And on the seventh day, God rested.
God clearly didn’t have DIY to do.
The cottage in the back garden was the initial focus of the family’s efforts this morning. There really is no excuse for the amount of Antique Cream on the walls and woodwork of this house.
We began to annihilate it with pure white. Clean, crisp, not beige.
And then, while the kids went and did Scouts stuff, the grown-ups tackled the peach study.
We’re going for a grey in there. After all:
Grey is often perceived as a classic, sleek and refined neutral colour. Grey is highly adaptable and used by designers to let other colours shine, as it is subtle and can be either warm or cool. Best used as a restful backdrop to complement the mood you’re trying to create. It can also be combined with more playful colours.
Yeah. That’s me: classic, sleek, and refined. Highly adaptable.
And I’m all about creating a restful mood.
And there’s such variety. I counted more than 49 different varieties in the special shop I was at earlier. Amazing.
There is one slight hitch. The peach doesn’t want to give up. It’s fighting back through two coats of Boulders Plume*. I’m reminded of Adrian Mole using a felt tip pen to colour in the bells on Noddy’s hat after thirteen coats of black paint in his bedroom.
Has there ever been a more sublimely comic vignette of teenage angst than the sorry tale of Adrian Mole and his Noddy wallpaper?
In a series of diary entries over a torrid week one May, Mole, aged 13¾, decides that he can no longer sleep in a room papered with Enid Blyton characters (“positively indecent”) and paints his walls a vinyl, silk-finish black.
It does not work out well for him.
“Wednesday May 27th. Third coat. Slight improvement, only Noddy’s hat showing through now.”
“Friday May 29th. Went over hat bells with black felt-tip pen, did sixty-nine tonight, only a hundred and twenty-four to go.”
We’re not quite at that stage yet, but we’re certainly not grey yet either.
* seriously, who makes these names up?
… more productive.
I’ll be honest. I’m not feeling very fit or very happy at the moment. But I have been rather productive today. It started with the realisation that the study was a mess. While I share this room with everyone else in the house (much like the rest of the house, to be honest), I have my own little corner of the study where my laptop, my camera stuff and Florence the Mavic live. My space. Not like the trashy old social media site. I mean it’s actually My Space.
But my little corner was a jumble of wires and gadgets and it was beginning to get me a bit stressed. So, I tidied it up. Not just in a rearranging the clutter kind of way, but in a bold, cable tie-utilising and attaching wires to the wall kind of way. The semi-permanent change kind of way that won’t allow for it to become messy again any time soon.
It looks better. I’m less stressed. Things are where I want them and it looks tidier, neater… more productive.
I’m almost tempted to embark on a digital spring clean while I’m on a roll.
We’re replacing a bit of flooring at home. The kitchen was looking scruffy and needed some work. The laundry is attached to the kitchen and so that now needs doing too. The study tiles are being replaced which would have meant that the guest bathroom stood out like a sore tiled thumb and so that’s being done too.
Apparently, it’s going to take three days. That’s also what they said last time when they did the floor in the living and dining rooms.
It took nine.
We’re lucky enough that we can manage without the guest bathroom for a few days, and with work winding down and school wound down, we don’t need the study much either at the moment. The kitchen is kind of a different matter though. Three days without a sink or a cooker is going to make me grumpy. (Hello, Uber Eats). Nine days will make me angry.
Of course, when it’s all done, I’m sure that it will look great. And the heavy duty option we’ve chosen (see: kids, beagle) means that we won’t have to do it again for 25 years. Or something.
Soon there will also be a new handrail in the kitchen (the beagle chose to teeter on the edge of the unguarded garage steps as soon as I removed the old one this morning) and repainted cupboards. A new desk will follow in the study and then we are all done on house renovations until Mrs 6000 gets itchy feet once again.
Next week, then.
I’d love to be studious again. I have tried to be studious for most of my life, but after I finished my Masters, I discovered that I had become so fed up of studiousness that I decided to turn my back on it forever. Or at least until I changed my mind. Which appears to be now.
I crave information. It doesn’t even have to be anything useful: I love to hoard trivia and facts just in case they come up in a pub quiz somewhere, sometime. It would just be nice to formally study something again. But there has definitely been a paucity of opportunities for learning of late.
Add to this the fact that I have a pair of energetic children who are often active from the time I get home from work in the evening until the time I leave for work in the morning. This also applies to weekends. Bummer.
So I need time and space and with that in mind (and before I go completely Iggle-Piggle) we have decided to build a study. This is good because there is nowhere better for studying than in a study. And although the new study is currently merely some expensive lines on an expensive bit of paper, the ground rules have already been set. It is out of bounds for children and will have an awesome and expensive sound system. I haven’t told my son about him not being allowed in there yet and I haven’t told my wife about the expensive sound system, but I foresee only minor issues. Hmm.
Because the builder suddenly decided that he wanted to start work this Wednesday, I spent much of the weekend digging up the garden where the new study will be and dodging thundery showers (with limited success) with the aim of saving valuable turf and plants. Thus, I now have heaps of wet, muddy clothes and every muscle in my body is now screaming in protest at my sudden call to action. One of the few benefits* was the opportunity to occasionally lean on my spade and plan the position of my new desk, which will have absolutely stunning views of the Constantiaberg and will be absolutely perfect for continuing and further refining the procrastination for which I have become famous.
How does this affect you readers of 6000 miles…? Well, I’m well aware that avidly following the progress of minor extensions to other people’s property is what people mainly surf the internet for, so I’m obviously going to make the most of this chance to allow you all to share in the highs and lows of our study-building experience in minute detail.
And then, once it’s completed, I will sit in it, oblivious to my son banging at the door, and wonder where all my readers have gone.
* who am I trying to kid? This should read “the only thing that was even vaguely close to being mildly beneficial…”