Saturday, 26 August 2017

Utility room pics

Here are the pics I took of the finished utility room.  Well, I say finished - it is, more or less, but I still need to buy a length of material to make a curtain to cover the underneath of the worktop.  It's where stuff we don't use much is stored and looks a bit unsightly, I'd rather it was all hidden away from sight.  And a pretty bright flowery curtain would bring in a bit of colour.  The whole room is very light in colour, which is what I wanted - it was very dark and dingy before and I wanted a complete change.  The paleness of it all makes the room look so much bigger than before - it is a pretty good size, about 12ft x 15ft, with a space of about 2ft x 4ft taken up by the boiler cupboard.

The ceiling where the mould was before, all treated and replastered.  It would be nice to get that horrible strip light replaced, I really don't like strip lights (unfortunately, we have them in the kitchen and dining room too), but that's a job for an electrician.  Husband can turn his hand to most things, with the exception of electrics, which he doesn't feel competent enough to do.

The cupboards all now beautifully matching, with the lovely new worktop underneath.  The baskets on the left hold vegetables, the plastic lidded boxes I store supplies of packet foods in, the green one contains the dog food.  Tins and jars I keep in the cupboards.

The space underneath the worktop where we keep not much used stuff, which is where I'll put a curtain across to hide it all.

The washing machine corner, with spare fridge and small freezer.

Beside the boiler cupboard, new upright freezer replacing the old knackered chest freezer, which has now gone to the tip.

Tumble dryer beside the door to the garden...note the lovely new vinyl floor covering.  After I'd taken this shot, husband removed the last of his tools (on the worktop in the corner) and promises not to bring them back in!  I've said he can use the drawers beside the tumbler if he likes, I have enough Fablon left over to cover those too.

The next jobs on the agenda are decorating the twin spare room, and husband wants to box in the horrible 50s fireplace in the lounge.  Those are jobs for next month.

Thank you to Briony, TA, Cheryl and Dawn for your comments, and welcome to a new follower, Janipi p.

Friday, 25 August 2017

The hearing thing....

Thank you so much everyone for all the comments....I also had an email from Chris who gave me some helpful info - thanks.

Amazing how many of us suffer with tinnitus, seems to be a common thing.  Toni, I hadn't actually noticed that your aid is cerise - how lovely!  The colour would suit you perfectly!  I didn't know they came in colours.  How funny about your tooth and our backs - I know we like a lot of the same things, but it seems we have even more in common :-)  I've tried that massaging/draining lymph nodes thing a few times, can't say it's made any difference to my tinnitus though.

Cheryl, my tinnitus is white noise (my mum's is a buzzing noise) so I can't see how more white noise would help me at night.....doesn't it just irritate you more?

Vix, total hip replacement at 39? Blimey, I've never heard of anyone having it that young!

I'm still undecided about the hearing aids.  I think I'm going to book a free hearing test at Specsavers (they say they put you under no obligation to buy aids, they merely give you advice) and have a chat with the technician who does it.  At the hospital, I was so taken aback when the specialist said I had significant hearing loss that I didn't really take in much of what else he said, and didn't think to ask questions.  Now I've recovered from the shock a bit, I can go to Specsavers armed with a list of questions.

The doctor in charge of the hearing therapy clinic rang me a couple of days ago, which I thought was a bit odd (ringing me I mean), considering that the clinic is for patients with hearing loss!  Luckily, I can hear people on the phone fairly well, provided there's no background noise or interference, in which case I can't hear a thing.  Anyway, she said there's quite a long waiting list for the clinic and she wouldn't be able to see me until November.

In other, happier news, we've finished the utility room at last, I'm so pleased with it, it looks lovely.  With the walls and ceiling painted white, light coloured vinyl flooring (instead of the old bare concrete) and pale wood coloured Fablon covering the cupboard doors, the room looks much bigger.  The Fablon was an absolute bugger to put on the doors, it kept creasing and bubbling and sticking to itself....when Valerie, Peter and John used sticky back plastic on Blue Peter they made it look so easy!!  Anyway, it's done, it's lovely.  I've taken pics and will put them on another post.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Nearly done, and a bit of a shock

Thank you for the comments on my last post (welcome Vix, I'm honoured!  I said hello to you once when you were trading in Bristol a couple of years ago).

All the decorating is finished in the utility room, OH has fitted the new (to us) worktops, and the new Venetian blind is up.  Today he's fitting new hinges to the last 2 cupboard doors, then we're covering all the cupboards with Fablon and fitting different doorknobs (we already had a bagful of those, can't remember where or why we got them).  Tomorrow the vinyl flooring will be laid, then everything can go back in and I'll get my dining room back and my lovely new utility room will be finished.  I'll take photos when it's all done.

I'm so grateful to husband for doing it all (well, the bulk of it) - he's getting older (66 now) and has arthritis in his hands and knees, and the dyslexia means he's disorganised and makes the occasional mistake with measuring.  But nothing stops him, he carries on regardless as he's not the sort to sit around doing nothing.  He'll give any kind of DIY thing a go, the fact that he's never done something before doesn't put him off, he'll have a look online or in one of his DIY books for help.  And he watches loads of the DIY type programmes on TV, he's always seeing something that he thinks is worth a try.  He really is a treasure (even if he does get on my nerves with his untidiness!).

