Tub on the Run


Starting the decorating

If I had to sum up my March so far in a picture format, it would be this…


I’m not entirely sure who has done it, but I’m certain that someone has pressed the fast forward button this month. Really, it is just my work that has increased over the last couple of weeks, which I think might be due to having a week off at the start of the month.

We didn’t have any plans to go away for our week off, but decided towards the end of 2015 that as we became more settled, we should turn our attention to redecorating our house. The first room we wanted to do was our bedroom. Originally, our bedroom was painted a deep red and a mix of other neutral colours. We’d ordered and had a new carpet delivered and fitted on the day after we bought the house, so that was quickly sorted last year.

Bedroom original

It is safe to say that the previous owners’ forte did not extend to decorating. We’d already spotted a couple of “interesting” patches in other rooms (for example, the wall behind a curtain in a different room is an entirely different colour to the rest of the room, where they hadn’t taken the curtain off the pole to paint behind it…), but we didn’t think our bedroom was going to be too bad. I knew that we needed to prepare the bare bones well to make a nice job of it, but I hadn’t realised quite how much needed doing.

I’d surprised myself by filling in the dings, dents and holes and achieving a nice finish – it’s the first time I’ve used filler before. That was job number 1. I did a second review of them if I’d missed any patches or wanted a slightly smoother finish and left it to dry before sanding it back. While that was all going on, we attacked the woodwork. We realised that there was different paint on different parts of the room. Some of it had a gloss finish, some a satin, and the door frame had been painted with silk. The silk was probably the worst bit, and I think Matt died a little bit inside when we had to use a paint scraper to strip back all the silk off the wood (sanding it just won’t work, as it peels and you’d end up with a really naff finish). Matt’s not much into the prep work, more about the bigger transformation picture. I was adamant that if we were going to do it, then it was going to be done well.

Anyway, long story short, like the woodwork, there was different paint (matt v silk) on the walls too, so that needed more prep than a normal matt emulsioned wall. It definitely made me realise how much of a doddle decorating our flat had been.

Once we’d covered off the bedroom (meth lab chic anyone?), and made sure that the black cats couldn’t accidentally become white cars, over the following couple of days, I did the cutting in and the gloss and Matt did the roller work (white ceilings and gloss, B&Q Colours in Chantilly for the main walls, and Dulux’s Purple Pout for the feature wall). Surprisingly, there were no arguments, despite the immense tension of putting the new curtain pole up (we’re now the proud owners of a spirit level and power drill, and I’m convinced I should have had my salary directly transferred to B&Q this month).


It took us a lot longer than we initially anticipated and spent the whole week sorting it out, but it was a week well spent. I’m really pleased with the result, even if I realised that our deep purple colour is actually the same as one of the brand colours at work!

The next room on the list is our spare room. That will be much easier, as it isn’t a room that we live in.

Are you a fan of decorating? Any tips you’d care to share? I’m not quite at the stage of wanting to tackle the next room yet, but anything to help speed the process along while maintaining the finish is always a good thing!


Home sweet home

We’ve been in our new house for a month now.  The one bed flat in the middle of a busy town seems like a distant memory now, and my words “we’re never EVER moving EVER again unless I’m wheeled out in a coffin”, while still ring true, don’t instil the same level of weariness that they did just a fortnight ago.

Don’t worry family, we’re not planning on moving for several years yet!

Five weeks ago, Matt and I went on the lamest, most sober pub crawl as we waited to be told we could collect the keys to our first home.  The day hadn’t gone quite as smoothly as I had originally planned in my utopian fug of “OMG we’re going to own a house!”.  What no one had really stressed enough was that there is a ridiculously long wait at the bottom of the chain.  Thankfully, we were only a three party chain.  I’d planned to have a huge clean throughout our new house on the day we collected the keys, but it didn’t happen.  The previous owners were still moving out by tea time that day.


They had very kindly done most of the cleaning anyway, and had left us a binder full of useful info (including how to avoid the traffic warden!) and a pretty pink orchid.  Ah, little do they know that I can only look after three things at once without anyone dying – Matt, Tank and Timo.  Add a fourth thing in, and as my previous, and now deceased, herb pots can attest, I am rubbish with four things.  Nonetheless, the hardy little thing is still going, despite me forgetting to water it (oops, I should get on to that!).  I’m very impressed that I have managed to keep Juan the Cactus alive for nearly two months (though Mum assures me they’re quite difficult to kill).

Juan the Cactus

Over the next few days, I think Mum, Dad, my sister, Matt and I all found muscles that we forgot we had as we lifted and shifted the contents of our tiny flat down the three flights of stairs, into a van and then ferried it up to our house.  Matt and I couldn’t have done it without them – they worked like Trojans and my sister now officially holds the status of Queen of Van Tetris.  No one can pack a van like she can.

We cleared and had cleaned the flat by the Wednesday the following week.  It was a bit of a shame that we hadn’t been more organised actually, as it meant that the week off that Matt and I had booked was spent mostly at our old place, which meant that our unpacking is still ongoing.  I am reassured though, as most people I have spoken to have said that they never fully unpacked, and there’s at least one box in the loft that has remained sealed.

So, top tip – declutter before you move, and start packing earlier than you think you need to!

A month in, there are some things that just make us laugh (previous lazy decorating – painting around the curtains and movable frames!), and some things that genuinely make me think I’ve achieved a life goal (adore my washing line in our little garden, and am the proud owner of an 8kg washing machine and a compost bin).  I feel very grown up all of a sudden.

We’re beginning to put together a list of things that need to be done, along with a wish list of things we’d like to do, and are very pleased that B&Q have just brought out a reward card, as I can see us spending quite a lot in there over the coming months!

Do you enjoy moving house? Mother-in-law (and therefore Matt) have always been quite nomadic, but the last time I was around for a house move was the late 80s!

(I am totally getting to grips with this self-hosted blog malarkey! Beyond the Sofa is now on Bloglovin’ too!)