I have, single handedly almost entirely packed the house up, well at least 7/8’s of it. Terry the Tank has been doing everything from pointing to painting and everything in-between. He is a tour de force and I am eternally grateful for his single-mindedness and work ethos. We are now living in the back room and using the bathroom and kitchen. We have dismantled the bed and are sleeping on the mattress, which we pack up daily. The dogs are in the unique position of having better sleeping arrangements than us and lie eying us with distain from their sleeping bench. We have been using the walls to clean excess paint off our brushes and rollers which gives the room the feel of a crack den!. The back room is the last of the rooms, excluding the kitchen that needs to be done. We’ve decided on putting in an Ikea kitchen; it seems mad to have done so much work and have the kitchen let the house down. Ikea will allow us to give the room a wow factor without breaking the bank. Well actually it will leave us penniless!
This temporary sleeping arrangement has allowed us to empty the front room, where we were previously camped but in our bed, to paint, sand, varnish and put up new venetian blinds. Which is what we did all day yesterday The tiles in the fireplace are not best but there is a limit to what we can do and they are the original tiles. What I forgot to say is that just before we had finished the first sanding of the floor with the rented sander (£150 for the weekend!) it broke down and we had to finish the room with the edger and our own sanding tools. I have the job of returning the broken dinosaur this morning and asking to have it next weekend in lieu of this useless weekend.
The bedrooms upstairs have all been decorated and when they are emptied of the boxes that hold the physical representations of our daily lives they will be carpeted. The bathroom has had a total makeover and been extended to include a floor to ceiling storage cupboard. The sanded down wood in the hallway, stairs and landing has been oiled with boiled linseed oil to avoid the shine that floors have to have for durability. Terry repaired the wooden “bed” that holds the bannister in upstairs; it had been messed around with so many times and repaired badly and was letting the whole landing down.
The new toilet under the stairs is bijoux but smart. I am charged with going to the stained glass shop in Portsmouth with a template of the broken glass in the front door. When that is painted, the small glass pane fixed and the beautiful original tiled floor is treated to it’s annual polish the house to that point should be looking lovely. Bugger I’ve just noticed that we need to patch up the wall! Brutus with his enormous paws tried to greet the cat through the rails and scratched the wall.
Drew my younger brother has kindly offered us one of his bedrooms to store our boxes so we can start carpeting the upstairs and stairs. We looked into self storage and despite very tempting advertising deals the reality is not cheap. We still have no movement from Amalia on her things. Her room contains a third, in volume, of what Terry and I have for a whole household. Given that she hasn’t secured accommodation for University yet and her current temporary accommodation ends on the 9th we are worried.
Danielle has finished, for the moment, with education. She did really well in the A levels but has decided that any more education is surplus to requirements. With University coming in at 9K a year in debt I understand better than most. As my work sector I see far too many young people saddling themselves with University debt on the dreams and wishes of parents. Alfie is due to return to his studies and that means they will continue their relationship on a long distance basis. James is still with Keata in Athens and the pictures from Facebook show them thoroughly enjoying their time. Pappou, James’s much loved Greek Grandad is now nearing 90 and with a degree of dementia. I’m sure he appreciates James’s company and help. Both he and Keata work in the care industry so they are the best people for the job.
William, my little treasure, is off to big boys school this week. My Mum and I took him to get his winter coat, school uniform and bags. Nandi (great grandma) managed a coup by securing the much sought after Spiderman schoolbag. She and my Dad, Grandi have done William proud. I took him to Monkey Biznezz as a treat and was informed that he didn’t want to play with the other kids, he wanted Grandma to play with him. The trouble with being a midget compared to the rest of the family has imbued in William the belief that I am a kid too! I clambered through torturously tiny holes in unforgiving plastic tunnels and on various swings, climbing and sliding equipment. When we returned to the house for a much needed bacon and sausage sandwich in front of the TV my suspicions were realised when an advert for a childs toy came on and he cocked his adorable cherubic face to one side and smiled a heart melting smile saying “Grandma do you want that for your birthday and we can play it together?” I try desperately not to think about when we are in Bulgaria because it makes my heart ache. I really am hoping that the thought of coming to our home in Bulgaria, once it’s revamped, will entice both James and Keata and Paris and Jack so I get to see William more often.
Linda my Bulgarian penpal has been sadly neglected this week as have Claire, Camilla and Zarah my much loved friends. We are chasing our dream as hard as we can and getting this house moving. So apologies to you lovely women, I shall be back on track as soon as I can!