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  • Writer's pictureLara

Week two ~ Noddy's Bloody Bells

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

We have continued to find odd things buried in the undergrowth this week as we (Ian) got on top of the nettles that had invaded the garden from the woods next door. We filled the second skip.

On Sunday evening we took a walk around the neighbourhood following a path one of our new neighbours had recommended, which took us past the church, through the wood, across the fields and back through the local farm. It was a good reminder why we moved here. Although I was slightly perturbed to find myself walking within three feet of some cows, who I thought were safely in their shed!

While Ian was enjoying himself with the strimming and chain sawing, and the ride-on lawnmower,(and less so with the ongoing Sky Broadband Saga) I gave in to my inner ‘Kim and Aggie’ and took to the mouldy windows with lots of sugar soap and a scrubbing brush. I was slightly disconcerted by the chunks of wood coming out as I scrubbed. I think the mould might have been the only thing holding in the panes of glass. Two of them are going to be replaced in the next few weeks but the others we have to live with until the extension is completed.

We bought Scatterbrook Cottage with the intention of changing the downstairs layout. That means a single story extension going across the back of the house to create one living and dining space which will be open to the existing kitchen. We know that this won’t physically happen until next spring so in the meantime we need to make the house as liveable as possible.

We wouldn’t have considered anything that involved us sleeping in a caravan for months on end, and on the whole it’s warm, dry and has hot and cold running water (some of it actually runs on the windows, by hey).

This week that meant painting the existing dining room, so dark it was depressing just to go into, let alone sit and eat in. I bought 20 litres of white emulsion just to brighten it up, but unfortunately it wasn’t as simple as that. The existing paint was soft sheen, which meant the new paint just moved around on top of it. I had to sand the walls (thank goodness for electric sanders) *and* wash them with sugar soap just to get a good enough surface to paint over. It took five coats to cover it in the end, and even then, it wasn’t my greatest work.

By Wednesday I felt like Adrian Mole, who over the course of five days, applies coat after coat of black vinyl silk-finish paint, and was still not able to conceal the Noddy wallpaper beneath.

"Went over hat bells with black felt-tip pen, did sixty-nine tonight, only a hundred and twenty-four to go."

Finally we (Ian) removed the hideous 1980s glass light fitting and we were able to put up some art work and our copper mirror that had been a feature of the kitchen in our previous home. None of this is permanent, the art work and mirror will end up in the new extension eventually, but it felt so good to have somewhere nice to eat. The carpet is still grim but I’m getting that cleaned very soon, and eventually, like the dreaded artex, it will be 'dealt with'.

I also treated the downstairs loo to a quick once over. It was already (badly) painted white and grey, fortunately I still had some grey paint left from the last downstairs loo make over I did, so it was a really quick job to freshen it up. It honestly can't have been done that long ago but it's been done with such lack of care - the tile border isn't straight, there was grout stuck to the (lovely) floor where it had fallen and been left, the window is completely rotten and don't get me started on the bloody great pipe. The floor is the nicest thing about it. But it looks a lot fresher thank goodness. The toilet may also get axed with the extension but we're still toying with that idea.

The other main accomplishment of the week was getting the guest room sorted. It really just needed a bloody good clean (surprise!) and some new curtains putting up (it was a particular delight taking down the Venetian blinds that were in there) and it was ready for mum to come and stay, which was just as well really because Christmas was coming... Only 197 days late, but it was coming...

On Saturday we were all together for the first time since 25 December 2019. The weather wasn’t too unkind, we had plenty of room for two gazebos and the fire pit in the garden (we had planned this prior to Bojo The Clown changing everything again so we had originally hoped to all be inside). It was the best we could have wished for to end our second week in Scatterbrook Cottage. If only Sky could sort out the mess they’re making of the Broadband… still, you can’t have everything. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Merry Christmas!

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