I have had a week at home with no appointments, no grandma duties and no pressing things to do which is a welcome change. So I decided to finish off all the bits and pieces of DIY that have been hanging around for a month or so.
First up, I finished painting my kitchen. It had been yellow for years and I felt like a change so I settled for Willow Green as a total departure from my usual choices. Rather nice, cool and pretty but after a day or two I decided it was a bit boring and needed a bit of zap. Or what the decorating mags call a 'pop' of colour. So I painted one wall a bright coral and that did the trick.
When the family were moving into their new home they threw out an old battered side table which Helen was using as a dressing table. It was narrow and long and I have been looking for something alongs these lines for my kitchen for extra working space and storage so I took it home with me.
Sanded it down. Smoothed the bumpy top and then tiled it with bog standard white tiles. Had to cut them as well which was a bit of a faff but managed ok. Then undercoat, then top coat of white. Knobs on drawers just given a lick of coral paint to match walls and all done. Then off to local DIY store and had a piece of whiteboard cut the right length to rest on the struts under the table to give me a storage sheld. Intend to get some baskets to store my bakeware in and make it more accessible.
White tiles left over so put a few behind my cooker as a splashback. Am going to make new curtains and also a curtain to cover up my washing maching which is old and battered and looks awful but is working well and I have no need to replace.
So after that, finished tiling window sill in living room and sealed it against damp and condensation. Done.
And then the last job which I had been putting off. My electricity went on me a few weeks ago and it turned out to be the towel heater/radiator in my bathroom. It needs a new element and so I finally bought one and decided to bite the bullet, grit my teeth, adopt a stiff upper lip and get it sorted. Electricity OFF at mains first, no desire to go up in a thousand volts.
Of course I could not unscrew the old element so borrowed a fearsome looking wrench from my next door neighbour and applied all my feeble strength on getting this blasted nut loosened. Five minutes of sweating and swearing and off it came and out came the element and out came all the disgusting black filthy grungy water contained therein. I had had the foresight to put an old bowl underneath and, honestly, it was pretty foul. I then wrestled with the nut at the top of the radiator and poured several jugs of boiling water through it to clear the filth inside and did so until it ran pretty clear.
Cup of tea and biscuit.
New element out. Had to undo the cover off the wall and wire two sets of wires up. Screwed back on. Fill radiatior with new clean water. Drips at bottom. Get hold of fearsome wrench and tighten screw. Drips stop. Turn electricity back on at the mains and then fingers crossed I turned on the radiator. NO flash, no cut out. Whew. Went away and came back half an hour later and radiator warming up and all is ok.
I am feeling very proud of myself.
Then took me half an hour of scrubbing to get the filthy black stuff out of my fingernails, off my hands and then a shower to get rid of the paint and grout that seemed to have found its way into every crevice on my body. I have yet to discover how I manage to do this.
In between all this I sat and watched the Great British Bake off to recap it for Simon of Stuck in a Book who does a wonderful blog each week but who is on holiday for this episode. Quite difficult to do as you have to take notes and really listen to what is being said but did it in the end. Do check it out.
AND NOW my friend Rosemary coming round for lunch. Grilled chicken, mini baked spuds and veg and apple crumble and cream to follow.