Painting & other projects at the new digs.

Here’s a snapshot:

  • demolish old kitchen and laundry in the back of the house
  • demolish old porch/lean-to
  • demolish yucky laserlight carport (blocking all north sun and tingeing everything an unpleasant shade of moss)
  • install new (second hand, scored off ebay) kitchen in old dining room
  • reroof back of house (leaky flat, low roof)
  • install new (to us, but actually old, salvaged leadlight) windows throughout the house
  • move front door
  • reimagine the overly large front room and adjacent weird little room as a bedroom, study, walk in pantry and entry hall
  • rebuild back 2 rooms of house (sloping floors, general crapness)
  • install french doors in rebuilt, open plan living-dining at the back of the house
  • reclad entire house with proper weatherboards (remove gross cement sheet)
  • paint said weatherboards
  • paint everything else too.

Speaking of paint.

There seems to be a paintbrush permanently attached to my hand.

I probably spend as much time painting as sleeping. I probably will end up with my fingers curled permanently in a paintbrush grip.

How Attractive. Something to look forward to.


Having never paid someone to paint, I had no clue how much money I’ve been saving over the years…. Turns out, it’s thousands!!!!

A friend told me recently she got a great deal on getting her house painted for around 5k.


So far I’ve spent $0 …. but I have had to paint over a thousand lineal metres of weatherboards to reclad the front of the house.


And I reckon there’s another 4000 to go. Not to mention the windows and trim outside…. And then all the walls, ceilings and trim inside. Oh. And the outside fences and gates. Oh! And the new (old, salvaged) front door.

I’ll just add those to the enormous to do list we have.


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Now what


a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.

Nope….. That’s not the right word….

gerund or present participle: slumming
spend time at a lower social level than one’s own through curiosity or for charitable purposes.
“day trippers slumming among the natives”

No, this is not fuelled by curiosity or charity…..

To live poorly, or in below-average quality. Lifestyle that is below widely accepted standards, in terms of health, nutrition and hygeine, safety, and intelligence. Often linked with impoverished lifestyle or frugal living.

Yes! Yes that’s it! I’m slumming!

I am living in a house that falls well below accepted standards in terms of intelligence.

Why why WHY leave a finished, polished, clean, solidly built house …..


…..for this?!


#newkitchen #fail

Stay tuned, dear Internet People, for new adventures / disasters / mental breakdowns / eBay trawling / uncovering treasures / uncovering horrors / denial

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Bathroom Renovation

Despite not having a shower or vanity in the house for a few weeks (although admittedly we did have a bathtub and the rest of the bathroom fittings sitting in our lounge room) and in spite of one slightly dramatic jet of water spurting from the wall…. The bathroom renovation was pretty pain free.


It shocked me to read the other day (I think it was in House and Garden magazine) that the average bathroom renovation will cost between $20,000 and $30,000. For that kind of money the bathroom had better clean itself I reckon!

I think we did an amazing job, for what must clearly be a laughably small amount of $$$. Here’s how it went down:

Friday 19th July: our offer on the new house is accepted! Cue celebrations that ultimately sober up to a mild sense of panic/intense motivation.

Saturday 20th July: we demolish the bathroom.

Thursday 25th July: the plumber installs new pipes, electrical works etc.

Sunday 28th July: new walls go up, aforementioned dramatic incident/punctured pipe/gushing water slows progress.

Monday 29th: the plumber repairs pipe, walls go up again, floors go down.

Saturday 3rd August: waterproofing membrane is painted on.

Wednesday 7th to Wednesday 14th August: the tiler and floor polisher work around each other.

Thursday 15th August: the shower screen is installed, everything siliconed…Fiddly but rewarding!

Friday 16th August: the plumber installs bath, vanity and taps…

Et Voilà! Our shiny new bathroom!


I am the world’s worst blogger/photographer: I can’t find a before pic. So just imagine mottled whitish lino on the floor, brownish tinted glass and brass shower screen, peachy tiles and dark green painted walls. It’s probably best I don’t have a photo, come to think of it. The memory is bad enough!

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2013 aka The Year We Attempt To Drown In Work

I love this little blog. I think about it fondly from time to time, whilst attempting to tread water/avoid drowning in chaos. I think my rate of posts is down to about one:six months.

Here’s why:

January: start renovating the flat while on school holidays

February: put it on the market, go back to work.

March: work, then go to France to work.

April: Bali, then back to work.

May: work, mini-break / slave labour olive picking/tree planting at Fish Creek

June: work, mini-break in Red Hill to celebrate our 5th anniversary


July: buy new house, start panicking and demolishing bathroom

August: live in chaos, meanwhile shower at parents’ house

End of August: bathroom is functional! house is on the market! don’t touch anything!

September: House is sold!

October: move out of house, move into new house…. Which is a hideous mess. Start over.

Oh yes… I forgot to mention – the week we move Darling Husband will go to India to work.

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I tried going without coffee this week in a pathetically misguided attempt to improve my health: I got a headache. So I medicated it with coffee.

I sleep like a log. I can hit snooze every few minutes for 45 minutes, the cat can walk all over me, Darling Husband can get up, have a shower, make breakfast without me realizing: Most mornings, he has to wave my coffee under my nose before I can finally drag myself out of bed.


Here are my all time favourite locations for coffee:

1. Home
Convenient location, cosy ambiance, goodlookin’ wait staff 😉


2. Market Lane
Good location re: Vic Markets. Awesome coffee, no food.



3. Balmain’s
Amazing avocado on toast and they use the same “Dark Horse” coffee beans we order from 5 Senses. Not a huge fan of the inside – too dark. BYO torch.


4. 3 Bags Full
Amazing selection of coffee, great food. Cool vibe.