I had to go to the hospital for tests last week, as I've been having some trouble with my hearing.  The tests confirmed I have quite significant hearing loss in both ears, and I need hearing aids.  This came as a bit of a shock - I'm only in my 50s, I feel far too young to have hearing aids.  The specialist said it's not age-related, and he couldn't see a problem with my ears themselves, he said it may possibly be tied up with the raging tinnitus I have had for a few months.  Well, I've actually had tinnitus for donkeys years, it's never really bothered me before though, it wasn't there all the time and wasn't particularly obtrusive.  But over the last few months it's become very loud and is constant, I now have it literally all the time.  The specialist was at a loss to explain this as he said tinnitus usually gets better over time.  I have to say I'm not at all keen on the NHS aids he showed me, which are the only ones they prescribe.  I have looked into private ones, but good grief they're expensive!  I told him I didn't really want the NHS ones (I have short hair and they would be visible), and he said he was going to refer me to a hearing therapist (to learn how to cope with tinnitus and general hearing loss) but didn't know whether they'd accept me if I hadn't tried hearing aids first.

I'm feeling a bit numb about it all - I was really expecting the doctor to say that the hearing loss was temporary and related to an ear infection or wax, perhaps, but he said I didn't have either.  Oh, and I've got a wobbly front tooth which I expect will have to come out sooner or later.  So what with my ears, tooth, diabetes, Achilles tendon and bad back, I kind of feel like my whole body is wearing out way too early :-(

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Keep calm and do yoga!

I'm not the world's best housewife - far from it!  I don't vacuum every day, I clean the bathroom when it needs it, as opposed to a schedule, I only wash the kitchen floor about once a week, I rarely dust (seems a bit pointless, all I'm doing is moving the dust from one place to another....for this reason I'm not really a fan of ornaments!).  I don't mind things ('stuff', for want of a better word) put on windowsills or the tops of cupboards etc, so long as they don't build up into a tower that eventually falls over.  

But I do like things to be reasonably tidy, and I am pretty organised.  My husband, however, is not - at all.  He's very untidy, he just doesn't seem to notice when things are in a mess.  He's also extremely disorganised and is forever losing things - tools, keys, shoes, glasses - because he puts things down and can't remember where he's put them...I've always said his hands are not connected to his brain.  He's dyslexic, which I think is one of the main reasons why he's so disorganised - his brain just doesn't organise things very well.

After 34 years of marriage, I'm used to his disorganisation - I also count myself fortunate that he's so hands on and is willing to get stuck into anything, he's a great DIYer and can turn his hand to building most things.  He does create loads of mess though, which does tend to irritate me - I just have to keep telling myself that it's a means to an end and the end will be worth it.

This is all about the utility room - he decided, without me saying anything, that he'd fit new worktops as he thought I'd like them.  He's right, I would - I never mentioned it though because I didn't want to give him any more work, I would have put up with the old mismatched ones.  He had in the shed, unbeknown to me, a long length of worktop he'd been given by a neighbour, which was surplus to their requirements.  It wasn't quite enough to completely replace everything in the utility room, but there's a local discount woodyard which sells loads of surplus stock/slightly damaged worktops at very cheap prices.  He went there this morning, confident that he'd be able to find a matching piece - he did, and it only cost £14!  So now he's taking out the old worktops and fitting the new ones, which involves yet more mess.

Yes I'm very grateful, and I know I'm going to have a lovely utility room which will meet all my requirements and, very importantly, look really nice, after having basically a makeshift horrible tip for the past few years.  But I am beginning to be a bit irritated by the ongoing mess - dry plaster footprints all over the kitchen floor every time he walks in, because he doesn't take his outside shoes off (because he's in and out about 50 times an hour all day long!).  And feeling a bit irritable about having to move things (that he's put there 'just for a minute' and then forgets he's done it because his mind immediately goes straight onto something else) so that I can get to something.  E.g. he'd put his stepladder and a box of decorating equipment in front of the spare fridge in the utility room, and I needed to get something out of it.  He'd also moved a big plastic box containing the dog food, because he wanted to get to something behind it - he put the box, which is heavy, on top of the small chest freezer and left it there.  I had to call him in from the garden to come and move it, as it was too heavy for me to lift.

I think all the things I'm learning in my yoga classes about breathing and releasing tension are going to come in very handy over the next few days!  In another week or so it will all be done, I just have to focus on that.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

We have lift off!

Operation Utility Room has started.....the plasterer is here, halfway through the ceiling, he's alternately singing/bemoaning the state of the ceiling (have to say his singing leaves a lot to be desired, but at least he's a cheerful soul).

The floor will be done tomorrow, then we can start painting once the floor's dry.  We've got the paint, Fablon and replacement handles for the cupboard doors and new window blind, just the vinyl floor covering to get once all the painting is done.  Can't wait till it's all finished and I can then go in there every day with a smile on my face, rather than hating it.

