Posts Tagged ‘decorating’

On… Failure

So you find me, dishevelled, sweaty and grubby at the tail of end of what should have been a fulfilling weekend.

Instead, I feel thoroughly worthless, useless and pathetic.

I have, it would be fair to say, failed in my task to board the available floor space on the loft. I have failed in adding extra insulation (the broken insulation boards scattered around the loft are proof of that). And I knew from the get-go that doing even simple tasks like moving a light switch would be beyond me.

I have, however, screwed boards that barely Tongue and Groove. I have cut huge holes to go round beams where my measuring skills deserted me. I have left unfinished edges and awkward gaps after blunting 2 jigsaw blades and not understanding how to cut the loft boards any differently.

Failure sits heavy on the shoulders, and makes the world seem so bleak. I’m sure I’ll get over it, but how to prevent it in future?

One answer is to never try, to just get someone else to do it. That seems sad and a loss of learning opportunities. Then again, have I learnt anything? Other than that I am incompetent, that my abilities don’t even come close to the things I want to do.

This weekend, I wanted to relax, and to paint and get a sense of personal satisfaction after a couple of tough weeks at work.

Instead I am exhausted, I have wasted time, money and effort on achieving nothing. And now, I move into another week at work feeling more pathetic and pointless and stressed than I have done in a long, long time.

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the “Spare Oom” pt. 2

I promised an update on the adventures in de-junking my life, and here it is. With pictures!

To recap, we had let our spare room fill with 3 years of the detritus that gets swept along with this tide called ‘life’. We even had some boxes we’d never unpacked…(*)

This is some of what we’re talking about here:

Part of the shame More shame...

Day 1

Taking a deep breath, and armed only with a giant mug of tea (brewed strong, 2 sugars, worker tea), we ventured in…

Clearing some floor space, the first task was to move mattress no.2 and the 6’x4′ MDF boards. We shall call this epoch “the breaking of the seals”:

Avalanche!

With no way out of the room, and only a tide of shame before us, we had no option but to press on. After around 2 hours’ work, we had cleared sufficient floor space that Verity was able to leave, returning with ham rolls. And more tea.

After 3 more hours, and with the light fading fast, we retreated to set up base camp, and review the days’ progress. We had achieved much, but at what cost? The upstairs landing had suffered badly:

spread 'em!

Day2

As light broke, we returned to where we had left the night before. Dejected, tired and cold, the odds against us seemed insurmountable.

And then, when all hope was gone, salvation!

The dazzling beauty

With renewed vigour, we set about tidying and sorting.

Oh how we tidied! We sorted like the wind. We tidied like Vikings!

We boxed, we filed, we ragged, we charity-ed, we junked and we earmarked. No stone of sorting was left unturned.

And so, with:

  • 5 black refuse sacks of rubbish;
  • 2 meaty piles of recycling;
  • 3 bags of charity shop clothing;
  • a pile of waste electricals;
  • 3½ feet of back issues of “White Dwarf” (don’t ask!)

We had finally achieved, if not minimalism, a firm step away from erm, maximilism?

lovely, ain't it?

And this, this lovely pile of sorted loveliness, is all for the attic:

aspiring to loft-y heights

But that, dear reader, is a story for another day…

(*) I know, I know, it’s slovenly and sinful! But you’ve got a box just like it in your house too. Anyone who says different is a liar.

the “Spare Oom”

There exists, beyond the confines of ‘suburban living’, beyond the order and sanity of your IKEA shelving and Habitat storage baskets, a world far more terrifying than our own. A world where the laws of physics and nature no longer apply. A world where to merely look upon it’s limitless depths and staggering heights, would drive men to weep and gouge their eyes out so they may never again see such insanity.

You may call it “A-tic”, or “Stare Cub Oord”, we call it “Spare Oom”(*)

How, in just 3 years, have we managed to fill an entire room with junk? How have we managed to fill a room with junk we don’t even want or need?

  • The airbed with the umpteen punctures;
  • The printer that hasn’t worked in years;
  • 2 (!) old mattresses;
  • The giant bag of unknown cables (that of course holds the very cable we need, after we throw it away);
  • And, of course, the Foot Spa.

a small rant

Ah yes, the Foot Spa. Has ever a gadget existed that more succinctly encapsulates the excess of the modern day consumer?

Do they save time? Can you share them with others (would you want to?)? The box is huge, you have to fill them and empty them of water, you need a towel when you use it. Is it meant to be something to use while watching the TV? Who knows! But I know I don’t want someone soaking and wet-sanding their feet while I’m in the same room as them. Feet are gross enough as it is (that’s why we invented lovely shoes) without inventing giant gadgets to blow bubbles around them.

I dislike feet, I dislike Foot Spas.

back on track

So, venturing into Spare Oom, the task has been to clear it, de-junk it and sort it. Have you ever tried lifting a super-deep double mattress on your own? It hurts, but not as much as being trapped between two mattresses and having to slide out the side like a worm, being birthed from between two mattress ‘lips’.

Of course, if only it was as simple as throwing away rubbish and tidying what’s left. No, we want to put the stuff in our loft so we can decorate the room and make a nicer guest bedroom. This means boarding the loft. Which means insulating the loft. Which means clearing the loft.

So, this Bank Holiday weekend, think of me and wish me well, as I not only become a DIY cliché, but I also get covered in spiders the size of my hand, and cry, and squeal.

(*) Okay, so C.S. Lewis got there first, but he was onto something…