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.