Legends from our own lunchtimes

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chaos and Cholesterol

Chaos is, I have come to understand, like cholesterol.  There's the good kind and the bad kind, and it's been of the former for a few days when every man and his dog squeezed in under our unfinished ceilings to celebrate Christmas, life, noise and anything else they could think of.  Concurrently.

Our long suffering neighbours had guests of their own, but they suffered in silence, perhaps not willing to show their faces lest we should spill over into their house as well.

They were not to know that that was never a possibility as the recent modifications at Dickyworld have been pronounced by all the attendees to be entirely satisfactory, and we all seemed to be able find a place to hide that suited our own particular definition of comfort as energy levels fluctuated without synchronicity.   Perhaps the renovations have been too satisfactory, as there is talk among all who were present of a repeat event!

Now the resumption of normal programming has begun.  The guest list has reduced to just Miss Lily and her Mum now, and the world is almost silent once again ready for the sander to start on the one remaining room I would have thought.

Perhaps I should wait a day or two, or maybe a week.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oh ye of little faith!

To be fair, the paint has only its seal coat, and the Danish oil on the timber work, including the kitchen bench top extension is still a little tacky, but we got there with about twenty minutes to spare before the first of the scraggy hordes began to trickle in.

I don't understand the psychology of the deadline, what it is that makes shopping centres open on time when just the night before there was a year or two worth of work left to do, but what ever it is, it works around this place as well.

I think it safe to say that we've broken the back of the renovation, from now we'll be chugging along at a much more relaxed pace, perhaps our reporting will reflect that too!

And now for the Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Were one to categorise the degree of chaos we are currently living in, I think it would be apt to give it an "utter" rating.  We have reached something of a crescendo though, with dust having crept under every cover and a few walls still to go.

But there has been progress.  The keen eye may notice the new ceiling fans, which nicely compliment the light fittings now installed, switches and power points might even be functioning by week's end.   Of course Brendon our long suffering plasterer is almost done as well, and another two or so days of sanding walls will see me ready to start the sealer coat.

That is after I finish the temporary kitchen cupboard extensions of course.  

We are settling down to a dull roar now though with the messy stuff almost over until the new year when we tackle the ceilings, and we can see an end to the disorder.   Perhaps it's not an end, rather just the end of the prelude.

On Friday, the chaos returns accompanied by noise as well, the sort of noise that ear protection cannot reduce.  On Friday we shall be occupied by things other than building for a few days, as the scruffy horde descends, and the centre of attention turns to grandchildren, all three.

Perhaps I shall just snooze on the couch under the covers and they'll be unaware of my presence!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Itchy and scratchy.

The insulation in our roof may look all yellow and fluffy, which is exactly the way insulation is supposed to look, but on closer inspection there are some gaps. 

Large gaps. 

Our very own CSIRO says that a gap as small as 5% in the insulation layer will reduce its efficiency by over 50%. By my quick sums we have an efficiency of somewhere around minus 300% which is quite a staggering thought really and goes a long way towards explaining why, given the right conditions inside the house can become quite uncomfortably warmer than outside.  

If there's anything worse than being of large frame in a confined space, it's being of large frame in a confined space full of dust when the space is inside a roof and the temperature is unpleasantly warm, cutting up bits of fibreglass insulation while the next ten year's quota of perspiration does it's best to ensure that the little shards of fibreglass stick to any exposed skin and work their itchy way below the surface. 

Perhaps that's why when the insulation was installed in our place they got out as quickly as they could without actually doing anything particularly useful with the fibreglass batts apart from storing them in the ceiling for convenience of some future owner. 

 It's all a bit of a shame really, because having decided that one of us would need to fix the problem, every time I looked around for a volunteer she'd be off doing some important job and couldn't possibly spend an hour or so doing a fair imitation of pilates in a sauna while lying on a bed of nails. 

Realising that there's have to be compromise if we were going to make progress, I started last night, and worked till midnight pretending that it was comfortable, that I was imagining the heat, and the fact that my clothes looked like I'd just been for a swim in them would have been pleasurable if I actually had. The first half is done, and in only took an extra twenty square metres of insulation to fix. I'd do the rest tonight, but I still remember how uncomfortable it was, and I think I'll wait till the rash has gone and the itching  has subsided. 

 We had the western facing windows tinted yesterday too, so ready as we are to thumb our noses at summer, today the cool change arrived.

Thursday, December 08, 2011


If this were an episode of Grand Designs, Kevin McCloud would arrive and look bemused or even bewildered and wonder to the camera what we'd been doing for the past few weeks.

The end is nowhere in sight, he'd remark quietly to the camera and remind us all that we are leaving once again in not much more than three months time.

But like catching monkeys, slowly slowly will get us there I'm sure.   If we're really lucky the plasterboard will be done in a week, the wiring is almost complete now, both repairs and new bits, and surely there can't be more than a few days of carpentry left.... can there?

Well actually yes there can.   The third bedroom has a "woof" or two in the floor just where the robe has to go, and that means dismantling at least part of the bathroom downstairs before we can start.   Even simple renovations have their problems it seems!

Joan, you can come, we will have a bedroom and buckets of white paint for you to splash in.

With Santa coming in a few weeks though, the building industry goes into panic and shutdown at the same time, so we'll have to see what we can do about a kitchen into the new year I suspect!

Oh well, back to the sander.

Tally Ho!

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