The paint job

It’s done, finally.

For such a small amount of paint, it was an amazing amount of work. You look at one wall and think “yeah, couple of hours’ll see it right”. Wrong. You sand, and fill, and sand again. You mask, and undercoat and prime. You cut in (oh, that one’s endless!), and then, finally, you get to paint. And then you remove the masking tape and the dust sheets and clean up and put everything back. Now you’re done. Thing is, it was a wall with the loo, vanity, mirror, power points and bath with shower over. You have to cut in around all that stuff, some of which requires grovelling on the floor, lying on your side trying to squeeze yourself between the wall and the pedestal of the loo so you can reach the wall at the back and work around the waste pipe.

I have to say, though, that I’m pleased with the result. Here are the befores and afters so you can see for yourself the difference it has made.

I didn’t spill anything, or drop paint on surfaces where it couldn’t easily be removed, or fall off the stepladder or side of the bath. I cut in nicely, masked the dark brown metal of the mirror frame properly so there are no stray bits on the glass, and the tiles have gone from an unpleasing liver brown to a more pleasing sand-colour to match the walls. The drippy bits have blended in nicely with the textured tile surface too 😉

I’ve got plans for the floor. I have a jelly roll of aqua/white/ coral print strips with which I’m going to make a mat for the floor, in the style of those oval braided rag rugs you see. Only mine won’t be braided. I have a pattern booklet for it (shock horror, I don’t do patterns normally), which I saw in my LQS, and thought it looked just the thing for the bathroom floor. If it works well, I’ll post about it and tell you what the pattern is. If it doesn’t, I’ll let it die an anonymous and silent death and pretend it never happened!

Time to get on with mending more of the Husband’s work pants, which are suffering from excessive rear ventilation…



A snowball’s chance…

I’d thought about doing some sewing today.

Well, there was about as much chance of that as the proverbial snowball in hell. It’s the bathroom, you see. About a year ago, we replaced the cistern on the loo, which was old, huge, cracked, leaky and frankly, grim. New cisterns are smaller, neater and generally more unobtrusive. But this leaves large holes in the wall where the original screws held the old cistern on (as well as evidence of several tries to hang the thing on the part of the previous owners), and an unattractive (to put it mildly) patch of garish turquoise paint in an otherwise pleasing expanse of pale sand coloured wall. Finally, I’d had enough of looking at it, although to be fair, I looked at it a lot less than the Husband, if you take my meaning…

The artificial light doesn’t sufficiently capture how very, very turquoise that patch of wall really is. Mind you, my pale sand doesn’t look too flash, either!

My sister and her husband are coming to stay for a few days in 10 days’ time. This provided the spur. I filled and sanded the holes. Then I saw the ceiling was getting a bit flaky and mildewy. Then I saw the tiles over the vanity needed re-grouting, and they were, as another relic of the previous owners, deeply nasty in colour, so a spot of tile paint on them wouldn’t hurt. Then I thought I might as well paint that whole wall. Oh, and why not the ceiling while I was at it? The inside of the bathroom door and the door of the linen cupboard could use a coat of paint too. Well, you get the idea. What was originally going to be a little bit of a touch-up has turned into a major exercise. It’s going to look good, but there’s a fair old bit of work.

Why anyone would voluntarily put up tiles like this is a mystery to me. Sorry if you have these and adore them, but brown fake water splatters… really?

This morning, I scrubbed and de-mildewed the ceiling, got all the flaky ceiling paint off, and washed down the walls. A bit purple-faced from all that overhead activity and goat-like frisking up and down stepladders, I was having a small breather when the Dowager called, sounding like she wanted some company. The Husband wanted to go into town for all sorts of caravan-related errands, so I gratefully reluctantly downed tools and we took her out for lunch followed by the errands. Three hours later, we got home and I had to accept that bathroom redecorating activity had ended for the day. It’s the Husband’s own fault that he will be abluting in a bare, echoing cell tonight instead of a cosy bathroom.

He tempted me, and I fell…..

F²F³: FootSquare Freestyle season 3


By popular demand, F2F is back! I took a year out to work on other things, but I, and others, have missed the fun of working on this block swap, so it’s back – 9 members and 9 months of fun, starting tomorrow.

If you haven’t come across it before, FootSquare Freestyle is exactly what it says: foot-square (12 inch) blocks in any style. Everyone in the group make three each month and send them to that month’s  lucky member.  We all end with 3 blocks from each of the others, and make three of our own. The only common element is the colour scheme; members get to choose up to 3 colours for their month, and then sit back and wait to see what everyone else makes for them!  There’s no mandatory fabric or pattern, and each member takes it in turn to be the beneficiary of…

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Miss Scarlett stretches her legs

We’re safely home, in one piece and tidied away already.

I was looking back and trying to work out when we’d last done a big trip like this, and was horrified to discover that the last long ride we did was back in October 2016, when we went up to Far North Queensland. Since that time there’s been knee surgery and the purchase of our caravan, both of which have tended to reduce the long distance motorbike travel. We did go to last year’s national rally, a much longer journey, but towed Miss Scarlett on a trailer behind the car rather than riding down.

