Category Archives: House

Am I turning into my gran?!

A beautiful sunny day beckoned. A Bank Holiday, no less, so no obligations of a Main Job nature. Or even an organist’s obligations, other than the fact I’d done a couple of hours piano practice.

But, how do I spend the day? In a gentle, relaxed fashion…. well, sort of. In a Japes’ kind of way. I have –

  • done five loads of laundry, four of which have dried outside.
  • mown the grass.
  • weeded the pocket handkerchief sized bit of garden at the front.
  • put weedkiller on the paths, front and back. (Shush…)
  • sorted out the cutlery drawer, taking out that which was here when I arrived and can now gleefully declare I have put all the landlady’s kitchen utensils away now. (It’s so nice to know everything I’m using in the kitchen is mine!)
  • cleaned the bathroom.
  • cleaned the bedroom.
  • disembowelled the vacuum cleaner and put it back together in perfect working order again. I always knew that extending pole would come in handy for something other than painting the stairwell.
  • made a list of what needs doing over the summer in the painting line. (Outside back window, and front door frame, bathroom, kitchen and stairwell woodwork. )
  • made another list of admin type jobs that need doing
  • made…..

OK.. That really is enough. I am going to have a bath, get the beautifully air dried laundry in, and relax for the rest of the evening now.


An unexpected day at home

A day at home, when I should be at work, where I am neither ill, nor snowed in. Once the nice man has done all the gas appliance checks and written me a nice set of certificates, I have a more or less free day.  I have no need to do anything else, other than a little music practice later, and maybe a little ironing of some work clothes. The other chores are all done. (What is this strange universe I seem to be inhabiting at the moment – housework done, chores up to date, paperwork all filed correctly, hymns chosen as far in advance as is reasonable?)

So, why, oh why, am I feeling guilty about thinking about a trip to the cinema. Yes, I know I said a couple of months back, never again, but I do want to see Les Miserables and I’m vaguely hopeful that a mid-week term time early afternoon trip will be more pleasant than a half term afternoon trip. The fact I was willing to take the day off, as I would be going in for only 1 hours worth of work, after the gas man has finished,   was greeted very happily in the current work situation of hours reduced early this year – however, do not, I implore you, get me started on the ridiculousness of losing hours, but not gaining time back. I’m not going to get Saturday as a day off, as I’m doing something church-y. (And missing Scotland v. Italy, more to the point. After the opening round of Six Nations, this looks like being a more interesting match than I had anticipated.)


We interrupt this post to enquire why none of you told me all the gas cooker needed was a new battery for the self-ignite switch?! The gas cooker matches can now become the emergency ones instead.


And, in the meantime – I have convinced myself I am being totally idiotic, and will take myself off to a different cinema!


Beams happily

For the Annual Act of Wanton Destruction is complete. No doors were harmed during this activity, though a new bolt and key will be required.

Second load of laundry is going though now, and perhaps I ought to make the vacuum cleaner feel loved and cherished by using it for a few minutes this afternoon… or maybe not.

The Annual Act of Wanton Destruction

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without my Annual Act of Wanton Destruction, it would seem.

Last year it was planned, (re-papering the sitting room did mean removing the old wallpaper,) this year, it most definitely was not. I am patiently, and slowly, sawing away at a bolt whose locking mechanism has given up. Though, I may have to put a bit more effort into it soon. At the moment I am separated from the vacuum cleaner, the washing machine and my best bucket. Oh, and the downstairs toilet. Fortunately, there is an upstairs one. Still, it means I feel not one bit guilty about not doing the laundry or the hoovering…. though, a quick check of the clothing situation has revealed it would be prudent to be able to use the washing machine by Tuesday, at the latest. Either that, or buy some more underwear…

Back to the sofa

It’s the only sensible place to be on a wet, miserable Bank Holiday Monday. As a result, I’ve finally done something I’d been wanting to do for a while – watch the last two Harry Potter films as a whole. I do enjoy the books more than the films, but have enjoyed most of the films, with one exception, in their own right. Also, providing I’ve not read the books recently and have the details in my mind again.

Happy Easter, by the way, to those who are celebrating, and hope Holy Week is going well for those still going through it.

Holy Week was a good experience, on the whole. The bits I was less convinced by were matters of personal preference, rather than incompetence, so I’m not going to dwell on them. Though, I’ve made a note to myself for next year that I am a Dawn Vigil and Eucharist kind of person, not Vigil on Saturday night, and Eucharist the next day.  I’ve probably caused confusion by turning up to most services during the week (I was one of four or five who did so) and am now on smiling/saying “Hello” terms with a few more members of the congregation. I’m happy to leave it that way, though will try going to coffee after the service. I think three months of avoiding it is long enough! Or not… I shall see.

Tomorrow, regardless of the weather, I’m taking myself off out! Not sure where yet, but out. Not having been anywhere but home or church for the last ten days, apart from a supermarket trip, cabin fever is just beginning to set in!

So, how’s it all going?

You know, getting pregnant and giving birth would’ve been quicker than the process of getting this sitting room decorated!!

What started out nine months ago as a “Keep Japes Occupied” exercise over the summer when work dropped to half time hours until the new academic year began,  looks like being completed tomorrow. If I’d not decided yesterday to re-do the ceiling, it could’ve been finished today, but all I’ve got to do tomorrow are the skirting board, the door frames and the meter cupboards.Yes, for some bizarre reason, both gas and electricity meters have their own little cupboards in a room that is, ooooh, 11 feet by 12 feet at most. They do add to the awkwardness of this room!

Still, I remind myself that there has been major structural work done in this room and it’s a much nicer place to be, as a result. I also remind myself I am away from home for long hours, and work in what can be a physically, mentally and emotionally demanding job, and I’ve done a much better job of the decorating as a result of insisting I only do it when I’m home on weekdays, rather than wearing myself out by working on it every Saturday.

