When I bought my house it was a complete wreck. I had to get some big jobs done immediately to make it safe and allow me to live in it. I got a new boiler and central heating system, new windows and doors and a new bathroom. I also had to spend money on getting the chimney made safe. I never really understood that 90’s dance track ‘What’s she gonna look like with a chimney on her’ but I was quite sure I didn’t want to find out the answer to that question.
After the big jobs, I ran out of money quickly. When I took on the house, I was married and thought there would be two full time salaries coming in to get the rest of it finished. Things change and it ended up being just me on a part time wage with neither the time, money nor inclination to complete the project. I managed to get a few bits done as time went on. I had the living room fully skimmed and painted it. I then waited two years before I could afford to get new skirting boards and an alcove cupboard put in. It has been slow progress. I have big ideas and really enjoy pulling rooms together; but time and money are always an underlying factor in delaying jobs.
Today was a great day for getting jobs done! A few days ago, out of boredom, I decided to tackle the balustrade spindles that had been absent since I moved in. As usual, to quote The Smiths, I started something I couldn’t finish. I don’t have enough spindles to complete the job and I will need some edging trim to tidy it up. However, today I managed to fit twelve spindles to the handrail at an equal distance apart from on another, whilst also ensuring the rail was straight. I still need to add a few slithers of wood to the underneath and nail in the bases, but after a full day of banging, drilling and swearing I thought I’d give the neighbours a rest.
I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I don’t have an electric saw or all the tools I probably should have used, I kind of just made it up as I went along, but I managed to work it out. I am now the proud owner of an almost finished balustrade. And it only took a global pandemic to get me off the couch and do it! There are plenty of other jobs I can get on with around the house. I should start with the small easier things, like bleeding the radiators or filling cracks. But knowing me I’ll probably start knocking down walls!
Like I mentioned the other day when I started this job, the great thing is having something else to focus on. I suffer quite badly with anxiety and one of the ways it can manifest is in health related anxiety. My friends with medical training are well versed in talking me down from whatever the latest medical condition I’ve diagnosed myself with. Obviously a global pandemic of a killer virus that people can carry with no symptoms isn’t ideal. If I don’t keep myself busy there is potential for me to get quite unwell just thinking about Covid-19. Having a DIY project to spend the day focusing on really helped me to withdraw from the constant media coverage and statistics around the virus. Although I think all that sawdust has given me a bit of a cough!