A Holiday Spent Smashing Up the House

We aren’t going on holiday this year.

I may not even get on a plane during 2017.

Whilst the lack of travel and missing out on basking in the sun, sipping on cocktails and looking out across a vast blue ocean does make me sad, we had a really great week off last week at home.

If, as weeks go, “really great” means smashing up parts of your house, spending 92% of your time in the same paint splattered vest top and holey-crotched shorts, and barely even glancing at my phone, let alone even thinking about a computer screen.

Having moved into the dream house in April, pretty much every spare minute we’ve had has been spent doing something on it. Don’t get me wrong, when we got the keys the whole place was very liveable. Dipped from top to bottom in magnolia pre-sale, once we’d got the boiler working we could happily manage as it was. But we didn’t want to just manage. So out the to-do list came.

We have a plan for every room. Plans we’ve discussed at length for over a year now since we first set our eyes on it. Dreams we’ll have almost certainly shared with you if you’ve ever visited, as we proudly dismiss the damp walls, 90’s seascape cartoon bathroom tiles and the “snug” which is reminiscent of an indoor shed as it currently has a concrete floor and is stuffed floor to ceiling with tools.

I love it.

Coming home, walking through the iron gate and down the path fills me with happiness.

Our neighbours have also noted quite house busy we’ve been (lol, I wrote a typo by accident then and put “busty” – made me laugh). Every free weekend since we moved in we’ve written a list of the jobs that need doing, then just cracked on. However, between Friday and Sunday night it really doesn’t give you that much time.

Hence, when our potential holiday plans fell through, instead we decided to stay at home. Get stuff done. Smash that to-do list (and the outside loo as well).

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Luckily for us, my Mum as a teacher is also off currently, so we had her help for three days, and it was a lifesaver. Between the three of us, we managed to move a huge pile of logs; go to the tip; dismantle a shed in someone’s garden, pack it in the van and then re-erect it in our garden; paint it black; re-felt the roof; re-do the fascias; wallpaper the ceiling of my office (with the BEST kitsch flowery wallpaper); build an IKEA stool and bookcase; upcycle and chalk paint the bureau; put up my picture shelf and other photos; buy and re-pot a lot of houseplants. FYI no photos of the inside yet, I’ll do an office tour post when it’s completely finished…

Basically, we didn’t stop.

Then once Mum had departed (probably for a rest!!) we treated ourselves to haircuts with Adam’s cousin Lucy who’s currently training. It is honestly one of the best haircuts I’ve ever had. She put in so much care and attention, and I love it. Holiday haircuts are now a thing.

Though, unlike your usual holiday pampering, mine was swiftly followed by collecting a tonne of gravel (umm, literally), then rushing home to empty it into many many wheelbarrow loads to the back garden, ready to go back an hour later before Wickes closed and pick up the other tonne.

I may have left Adam to do this bit on his own (sorry bubba!) whilst I cooked us up a delicious king prawn, tomato, rocket, and mini roast potato dinner with homemade parsley and walnut pesto, which we then took to see the first night of the national firework championships!

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Throughout the rest of the week we cracked on, though at a slightly slower pace than from Mum’s whirlwind! Going back to the shed house, as they’re landscaping their whole garden, we managed to get hold of their granite blocks that had made a raised bed, a fig tree and a pear tree, as well as a banana plant for Mum from Adam’s colleague next door!

We dug these into the ground at the bottom of the garden, filled in the shed frame with gravel to make it neater and potted up my eucalyptus in a new slate trough. Then, between my colleagues visiting for nachos and the second night of fireworks on Thursday, one of mum’s friends coming over for an afternoon visit on Friday and Emily and Matt for pizza night (where we ended up getting them to make their own dinner) we were pretty full with guests. In fact,  of the 9 nights we had over the week off, we were on our own for just 2!

At the weekend, our friend Nath came to visit and the DIY fun really begun, with the smashing up of the outside loo. With regret from our neighbour as it had sentimental value (it’s an outdoor toilet…really?), we thought it was more of an eyesore, and instead we plan to build a lower height, full width log store in it’s place, along the back of the extension.

Smashy smash smash.

We now have a lovely pile of rubble outside our kitchen door and an odd looking stripe of magnolia on the back of the house. Still, another good job done to add to the list.

I can imagine that not many people spent their week off over the summer holiday wielding a sledge hammer…

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