My View - Wednesday October 18th 2017
It's a like DIY SOS
in our cellar at the moment, apart from the glaring absence of 50+ tradespeople. We're doing it up and it's doing my head in. I wish I could say it was like Grand Designs, but the only similarity is the part where they fall out with each other and the contingency money dries up. At least we're not having to cope with a tarpaulin roof while the reclaimed slate from Namibia gets hand-dusted. And I'm definitely not pregnant, which is a relief.
One essential part of this project was re-housing the guinea pigs, who for the past three years have had free rein down there. Nibbles and Munch have joined 26 of my friend Annette's other pets on her smallholding in Denholme. They're much happier amongst the rabbits, chickens, horses, dogs, fish and whatever else they happen to be rescuing or resuscitating at the time. My only slight worry is Bob, Annette's other guinea pig, because although I know both of ours are the same sex, I can't remember if the pet shop man said they were male or female. Time will tell.
We've only taken on this project because our lounge is getting smaller due to our daughters' massive growth spurts. Gone are the days when they were romper suit snuggly, flaking out on our laps in front of Lazytown at 6.30pm. Now it's a stand-off before Bake-Off as their long legs and elbows jostle to bruise my ribs and nobody ends up comfy.
So now my weekends are a heady combination of scraping walls and scratching my head at the tip, wondering which skip to use for mouldy princess dresses and cracked lava lamps. I must admit, the non-recyclables section seems to be rising rapidly. I'm all for saving the planet, but what a faff. You can't even chuck rotting shelves into the wood and timber section until you've unscrewed the rusty hinges.
It's not 100% dry in the basement either, but with 50 fewer tradespeople to tank it out, we're using elbow grease and a UPVA glue mix as suggested by a decorator friend. The good news is that it's masking the stench of rodent faeces and means the spiders can't escape as fast.
The daughters have already chosen their paint. It's called 'Cool Grey' and is on trend, apparently. I think it should be renamed 'Unremarkable Slurry' as it will almost certainly give the appearance of an unloved penitentiary cell, but I wasn't prepared for a showdown in Wickes. I've even had a man in to measure up for some heavy duty, snail-resistant carpet, which means we now have an official deadline of 16 days. So in and amongst the rubber glove jobs, I'm scouring eBay for a secondhand corner sofa, which has to be sectional to fit down the steps. What have I started?