Category Archives: DIM

Glowing

I’m not a fan of drilling. Not in the dentist sense… I have no fear of dentists since I inherited the sort of teeth that confound them. ‘Oh ho ho, you haven’t been for two years? Well we may have some work to do’ is where they usually start. Then they quickly stop rubbing their hands in greedy glee and start scratching their heads, astonished that I have never had a filling and don’t yet need one. No, the drills that disturb me are the sort required for putting up shelves, and rails, and pictures. Decorating is one thing, but drilling? All of that marking a straight line and getting out the spirit level makes me much more nervous than the words ‘now open wide’. I’m always convinced I’m going to make a mess of it, and either wreck the wall or be forever irritated by the crookedness of my handiwork.

So I have been putting off the rather fiddly task of removing some shelves from a built-in cupboard, in order to turn the space into a much needed wardrobe. Even though my clothes have been in the study, even though I have been certain that my plan will work, I have been trying to think of ways to leave the shelves and live with my clothes somewhere else. But last weekend it was raining, the word ‘rail!’ was at the top of my ‘to do’ list, and my ‘across the balcony’ neighbour Mark who spends weekends building all sorts of stuff, pooh-poohed my anxiety about the drill and said ‘just think about the glow of achievement’ when you’ve finished it.

And off I went. I emptied the cupboard (I should have taken a before picture of that; it was rather overflowing), I took out all the shelves, I got the funny little tube-cutter out and trimmed the rail I’d bought to the right length, I went to the building supplies shop and bought new screws and rawl plugs, I marked up the wall for the rail fixings and then I borrowed my neighbour’s drill. Perhaps because I had the right screws, and rawl plugs, perhaps because I’d taken the time to make sure the rail and its fixings would fit…whatever the reason, the drilling was noisy but painless. It worked! The plugs and screws fitted, the rail and its fixings went in and ta-dah, the cupboard was transformed.

Well, not quite. There was the small matter of the filthy paint which I should have dealt with a) before the floor went in and b) before the rail went in. You can see it in close up here…

But, on a wave of enthusiasm, I simply masked off the rail and floor with tape and dustsheets and clunched the wall. Hey presto…

Tonight, I took all the tape off, removed the dust sheet, hoovered the floorboards and, hurrah, installed my clothes.


I know it might not seem much but oh the satisfaction. Not only getting it done but getting it off the list and using it! Mark was right; I am positively glowing at my own self-sufficiency. I may even have to go and buy my own drill…

PS And yes, those disgusting over-varnished eighties doors will be removed at the earliest opportunity but, despite this drill success, I am sensible enough to leave carpentry to the professionals.

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A Room of My Own

I have finally finished decorating my bedroom! Or rather I have finally finished the parts that I can do anything about. Except for the blind/curtains. And the wardrobe rail. And putting up some pictures. Okay, I have finally finished the big jobs…

It has been a long haul, mainly because my bedroom is an awkward loft space full of triangles, brick walls and corners and it not only took me ages to choose anything, like the ceiling paint (which, just to confuse you, is also wall paint)…

and the type of floor…

(one on the left? one on the right? I went for the one on the right) but also having fallen ill on the long weekend I was supposed to do all the work, I have since been squeezing in each job between work and prep for my interview with the UN. But it was worth it. Instead of primrose yellow walls and a filthy once-white ceiling (the picture below shows the room just after I moved in)

I have a rather sophisticated palette of dark grey and a sort of linen colour (called Clunch, I love that name).

And instead of a carpet so grubby that even the carpet cleaner told me to replace it not clean it…

I have ‘antique oak’ floorboards…

…they’re far from antique, but still! And, to crown it all, instead of a rather tired old duvet (I decided that 16 years of service was enough for any quilt, but particularly an IKEA one) I bought a new one, along with some rather spiffy white cotton linen.

Oh it was such bliss going to bed last night. I forgot all about the fact that the floor fitters took off several bed-legs worth of newly applied paint whilst manoeuvring the boards into place. And that applying emulsion to brick offers almost as much, or rather as little pleasure as doing a multiple-choice exam (all those little holes to fill in). Or even that I still had nowhere to put my clothes. No, as I sank into the White Company’s finest, I felt that, nine, no ten, months in, I’d made my room my own. It’s not perfect. But it is mine.

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