So while the rest of Australia was drinking beer at the beach last week to celebrate that strange period between Xmas and NY when everyone forgets to pay the bills, we donned masks and canvas gloves and got ourselves busy. With just 10 days until we pull up stumps in our beloved Maroubra, we had a serious deadline on our hands: to make the house (slightly) liveable so we can half move in. Our goal? To do the floors, clean 50 years of nicotine off the walls, and make the garden tidy again – all without killing each other.

But there’s nothing like knowing you’re about to be homeless to move things along and keep the peace. Step 1 was to remove the 400,000 staplers and nails that 4 layers of lino and old carpet had left behind. Nasty buggers but there was no way I was going to leave even 1 behind.

I pulled and pulled until my key-board preserved hands bled.

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We hired a big sander but Leo the pedant ended up doing most of the work by hand using this mini baby that my brother gave him last Christmas (thanks Kier, keep those Breville presents coming).

Leo treated the floor like he was creating an artwork

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And boy did the hard work pay off!

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While the floor sealer was drying we moved into the bedrooms to try and finish the painting. Our beachy blue has come up nicely. You’d never know we are 232 kilometres from the sea (not that I’m counting).

Finally, colour!

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My spirits began to lift (and not just because bum crack always makes me giggle)

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While Leo was tackling the window sills I decided to get moving on the lawn which was really bugging me as it had grown knee high. I gave it my best shot but I have a lot to learn.

If there are any whipper snipper instructors under 60 out there, please PM me.

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Afterwards I collapsed in a heap under our big apricot tree and had my first country wife disco nap.

It felt good.

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Next stop: KANDOS 2848.

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