Labour Two - Slay the kitchen and get rid of that godawful yellow; and Labour Three - Capture the communal hallway and tart it up
It seems that the imminent rental, or sale, of your property is guaranteed to have one effect: To give you the motivation to finally do all those interior decoration jobs that you have been putting off since you moved in.
So a fortnight or so ago I started on the kitchen. Sunshine yellow when I moved in, the colour had bothered me yet since I first moved in two and a half years ago I had not felt driven to lift a finger to replace it with something less, well, nineties.
I have sanded. I have filled. I have taped up and covered all the cabinets and work surfaces and floor in newspapers and dust sheets. I have scrubbed and wiped down. I have cut in once with an undercoat and once in the top coat. I have rollered three coats of paint on the walls, one on the ceiling. I have bruised my knees by spending hours kneeling on unevenly lain ceramic tiles. I have shifted fridges and found long lost cutlery. I have balanced on one leg on top of cookers and draining boards to reach nooks and crannies I never knew existed.
So now the kitchen is a lovely cream. Which actually goes with the terracotta tiles (what were they thinking with yellow?). It has the unfortunate effect of making the cabinets look a bit dim and dowdy by comparison but overall it is far better.
So I was getting through my decorating tasks, I was making progress. But slowly.
The bedroom had taken me three days. The kitchen had now added another three. But when you have a full time day job, that makes three weekends. Coupled with spending a weekend in Hereford with your boyfriend every now and again and you have a recipe for taking a very long time.
Additionally, spending twelve hours a day decorating every weekend often meant that on Monday or Tuesday I'd find myself suffering another tender patch of tissue somewhere around my right breast or shoulderblade or rib cage. I'm getting used to them. They happen when I've been overdoing the sanding, or rollering, or some other repetitive action with my right arm (calm down boys).
So it came as a huge relief when R arrived in London earlier this week with a pair of overalls and a lot of spare time. In two days he has taken care of repainting the communal hallway, scuffed and tyre-marked by the guys from upstairs carrying their bikes up to their flat. He's also done the woodwork, painted the window, the two inner doors, the outside step and is close to having painted the bannister and the outside of the window.
So, all hail my new helper. Progress is being made. The agent is impressed, and the first people are being shown around.
I may yet get my flat rented by 1 March. But if you know anyone who needs a one and half bedroomed flat in Earlsfield for £1300 pcm ONO, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
I can guarantee the paint will barely be dry...