Wednesday 29 April 2020

Step 5 and 6 are done

The last bit of carpet to go
Oh yes. The room is now more or less empty: two beds and two chairs reside there at the moment. Albeit one unusable bed, as the mattress has been removed to make it a bit lighter to move about as it will stay in the room even during the carpet laying. 

All the carpet has been removed in a joint effort of me and my dad. It killed my dad's back even more and did my knees no good at all either. But removed it is and today I painted the skirting boards. And I painted a pipe. Not sure what it's for, but it didn't look nice and I had poured out too much paint anyway, so gave it a couple of brushes.

The skirting boards are done as is the pipe in the corner
It was supposed to be white, but I had poured out too much blue!
All this hard work has definitely been good for the mind. As for the body? Not too sure. No, the headaches are few and easily solved with a paracetamol now, but the knees! Oh my, the knees. For my father it's his back that is hurting now. But, we are both pleased with the result so far. Only their room left to de-carpet and we will do that next week.

My dad and I added a blind as well
Which means I have some time on my hands right now. Especially as I realised today that I have a holiday coming up: May 1st until May 17th was to be my holiday and I haven't cancelled it. No need really. By the time I do start work I feel that asking for two or three weeks off is a bit ridiculous after not having worked since early March.

Half of all the stuff out of my room.
Miss Oswin felt it was necessary to climb onto the mattress,
hence the wonkiness
Talking about not working and the follow-up on that: unemployment pay (UP). My UP was only going to be three months. Which seemed to be fine as I was planning on starting a new job in May anyway. But what with this Corona thing, the job is still mine, the question is just when. But, for some reason I had been clever (happens occasionally) and had told them that I had worked abroad as well. Some countries are on a cooperation list (so to speak) and if work is proved there, it may help with UP here.

The rest of my stuff with still room the stuff currently on my bed
(like mattresses and such)
They wanted contracts (in storage, no idea what box exactly), pay-slips (on my computer, so easy) and several other things. I sent what I could and then the waiting game commenced. Yesterday I checked the site. Before 2013-2018 were not counted towards UP. Yesterday it was 2013-2017! Which meant that the time I worked in Northern Ireland was counted.

I sent a message to my contact asking for a bit more information and on his advice I called the department that knew about my case. Good news: all the information is in from both the UK and Norway. Now it's just a case of making sure it adds up and then I should be allowed to have UP for longer, at least until I have the job.

Going back to the holiday though. I was going to stay in a cottage on a holiday park with my sister, while doing some sightseeing in and around Rotterdam, as Eurovision was going to take place there in two weeks' time. That was postponed to next year and the holiday park is closed. So, the money paid will not be returned (unless I really want it), but I will get vouchers for the amount spent to use on a later date. 

Saturday 25 April 2020

Step 4 and beginning of step 5

On Friday I was back to painting my room. And I finished it as well. Well, apart from the skirting boards, which were going to be done today. However, in order to get to them properly and not have dust and carpet fibers mixing with my brushwork, I needed to remove the carpet close to the wall first. 

I had a nice Stanley knife which was going to help me out, cutting the carpet up. But after only two cuts, or trying to make cuts, I gave up. I found a pair of scissors and used them instead. Much quicker and easier. 

The mess however, was incredible. I will remind you the carpet was laid in 1983, when we first moved in. It was my bedroom. It was our bedroom. It was a guestroom. Where we had walked, the foamy bit on the bottom of the carpet had disintegrated. Dust. And every I cut a piece away, I needed to hoover up the dust, before it became too much. 

I then decided that instead of painting the skirting boards, I was going to remove all the carpet first. A massive job sure, but a better plan as well, as I then had free range with those skirting boards. Right now I have removed about a quarter of it all. Although it is not heavy, it is very tiring work for some reason. 

Tomorrow I will have a day off and then on Monday: back to work! Remove the rest or at least a large part of it. Then paint. I should be done by the end of next week with that. After that there is another room where the carpet needs removing: my parents' bedroom. For that too, wardrobes will need to be emptied and moved out. That too will probably have more dust in it. 

But, on May 8th, the new carpet will arrive. We bought it yesterday. My parents picked theirs and I picked mine. Theirs is a light brownish colour I believe and mine is a light sandy colour. My room will be visible from space if you take the roof off!

Thursday 23 April 2020

I was going to...

