Double strength Mantra on the bedroom feature wall. I love it. Just hope I like the other colours. I had a colour consultant here yesterday for ninety minutes. $$$ and at the end of it she has basically helped me select what looks like 4 very expensive whites. Such a huge change from the buttery cream I’ve lived with since the eighties. Of course change is what I wanted, but I just hope these colours aren’t going to feel cold. So far the first coat of White Duck half looks very greenish grey. After all this effort I can tell you I’m going to have to learn to love it.

Washed out the roller etc, and then started taping up the rest of the rooms. One and a half rolls of tape later and they are done. I got half way through painting edges when a client arrived to have a broken nail fixed. Since she brought me a lovely panelled bi-fold door that I think will actually fit my non standard doorframes she is forgiven *grin*

Back to the White Duck Half – I’ve used about 3 litres today – edges, edges, edges, then fill in the rest. For a house without walls they sure turned up today – each of them fiddlier than the last. Finally gave up about 4ish when I emptied the roller tray and set out to find some food, and to try and buy the trim paint for the bedroom. Bunnings will receive a complaint call on Monday – I’ve tried 2 stores and they don’t have any ultra bright tint in 1 litre cans. They have it in 2 litre, but I refuse on principal to pay $25 more for paint I don’t need (I need about half a litre).

Back to the painting after 6 when I climbed up on the Mantra wall and masked off the ceiling line (nothing is straight here) and touched up the ceiling paint then back to the white Duck half, and didn’t stop until it was done.

Meanwhile elsewhere in town 50 or so of my high school classmates gathered for a 30 year reunion. I decided watching paint dry was more entertaining. Why then do I feel like I’ve got nothing done? I only have tomorrow to finish painting the new study and I really wanted to have the bedroom pretty much done too. I have no hope of getting the windows taped, sanded, filled and primed before tomorrow is over, which will be a pain, I wanted to put the computer desk in front of the window. First step is to actually get some sleep tonight instead of lying there mentally painting stuff!



Look before you mow

Nothing gets the adrenalin pumping like having the patch of long grass you are about to  mow part to  show black scaly  skin.  It always takes the brain a few more moments to  supress the flight  instinct and register that there are patches of  lighter scales and eventually, legs.

Note to self – check ahead of mower!

blue tongue lizard

Okay, she wasn’t happy about being moved off the lawn but is that a reason to be rude?

Renovation Rules

1. Any piece of building that you wish to remove will be better built than an earthquake proof skyscraper.
2. The feature you are determined to keep will be hanging on by the rust on a nail, be half rotten and need more effort to restore than it would take to toss and modernise.
3. Any item requiring removal will have at least 3 screws. One of these screws will NOT turn, no matter what you do. One of these screws will be just out of reach of whatever you are standing on. One of these screws will be positioned so you need to find a shorter screwdriver to access it. Often all these things apply to the same screw.
4. No matter which windowsill you’ve just painted – that will be the direction the sudden rainstorm suddenly appears from while the windows are wide open.
There wiill always be one polyfilled hole on the wall that you haven’t sanded and will only notice as the paint roller hits the bumps.
5. Sample colours and paint sample charts have no relation to each other.
6. The colour can be just what you want but if it’s name is something with similar mental imagery to ‘pig vomit’ there is no way you can put it on your walls.
7. If you own a 1950s double brick home nothing is standard, everything is solid and there are no straight lines.

“Tuesday” Tour

Isn’t it amazing how you get used to the sound of technology? The house is so quiet, (well it would be if there weren’t elephants clomping all over the roof and gnomes with hammers mining beneath my floor boards.) The power is off while they upgrade my mains to support my power habit. Apparently it is unreasonable of me to want to be warm, have hot water AND run a computer at the same time as I cook dinner. It was unheard of in 1950 of course – when we moved in there was one power point in each room and none at all in the bathroom. I remember being very surprised to see Dad shaving in the bedroom – he had a newfangled electric razor, something this house was obviously never expected to see. Suddenly I’m cut off from the world (for several hours they predict.) Of course I’m sitting here on the couch with the laptop on my lap typing posts, but still there is a slight sense of being unable to do anything. I need to phone the parents of an old school friend – but I need the electronic white pages to look up the number (heaven forbid I actually try reading through the paper copy sitting on the floor behind me.) I could I suppose look it up on my mobile, but I’m not paying mobile rates to call them, and… all the phones in the house are dead.

