not happy jan!

Now its all over and done with I think I can share the bathroom reno saga. I was just too upset about it and too stressed over everything to face it before.

To recap: I was renovating Aunt 1’s house in order to rent it out. The bathroom was the biggest project. I got three quotes and decided to go with one of them, a father son team, who came highly recommended by the lady who owned the shop I bought all the tiles and fixtures from. The shop came highly recommended by my cousin who’s always bought from them.

So, I was there when the bathroom started, then again when it was ‘finished’. Feast your eyes on the ‘finished’ pics below.

When i got the chance to actually LOOK at the ‘finished’ bathroom I was upset and pissed off. First thing I noticed was that the light ‘backplate’ was touching the mirror. AND the mirror was off centre. It looked squished together and awful. I tried to remove the mirror so it could be set lower and found that it was almost impossible to do. And that you can see the hole and wires behind the light/under the backplate. I spoke to the electrician, why on earth would put the light there like that? He said the mirror was already in place and he set the light as far as he could from the mirror and still hide the hole. I asked him to go back and fix the light. The mirror needed to be moved down and the light backplate moved to cover the wires/hole.

But that was the least of it…

The builder/tiler (ha) didn’t corner the tiles properly and ‘fixed it’ by painting the exposed edge when I complained. And take a look at the quad on the ceiling!!! I could have done a better job with my eyes closed. At the time he told me ‘thats the painter’s job, but I can do it for you’. I should have said no thanks.

He ‘trimmed the door’ using an axe. Or at least thats how it looks!!!!

There was grout missing in tons of places, cause he ‘wasn’t finished yet’.


I also noticed how many places the tiles weren’t straight on the wall. I DID query the lack preparing and smoothing the wall before laying tiles… also the lack of of waterproofing of the bathroom walls. But whenever I asked a question he was ready with an explanation – and of course never having renovated in Greece before and never having dealt with brick walls, I didnt feel condifent enough to say NO, this is wrong, do it properly… so now I have tiles in places where they are just NOT level. Oh, and he didnt use spacers either. he said he didn’t need them on the wall, you wanted the tiles as close as possile to eachother.

He got plaster or white goop or whatever its called all over the place. He obviously never heard of a damp rag to wipe it off before it dried to concrete.

He did a particularly great job on the window. I mean, metal strips are a great idea, but they dont meet! And look at that quad! And dried goop everywhere!

Where he put the styrofoam quad between the wall and ceiling he left fingerprints in the quad and tons of dried plaster everywhere. He never did put quad above the door.

Where the toilet joins the wall there is a small hole. there are places between tiles missing grout and places in the grout where there are holes.

Almost every wall he came into contact with has dings and marks, footprints or scrapes. Ditto some of the casings. Lets not talk about the cement like crap on the floor everywhere. Again, never heard of a damp rag…

The wall he built to divide the living room from the dining room was plastered over really roughly so the painter had a job of smoothing it.

I spoke to the lady who recommended – she said they must fix it at their expense. She showed them the photos and was really angry at the job that was done as its her reputation on the line too…  That would mean they come back and rip out tiles and start over. No thanks. That would have added another week or so to the house being finished and I couldn’t keep travelling back and forth.

I just got the painter to fix it as best he could. I know he does a good job. Even he couldn’t really fix it to my standards but at least it was passable.

I now dread the time when water gets through the grout and underneath and tiles start to pop off walls cause there was no waterproofing…

I blame myself for not being tough enough, but its hard to be tough unless you KNOW things for sure and I’ve never tiled or done renovation work on brick walls.

Anyway, its done now, finished to the point where its acceptable. And the house is rented. So at least MOST of my headaches are gone. Well… some of them. Getting the house rented was/is a nightmare in itself. Not the tenants. They’ve been great (so far, fingers crossed) but the paperwork required to rent the house. I’ve never seen anything as impossible as this. I swear…

Sigh.