To answer TA's comment about whether I have a surreptitious practise of yoga at home....yes I do TA, have to do it upstairs out of the way, if I do it downstairs the dog thinks we're playing and jumps all over me!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

At last! And more aching muscles...

After what seems like I've been waiting forever to get my utility room done, we have finally managed to pin down the plasterer, he's coming at 8.00 am on Saturday to do the ceiling, then will help OH re-cement the floor.  This Friday will be spent clearing everything out of the room in preparation, the appliances (spare fridge, chest freezer, washing machine and tumbler) will all have to go in the garage for the time being.  Actually, I've just realised, the freezer will have to go in the dining room as there's still food in it and no electrics in the garage.  Best make sure I'm up to date with the washing first, as it'll be a few days I expect before we can do the decorating and laying of the cushion flooring and get the appliances back in.  OH needs to refurbish the wall cupboards, putting on new hinges and handles and fixing the shelves inside as necessary, then I'm going to cover all the doors with sticky-back Fablon type stuff.  I'll also cover the worktop with the same stuff.  I can't wait for it all to be done, it's so exciting! (we lead such an interesting life lol).

Thank you for the comments about yoga, seems several of you have no classes nearby, which is a pity, cost is a factor too.  A friend asked me yesterday why I don't go back to the chiropractor, even if just for a couple of sessions, as I'm having so much back pain lately because of my sprained Achilles tendon.  Well, it's because for the cost of 2 sessions with the chiropractor, I can have 16 weeks of yoga - no contest!  The yoga classes have other benefits too - I enjoy them a lot, the teacher is lovely and it's a fun bunch of like-minded people in the class, we all giggle a lot.  I find it really relaxing and stress-relieving, and it's an hour of me time, something I do on my own that's just for me.  Much as I love having husband at home now he's retired, it is nice to have a bit of time to myself.

Had my 2nd class last night, we concentrated mostly on upper body/shoulder stuff last night, really stretching our shoulder muscles and opening up our chests (ooerr missus) - consequently, my shoulders today feel like I've been doing windmill actions with my arms for about 12 hours nonstop.  Although I do find it quite difficult to do some of the stretches at the moment, I know it will get easier as I practise more and get more supple.  I'm already starting to feel the benefits, I'm standing straighter, consciously keeping my shoulders down and am more aware of my posture and breathing.  Looking forward to next week!

Thursday, 3 August 2017


Thank you for the lovely comments about my beautiful Betty, she's my baby and I love her to bits, she's enriched our lives so much and I cannot imagine life without her.

Ever since I sprained my Achilles tendon (about 3 months ago now), I've been hobbling about like an old woman, limping, unable to stand in the kitchen for more than a few minutes without having to bend forward clutching the worktop for support.  Walking in the field with the dog is a complete No No, the ploughed uneven surface kills my leg and back.  My limping awkward posture exacerbates my long term back problem and makes my left hip hurt like hell.  I'm fed up with being crippled, having to curtail what I can do, and taking painkillers 3x daily - I don't want to live like that (GP said the tendon could take 3-6 months to heal, and to keep taking painkillers in the meantime).

I know I could go back to the chiropractor (Magic hands Mark) who sorted my back out the last time, I'm sure he could work miracles with my back again and the tendon.  But it costs around £40 a visit, and he suggests 2 or 3 treatments a week for 2 or 3 weeks (the cynical part of me says of course he would!).  I can't - well, I don't want to - afford that, not now husband is retired.  Then I remembered my SiL and a couple of other people I know do yoga - for various reasons - and all swear by it.  I googled and found that, not only does it help with physical problems, it also helps relax you, eases stress and helps you sleep - all of which I need help with.

I found out there's a weekly class in our nearest village and emailed the teacher, who sounded lovely when she replied very promptly.  To cut a long story short, I went on Tuesday evening for my first (free taster) class.  I was worried it would be full of skinny, lithe and supple, lycra clad 20 year olds (although Jayne the teacher had assured me it's not in her email) - thankfully she was right, it's a small class, only about 8 people.  They're all middle aged and mostly not skinny, there's even one man (usually 2 apparently, the 2nd was on holiday).  And they're all of different abilities....oh, and there was one other newbie starting, a lady of 81!!

I won't deny I found some of it quite hard....I was stretching muscles I didn't even know I had, and getting in positions I never have before.  And having big boobs and a fat tummy made some of the poses awkward!  But Jayne the teacher was very good, helping me out with suggestions for slightly easier ways of doing things.  Everyone was very welcoming and encouraging and I really enjoyed it.  I actually slept quite well that night and, although my muscles ached the next day - and today, possibly even more today - the lower back pain I've had constantly every day for the past few weeks has downgraded to mere soreness.  I'm also standing taller and straighter, and all this after just one session - amazing.  I will definitely be going every week, I've even bought a yoga mat (a lovely purple one).  So it's sorting my back pain out, helping me sleep, relaxing and making me more supple (in time!) and is only costing me £5 a week!