Two Month DIY Challenge

My two month DIY challenge.

There’s no way of getting around it. I’ve got to part with quite a lot of money quite soon. Last year I wrote about my ‘presentation anxiety’ – how I started to get seriously uptight about letting people see my house, as if they were going to be not-so-secretly assessing how I’d failed to get it up to glossy magazine-standard. Oddly enough, a friend popped over today just to see how the house was coming along, which hasn’t happened since I wrote that. I didn’t lose it.

It did help that I’d spent some time actually cleaning the house for change, and that we have several rooms finished-ish. They’re good enough to live comfortably in, with smaller jobs that we can leave until the rest of the major work is done.


However… my state of relaxation is about to come to an end, because of some good news and some bad news:


Good news – my mother is coming to visit!


Bad news – Lord Balders’ mother-in-law is coming to visit!


Ah, just kidding, they get along just fine. (Sorry, mum!) She’ll never read this anyway. (Sorry again if you’re reading this, mum.)


Time to panic!

So my mum and stepdad, whom I shall refer to as Mrs and Mr Nel, will be flying over from Boston, USA to stay with us for two weeks in June. As overjoyed as I am to see my mum after two and a half years apart, I can’t help but scream inside my head: MUST FINISH BATHROOM!


Now, my mum won’t assess how I’ve failed to get my house up to magazine-standard, not even secretly. She’s a goodun. She’d actually get stuck in to a DIY job with me. I just don’t want her to have to. The truth is, my bathroom really, really embarrasses me. It was the one room in the house that I wanted to do straight away, but this thing that people keep going on about in marriages happened – compromise, they call it – and I didn’t get my own way. (Quiet seething behind the scenes.) Now, I’ve managed to go many, many more months than I’d ever expected I could with the grotty bathroom we inherited, but that doesn’t mean I want my mum and stepdad to see it. Nope. It has to go.


But wait, there’s more!


Last year, we had to put up a new fence on the eastern boundary of our garden. We spent ages doing it before we even moved in, and learned that there’s one thing as boring as watching paint dry: watching concrete set. Still, the fence went up, and we went about the business of the rest of the house. Fast forward to the winter, and we both learned new heights of terror whilst watching our glorious fence get buffeted by the most fearsome winds imaginable. Most of it stood firm, but two panels started to wobble in a seriously un-fence-like fashion. We could suddenly see how easily the previous fence had blown down.


We just couldn’t do it again, not then. It was the wrong time of year, it was going to be too expensive, and we needed a quick fix to stop pedestrians being crushed by our flying fence panels, so we made a temporary fix, anchoring the posts and panels with rope. It did the job, but Lord Balders decided we weren’t going to take any chances whatsoever, so now we have a network of bungee cords crisscrossing the width of our garden.


So at the moment, our garden is great for limbo practise, but not so great for traversing at any speed or whilst remaining upright. Inconvenient.


Therefore, the fence has to be fixed, and preferably before Mr & Mrs Nel get here. I don’t want them thinking that they have to help with that whopper of a job, not on their vacation.


Well, it looks like we’re going to be spending a whole lot of time at B & Q again. We’ve been getting all of our skirting boards and architrave there, on top of all the rest of the diy and decorating bits that we’ve been using all around the house since last year. We actually bought their Valspar paint for the bathroom last July. Yes, I bought the paint nine months ago and haven’t used it! Don’t judge me!

If I focus on this bit, doesn’t my architrave look perfect?


This time, though, I’m going to keep a record of what we do and what we buy. I hope it makes us make that final push towards actually finishing the house, so I can let everyone nose around without fear. We want to have a huge kids’ party for Little Balders and his mates whilst his granny’s over to babysit visit. Wish me well and let’s hope I can bring the Balders Manor up to scratch in time for the big unveiling!

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