All Purpose Polish Tradesman: Gone.

Things have a way of stretching where the APPT is concerned.  His wife was sick last week, so he had to stay home and look after his son, all of which I understand.  But by this point I was buzzing with frustration and somebody needed to feel it.  K-man is now an expert in exactly how it feels to remain holed up in one small room trying to McGyver a sense of happiness using only a book on public policy analysis, an intermittent internet connection, and visions of future decorative grandeur.

The APPT is mostly gone now.  His parting shot was to undertake ceiling-sanding in the bathroom with no warning.  Because there was no warning, I hadn’t removed any of the multitude of bits and pieces on display.  There was plaster dust in my toothbrush, people.  Also, he forgot to run the phone-line up to the study, and he needs to do some other bits of tidying up, so he’ll be back tomorrow.  My plan is to be in A&E when that happens*.

But on with the show.  I have pictures of the joy!   First let’s remind ourselves where we started.

It doesn’t look that bad, but let me assure you it is.  Above the fireplace in the corner is a blackened mess of sooty deposit.  The wall is a vague kind of lemon yellow with all kinds of hairline cracks in it.  The ceiling has cracked all along the outline of the plasterboard pieces.

Where we’re at is this:

The blue came out OK, I think.   The ceiling is 100% improved.

If this picture could speak, it would tell you that redecorating this room took an entire weekend of blood, sweat, and chocolate biscuits.  K-man and I worked like dogs, painting and swearing and painting some more.  Homebase one-coat glooptastic ceiling paint requires two coats, and my neck shoves a poo through their letterbox for that little piece of marketing falsehood.

Your eyes do not deceive you: the hideous fireplace is still in situ.  We had planned to get the APPT to install our nice cast iron one at the same time as the other destruction, but after he said he would need to look at and decide whether he could do it, and was cagey about whether he’d fitted one before, my confidence evaporated.

I insisted that we get a specialist.  Yes, it’s only a fireplace, but you can have catastrophic failure of the cast-iron back-plate if you don’t use heat-distributing beads or some such to fill the gap between the iron and the brick.  Besides, we’d forgotten that we need a hearth made, and that was going to take weeks.

So it’s still grumbling away in the single most visible spot of the room, like the too-loud person at a late afternoon meeting who keeps asking stupid questions when everyone else just wants to get home.

There didn’t seem any point in decorating the chimney breast since the removal will ruin it anyway, but ultimately of course it will be painted the same blue.   This fireplace’s remaining days are numbered 11: I will kiss it goodbye on Valentine’s day with nary a backward glance.

We still have the dining room and hallway to contend with, but things are looking up!  I can sit in an actual chair, and watch my actual television.  What a luxury it will be to finally eat a meal at a table again, once the dining room is done!  That’s this weekend’s project.

*Seriously.  I suspect I have a broken metatarsal in my left foot.  It’s been a dull ache for about a week but then I gave it the beans on the treadmill yesterday and now it hurts like hell and there’s a worrying little swelling.

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7 Responses to “All Purpose Polish Tradesman: Gone.”


  1. 1 Jen on the Edge February 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    How nice that this project is nearly done. The paint in the living room is beautiful. Very elegant and soothing.

    Looking forward to seeing photos of the new fireplace, dining room, etc.

    So sorry to hear about the foot.

  2. 2 trash February 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I shall sort of miss the ATTP. This luxury is obviously only indulgeable as I am a hundred or so miles away.

  3. 3 sue b February 4, 2011 at 12:26 am

    You were right about the blue; it looks very nice. I like the pillow on the sofa and how it ties in with the chair. Hope the foot does better.

  4. 4 Jenn @ Juggling Life February 4, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Love the blue.

    Take care of that metatarsal–the same thing happened to me and now that I’m getting *ahem* a bit older I’ve got a touch of arthritis in that toe.

  5. 5 Stacie February 4, 2011 at 3:44 am

    The blue looks great! My sympathies about the foot. And this is the best line I’ve read in a long time:

    “So it’s still grumbling away in the single most visible spot of the room, like the too-loud person at a late afternoon meeting who keeps asking stupid questions when everyone else just wants to get home.” That’s a gem!

  6. 6 unmitigated me (m.a.w.) February 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Love the blue…very much like the shade I’ve picked out for my own room…if ever I muster up the energy to paint it.

  7. 7 lane March 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    When do we get an updated image of the fireplace? You said Valentine’s Day and it’s now March, woman!


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