Has cleaning my wood floorboards ruined my life?
Not really, but in a way.
(warning – contains nasty gross icky stuff)
Shopping your way to happiness
A few days ago, I read an article in the Guardian entitled, “Can you shop your way to happiness?” knowing what the answer would be, but intrigued as to what insight the writer would bring to such a seemingly obvious question.
It introduced me to the Diderot Effect, inspired by Denis Diderot’s 1769 essay “Regrets For My Old Dressing Gown”, the highlights of which I shared with Lord Balders, amidst loads of cackling. You see, I get it. I could pick any improvement I’ve made in my new home, but the latest fits best – I finally painted my bathroom floor.
|Finally! Clean white floorboards!|
So why has having the clean, brilliant white floor I’ve been looking forward to for almost three months ruined my life?
Well, now that the floor looks good, everything else in the bathroom looks like crap. Now, I have to paint the walls, strip the skirting boards and replace them, replace the toilet (because it’s just too bad to keep), strip the paint on the pipes under the sink and fix the hot tap (because we can’t afford to replace that yet), tile the area over the bath, get an electrician to sort out our lights, plaster the ceiling, and replace the air vents. And I have to do it now.
|Vigorous appliction of primer leads to the death of the roller sleeve. This sums up how I felt that day as well.|
Before, it was all generally dreadful. Now, all the grotty skirting boards, the disgusting hollow door, the peeling paint (and attendant layers of grime) on the walls and pipes are thrown into extremely sharp relief. Before, it was all part of the general to-do list; now, it’s a poke in the eye.
|Sanding the beast after several treatments with hydrogen peroxide and caustic soda.|
Although the room looks just as dreadful to my eyes, I’m glad it’s seen some progress. I’ve been fighting an epic battle with this floor since July, and it’s kicked my butt a fair bit.
Nothing tells you you’re finally a grown-up like looking around for someone to do the nasty jobs and realising you’re it. Lord Balders wouldn’t even go into the bathroom after we got the keys. It was all down to me.
I jumped straight in, bleaching and scrubbing all of the sanitary ware, and then came the wallpaper stripping. Then, in the midst of the wallpaper removal, I started my assault on the floor, finally armed with a large jug of hydrogen peroxide.
I soaked the floor and covered it in rags to absorb the muck, just like the internet told me to. But this one didn’t just roll over and give in – it fought back. It took repeat applications and then, desperate measures in the form of caustic soda as well. Then I sanded it.
Its true, I had hoped for squeaky clean, polished pine boards, but that wasn’t going to happen, no matter what I did. They’re battered. I had to compromise and paint them, but I’m still happy.
Or at least, since my new clean floor has given me more work that needs to be done immediately, I’m happy to be miserable.