It’s also been good to have the discipline of knowing I’ve been going out to the  Holy Week Eucharists at church every evening, so I’ve had to stop and get cleared up, when I might’ve been tempted to keep going… and again, do a poor job because I was rushing.

So, tomorrow should see this job completed, and the ground floor of my home restored to order, just in time for the Triduum. Which was the plan.

It is finished

The wallpapering, that is. Getting the old wallpaper off had taken up far more time and energy than I’d thought it would, and it didn’t get finished before I went back to work after Christmas- and I’d not been inclined to do it on any of the last five Saturdays for one reason or another. Sundays I refuse to do such things, and I’ve been testing out New Church properly, anyway.

This is a great relief. I’m not going to start painting over it yet, as I want it to settle and dry properly, and I’d rather be painting in the warmer weather anyway, but it does feel like the end of the decorating is in sight, as that just leaves the glossing to finish. Which may well be the summer’s weekdays not in work project! (Only one day a week this summer, though.) So, only a year later than planned!

I am exceptionally pleased with myself, because not only did I manage to get it all done this morning, I got a huge chunk of the half-termly thorough cleaning session done this afternoon as well, leaving only the kitchen to do tomorrow. This also means I’ve probably got a bit more free time for the rest of the half-term break than I’d planned.

So, once the kitchen is restored to a hygienic state, the ironing done, and the month’s Big Shop is complete, I am a free Japes, apart from the two days in work, until next Monday. I am going to the “Lost in Lace” exhibition later in the week, before it finishes, with a friend who is very interested in such things.  Maybe just chilling and catching up on sleep might not be a bad idea….

Plan? What plan?!

It’s been a great, but busy few weeks. I thought I had got through the half-term reasonably well, until I spent most of yesterday asleep, and then over-slept this morning, messing up Plan A of early church, followed by rugby (Yay for the All Blacks!!) followed by a meander to see how the half-marathon was doing.

So, usual Sunday plan took place – which I’m actually quite glad about. I’m trying not  to “church-hop” in the mornings, but only in the evenings as the church I go to in the mornings has no evening service. The infant being dedicated this morning made me giggle so much. He was such a happy, beautifully-behaved child, with the most expressive face.

Plan A for the half term break is also under reconsideration. September/October are very tight months financially in my line of work, and going away even for an occasional day trip wasn’t an option, so I had planned to finish off the odd DIY tasks I’d set myself over the summer, but which had to be postponed after the discovery of various bigger jobs that needed doing by someone else! With the exception of one job, they’ve all been completed. Some of the smaller tasks I’ve got on with at weekends, as I’ve not been so exhausted as I’ve been in previous autumn terms, so the list isn’t as long as I thought it was going to be.

However, I have finally received a significant amount of money back from the taxman. After careful consideration that I have received the correct amount, said cheque has been banked and cleared. So, my bank account, which was perilously close to crossing over the border into overdraft territory, is looking astonishingly healthy, and pay day is still to come.

The prudent plan would be to save most of it! I considered this carefully for a while… about half an hour or so.

The other prudent plan would be to buy some new clothes. Which I am going to do a certain amount of! (Appropriate clothing for a wedding, possible interviews, some new shoes and underwear are on that list!)

The main item on the shopping list, however, is a digital piano. My keyboard has done sterling work over the ten years I’ve had it, but it’s not an 88 key one, nor is it proper piano action on the keys. I’m limited in what I can play on it, the key action is over the top light and sensitive and it’s been frustrating beyond belief. I’ve learnt to cope with it, but by limiting myself. The purist in me wants a real piano, the pragmatist knows a digital one will fit in this house better, and I can practise when I want to, as I can wear earphones.

So, tomorrow, for the first time in months, I’m off shopping!!!

Brain-ache, bright ideas and “Oh bother it”!

After much deliberation, checking of timing, and being ready to leave as soon as the result was declared,  it was deemed that this morning’s following of the Scotland Argentina game prior to going to church was the plan. It was just as well I had a 25 minute walk to church to recover from the match.

I now have complete and utter brain ache after trying to work out what’s got to happen next if Scotland are to progress… and that’s after reading the Scotland v England Permutations on this page. I have grasped the essentials. I think. I’m also sure Ben and Tom will explain to me tomorrow in great depth. (Ben and Tom, aged 18 and 19 respectively,  may have a poor grasp of basic skills in Numeracy and Literacy, despite all our efforts, and somewhat interesting social skills, but they have an excellent grasp of the important matters in life, such as who needs to do what to get through the Pool stages. They are saddened that I have not put my impressive ability to spot a missing capital letter or full stop within 2 seconds of glancing at their work, to better use. But we get on very well, and Monday morning breaks are devoted to the finer analysis of Rugby during World Cup and Six Nations seasons.)

In between times, I’ve been having Bright Ideas – about where to go next with the painting and decorating, about what to do about Church stuff that continues to bother me, but is no longer overwhelming, and the Getting a Life thing… they’re all percolating!

On the “Oh bother it” front, I’m hoping today’s excessive noise from my new neighbours is an occasional rather than regular event. I have to go to the library on the way home from work tomorrow, as I can’t renew my books on-line again (I was planning to go next weekend!) and who gave my nephew permission to have his 21st birthday?


I told you so…

My assessment of the situation regarding the stairwell was correct! I couldn’t have guessed the cause, which was only found by sending the builder up into the loft, but, oh, I am so grateful I stuck to my opinion that Something Was Not Right. (As, if it had been left, there would have been a much worse mess to deal with when it was all discovered.)

Maybe I have a whole new career ahead of me..