5. St Ali’s
Good food, good coffee. Hipster alert.


Apart from home, none of these places are exactly local…. but they are all worth the drive.
Of course, having to drive while un-caffeinated is a bit of a challenge…. I’ll brain storm a solution and get back to you, Internet People.

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This is me right now.


This last month has been completely chaotic.

We unexpectedly had to shift gears, literally dropping everything at home, to turn our attention to a little flat that we have rented out for a long time.

It’s cute and a fairly good size, it’s in a great location, but it’s also a bit tired and dated.
I was still on school holidays (one week left, sob!) so we attacked the flat with a whirlwind of energy and ambition. ( We couldn’t possibly have done it without the troops: mumma, scarlett, mark… We love you.)

After 3 weeks, it looks amazing but I am wrecked.

This was all planned and was fairly easy to achieve:

– painted all the walls (soft white)
– painted all the trim (gloss white)
– painted all the windows inside and out
– painted the front door (turquoise! Love it!)
– painted all the closets and wardrobes (gloss white)
– replaced the carpet in the 2 bedrooms
– scrubbed all the floors, windows and kitchen surfaces
– patched and painted an ugly brick wall outside


– turned the kitchen window into a servery to the back garden
– pruned, planted and mulched

Then we did this:

– demolished the wall tiles in the bathroom
– removed the vanity
– resurfaced the bath
– installed a new vanity
– installed new taps and towel rails
– installed new shower screen
– retiled the bathroom walls


This was unplanned. And a nightmare. But I love it! It’s a million times nicer than my own bathroom! And now I can add tiling to my list of skills!


We also did this:

– sourced a bed, arm chair, bedside tables, lamps, side tables, TV table, TV, and a desk chair for CHEAP on
– bought some el cheapo glass vases at the op shop and painted the insides
– begged and/or borrowed another bed, and a couch from parents
– found a desk (on the side of the road)



– found an outdoor metal table (on the side of the road) and painted it gloss white to become a dining table


– took my pillows, cushions, bedlinen, bedside tables, bedside lamps, candles, books, magazines, vases, faux flowers, forchids, framed art, towels, floor lamp, and dining chairs from my house to the flat. (my house is pretty much empty now.)



And now we wait…….

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Chk Chk BOOM

So…. I was harbouring ideas of destroying the carport.

Setting it on fire, taking a sledge hammer to it, whatever it took to get rid of the eyesore. And then of course, we would have to rebuild it.

Turns out after 4 years of putting up with hideous yellow and apricot, all it needed was a new coat of paint.






The colour is actually a colorbond colour: “ironstone”. In some light it looks very dark grey, in other light it looks dark blue. It’s a great colour – and our front corrugated iron fence is the same colour, as are our other fences, and as is our shed. It’s all matching and beautiful! :)

Plus the windows are now clean white instead of a slightly dirty pale green and the fascias are now also ironstone instead of apricot. Phew!

Note to self: never ever wait 4 years to get rid of something ugly.
Do it immediately with a quicky paint job.

Proper photos coming soon, Internet People. Stay tuned!

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You know when babies see another baby?
And they both sit there, staring at each other in amazement, a glint of recognition in their eyes, as if to say, “Hey! I know you! You’re a baby too!”

Sometimes you meet someone and you instantly recognize that this person speaks your language.


And so you stare at each other in amazement, as if to say, “Hey you! You’re my kind of crazy!”


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‘no pain no gain’ is a lie.

Mum has two arm chairs and a round wooden table tucked into a corner of the dining room. It’s a cozy spot for a chat. On the table is piles of books and magazines, notes to self, a lamp, the dodgy old pair of backup reading glasses with only one arm left, and a little jar – a souvenir from hospital.

A PowerPort is the size of a thimble that they insert just under the skin on the chest, a little tube attached to the device is threaded into a vein that goes to the heart. This makes chemo a lot easier. Most chemo patients end up getting a port. It’s easy to insert and remove – its just a local anesthetic.

What I am furious about is that inserting the port doesn’t happen straight away: they wait until you can’t put up with the pain of the chemo IV drip anymore.

Why can’t this be offered immediately?
Why wait until the patient’s wrist is covered in bruises, and the veins in the wrist are “collapsed” because of the burn of the chemo???

Without a port, you turn up for chemo and get your wrist jabbed with the IV needle until they find a vein that will hold up. Sometimes it can take minutes.

With a port, they numb the skin and jab directly into the device. It takes less than a second.

No pain no gain?


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New Carport, Please!

My brother has cruelly been spreading the rumour that I chose to paint our carport hideous banana yellow!

What’s worse? Some people (*ahem* Emily) actually believed him.

In fact the carport is mainly banana yellow, but one side of it is painted apricot.

Avert your colour-sensitive eyes People! You’ve been warned – here’s a visual:



Sorry about the bad quality photo… They were taken way back in 2009.

Yes. For 4 years we have had a banana and apricot carport which welcomes our guests like a beacon. Makes it a lot easier for people to find us, so I suppose that’s a plus.

I don’t know why anyone would make the decision to pair those two equally foul colours, but when you consider the other colour choices around the house, it becomes less surprising.

No less horrifying, but less surprising.

I have been dreaming of the day that we would a) set fire to the carport or b) replace it.

While Option A more accurately responds to how I feel about our eyesore, Option B is more sane.

So I have been trawling Pinterest, and taking the “scenic route” home from anywhere to get some ideas. (If you see me and darling husband slowly driving down your street taking photos, please don’t be alarmed.)

Here’s what we’ve come up with so far:






Oops, sorry that last one makes me feel a bit seasick… I was taking these on my iPhone out the car window…

And this one is from the home ideas page – so pretty!


So that’s where we’re up to in the great carport explosion replacement plan.

I’ll keep you posted, Internet People.


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