Enough complaining for now. I have positive things to do today. Like repotting some of my plants.

z

moving right along

The bathroom is almost finished. Yesterday all the fixtures were put in. I’m missing a shelf for under the mirror cause I decided not to reuse the vintage one my aunt had, and we need a bigger metal strip for the shower glass partition. Basically, the wall is crooked so there’s a gap under one end of the glass which doesn’t look nice…

The radiator and towel rails are in place on the right hand wall but my photo was blurry so I’ll post that side later.

The builder is here now finishing off all the odds and ends. He had to vacate yesterday in order for the plumber to come do his job. Its just finishing touches left now, plus putting stucco on the new wall, rehanging the door etc.

The electrician put in the light and updated the power board so we can get an certificate for the house.

Theoretically I’m on the home stretch… Monday the painter will begin finishing his part in all this, the cleaner can step in and clean and tidy the place so the agent can come take photos.

Meanwhile I’m heading back to Paros on Tuesday morning with mom’s car loaded up with her stuff. I start work at the ceramics studio this week. I’ll have to come back again for my test appointment on July 16, but I plan to only come up for 1-2 days for that. Everything else should be finished and handled by the time I get back.

I hope.

Its bloody hot in Athens. I slept with the air conditioner on all night last night. First time it didn’t cool down enough to sleep with just the fan. Poor Lainee is dragging her feet on our walks.

My spots are all but gone, just sort of scars where they were. Lainee is not doing so well. Her spots are now up to 5 bigger ones and 2 tiny ones which might not be growing. I’ve made an appointment to take both her and Spartacus in for shots on the 14th. Her second, his last. sheesh. Its bloody ridiculous how much this has cost me.

After all this you’d think I’ll want to keep Spartacus seeing as to how much he’s cost and how much trouble he’s caused… but I’m not sure I want to… All this cause I rescued one tiny kitten. Maybe I should find him a home. Seriously. He’s gorgeous and playful and loving but I can’t handle the bills for 2 pets. Plus he’d have to be an outdoor cat as I can’t be bringing him to Athens with me when I come back here in winter. That means he’ll be in danger of catching something else, getting into a fight with another cat, being hit by a car. I really don’t want those things… sigh…

I’ve done virtually nothing the whole time I’ve been in Athens. No art. No sorting of stuff, no tidying. Only the bare necessities: moved a bit of leftover stuff from downstairs and overseeing the reno. I’ve been down from the whole ringworm/staph/who knows what it is thing and the heat has just drained me. I’ve had to go out to shop a few times and return to zonk out in the air conditioning.

I’m glad I’ve been here alone though. I need to disinfect the house before I leave so there are no spores or germs left when mom returns. Wouldn’t want her getting anything!

A few more days and I’ll be back in my own home for a while, start work and things will go back to whatever normal is for me now.

z

trying to climb back on the wagon…

Remember this post from long ago?

It was from back when I was inspired to go off sugar. It was before my holiday to Greece where I decided to move back here to be closer to mom and family.

It was way before I joined a gym and began to love working out again after years. And got fit and lost weight.

It was back when I started getting healthier.

Since then I slipped back into eating sugar till I’ve once again managed to disgust myself on days where almost everything I’ve eaten has been sweet.

I tried going to the gym but got sick, couldn’t get into the new gym, stopped going.

I really need to go back to where I was about two years ago and cut sugar out again. Then start exercising again.

I will not make the same mistake and pay for a gym membership in advance again though. Not when I don’t know where I’ll be from one week to the next. I need to find a gym in both Athens and on Paros where I feel I’m getting a good workout and pay monthly.

I miss my gym in Tasmania. I miss my gym in Melbourne. Its so important to find a gym you like, where you click and where you feel like you belong. And after so many years of not going to gyms I was lucky to find two I loved being a member of.

I want that again…

I also miss my doll remakes… I miss painting…

I miss making stuff… Need to get back to that.

z

progress


Progress on the bathroom… Wall tiling will be finished this morning, only the top row needs doing. Floor tiling next.

The builder/tiler will fit flyscreens to the louvre windows in the bathroom and kitchen and finish the wall between the living rom and dining room. On Friday the plumber will put in all fixtures. The electrician will fit the light on Saturday and do whatever he has to do to get a current compliance certificate for the place (ugh) and the painter will return to finish his part on Monday. Somewhere in there the whole house must be cleaned.