Neither of us is getting any younger, a fact underlined by our ambitious travel program. The 500+km trip down took longer than we’d hoped, and we started late (the Husband was on night shift and got home at 5.30am, so we didn’t start out till 10.30am). The last hour of the journey was done in the chilly dark, with both of us vigilantly scanning the roadside left and right for the guided missiles also known as kangaroos. It’s a bike rider’s worst nightmare, a large kangaroo appearing out of the darkness and deciding that this precise moment is the one when he wants to cross the road. We were spared, but cold, tired and a bit tense by the time we arrived!

Our accommodation was the nice old 1920s colonial-style Albert Hotel in Monto, with the pub downstairs and the rooms upstairs, off a deep, shady verandah. State of the art it was not, but it did have heaps of comfort, period features, a large bedroom next to the bathroom, and really good plain home cooking. Up briskly the next morning, and another 250km ride to catch up with our club friends.

I think the smiling faces say it all, really…

Out the front of the Goomeri Bakery (which richly deserves its outstanding reputation!), the bikes were all lined up, and once the cakes and pies were eaten, and the coffees were drunk, we gathered in the sunshine to admire, tell tales, commiserate and do a spot of gentle bike-bragging. It’s such fun to gather with a nice bunch of people with similar interests and absolutely no axe to grind. As you can see, the weather smiled on us – in fact, it smiled the whole trip.

We didn’t make the mistake of starting late on the journey home. We’d come back to the Albert for a second night, and this time, we set out 3 hours earlier. Despite taking a slightly longer (and possibly less roo-prone) route, we were home before dusk. The trick, I find, is to stop frequently for a short time. It wasn’t the back or the knees that were giving me trouble, but lack of blood flow to my backside!

Kms covered: 1700+. Satisfaction rating: 8/10 (we’ll get the timing right next time!)

SAL 61: another few stitches

I wasn’t sure I’d actually get any stitching done this time.

Second post of the day, I know, but both ScrapHappy and this Stitch Along fell on the same day, so I had to get both done! Here’s the usual before shot:

Last time’s blurry photo…

And now for where I’ve got to. Not spectacular but at the same time, not too bad – at least you can see where I’ve been:

Do go and have a look at what the others in the group are working on. We’re all over the world and in different time zones, so if you don’t see a SAL post yet, pop back later.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnn, JessSue,
CindyHelenStephLinda, Mary Margaret, Heidi,
Connie, Jackie, Sunny, HayleyTony, Megan and Timothy

The next SAL is due on 6 May, so I’ll see you then.


I used to like irises…

But now I’m not so sure.

‘Ex’ Tropical Cyclone Iris is no longer an Ex. She got her big old self organised again, and she’s coming to visit.

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Luckily, she’s just going to hang around like a bad smell, rather than making landfall and rampaging around like our old friend TC Debbie. It means strong wind, lashing rain and a certain amount of flooding, but not the widespread destruction and potential loss of life of a cyclone that hits the coast.

And the timing?

Wednesday late afternoon for the worst of it. Just as I’m lurching out of hospital on a pair of crutches.

You’ve got to wonder at the Universe’s sense of humour…


It’s surgery season again.

A month ago, while we were on holiday, I slid down out of the car and landed rather hard on my left leg. There was a sting of pain through the joint, and that was it…until that evening, when I looked at my knee again and it was a football. It got stiff and painful, and I strapped it as I’d been taught to do for my eternally wonky, non-tracking kneecaps. Only this time, it didn’t get better in the usual 3 0r 4 days. After a week, I went to a doctor. I explained what had happened, he wiggled my leg and the knee obligingly produced some gross clunking and grinding noises. Yup, that definitely doesn’t sound right. Here are some nice anti-inflammatories, you’ll need an MRI.

Once home, I saw an orthopaedic specialist, had the MRI. O happy day. I have comprehensively torn the meniscus at the back right hand side of my knee. The cartilage on the back of my kneecap is ragged and fluffy and there are floaty bits. Who knew getting out of the car could be so dangerous?

That thin white line in the meniscus is the tear, which runs all the way across

So, I’ve been in a knee brace for a month, the kind with metal bars down either side of the knee to stop it wonking sideways. I’ve been taking the Brufen religiously, but now, I’ve had to stop because surgery’s in 7 days, so the knee’s a football again. It’s going to be an arthroscopy: two small holes, one for a camera, one for the tools. They pump water into the joint space to expand everything, stitch the tear together, trim off the raggedy bits, remove the floaters, drain the water and close you up again.

Then the fun starts. 3-5 days on crutches, 2 weeks of restricted movement and probably no driving (gasp!), and then about a month of physio. It does very slightly increase the likelihood of arthritis in that knee. But I’m wagering real pain now against possible pain in the future, and I think it’s a good bargain. If the net result is a working and non-painful knee, I’m all for it.

The only question is, how long will it take me to get back behind the sewing machine?