...finish the painting. But, someone threw soot in the food by doing something with the chimneys on our block, which resulted in a lot of dust all the way. Which is not the best thing. Because paint and dust don't really mix if you want a nice result at the end of the day. 

Instead I installed our media box. Because I want to watch something, my dad wants to watch something else and my mum a third program. We need to be able to record stuff. And that was possible with this media box thing. 

I installed the thing and then proceeded to record something. Just for a try you know. As I was watching show A and waiting for show B to be recorded there was a message on the screen: in thirty seconds your show is about to be recorded. Great. And then the channel changed to show B! What the *^%$&? It would only record a program that you were watching at the time!

Needless to say I wasn't happy. At all. So, this afternoon I made a phone call. I explained, the girl didn't understand. I explained again. Hold the line please. She came back: the media box I wanted was available. It would only cost me x amount (ex VAT) per month. And x wasn't that low either. Considering all it did was allow me to record a show here or there. Ridiculous. 

We are still not sure what we are going to do. I am reluctant regarding the price. My dad is reluctant regarding internet (it's all one package) and my mum is reluctant because of the font on teletext. I think we will need to talk properly to somebody and not just over the phone. 

I will keep you posted. 

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Step 3 and it's not easy

The painted sloping ceiling with the brown trusses/beam
After the snag with the wall, I got going again and pretty soon the whole room looked nice and off-white. Well, the walls. Next thing on the list was the sloping roof. But only between the trusses. Apart from the awful job of taping everything up so I wouldn't spill paint here there and everywhere, it was easy going.

Then I was off to the DIY store. Early in the morning, before the rush, because everybody is redoing their homes at the moment. It took some walking around and some questions to one of the people working there, but in the end I came home with two pots of paint. An ivory one and a blue/grey one. Because the next job were trusses and beams which I would do in blue/grey.

The side that is mostly done, only the top beam still needs painting
I never meant for the paint to cover completely. I only wanted the wood to be lightened to a nice degree, but still show through the paint as well. I think it worked a treat, even if it looks somewhat rustic. It was hard going as you are working above your head a lot of the time, which is so tiring for muscles in arms and shoulders (hello headache!).

I finished most of one side on Tuesday and then today I decided it would be easiest to do the ceiling in ivory first. Any paint spilled on the beams was easier to cover with blue/grey than the other way around. 

No, it is meant to look like that!
Did I say the sloping roof was hard? Compared to the ceiling that was easy! Because the ceiling was really hard. Really really really hard! It is a lowered ceiling, but I can reach. Well, half way through I was already fed up with it. Totally and completely and I still had half to do. I decided that for that part I would use the steps. That made it easier, but not nicer. 

The result however was exactly what I was after: a white-washed ceiling. You can still see the wood grain, but it is much lighter than it used to be. Tomorrow I will continue with the remaining beams and trusses, as my arms are protesting a great deal right now. 

Such a difference. Also note the wall behind the bed: perfect!
The job after that will of course be the carpet. The carpet that is in now needs to be removed. While there is (heavy) furniture in the room. Then a new carpet needs to be picked. It will most likely turn out to be sand coloured or something. My mum saw one she thought would look quite nice. And then it needs to be laid. Hopefully in a not too distant future!

Monday 20 April 2020

Step 2 comes with a snag

The first finished wall.
You can see the painted paper on the floor, ready to be disposed of
The next step in my renovation progress started off well. First the wardrobe needed to be removed, so I could have access to the wall in order to get it painted. In nearly white. We knew that behind the wardrobe there was wallpaper, which was the original builders' paper, put on when the house was first built. 

The paper came loose the minute we had freed the wardrobe. Pulling it caused the whole thing to come loose and we could tear large strips off without any problem, exposing the bare plaster wall beneath. We cleared it up until the section where the paper was on the wall properly again: I would paint over that. 

We moved the single bed to the back and my bed to the front
The wardrobes are still being moved around though.
I got the paint and the roller and got stuck in. And within minutes I hit a snag. The remaining wallpaper was not on as properly as we had thought. In fact, the paint on it made it loose and again whole sections were just peeling off. Smaller pieces got stuck to the roller, big sections just came down by themselves. Which meant I was painting and peeling and then painting again. But, finally the wall was done and it looked fine. 

To the other side of 'my' old part I went. This time it was the concrete outer wall and again I was going to paint over the wallpaper on it. Fingers crossed... it went fine. It did. No paper came loose more than usually does when you paint over it. It looked good and it was easy to do. The first bit was done. 

