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Messing with Fire

January 29, 2005 at 4:20 pm

As is often the case on a Sunday, Sara had a pile of work to do for the week ahead, so Henry decided to retreat to the man-sanctuary of the garage to do some spring cleaning. With the christening fast approaching, the option of having somebody actually able to park in there seemed useful, so it was decided that the place should be tidied. This involved getting rid of a whole bunch of wood which had been piling up as a result of various cupboards, wardrobes and doors being ripped down. A lot of it was quite nice wood, so Henry cut it up in to small pieces – Henry’s dad will hopefully be taking these away to use as kindling for their nice log fire. The rest of it however was now sat in the middle of the garage, and most of it was too big/heavy to go in the bin…

Everybody knows that if you ask a boy to do a simple task like disposing of some rubbish, he’ll turn it in to something a lot more dangerous – like a bonfire for example! So, using a large pot he found in the corner of the garden, Henry proceeded to make a rather small but still non-inconsequential bonfire. To his credit he made very little mess, although it did make adding the final coat of paint to the skirting boards all the more difficult – trying to keep floating ash away from white gloss is more difficult than it might seem!!

Sara wisely stayed inside while all this was going on, and it’s probably a good thing too – if she had seen how many plants Henry was throwing on the fire, she might not have been as happy…

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Finalising the set decorations – and a work bench

January 17, 2005 at 12:54 am

After the fun of the Saturday, Sunday was a much more relaxed affair, concerned mainly with making the lounge look presentable again. We arranged all the ornaments, put up some pictures, decided which books we didn’t mind having out (and which we should hide in the spare room!) and generally finished the room. Except the skirting boards of course, which will hopefully be coming along shortly…

Henry also made another trip to Homebase, where he purchased a brand new work bench (thanks to Claire and Dave’s Christmas present!), thus making him a real man at last. He celebrated by trying to put up a new shelf in the kitchen, but as soon as we put some books on it, the whole lot came down – part of the walls and all. So we’re re-evaluating that one – solution to follow. Hopefully…

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To lounge or not to lounge…

January 15, 2005 at 4:14 pm

Following our decision to have a completely sober January, along with our exciting new-year diet of Slim Fast and home-made soup, we have found ourselves in need of distraction, especially at the weekends. So, with a whole weekend free we decided that now was the best time to tackle the lounge.

First we cleaned the walls and ceilings – not very well mind you, because we both got bored of that job. No obvious results you see – very boring! So we fast-forwarded that bit and proceeded to paint the walls, ceilings and doors instead. After a couple of coats the room looked completely different, and we decided that in order to complete the transformation we needed a few more bits of furtniture. So, in classic fashion we got in the car and drove to the London Ikea.

4 hours later we were home again, and had gained a TV cabinet, a book-shelf, another DVD tower and lots of knick-knacks, like new duvet covers etc. This was all courtesy of various Christmas monetary presents, so thanks to all who contributed for that! After we put all that together, we were both knackered, but satisfied that the lounge was looking pretty good.

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New Year, New Painting

January 8, 2005 at 4:06 pm

Having left the house empty for a good part of the last couple of weeks, it was decided that the plaster work was now dry enough to be painted on. Following the advice of numerous people, we decided to paint a couple of layers of very cheap paint on first, as apparently new plaster sucks in paint like you wouldn’t believe. At the same time, seeing as we had all the equipment out, we decided to paint some (supposedly) amazing damp-proof paint on to the walls where we are getting the worst damp. As you can see from the pictures below, the damp had got really bad over the past few weeks, so we’re hoping this stuff will do the trick.

Before we could apply the anti-damp paint we had to remove the mildew from the affected walls. It was at this point where we discovered what may prove to be the best cleaning solution ever – Dettox anti-mildew spray. On the recommendation of Sara’s mother we bought this stuff, and I can safely say that it works miracles – I’d go as far as to say that if Jesus were reborn today, the three kings would bring him Gold, Frankinsence and Dettox Anti-mildew spray, it’s that good!

Obviously painting the new plaster required another movement of the radiator in the lounge. It was much easier the second time round, even without Mark’s help, and it went back in place that evening – and worked too! Touch wood…. The rest of the process was pretty straightforward, and leads the way for next weekend when we’re planning to paint all the walls and ceiling in the front room, so that once the skirting board is down we can call that room complete.

On Sunday Henry primed the bare skirting boards with wood primer, ready for several more coats throughout the week (if Henry can stand being in the freezing-cold garage for that long after a long day at work!!). We also bought a brand new king-size duvet to go with the new bed, partly to solve the duvet-stealing arguements, but also so that we have a spare duvet for when guests stay.

