Tag: home improvements

I’m Still Here…

Not that you would know half the time. I keep meaning to post but never seem to do it. Apathy applies? Oh most definitely. I have things to say, but sometimes I am just not in the mood to put fingers to keys, and after a long week working, then I just cannot be arsed with anything. I know, how rude? I know people read my posts, so I know I have an audience, but I seem to be losing my “voice”. Now, I know that I could post all the time as there is always something going on or a project on my needles, and years ago I used to blog/post many times a day, but these days I think I am in old age mode and happy to sit in front of the telebox and vegetate after work.

The long winter is a bind that has not given me any inspiration to do anything, not that I have been lazy. I have replaced the floors in both bedrooms on the top floor. We have three bedrooms, one on the main floor and two upstairs in the attic. Now, the floors had not been touched since 1973 according to a newspaper I found under the boards in the main room, and 1980 for the smaller room. My home was built in the 1800s and some things have not been touched or replaced from this era. Whilst walking about it sounds like an old ship with all the creaking. In the main room, the floor had failed due to the window in the roof leaking for some time, this was leaking long before we moved in. We discovered the leak one night in bed during a rainstorm, when we were wakened to dripping on the bed, needless to say, I had to do something about it, but unknown to be at that point it had caused the floor to slowly rot. Due to M’s disability, we moved to the downstairs bedroom, so over the years the floor had slowly failed, and one day, M was upstairs and called me to say that the floor seemed spongy, I thought nothing too much about it, and years later it finally started giving away, so I had to fix it. This was one of the major hobs that I had to do this year. I am not a carpenter by any means, but I did manage to do a good job of it. well, I thought so, and M approved, so that was all I needed to know. Once the main room was done, I had the job of doing the second room, although we have no idea why that floor was failing at the time. I lifted up the carpet which I have never replaced as I treat this room as a junk room. I discovered that it had failed due to a previous owner of many years back installing a small hatch that I can only think of was for inspecting electrics that are now redundant. The opening was so shoddily done that it had fallen through, thus causing the rest of the floor to break. It was like biscuits so needed doing. However, once I had lifted the carpet up I did not feel like doing it, so left it for over a week, then one day felt I had the gumption to do the job, and within 3 hours it was complete. The only problem with the second floor was that think I managed to knock my pliers into the void and not noticed and had screwed the two 1m x 2m sheets of interlocking wood down in many places. I have had them for over 20 years, so maybe time for a new pair.

Main Room, 64 square feet of flooring replaced in the end.
Room 2 after lifting the floor. The sad blue carpet you see is part of the floor that lifts up which is a “dead man’s drop” that is used to lower coffins down the main floor (as you cannot get them down the spiral staircase). This is also used to take furniture upstairs too.

I have also been doing the kitchen up. The kitchen I think was modelled on that featured in Noah’s Ark. We have many cupboards which were brown wood originally and not great looking. I had painted them in the past a few times but never been happy with the end result. However, this time I am happy with it all as I also changed the tiles and the worktops. We had a new boiler fitted as ours was over 30 years old and although it worked, it was not economical, and we have only had a tepid home for many years rather than a warm home, needless to say, it can be like a hothouse in a very short time which is rather nice. One part of the kitchen is a small alcove where a fireplace used to be and where we had a small drinks fridge, however, I decided that the fridge needed to go and I got an imitation log burner (electric) fire, built a platform for it, and added an unfinished sleeper (only carved flat two sides) as the front edge to the fireplace. I still have bits to finished off as well as do the tiling there, but all in all, I am happy with the look. I am sure you will agree that the before and after are quite different, although the before is when we first moved in back in 2003 and had not even taken a breath, never mind thought about decoration/renovation.

So, forgive my absence as I have been working hard.

Autumn in New York can be relentless…

 Or, maybe not.

Well, this week alone (8.5 days) will be coming to an end at 4pm BST when M finally gets passed back to me.  I am excited, I do not deny, but I will miss the silence.  I am odd like that, I enjoy silence, well as much as it can be silent, after all there is the high pitch whistle in my ears that gets quite loud, and maybe the quiet hum of the washing machine or dishwasher, and then there is the pattering about of the dogs, but it is silence to me.  No TV or radio, not even me playing music in the background.  How I lament silence.  But, all things, good and bad must come to an end.

I rose from my pit quite early for a Sunday 06:20 as the girls wanted out, so in the end, I was up with the partridge.  Dinner is cooked and now in the slow cooker ready for M and me when we get back from the Airport.  Everywhere is clean and tidy, but hey, this is a gay man’s house, so you should not be surprised.  Apart from currently doing laundry, all I have to do now is pop to the shops for butter and make a Victoria Sponge cake for M when he gets home.  He wanted fresh cream rather than buttercream, but then the cake has to be in the fridge and it goes hard, so he is having buttercream, but SHH!  Don’t tell him LOL.

I never go round to fixing the floor behind the dishwasher, but with good reason, or good excuse, you decide.  I need to pull out both the dishwasher and the washing machine, which means moving the dining table to the other end of the kitchen so I have room to work.  But then I need to assess what I need and then go to the hardware store to get the timber etc.  So far, no problem, but, the girls like to get in the way, and I know they are trying to help in their own way, with licks and moral support, but they are a bloody nuisance when all is said and done.  But, the real problem is I need an assistant that is two-legged, rather than four.  Not just for passing things, but holding things too in order to get it done right.  So, with this in mind, I told him that he would be my helper and I would do it next week.  With that job done all I have to do is re-line the cupboard I built at the end of the units and we are done. YAY!

I am reminded by a friend’s writing that what is important today will still be important tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year, because if it isn’t, then it isn’t important.  Mix that with M’s description of me doing jobs in the house, it will get done eventually, when he is ready to do it.  Both are so right, and if you put them together, they really do describe my workings in the house, if it is important, then it will get done, today, tomorrow, next week, month or year, but it will get done.

Home Improvements

We have lived in the same house for 13 years next month.  When we moved in one of the bedroom windows needed a new glazing unit due to it being blown, however, after many many years of patching up and painting over, we are finally having new uPVC windows.  It is about time, to be honest, and it will look good when it is finished, but currently it is like living in a wind tunnel.

The installation guys are really nice and friendly, and I have to admit they are doing a great job.  I have become tea and coffee maker for the day and watcher for the traffic wardens.  Our village where we live for some reason has part of our road as a limited parking zone, which is a pain in the arse.  Stood at the window all day when not at the kettle can be a little on the boring side, to be honest, but a necessary evil.  At least, I get to look out on the village whilst writing this.  Silver clouds to everything.

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