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…Rhetorical question.

Yes, it’s been a while.  I’ve been suffering from what is known in the trade as blog fatigue…I’m white wall blind – white sick…But man flu, schmam flu, soldier on, I will.

So, I finally remembered to take the camera over so have pics of how it’s all coming together and I think I might be bold enough to say by the end of the week, we might just have a complete bathroom!  Jerome has been working like a dog since the start of the holidays and has, even if he does say it himself, done a mighty good job.  Windows? Check.  Home made, built in wardrobe?  Check.  Plug sockets in the spare bedroom?  Check.  Plastering in the bathroom and second bedroom?  Yes, yes, yes, all done.  Which basically means tiling in the bathroom can commence tomorrow and once completed (hopefully by Sunday) the man can crack on with putting in the  flooring for the rest of the house.  It would be amazing if we could have it all done by the end of April, I don’t personally think we’re quite on schedule for that, but Jerome’s hopeful, so fingers crossed.

Anyway, check out the progress.

Before

After - good, no?

Old kitchen

New KitchenOld Bedroom (kitchen)

Old Bedroom (kitchen)

New spare bedroom

So, although, I keep forgetting to take the camera over with me, you have to believe me when I tell you things are coming along a treat.  I had the day of work today, in order to take Candy the much awaited Toto audition – yes, what a waste of time that was…On the upside of thing’s I got back home relatively early so went over to the flat.

Mr Ashley Flash – gas safe plumber with the greatest name in world – was finishing up some work on the boiler, Jerome was grafting out the back in the second bedroom which left me with the filling and sanding of the cracks – of which there are quite a few…I’m not sure what is was, perhaps working in the day time, day off work, I don’t suppose it really matters, but I really enjoyed being  there today.  I got rid of some of the mountains of crap that seemed to be piling up around our ear lobes and so there’s just a little more space which felt great.  I’m not a particularly tidy person, but I really appreciate being able to see the floor the flat; I believe that it helps me to focus more.  So cracks done, second coat on two walls most definitely a successful afternoon.

I’m obviously having one day on, one day off, one day on, one day off.  It’s strange because prior to entering the flat I was feeling quite upbeat and motivated, but within two minutes of being inside lack of focus and general lethargy took over rendering me practically useless. 

After mooching around for as long as I could drag it out I was allocated shelf erection – almost managed to do it without fluffing it, but I’m rapidly learning working on the flat when I’m not quite on the ball probably isn’t best use of my time.  Fortunately, Jerome, managed to keep his temper whilst supervising and rectifying my errors; which actually made me feel worse particularly as he had been grafting all day superbly finishing the window frames I started many moons ago….Oh well…

So, we return to the flat on Monday, feeling refreshed, rejuvinated and raring to go after enjoying a well deserved day of rest on Easter Sunday – I wouldn’t be doing my husband justice if I didn’t mention that he’d popped over to do a bit of this and that on Sunday morning for an hour before going out, so let it be noted.   Not going over to the flat on Sunday for me, was more neccessary than I could have possibly realized and definitely made today’s 10 hour marathon completely bearable… Satisfying is a word that barely scratches the surface when I think about, not particularly the mountain of work we got done, because in all honesty it probably wasn’t a mountain, but the slow, steady, methodical approach we took today, definitely produced results worthy of being proud…So I am.

So what did we achieve?  More painting…I know how much paint can a small two bedroom flat need….A lot, I’ve probably done almost 30 litres so far and there’s little sign of it abating, so yes, more painting.  But the exciting thing was installing the kitchen units and my fear of them looking totally jank has passed and I’m feeling quite positive about the whole thing now.  The other good thing is, we were both kind of worried that once we had the units in, it would make the rest of the space feel really small, but we think we’re doing all right on that front too, so please with that as well.   Basically, having quite a significant tick on half way marked off the list, really feels like we’re making progress.  There’s definitely a long way to go, but it felt really good getting them up there!

Not bad.

Today should have been another productive day, however still feeling quite peev’d from the boys poor performance – fortuanately he doesn’t read this blog, otherwise I’d have to tell you that he did in fact work until 10 pm last night.  Yes, I know 10pm is really dedicated, but he was doing stuff that should have already been done, so in my book definitely doesn’t deserve a round of applause.  Yes, it’s tough gig…

Anyway, a little bit more painting, plastering and sizing up and that was about it really.

