Andrew Patterson (qidane) wrote,
Andrew Patterson

Painting, Carpets, Pictures, Curry, Cakes and Jobs

I have been decorating the main rooms of my house over the last month. It was kick-started by a week I took off in November and then finished off in the evening and weekends. I have upgraded some of the power sockets and light switches, added proper faceplates for the network and satellite cables, repaired the popped nail heads and other issues in the plaster, painted the walls and woodwork of the hall, stairs, landing and living/dining room. Not something I have done since moving into the house so it is now much less magnolia. A couple of the bedrooms and the bathroom walls had been painted before, but they are much smaller rooms. The modern paint has changed. Now the more hard wearing paint is almost all acrylic water based and very different to use. It has not got the same solvent smell and is much easier to cleanup. The water based undercoat and gloss is particularly better to use. I needed some white gloss/undercoat for woodwork and decided to get some traditional oil based as I could also use it for the exterior of the downstairs windows (when the weather gets better). It does produce a good finish but was much slower to work with than the coloured acrylic I used for all the hall/landing woodwork. Over the weeks have discovered I am very slow at painting door-frames, can patch and smooth plasterwork quite well, and that corner rollers exist (looks like a ring doughnut on a stick and paints right into the join between two walls or the wall and the ceiling).

I still have some varnish work to do on the staircase handrail and will try to do it just before I head of to visit my family so it can dry while I am away.


On friday Toby and I hired a Rug Doctor (carpet cleaner) from Morrisons while we were doing the weekly shop. Over the weekend it cleaned, 2 landings, 2 staircases, 2 halls, 3 bedrooms, and 2 living/dining rooms. All the carpets were cleaned once with a bit of extra spotting, except my cream living room carpet that was done twice overall with high traffic areas about 5 times. All came up very well and the machine made a very good job of lifting the pile. The only exception being the cream one which came up as well as expected. It had been cleaned several times before by me using my old Vax, and twice by the guys from Chem-dry. It now has some marks then even the Chem-dry people could not get out. The Rug Doctor at £56 for the weekend machine hire and all the chemicals we used felt like good value. It is not as hard work as the Vax, and does do a better job of lifting the pile.


Yesterday Kate came round and helped me hang pictures, mirrors and put back my wall clock. We were very impressed with how level we got the mirror in the hallway. We did discover the wall has a slight curve to it so it was not possible to get it to sit totally flush, should be stable though and not rattle in the wind from the front door. This was all in an effort to get everything sorted ready for having people round for tea. I realised all the artwork I put back in the living room and hall is original, four oil paintings, two tapestries and one illuminated manuscript. And even better all made by or for family and friends. Kate also braved the cold of my shed and helped me sort out a base for a lamp I bought off eBay a few weeks ago. I need to do a bit of work on it yet to replace the bulb fitting. It is a 1960s stage light with a funky shape and before I use it for domestic lighting I need to change it from a 650w bulb to a more sensible low-energy halogen.

photo 1

I had Toby, Kate, Beth, Mary, Margaret and Gavin round for a birthday curry tea. A chance to show off the new decor (and clean carpet). We all got fed to a standstill but saved a bit of room for some cake. I went for a cake-stand of little things, ginger, coconut, almond and eccles cakes. It was a very good evening in great company. The evening was rounded off with a very thoughtful email from a work friend.

photo 2

Today should have been the start of the last minute christmas shopping, spread out family and friends does pull back the deadlines a bit when combined with postage times. In actual fact today is the first proper day of job hunting. I got told officially on thursday that my job is "at risk", which is HR speak for, I will be made redundant at the end of March. The grant we applied for did not appear as hoped, and the extension we have received instead excluded my position in the team. The reason given was that the awarding body wanted to consolidate the position of the software and halt future development. So my position working on the core data model development has been axed. I have been there for 8 years so I guess it is time for a change, but the start of December is definitely not the time you want to find out. The only good thing was they let me know just before I committed to buying a new sofa. I can repair the old sofa in the meantime.

So today has been updating my CV and looking to see what jobs are out there.
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