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Tuesday, May 15

Labouring Efforts

I had plans for this weekend's labouring. After a late night in the office on Friday, I went to B&Q to buy timber. That's manly. I didn't buy wood. I bought timber. TIM-BAH! I also bought my first ever big sheet of plaster board. Oh yeah. And I bought a saw and a set square. I was going to be manly with my timber and my saw. I had been reinvigorated by the previous weekend's labour at my friend's house, where I was shown the correct usage of the saw, and actually sawed through a fair bit of timber (TIM-BAH!).

I also bought a shower, some tiles, and some extractor fans from B&Q. I've nearly bought enough for my builder to install. The fact that I've not seen him in the last 9 or so days doesn't worry me too much. I had a date with a plasterer for Saturday, and the plastering is on the critical path of this whole project.

My shower screen, for the bath, was waiting for me in Homebase, so I went to get that.

Home, I did some more rubble creation - chipping plaster from the walls, and then set about using my timber and plaster board to board up the fireplace - a fireplace that I myself had unboarded in the first place. I built a timber frame for the purpose. I even had a small wooden subframe within it, that I could affix a vent to, so that it wouldn't get too damp in there or something. I'm not quite sure.

Anyway, I did a reasonable job of building and fitting the frame. I even cut the hole for the vent nicely and put the vent in nicely.

It was later that I reviewed the height of the vent from the ground and concluded that there was no room for the skirting board. D'oh! I'll be redoing that, then.

That was my friday night. I had achieved something, even if some of it might need to be redone a bit.

On Saturday, I continued the DIY, after a late wake-up. I had my roofing man coming to finish some stuff off and get the last of his payment in the afternoon. I also had my date with the plasterer. For some reason the impending plasterer visit made me go into my 1st floor spare room and pull off some of the ceiling tiles to see what the condition of the ceiling underneath is like. It's like... ceiling papered. So there'll be wallpaper stripping in there before I can get it replastered. It may not need particularly serious replastering, maybe just a wee patch. As in a small patch, not a patch where wee has come through the ceiling. That would be just plain wrong. Nobody should be weeing upstairs on the top floor. There's no toilet up there. I guess that's why it would be coming through the ceiling. Except it didn't, because it's not that sort of wee patch.

So I made a mess in a room I'm using. I really need to clear that room out, but when I do that, it will really come home to me how little space there is in the room I will have as my sole dominion when the house is rented. Maybe the smallest bedroom will become my study and I'll just reduce the number of tenants - that way madness lies. We'll see.

Getting back to the main task in hand, I think I chipped off the last piece of wall that I'm going to chip off. I'm not sure. Maybe I need to do another area. Advice is definitely required.

While I was doing my DIYage, I had one of my two new Michael Bublé CDs playing. I put it on a loop, rather than listen to the second one too soon. I wanted to savour the Bublé. He's good. It's just what Frank Sinatra would be doing now if he were MB's age. And not dead. But there's nothing wrong with seeing a well understood style done well. In fact, it's very enjoyable. Even if it may well be classed as "mum music".

The roofer and I chatted. We chatted about the bits of roof he hadn't quite finished. Then he finished them. Then we chatted about his work ethic. He got a bit descriptive about multi-culturalism, and it was at loggerheads with my more liberal-minded views. I would like to think that his opinion wasn't so much opposing as orthogonal. It wasn't racism. At least, not in the category of a recent London cab-driver I spoke with, whose attitude to immigration was to "line them up and shoot them". Extreme.

The plasterer never came.

I substituted for his absence by plaster boarding some lintels above windows. I first drove some spaxes into them to make sure they were well fixed. Then I attached the plasterboard. I like cutting plaster board. I like DIY. I'm just not very good at it.

Saturday night was an evening out. Saw Spiderman 3 (bollocks) and had some food. It was very pleasant.

On Sunday I was going to do some more DIY - maybe sort out that stupid vent error. In the end, I decided to do my ironing and continue watching Peep Show, which had kept me awake for an entire first series' worth of watching, Saturday night after I got home from the night out. So, 3 episodes of series 2 were enough to enable me to complete my ironing.

On Sunday night I had a gig, so the DIY ended there. I had achieved something over the weekend, except receiving the visitation of a plasterer. It's his 3rd attempt at standing me up. Or at least, it's his third standing-up of me, and I think it's going to have to be three strikes and you're out. Sigh. If only the stuff I chipped of the wall had been that easy.


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