Peppered with those production bubble holes. Very rustic
Then on Saturday I decided to do the next wall. Which involved some jiggling of furniture as my bed was against the wall that needed to be done first. Again a concrete wall with paper on top and it held beautifully. Then we removed wardrobe number two. Behind that again was builders' paper, and on top of that other paper. Which had to be removed as it was nearly flapping in the wind.  

Snag number two. As I removed that tiny bit of paper, the builders' paper came loose as well. Which was pulled off. Revealing a bare concrete will peppered with little holes. So many holes that painting over it was not going to help those holes go away. First we got rid of all the remaining paper on a section of the wall. Then I went to the DIY store to get some filler. Which looked like yoghurt mousse, but worked a treat. 

We filled in most of the holes, leaving only some smaller ones
The renewing process has not been plain sailing. And I still don't know what the fixed-up concrete wall and the remaining plaster wall will have in store for me. I will start again today to finish the painting of the walls, and then I will continue with the ceiling. Not the lowered one (yet), but the sloping one. I also want to do the trusses and beams as they are yucky dark brown. I would prefer a grey-blue to create a more Scandi-feeling. 

Then after all that is done, it will be time to pick out some carpet to put in, which then means removing the wardrobes altogether although the beds can stay put apparently. They just have to be moved around when the laying is going on. By professionals I hasten to add!

Sunday 19 April 2020

Photo on Sunday 2020-09

It's been a while, but I am back photoing on Sunday! With a photo taken of Miss Oswin the other day. And yes, I was lying flat on the ground to take this photo with my phone.

Thursday 16 April 2020

Sorting the photos

I am working through a lot of photos lately. Yes, I need to paint too, but as they will be working on the chimney, there might be dust and painting and dust don't go together. Apparently. So, working on photos it is. 

I have now copied all my father's photos from his/their holidays onto my computer. They were on discs here and there, but not all were still accessible. Before none of them are: on to my computer. I will then get an external hard disc to safeguard the lot, including mine.

Miss Oswin was not in agreement about it. She had much rather be outside, but only if I am outside as well. Otherwise, she will stay in thank you very much. Strange kitty. 

Next job: my sister's photos! I only have to scan those...

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Step 1

The old situation
As you know I live with my parents. Over the year and a bit I have lived here now, there have been some changes made to my sleeping quarters. Mainly the bed. Their old bed was thrown out and my new guest bed was moved in. But the bed could only be put one way and the window that opens and gives fresh air is on the other side of the room. With everything between the bed and the window: not a lot of fresh air gets all the way to me.

Plans were made: remove the partition and turn the two bedrooms into one again, albeit leaving the lowered ceiling. It would take some careful removing, it would need some gentle coaxing. It did not need any strong words. 

The door was out, now the partition
Today it happened. My dad would try to remove the partition and after a while my mum went and joined him. They had done a good job they said when I heard the electrical saw start up. Nearly professional they said when the woodwork came off. Not too shabby for two amateurs they said when they had taken the whole thing down.

In one piece!
The plan now is to get the whole room painted. There are five different wallpapers, including the original builders' paper. Which comes off quite easily. Not so the rest though, so to join everything together, we (well, I) will paint it. In a colour that is not white. Just nearly. My mum didn't think hot pink was a good colour for the room. Spoilsport.

After the room is painted, the carpet will come up. If I haven't broken my neck beforehand as some of it is loose now. New carpet will be laid, the furniture will be put in its place and then I will have a new room. Nearly. 

I think it will hold, even without supports
I will keep you posted.

Thursday 9 April 2020

To rectify

Whatever I write on this blog is either personal experience or memory. Which means that on occasion I get the facts wrong.

When I was in my teens I had a lovely bedroom all to myself and so did my brother and sister. And then one day an uncle and aunt came and asked whether we were willing to house a cousin of ours during the week. His school was in our home town and he and his parents felt he was a bit young to be living on his own, and traveling that long every day was not desirable.

My parents agreed and that in turn meant that the rooms were redistributed. I stayed put, but from then on I had to share my room with my baby sister. The horror! My brother moved into another room as well and my cousin got the big room with sink. 

In my head I always thought that because my cousin came to live with us, my uncle (ie my cousin's  dad) came to help put the partition up in my bedroom. I got corrected last night.

