A change of colour

Two images of the same stairwell, first with warm peach walls and then with cool pale blue walls.

It's been a busy week in the House Of Robots. I mentioned in my last post that we'd asked Ian down the road to do some DIY. Because he does a lot of gardening and exterior work, we expected he'd be busy doing that for people and the decorating would wait till September. But no, he was able to fit us in, and this week repainted the stairwell for us. Mr Robot and I do our best, but were a bit uncertain about using ladders on the stairs. Ian knows what he's doing. He also stripped the rubbish picture rail and skirting boards from the upstairs landing, smoothed over where the curtain rail had been and replaced the skirting boards. The old ones were covered in blobby mushroom-greige paint. (It's only take us about 18 years to get rid of them!)

Ian's now moved on to the living room – the awful, uneven bare plaster where the fireplace was replaced is finally going, though we've only been living with that for five years.

You're probably reading all this in horror, thinking, 'How can they live with things they don't like for so long?', but we're not great at fixing a lot of stuff ourselves. Plus the things we like about our house outweigh the things we don't – we tend to look on the bright side when it comes to our home. 

Four framed pictures of animals.

Anyway, Ian did the walls and ceiling, so we've been varnishing the new skirting boards and old pine doors upstairs a nice shade of oak brown. It looks so different, so much fresher and brighter. My animal gallery looks better against it too. I chose the peach colour that was there before, but it had started to feel oppressive. We did paint that ourselves, doing the upper parts of the walls with a roller on a stick – but that meant the ceiling had to be the same peach colour, adding to the claustrophobic feel. Ian used a ladder, so he was able to paint the ceiling white again. We're planning to strip back the bannisters ourselves and varnish all the woodwork down the stairs the same oak colour as we've used on the landing, though that's a job for Next Week Mim. 

Lots of flowers in blue and terracotta pots, against a wooden fence.

The garden is looking wonderful, though I'm indoors reading blogs at the moment because it's too hot out there right now. Barbecue later! I'm always so grateful for that outdoor space. We went to the pub last week for the last time in a while. When masks were being worn and there were social distancing rules in place I felt okay to go to places I knew were being careful, but with all restrictions being abandoned tomorrow I'm actually going to go out less, not more. My bosses want us back in the office one day a week in August, and I am really not looking forward to it. Partly it's because of the epidemic (if you're not in the UK, yesterday's figures here were around 55,000 cases for England and Wales) and partly it's because I've gained loads of weight and no longer know how to talk to people. Ho hum. If I manage not to catch a virus on the train, maybe going into the office will ease me back in to moving around more and relearning to socialise.

Stay safe! 


  1. The new stairway and hall look lovely; very fresh and light. Doing the stairs is so tricky; I've always got someone in to do ours. My house is in dire need of decorating; most of it was done about 10 years ago but I just can't face the upheaval and keep putting it off...

    Your garden looks fab and we are so lucky to have outside space. I think about people cooped up in flats and high rises and wonder how on earth they coped.

    Going back to work one day a week sounds like a good gentle way to get back into the swing of things again; you'll be fine I'm sure. Good luck all the same!

  2. Everyone's forgotten how to talk to people, so take comfort in knowing the awkwardness is darn near universal.

  3. Can you send Ian down to Dove Cottage after he's finished at yours? We are exactly the same, putting things off because we are rubbish at that sort of thing too. I bet you're pleased with the result, though.
    I'm hearing you on the easing of the restrictions and wouldn't be very comfortable with that either, even if cases aren't rising that dramatically over here. Luckily, our PM has just announced we'll be doing the easing in small steps, which makes much more sense.
    I've always kept going to the office, even if only part time, and I'm actually glad I did. Working from home wouldn't work for me, and with only two people in a big office, I've felt perfectly safe at all times. xxx

  4. Isn't it exciting having stuff done for you? We're exactly the same, it's only been since lockdown started that a lot of things in our house got done, we moved here in 2005! Jon will have a bash at anything but draws the line at climbing ladders. We're waiting for a new front door (well, like for like) and the exterior of the new upstairs windows to be painted, our workmen are months behind - you've struck lucky with Ian.
    The garden is looking gorgeous and I bet you are, too. Jon ventured out this morning and said that everyone in the post office wore masks and 80% of the customers in Morrisons did as well, the rest had them on their chins but it sounds like most people have decided to continue with the mask wearing - not a free-for-all like we feared! xxx

  5. Love the animal gallery wall, so beautiful pictures!, and this new colour looks really brighter and enhances the pictures nicely!
    Your garden looks really colourful, glad you're enjoying it.
    I'm not going to bars for a while, because of the same situation of 'freedom' here. It doesn't look safe (you can call me squeamish).
    Sorry that you'll have to commute and manage the social life at the office (totally understand the feeling, as I'm an introverted). I'm back at the office and trying to dress up everyday to feel better and cope with work and people and stuff.

  6. No judgment from me on leaving things for years and years before finally doing something about them - you're talking to the person who finally painted our deck after 20+ years! Your gallery looks wonderful.


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