Neighbours and Workmen

Well hello there.

You will all be thrilled to know, that the plasterer has been.

Quick update, the first room we have attempted to redecorate is the master bedroom. Clearly I’m a novice because I thought it could be done in 4 days. Two weeks later and here we are, with not a smudge of paint on the walls.

It’s been quite a busy two weeks – before we get to that though, let me give you a quick before shot of the room.

As you may well know, we are no longer living in the past so that hideous, battered, dado rail had to go, along with the Artex ceiling. There was also a built in wardrobe that my better (and stronger) half took to with a hammer, and which ended up in the skip. Finally that cornicing round the top of the room was quite frankly an eyesore so we decided to take that out too. So far so good right?


Firstly, I single handedly pulled the dado rail off with relish and managed to pull half the wall off too. Shock horror – there was no plaster underneath! Just the cardboard underside of bare plasterboard (hence why we needed a plasterer). Still undeterred, I went for the cornicing with nothing but a hammer and a wallpaper scraper.


My dear father, (DIY expert – Neapolitan style, like the ice cream – not just because he’s from Naples but also meaning you get three varieties in one tub: bad, terrible and “oh my good God, what has he done to this?”) had only gone and stuck the polystyrene cornicing to the ceiling and walls with some kind of extra strength glue situation. It took me 2 hours to get it off.

Finally there was wallpaper – but only on the top half of the wall because why not? THIS TOOK ME 4 DAYS TO REMOVE. The wallpaper steamer was beyond useless and just made the exposed plasterboard soggy. In the end it came to scoring it off, soaking it with a sponge and painstakingly peeling off millimetre by millimetre of what can only be described as some kind of cappuccino coloured nightmare.

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Enough of my woes, there were some good bits – particularly when I found some of my Dad’s writing on the wall, it was quite nice to have him pop up unexpectedly (is it just me or is handwriting a really personal thing?)

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But by far my favourite day was the day the plasterer came, because it transpired that I had in fact moved into a house on Coronation Street*. Having lived in London for 6 years, speaking to your neighbours is rare. Where I live now, we are one knicker factory away from the Rovers Return and a far fetched storyline. I half expected to see Ken Barlow strolling down the street to say hello.

So the plasterer was cracking on with a super job in the bedroom whilst I made many cups of tea.

Meanwhile the street was more lively than Notting Hill Carnival – I was out varnishing my new headboard (expect a post on this later), two houses down were also about decorating their house and offered us a beer at 2pm on a Thursday afternoon, our next door neighbours went out for milk and stopped for a 40 minute chat about anything and everything and a house down the street had a painter outside singing at the top of his voice.

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It was truly lovely, like proper Northerners all stood around over a cup of tea (or beer apparently) talking, sorry – complaining, about the weather. We felt very much at home.

As if we weren’t having a nice enough time, the neighbours on the other side of us had the carpet fitter in. We poached him for a quote – not only was it mega reasonable (here’s to living outside the M25) but he piled us all into his van to look at carpet samples, then we all marched upstairs to measure the room for carpets around the poor plasterer and had a lovely chat about it all. I do not think the plasterer was over enamoured with this turn of events, I think we might have been in his way a bit.

You may be thinking at this point, “Poor girl, what a dull dull life she leads, and why is she subjecting us to hearing about it?”

But I think it’s nice to know that human interaction is still very much a thing. I mean, honestly, I would rather poke myself in the eye than talk to someone on the tube but here – no it’s all different. It’s acceptable to talk to other people, I almost forgot that I could do it with such vigour.

Anyway, at least the plastering got done since I got nothing finished all day because of all the chit chat but if you don’t get the opportunity to justify your eating of your second, sorry – third, bacon sandwich of the day to a complete stranger you just met on your street, then you’re not having half as much fun as me.


Here is a final shot of the room, beautifully plastered.

Until next time




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