He is good at wall papering as well!
In fact, my father had gotten some advice from a colleague and then together with my mum had proceeded to put the whole thing together. As he has two left hands (his own words, albeit his were in Dutch), he was very proud of the fact he managed to do it and to make it look good. And after 30-odd years it's still sitting pretty. 

So, hail to my father! 

Tuesday 7 April 2020

The list

That list with 72 items to do or experience. Plenty to get on with you would think, but so far, I haven't done a single thing of them! I have not read a single book, not counting the first Asterix comic. I have been knitting though and have nearly finished a lovely little cardigan. I am starting a second one now, as I have to wait for the proper needles to arrive at the craft store first: they were sold out! Only then can I make the sleeves.

There are however some plans of rearranging furniture. As you may know I live at my parents' at the moment and I don't see that changing any time soon, especially not with this Corona thing going on. I have my rooms in the attic (no flowers), where I started out as well. That was my room when we first moved in here. A nice large attic room with plenty of space. Which was halved only a few years later as my sister had to come and share with me. 

So, my dad and an uncle got busy changing my lovely big room in two smaller rooms. Both still quite big though. But now the plans are to make it one big room again, albeit with the lower ceiling. It will take quite a bit of work, probably some painting, new flooring and all that, but I think I should be quite happy with the end result. Whenever that may be!

The plans are there, now for the execution of said plan...

Friday 3 April 2020

Update on the film

As I told you a few days ago, my mother is on the lookout for a film, which she wouldn't mind seeing again. Some of you said it might be Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which I must admit was my guess as well. To make sure it wasn't, we watched it last night. Dick van Dyke was in it, but no crocodile eating a broom. It wasn't the film.

Nor in fact was it Dick van Dyke that is in that other film. It is someone taller and blonder. Which really adds to the range of details so far. Not! 

I seem to recall a film where there is an inventor that sells his invention to some Chinese man, but I haven't got a clue whether her tall, blonde hunk is in it, nor whether there are any cold-blooded reptiles eating household equipment.

Here's what I know so far:
No Dick van Dyke in the film. It's not animated. The tall blonde hunk is married and has two daughters (at least) that have quite a free upbringing. There is a housekeeper that tries to chase a crocodile away with a broom that then gets eaten (the broom, not the housekeeper). It's NOT a horror film, nor a thriller. It's most likely made in the 1960's/1970's. Could be a bit later.


Thursday 2 April 2020

Frunkleday, Slorbday, Kirlonsday

This morning as I was stood in the kitchen trying to take my medication, I knew something was wrong. Because I use The pill, it comes with those handy day-markers. It said it was Thursday. I knew it wasn't Thursday, it couldn't be Thursday. Or could it?

Normally there would be some sort of order to the week. But all that has gone out the window. We are not going anywhere, we don't work, there are no social thingymebobs. All there is is television and even that has gone haywire. It's all Corona these days, either directly or indirectly. 

The days blend into one. Days pass slowly, yet all of a sudden you're three days later! It might as well be Kirlonsday today (it was Slorbday yesterday and Frunkleday the day before). I wonder what tomorrow would be though...

Wednesday 1 April 2020

April Fool

Did you have that same suspicion as I did: that this whole Corona thing was just a very elaborate joke played on us by politicians? But today is April Fool and I don't think it is. Yesterday the measures taken originally until April 6th have been prolonged to April 28th. But our prime minister said that 'he wouldn't advise anybody to make any plans for the May holiday' (which is around that time). 

Which means that for the foreseeable future, we will be in the house trying to pass our days. Yesterday I spruced up my Mice for Mama site and added a few more things, including some made by my mum. Today I plan on continuing with a little cardigan I am making. It looks really lovely right now, but I can't wait for it to be finished. Probably another week or so.

I have taken out all my DVD's as well. I still haven't found 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks', which I thought I had, but it might be my sister who owns it. We have watched a couple of other films though as there is no sport to be had and at a certain point you do get a bit fed up with all that Corona news. 

I watch one episode a day of Doctor Who and have plenty of other series to help me through (Last of the Summer Wine, Dinnerladies, Sherlock, M*A*S*H, Eureka). So for the time being I am doing okay. 

My mum has a question though. She wants to see a film about a couple and their two daughters. Those girls are quite free and fancy. There is a housekeeper and also a crocodile that eats a broom (that last bit is important apparently). It's not animated, it's not horror or thriller, it's just a fun film. She thinks Dick van Dyke might be in it, but she is not so good on names (she does know Dick van Dyke though). Anybody any ideas?