Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Half a Fireplace

Arrived home this evening to find Mr Garlick (and everything else) covered in dust - yes, the fireplace man really is called Mr Garlick, which is part of the reason we chose him. We've already had the fireplace swept and now Mr Garlick's removed the old baxi grate and decorative slate heart and replaced them with a cast iron surround and some nice shiny granite. I realise this is a 1960's house, but can't quite resist the nod to our previous 1930's home and have chosen the most simple fireplace design I could find.
Anyway, turned out the old plaster was knackered so he's stripped the lot back and started again, which has the added advantage of showing up all the gas and electricity pipes/wires, some of which have been laid on a diagonal that would make the bloke from buildings regs weep. Tomorrow we say goodbye to those corniches - I hope.

Feature Wall

What to say about our feature wall? Well first off, it's been stripped of the lovely wallpaper and secondly it's got these tasteful alcoves (the estate agent called them 'display corniches') and what's more, the alcoves are fitted with light bulbs, so you've no excuse for not illuminating your knick-knackery willy nilly.

And then there's the wall lights, original to the house, which is handy since there's no central light fitting in the sitting room. We're truly spolit. Anyway, this is the calm before the storm. All this has got to go.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


There's something marvellously liberating about moving into a wreck. I've been promising Ella we could get some blackboard paint and make a 'solar system' wall display in her bedroom, knowing we'll be painting over it sometime soon. Finally got around to it today and excelled myself by adding that she could take her felt-tipped pens to the walls. The result was weirdly therapeutic.....


Badger's Arse

This is how the back lawn's looking since Green Thumb did their business with the aeration and scarifiction. They did warn us it would look like a badger's behind.


You know, they're just a pair of curtains but the fact they're the first curtains we've had made for this house means their arrival was exciting. These sixties houses have wonderful huge windows but the downside is being unable to buy ready made curtains - the bedroom windows alone measure 2.7 metres across. Good job we found Linda the curtain lady.

Goodbye dirty candlewick curtains. Hello Laura Ashley 'Bella Butterfly'. Ella still woke before 6am this morning. So much for super-strength blackout lining.....

Monday, March 7, 2011


So about three weeks ago I hung a picture on the wall in the living room, and though I didn't link the two, I also began to smell gas behind the television. Dr B said I was imagining it - there were no gas appliances in that part of the house.

The smell continued (and I kept sticking my nose there to check). Nobody else could smell it - I convinced myself they were right. Today the smell was worse so I phoned British Gas. They came within the hour but their leak-o-meter showed nothing up along the skirting board. I was beginning to think I really was imagining it until the nice man told me I'd nailed a pipe and that he was shutting off the gas. 4.30pm on a Monday afternoon with two cold-ridden kids, it's not what you want to hear.

Note to self - always use the wire detector gadget before hanging up pictures. Thankfully we got a gas service engineer round within half an hour and he managed to seal this off. Could have been much worse.

Old (Clean) Patio

Who'd have thought it was actually red and yellow underneath the dirt?


This was the scene on the doorstep during the process of cleaning moss form the roof

New Roof

We spent two days (and about £800) having moss removed from the lawns and the roof. Here's Lee the roof washer after hours of pressure washing the tiles. I think he underestimated the extent of the job. At least now we know what colour tiles we're matching to, though the lawn's still full of moss as far as we can tell.