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More proper guests

December 18, 2004 at 4:01 pm

Having got the house in to a perfectly livable state, we today played host to our second dinner party, this time in the shape of Henry’s brother Ben, his wife Katy and little William – Henry’s first nephew. Obviously this isn’t strictly house-related shots, but William is damned cute so I’m posting them anyway!! :)

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The end of the first month in the flat!

December 5, 2004 at 3:55 pm

Having dropped Ali off at the station after a monster fry-up, Henry and Sara spent the remainder of the day tidying up the flat and moving things back in to the living room. We also went down to Wicked and bought some new skirting boards, which will be fitted once they’ve been primed, and finished off the last bit of the flooring. Too tired to do much else, they spent the rest of the afternoon having a rest!

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Laminate flooring ain’t what it used to be… it’s better!

December 4, 2004 at 3:52 pm

Having suitably recovered from their hangovers, Sara and Henry’s first job of the day was to drive round all of the bed shops in Reading trying to find a mattress that would get delivered some time this side of Christmas. After at least half a dozen "January 15th"’s, good old Bensons for Beds came up trumps and we are now due a Mattress this Wednesday.

The rest of the day was spent removing the carpet, scraping and cleaning the concrete floor, laying underlay (e-pa e-pa!) and finally laying the new laminate floor. It all went surprisingly well, so long as you ignore the fact that we ended up a pack short and had to go back the next morning for one more box. With the new floor laid we moved some furniture back, and treated ourselves to a Chinese and more beers. Plus some breakdancing, but I won’t go in to that…

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“Go Ali, I’m your mother…” (© Supertroopers)

December 3, 2004 at 3:42 pm

Yesterday Ali King arrived in Reading, fresh and raring to tackle some of our more laborious projects. Having got drunk the night before, we weren’t quite as raring, and definitely not as fresh – but none the less we soldiered on and achieved quite a bit. Despite what it looks like from the photos, Henry was helping too (Sara was at work) but we did consider at one point that perhaps we should change the name of this site to "www.come-and-help-us-do-work-on-our-flat-and-we’ll-pay-you-in-beer-and-put-you-on-the-web.com" but changed our mind thankfully – we’d never attract any more helpers with that kind of attitude… :)

In the course of the day we managed to rip down what remained of the skanky wardrobe in the spare bedroom, move the futon in to the space and assemble the new bed which was delivered that morning. We weren’t in for quite the night’s sleep we had hoped for though, as stupid old MFI just "forgot" to deliver our matress, so we had to resort to the airbed until we could find another matress.

The day ended the same was as the previous evening – drinking beer and watching DVDs. Some of us managed to stay up until 1.30am, others fell asleep earlier (no surprises there!!)

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The Cryin’, The Titch and the Wardrobes…

November 28, 2004 at 3:19 pm

Yesterday we finally found some floor laminates we were happy with, and we bought 20m²-worth of it (with underlay) from Floors-2-go. We would have liked to have bought real wooden floor boards, but the two main problems with this were the cost (we’re rapidly running out of money!) and the fact that they would have made the floor (in an already low room) even higher.

Today we bought two new wardrobes from B&Q, so we can finally get rid of the crappy old built-in one that’s taking up loads of room in the spare bedroom. Henry assembled them while Sara marked some mock exams, and it all went relatively smoothly – though the lack of a long-screwdriver in Henry’s rapidly-growing tool collection did require a last-minute run to Wickes. We also bought some nice looking no-more-damp paint for the bedroom, and a stupid Humidifier too – we meant to get a DEHUMIDIFIER, but didn’t look cloesly enough at the box – either that or we went for the cheapest one, you decide!!

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In to the depths of the garage we go…

November 21, 2004 at 3:14 pm

This was Mark’s second day of being extremely helpful, and while Sara drove off to her school Environmental Day for the morning, Mark and Henry set off to the garage to spread their magic. Despite horrendouse hangovers on everybody’s part, they managed to not only fit a new consumer unit in the garage, but also to wire up 2 strip lights (one over where the car would go, and one for Henry’s future workbench!). They also fixed the doorframe to stop it jamming, and generally improved what was a pretty rubbish waste of space.

In the afternoon, before Mark headed back up north, we all went out to Reading town centre to meet Ben, Katy and William for lunch. We dined at Old Orleans (albeit very slowly – the Christmas shopping rush strikes again!) and had a very nice time, although William got a bit confused by a balloon Henry gave him. He liked the ribbon it was attached to though!!

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