Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Keeping busy

There has been a resounding silence on the house-viewing front.

To keep myself from sinking into the Slough of Despond, to be beset by "many fears and doubts and discouraging apprehensions" relating to matters of sale, I've made a List.

You know how bracing to the spirits a List can be, especially if some of what is contains is actually achievable.

What isn't on the List:

Lose two stones by Christmas

Learn how to repair render on yard walls

Both essential, desirable and likely to prove life-enhancing, but not terribly likely to get done.

But what is Listed includes:

Clean light switches and sockets. It's one of life's small but surprising realities that no matter how clean you keep your hands, your light switches get grubby in an amazingly short time. Go on, have a look.

Glue control knob onto gas fire. Easier said than done. The first tube of superglue dried out while waiting to be used for this task; the second disappeared (predictably, after a visit from the Lovely Son, after which I can never find anything) and the latest lot has been put away in a safe place, i.e. the place that can never be brought to mind. For now, as for so many years, the pliers kept  on the hearth for gas fire-turning-on-and-off purposes will remain there, to puzzle visitors and lend a certain something to the general decor.

Like dishes and dusting, some items remain to-do regulars:

Clean nose marks off windows This means both inside and out; the cats are very fond of this form of nose-dab graffiti: "Lottie woz here and nobody let her in..." Dab, dab, dab.

Check stairs for cat gifts This could be furballs from Lottie, regurgitated biscuits from a certain black and white greedyguts, or - thankfully less common now, a dead mouse from Millie. Hamish, his life spent chiefly under cover, leaves nothing untoward to betray his presence.

But, but, BUT! as well as a List of small jobs, I have also devised a winter project, to keep me engaged with my home as a nice place for me to live, not just  a cause for worry about its saleability.

(Sounds of trumpet blast) I shall create that long-desired second bathroom, using the small attic, formerly the Room of Shame, then the boxroom/pretend workroom (remember the artfully-posed sewing machine?) and now the repository of all the still-packed boxes that didn't fit into the eaves. I'd obtained a quote from Richie, my lovely plumber/builder, on behalf of Dr D, and it set me thinking. Why not do it for me?

I've given myself till the beginning of October before taking action. If there has been no buyer interest by then, the boxes will be stored elsewhere, the large mahogany tallboy will be moved out, and a simple and pretty shower room will be created  with painted floor, tongue-and-groove panelling, and - oh joy! - a second loo on the same floor as my bedroom. No more flights of stairs to negotiate in the small hours en route to the bathroom, risking unpleasant encounters with unseen cat gifts.

I'm collecting ideas.....

I do love a painted floor, and painted T & G too. I had hesitated to sacrifice a bedroom in this way before, but every viewer has asked if there was only one loo/bathroom, and I'm encouraged to go ahead. That should stop me from brooding obsessively about the housing market until next Spring. Richie the plumber and the Lovely Son are on standby for winter work. But of course, should an offer come my way before then, well, the winter project will transfer smoothly to my next house.

Right, I'm off to do some banishing: the Slough of Despond, the grubby marks on light switches, the nose marks. Your views and opinions welcome, as always.


Val said...

I'm always delighted when I see that you've updated your blog and your post today had me in stitches, especially the "nose-mark graffiti". Having just finished building on a new bathroom to the house and renovating the old one, I admire your bravery in embarking on this new project, but it'll certainly keep you too busy to worry. I've found that chocolate and a glass or two of wine at the end of each builder-filled day helps the sanity.

Lucille said...

Go for it. I have never regretted the two enhanced facilities we've installed in houses ( a downstairs loo in one and a shower room in the present one).

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Envy .
I'd love another bathroom .
Ours is tiny , windowless and tiled all over . In fact , were this house not old enough to have started sagging at the knees , our bathroom might be described in an estate agent's brochure as a Wet Room .And I don't think there's enough space for tonge and grooving , given that it would eat up an inch all round .
Your house will be even more desirable the minute you've done it . In fact , no sooner than the plumber's gone , someone will snap it up . If not before !

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Oh , I should have signed that comment , Smitonius' house being a spacious and attractive dwelling in every way , unlike mine .
Sonata .

jabblog said...

It's fun planning alterations. I know an excellent plumber and bathroom fitter - trouble is, he lives in Dorset. Good luck with your plans.

Anonymous said...

I think adding a bathroom is a good idea - these days people want more than one - how did we manage growing up!! Our last house had a bathroom, two ensuite shower rooms and a downstairs loo - my Dad was somewhat benused when he first saw the house ..... five loos for three people!! (The people who bought the house put in yet another shower room ....)

elizabethm said...

I love your systematic putting aside the temptations of the Slough of Despond. You are a star. I love tongue and groove too. Would look fab. Sounds to me like you win either way!

the veg artist said...

We only have one bathroom with bath and shower over, but we do, thankfully, have a second loo and handbasin, in a utility room by the kitchen, garage and back doors. I am fond of refering to it as the "gardener's loo"! Very handy, as we can pop in with welly boots on!

We also have nose marks galore - on windows and on the low panes in glass-panelled doors. All down to Rupert, those.

Light switches? Do you go looking for work?

Von said...

Sounds good to me!

Rattling On said...

've almost finished renovating our second bathroom, but we said that last summer as well...
Beware dried up superglue. I once poked a pin into a bunged up tube, obviously while peering at it very closely. On yanking out the pin a stream of glue flew upwards and glued my eyelids together, and the fingers of the hand I automatically raised as protection. A very strange period ensued of greasing the eye and waiting for the glue to drop off. Fortunately it was just the one eye.

Lesley said...

Doggie snot on the windows in the scurge of my existence. they love watching the world go by and shouting their opinions to passersby but why do they have to smear wet nose snot all over the window?? I can look out of it without touching, why can't they??

Good luck with the projects, great and small.

Lesley x

Hazel said...

We have two distinct parallel lines of nose-mark grafitti here which correspond to 'cottage loaf cat looking out of window' and 'instrutable buttoned-up egyptian cat looking out of window'.

You have reminded me that I must clean these off when I have a mo. But I have now cleaned all the lightswitches in the house on the strength of this posy

Sue said...

Sounds like a very good list. You can't beat a bit of positive thinking.

Marcheline said...


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Caro said...

I found you on a google search for tongue and grooving bathrooms - you never know where you reach out on the internet. How ever I too am house hunting and going to have a tongue and groove bathroom and I loved your picture especially the curtain in the corner - never thought of that. Second loo vital as one reaches "that" age enabling stumbling to loo and back to bed without really waking up.

Sunny days

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