I’m definitely feeling the pain now, it’s not that I’m not enjoying it anymore, but I just keep looking around and thinking…Man, there’s soooo much more to do.  And I’m just not sure about the kitchen and do you know what?  I think I’m a little bit tired…

Whilst my lovely, darling, gorgeous husband, lied in bed, mouth wide open, face stuck to the pillow with drool – no doubt – after pushing it just a little too hard the night before.  I rode over to the flat on my moral high ground and got on with it.

Although, trying to kid myself that I wasn’t remotely annoyed with my husband for going out until 6AM! in the morning and leaving himself in no fit state to get involved the way I abused the technique used for slapping the roller against the wall told another story….Sorry roller!  And then in order to really ‘show him’ despite him still being in bed in another building, on another road, completely oblivious to any efforts I might be making at all, I decided to attack the flat pack.  Yes, kid you not, armed with nothing but my wits and Philips screw driver I decide not only am I’m going to do it, but I’m going to do it well. 

So, what do I start with?  Definitely nothing to run of the mill – that would be cheating – I go for the corner carousel.  Probably the most complicated item to construct.  Hmm!  And do you know what?  Despite it taking around 3 hours longer than what it is probably supposed to, to put together I did it, all my myself…Well almost….

Some handy hints for putting together an Ikea Carousel Cabinet together http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/S39854309:

1.  Do follow the advice in the instruction pamphlet – yes sounds school boy, but needs to be said, if you don’t put some type of carpet, blanket down on the floor to construct, you will hurt your knees and you will chip the product.

2. Don’t panic, at times things won’t always seem clear, it doesn’t have to be an all out drama, just move onto the next section, things always seem to work to present a workable solution eventually.

3. Do not destroy anything that looks as though it might be there just for protective purposes – Ikea, don’t do anything, just for the sake of it, everything has a purpose!

Exhibit A - Broken Plastic Screw for hinge - no good!

Exhibit B - Oooh, plastic bit is working screw!

4. Don’t expect all the bits for one cupboard to arrive in the same packaging – to some people I appreciate, it maybe a ridiculous idea to expect one cupboard to come in one cardboard box, but you live and learn and once you know, you know.

5. If in doubt take the pamphlet’s advice and call Ikea.  Actually they’re really helpful and totally sorted me out, all they do is read the pamphlet to be honest, but once you’ve heard the same question a million times I suppose you become a bit of an expert…All the better for me.

When Jerome, finally rocked up at about 4.45pm I continued for about an hour, before in my most dignified fashion leaving for a very important dinner date…Had I finished the unit?  No. But did it feel good leaving him at it? Yes, and yes  it feels great living up here on the high ground!

Corner Carousel!

             

So, today I worked from home, as we had numerous deliveries arriving today.  First to arrive was the big yellow van with the dreaded flat packed kitchen and as the guys unloaded and took the goods up to the first floor – which I was pleasantly surprised by actually as I’m sure they don’t have to lift a thing!  In, it all came bit by bit and I have to say instead of feeling excited, it was all a bit nerve-wracking.  There’s sooo much stuff and really not that much space at all.  I just keep telling myself that we measured everything up, it’ll all fit in…We measured everything up, it’ll all fit in…And if it doesn’t we’ve got 28 days to find out, it’ll all be fine.

Bathroom floor and wall tiles next, I was met by a slightly more A-typical delivery guy this time, when he got to the front door – of the house rather than the flat – and asked me where I wanted the tiles I asked him to just  put them in the hallway.   If you had seen the look on his face you might have thought I’d asked him to double somersault up the stairs with each tile strategically placed between his butt cheeks!  The reality is, we’re talking one small step.  I chose to ignore the pained expression and he rocked back out to the van.  Now in comparison to the arrival of the kitchen the tiles were a veritable joy…The tiles – in my opinion are beautiful…Even if they are slightly darker than the sample sent, it doesn’t matter.  I wish we had them in our bathroom!

Doesn't do them justice

The next thing to arrive, the new (practically the same as the old one I’d ordered) tap.  So we’re literally rocking and almost ready to go.

The final and most important arrival of the day, was my lovely friend Nicola.  So, after a bit of a catch up Nic put her work clothes on rolled up her sleeves and we got stuck in.  Mainly more painting, more coats on in the hall and the bedroom, 1st coat of gloss on the skirting board in the bedroom and then 1st lick of paint in the bathroom.  We are really getting somewhere…