A day of stuff

My advice is look away now if you’re not interested in reading the litany of DIY / Gardening activities that made up our weekend.  I’ll even put a cut in for you so you don’t accidentally see boring photo’s of flowers, painted walls, borders and coat hooks.

I’ve only owned two homes.  One in Stockton on Tees for about a year, during which we basically did nothing with the house, let the garden turn into a complete jungle and only really made an effort after we had moved out.  In two subsequent rented properties it was similar, the first of course had no garden, and we couldn’t really do anything to the insides of either place.  The second had quite a nice garden that we really just let go to ruin.  In this house, we’re slowly getting more involved in both the garden (thanks mainly to efforts from Grete) and the upkeep of the property.  We both felt a huge sense of guilt about letting the decking rot, until we realised a week or so ago that since it was ordinary timber, any treatment we could have done to the top wouldn’t have stopped it rotting out from the bottom or from the posts anyway eventually.  We’ve asked a guy for a quote to remove the current deck and put a new one in, we’ll see what he comes up with.

But I digress.  We’ve had a few weekends now of taking care of things and sorting stuff out and we’re both feeling quite pleased with ourselves.  The front garden looks a hundred times better despite the currently small plants.  They’ve sprouted flowers and look like they’re not dying yet so fingers crossed.

Front FlowersFlowers!

Grete’s been working like a demon in the back garden as well, and I’ve helped out dragging bags of woodchip around.  2/3rds of the left side of the garden now has a border.  Today we got all the rest of the wood from the tree pruning to the refuse centre for recycling (and the iPhone proved very handy getting us there), and we’ve started making a dent in the wood from a bush we cut down er, either last year or maybe longer ago.  The deck has been rotting for a long time and the stairs weren’t safe, but the cats were fine getting up and down them (being so light).  However, we had a guy come to give us a quote and he decided to use the stairs to get onto the deck, despite being told they weren’t safe – so now they’re gone.

New BorderDisaster Decking

On Saturday we finally took the plunge and painted the inside of the front porch – since it no longer smells like rotten wood after we got the door replaced.  We’d finished up filling all the holes in the walls the weekend before and the stuff was all dry.  We’d had the white paint for about 2 years, since we got the new door (which I think is two years ago), so you know, it was finally time!  We have an image of using the porch to hold coats and shoes, not sure if we’ll ever actually use the door.  We wanted to fill as many holes and make it as dry as possible.  The white paint looks pretty good on the walls and we used some black masonry paint on the bottom two rows of bricks to touch up what was already there.  We’re pleased with how it looks, very clean and bright.  I managed to put the coat hook thing up with very little trouble which was pleasing, I’m still not confident about making holes and getting screws to stay in.  Sorry about the boring photo’s, blame Tracey 😉  The photo with the black brickwork shows how much rubbish we’ve dumped back in the porch for now, but hopefully it’ll be empty soon!

Coat HooksBrickwork

Final picture, here’s some apple tree blossom being visited by a bee, outside our kitchen window.  The bee was being pretty unreasonable during this photo shoot and refused to stay in one place, so it’s a little blurry!

The Bee!

So, DIY / House / Garden things done this weekend,

  • Painted porch
  • Painted exterior stonework above front door
  • Got all the wood from the tree pruning recycled
  • Started moving the wood from the bush, half in the bin now
  • 2/3rds of the border turned over and covered
  • Light switch replaced in dining room (dimmer has gone, same job as the lounge)
  • Plant food put around the plants in the front garden

Here’s a list of stuff that got highlighted as being needed while doing the above,

  • Cracked the light switch facing putting the screw in too right, buy new one
  • Touch up a couple of bits of white paint where it’s dried oddly
  • Buy a shoe rack
  • Buy a spade so we can dig up the roots for the bush we chopped down which is coming back
  • Sort the rest of the bush-wood, and make room so Grete can finish the border
  • Get carpet for the front porch

Stuff that’s been on our list for ages and we know needs doing,

  • Fill the huge hole in the wall / woodwork by Grete’s desk caused by the water ingress we had a few years back
  • Sort the exterior woodwork (ground floor for now)
  • Sort the decking (either replace if the quote is okay, or just get rid of the current one and deal with it)
  • Decide what to do with the patch of grass around the sheds
  • Sort the stone slab outside the small shed so the door opens without pulling the hinges off

Let’s hope the weather holds.  My dream, is to be able to invite folk over for BBQ and sit on a nice deck and eat some food, without fearing we’re all going to fall through and injure ourselves.