I had a huge list of things to do while waiting for paint to dry (I put the third coat on the floors today, so half of the house is a no go zone.) But I can’t mow – it keeps spitting with rain. I can’t sort the shedlet because they are pulling the circuit box apart and that is right outside the shedlet. I can’t pack up the study or empty my wardrobe because they are drilling and hammering into those walls and it’s not pleasant. So I’m sitting here, staring at the view that will soon be my everyday view – the Mountain, my garden. After so many years of living at the front and side of the house it will be strange to be at the back. This view, which I love is almost a full 180⁰ mountain panorama. (Except at the moment a few of my  trees are a bit overgrown –  lopping them was supposed to  be someone else’s problem when I thought I’d be selling the house so they haven’t been  touched for  the last  couple of years. Guess whose problem they are now!)

I’ve been meaning to start a Tuesday Tour on this blog, and I guess the reason I haven’t yet is I couldn’t decide where to start. Since the house is currently a disaster area (electricians are the messiest tradies) I think I’ll start with the backyard. I can’t imagine living without a view of ‘the mountain’. If you want to know what the weather will do look at the mountain. If it’s wet it’s raining, if it’s covered in snow it is cold, if it’s swaying it’s an earthq… ok, no, really, most of our weather comes up over the Mt, so we seriously can predict a great deal from what clouds are hanging around it. But really, just watching the play of light and cloud across it is mesmerising. I haven’t been in the habit of coming out to look at it in the mornings, and I must say I’m looking forward to having a bedroom window that will show me the weather before I get dressed.

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So, welcome to my back garden. On the right the fence extends down beside the unit, then through the next house and finishes at the highway – a walkway access, not big enough for a vehicle unfortunately. I have great plans for this garden now I own it. Because if the sideways design of the house the back door is actually closer to the front fence, and the front door is closer to the clothesline, but neither of them lead you into the back garden. So it really has never been used. It’s very nice to sit inside and look at, but bbqs etc in it are impractical and tend to gather in the front. So I want to break it up into some ‘rooms’. I figure I can make some little paved and even roofed nooks to sit in with a laptop or a book (going to have a heap of students living here). I also want to be able to drive into the back to deliver soil, mulch and remove green prunings etc. At present every bit has to be hand wheelbarrowed from the front…and it’s a long garden. However to do that it looks like I need to sacrifice the mock orange on the right. I’ll have plenty of plants to regrow, but it will take a while to get to the size it is now. I’ll have to reconsider it once it is not in bloom, at the moment I’m inclined to say ‘who really needs vehicular access?” (I DO!!!) The other thing that needs to move or change is the Hills Hoist. Lots of ideas spinning (haha) around in here at the moment. One big problem is much of the yard is shaded, either by trees or the units next door. The best drying spots put it in the middle of the best views – the main reason I want to move it. Secondly it is currently in the best place to put a vegetable garden. Of course I can’t move it too close to trees or gardens, it can’t be too shaded, it needs to be fairly accessible to the doors (which are on the wrong sides of the house…) So far the only really useful thought I’ve had is that a) it doesn’t have to be a rotary clothes line, a retractable would work just as well and b) I could put it in the middle of the ‘drive’ area that I’m creating – I’m not going to be driving down more than once or twice a year and the poles could be removable. So, back to the trees. There’s a few bottlebrush, a variegated xmas bush and a golden conifer (all of which may go…) on the left hand fence as you  come past the house. Then there’s Nanna’s wisteria photo added of  it in flower  last year). The original is still growing at the house where my father was born, the story is that it was given to my grandmother as a wedding present, brought out by a sea captain from China especially for her. (I’d love to get it DNA tested in comparison to the one in the Botanical gardens (1857 planted I think) and the one in Kew gardens from which most in cultivation in the pioneer times were supposed to have come.) Then the past veggie beds, now full of flowers and, temporarily, some vegetables. I tossed a heap of old seeds in last Winter and it’s amazing what has come up. Sweet peas, cosmos, larkspur, beetroot, carrots.

Then  the red dogwood, maple and  horizontal  viburnum in what is known as the peninsula bed. Conifer corner behind them, a NZ lacebark beside the tallllll  almond, then  a  variegated  liriodendron (tulip tree), a cantua (pink bell flowers), a dark leafed viburnum, the lemon tree and  a bunch of  buddleias and things on the right hand side including the  mass of white of the mock orange and a white flowering cherry.

Now, where can I fit a summer house?

Time travel?

I swear I’ve lost a week or so. All I seem to have done is sand, varnish, sand, paint, sand, varnish, sand, wait for paint to dry, buy more paint, sand, varnish. Rinse and repeat.
I actually wrote a long post – the day the Air conditioners were installed (Tuesday last week), but since I didn’t get the power back on until 10 that night somehow it hasn’t been posted yet. I must rescue it from the laptop and post it now.

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