No longer impossible…

Well, definitely getting there on the kitchen front. The wall is up again, thanks to the (almost) tireless efforts of Martyn. Many, many lesser holes have been filled due to the equal tirelessness of Alex. Much wallpaper, excess filler and wayward paint has been tamed due to the skill and powertools of James. And I've been fussing and puttering and sanding and fine-filling and doing all kinds of less structural or electrical jobs round the edges. The schedule is tight, but does actually look attainable.

I'm very glad I stayed in Cambridge on Thursday night – that was the point at which the whole thing turned around and started going forwards again. Up until that point, it felt as if we were dismantling more than we were creating. All in a good cause, of course, but it all lengthens the project, and the deadline on this one is hard… But on Thursday, the first two sheets of plasterboard went back up, and didn't make too much of a fuss about it, either. (Or at least, Martyn didn't swear too much about it if they did!)

I had a lovely relaxing weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday at my parents' – wow, it's just occurred to me that I only actually spent one full day there. Felt like a much longer break than that!), and got back to the fun that is DIY for Bank Holiday Monday.

The main discovery at this stage was that the jointing tape they sell at Homebase is worse than useless. You're supposed to use this stuff to bridge the gap between two pieces of plasterboard – you skim the gap with joint filler, lay the tape over (soaked and all), then top with more filler. Well, Martyn did a really fantastic job with all this on Monday (aided greatly by his glamorous tape-assistant Alex), but by Tuesday morning, all the tape was curling under along its edges and pulling away from the wall. So we had to pull it off, sand down the filler and add more where necessary – what a waste of time and effort!

So that had to be re-done last night. We also bought the paint (which is a relief to have done!), some roller heads that won't stain the paint red or green, very wide masking tape, more electrical outlets and other assorted goodies. I am now resigned to the fact that the deadline on this is way too short to get the walls as lovely as they are in the living room, and in any case, the only way to do that would probably be to replace *all* the walls. So the rest of the evening was devoted to making the walls as flat as possible (apart from Martyn, who wired up a very swanky setup for the washer and dishwasher to be plugged into – circuit breaker {as spotted by J} above the worktop, plugs below), and actually *tidying* tools away. You wouldn't know it to look at the living room, but there's actually significantly less stuff in there than there was yesterday.

I have been up very early for the last two mornings, sanding and filling, sanding and filling. 6am yesterday, 7am today. And the nights have been getting later, too. All of which presumably explains why I have been rambling on for several paragraphs now about the same thing. Well, the end is definitely in sight, anyway. The proposed schedule is as follows:

  • Tonight: lightly sand all walls, hoover them, remove excess dust with damp cloth and prime (primer/sealer for plaster and plasterboard). This takes 18 hours to dry, so needs to be done on its very own evening.
  • Tomorrow: If we can manage it, *two* coats of paint. There's supposed to be 5 hours between coats, so this might not happen. We'll see.
  • Friday before work: Another coat of wall-paint, if not acheived the night before
  • Friday evening: Ceiling paint. We need to have washed the ceiling at some point before this, which is always fun. We're only expecting the ceiling to need one coat, though… Ruth and Roly are arriving on Friday, I think. I'm pretty sure they are, anyway… 😉
  • Saturday: The kitchen starts getting fitted. And I'm off dancing for the day, assuming I can still stand.
  • Sunday: More dancing. Kitchen finished apart from small details like painting woodwork, re-attaching the door, skirting boards and upstands (which I haven't ordered yet…). Curry. Sleep. Mmmmm… Sleeeeeeep….

So, think we'll make it? Heeee. Exciting again, now 🙂

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