Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Fly Away 'Flu

This festive season we have had an unwelcome visitor. The wicked winter 'flu fairy flitted from house to house scattering a liberal portion of germs and viruses. Over the past couple of days we have one by one succumbed to the seasonal lurgy; with aching limbs, sore throats, coughs and heads aching fit to bursting. At La Petite Maison scrapers and paintbrushes were hurriedly discarded in favour of hot water bottles and bed; gifts, wrapping paper and scissors forgotten about in the quest to locate painkillers and cough medicine.

(Thankfully I had already delivered my vintage style handmade cards before the onset of the virus.)

The scents of oranges, cloves and cinnamon gave way to the vapours of menthol rubs and Olbas Oil.  Tasty treats hold no temptation and unwrapped presents lie ignored as we struggle to find relief from the aches and pains. In my feverish dreams as I toss and turn trying to ease my aching head in a bed that is not comfortable, (the mattress feels as though it is full of rocks), I see my poor waterlogged and neglected allotment and think about the parsnips and potatoes that should have been lifted for the meal that I would have been preparing, but the thought of which makes me feel decidedly queasy.

I am aware of Lucie watching me from the doorway of the bedroom in uneasy concern as I wake myself from a restless slumber through hearing moaning noises which I realise are emanating from me. I am hot and then cold, the duvet is tossed to one side and then pulled back again a few seconds later. 

But it is okay - I shall recover; the aches and pains will disappear; the presents will be there waiting to open; the tasty treats can be sampled at a later date and let's look on the positive side; when was the last opportunity that I had to stay in bed all day and sleep just when I felt like it? Already I am feeling brighter. 

The solstice has passed and the days will be getting longer. I have a new garden to think of planting soon at La Petite Maison, so as I lie in my sick bed my thoughts dwell now on planting schemes using pink roses and peonies, hydrangeas, hollyhocks and herbs to name but a few.

Gorgeous David Austin Roses

Also on a positive note, the tweaking and tuning that I have been doing to the blog seems to have worked and my space allocation warning has not appeared, (a big Thank You to Holley and Linda for your suggestions) so Hey Ho all being well I will be up and blogging pictorially away again over the next few days.


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Season's Greetings from La Petite Maison

Season's Greetings from La Petite Maison by Soaps and Roses

It's snowing!!

The air is full of a flurry of flakes; whirling, fluttering around my face and settling on my brightly coloured scarf. Beneath my feet is a blanket of white. 

Alas however these are not the festive flakes of icy snow that may be expected at this time of the year. They are in fact the flakes of white emulsion paint that I am gruellingly and painstakingly (the emphasis being on the pain!) scraping from the ceilings of La Petite Maison.

The most painful and annoying part is that the paint I am working so hard to remove is actually the paint that I painted onto the ceilings last year. Not being an expert in property developing I had begun my restoration of La Petite Maison by launching enthusiastically into the first thing that I saw and that was getting rid of the textured woodchip wallpaper with it's layers of thick mustardy shiny paint followed by the neck breaking job of scraping the ceilings free from their polystyrene covering.

The surfaces in the rooms were soon covered in flakes of years old paint, paper and the debris from the ceilings. As the bare surfaces were exposed so were the hidden horrors of damp, cracks and holes in plaster and a huge stain upon a saggy ceiling where a pipe had burst in the roof space.

However I determinedly persevered and once the ceilings were free from their layers of grotty polystyrene and chipped paint I set to work brushing, sanding and filling before sanding, brushing and filling again. The stain on the ceiling was carefully obliterated using a magic paint and two coats of white emulsion later and the ceilings in the new bedroom and lounge were transformed from dingy and dreary into a surface area that was smooth and bright. I was delighted!

Unfortunately I hadn't taken into consideration the effects that converting the roof space would have on my brand new ceilings. Oh Disaster! Cracks the size of the Grand Canyon opened up crazily from wall to wall and the props used to support the ceilings left holes and gashes on my fastidiously repaired and painted ceilings.

With the majority of the major joinery work completed upstairs, after a futile attempt to repair the damage I realised that there was nothing else for it but to set to, and so putting the seasonal festivities to one side and gritting my teeth very hard indeed, I resumed my perch upon the step-ladder, scraper in hand, a pink scarf tied over my hair and sporting a fetching pair of blue-rimmed saftey goggles, (previous experiences of retrieving foreign detritus from my eyes having taught me the essential necessity of protective eye wear), and for the past few days I have been scraping all my nice paint from the ceilings.

The pain experienced has been twice as bad as it was the first time around. Hot baths and muscle rubs have been required regularly, but at last the end is in sight and the last of the flakes are falling, floating and drifting through the air. By this weekend I hope that the ceilings will be restored to their former beautiful condition and the walls and windows painted with their top coats.

The forecast has hinted that a cold snap may be on the way for the end of the week - with a vague promise of snow. So maybe there will be a covering of white snowflakes this festive season after all.

I hope you all have a wonderfully happy and festive time and I shall persevere with trying to sort out my space allocation to bring you my before and after photos. Thank you all for your help and advice.