So, theoretically, the house should be ready for photographs to list it mid next week.

All going well.

Keeping in mind that this is Greece and that things don’t always go as expected…

Still, I’m not doing badly considering this is my first renovation in Greece.

On the other topic of disease and pestilence: my spots LOOK like they’re getting better since yesterday, but Lainee has two new spots. Lovely. Given I’m taking an antibiotic for BACTERIAL infections, and it seems to be working, doesn’t that indicate its a staph infection rather than ringworm?

There’s a silver lining to Lainee having new spots: she was able to have swabs taken from the new spots today since they’d never been treated, so now I just wait for the results, not for 3-4 days before we can swab. Cost of vaccine/treatment plus culture: 60e. Second (and possibly 3rd shot if its ringworm) 35e each. (That’s not a bright spot btw.)

Lainee’s spots are more like mine… start off ‘wet’ or just red and then turned scabby. Like a real scab, like hard blackened spots like after an injury… Not the naked skin on Spartacus. And the pet shop lady who i got Malaseb from today who go ringworm from a kitten said mine looks nothing like what she had… I’m really dumbfounded by this!

I was given the numbers for two of ‘the best dermatologist in Greece’ but I haven’t called either yet. Originally I thought what the heck, if I can get this over with faster I’ll pay to go privately… then I remembered the hospital saying they wanted me to do the test after TEN days of no topical treatment. sigh… so even if went privately I’d have to wait those 10 days. So I’d only save 6 days from my current hospital appointment… Maybe. And be out a ton of money…

Maybe I’ll wait?

I’m not good at just waiting. I want things done now. I want it gone now.

I don’t know.

That seems to be the position I take regarding everything in my life lately. I just don’t know.

I know nothing about living in Greece. I don’t know whether I should wait here, go to Paros and return, whether I can make it living on Paros, whether I’ll have to move to Athens on a more permanent basis, whether I should spend money on renovating this house or not, whether I should just get a job and forget about trying to run a business which will cost me 200e a month just for the privelege of having the right to work as a freelancer in art/grooming/whatever whether I made any money at all… ie pay 200e a month every month regardless of earning a cent or not… and then paying about 50% tax on that cent. From day one…

I just don’t know.

I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet. I can’t anyway. I moved here for mom and I can’t just up and leave her… but maybe the wisest decision would be to go back to Australia?

I DON’T KNOW.

I’ll put that on my gravestone: Here lies Zefi. She just didn’t know.

z

reno update – ie back in athens. again.

The bathroom has been officially de-pinked.

I arrived in Athens late Sunday night and found this when I went downstairs in the morning. The bathroom has been ripped out and all pipes have been moved. The far wall will be the shower, toilet and vanity will be along that left hand wall.


The wall that held the sink is now empty… this is where the new panel radiator will go plus a towel rail.

The living room is now separated from the dining room by a wall which is ready for the painter to finish it off.

The wall on the dining room side needs to be finished in order to be painted, but the house now has two official bedrooms with proper doors.

This morning the tiler began work on the bathroom…

The electrician is here to move the light to the wall opposite over where the vanity will go, plus he’ll be back to fit the light fitting (all lights in Greece are hard wired, not like in Australia where you have plug in lights, sooooo much easier!)


We have these on all our ceiling lights, and we can buy wire extensions so we can drop our lights down and buy pendant light fittings or ceiling light fittings. Instead here you have to either call in an electrician to WIRE IN a light or learn how to do it yourself if you’re brave. I’m not that brave. Next time I renovate a house for myself to live in I’ll get them to put these fittings in everywhere for me. They just make way more sense.

What else has been happening you may ask?

Well… not a hell of a lot of good stuff.

On the Sunday when I washed Spartacus I thought he was doing better. Again, some fuzz on previous bald spots. But what the hell do I know? I thought he was getting better just before he got worse.

Lainee had a couple of red spots on her neck where she’s obviously been scratching. Oh no. I put iodine on them and by the time we arrived in Athens that night she had hard spots, skin thickening… so I hit it with more iodine.

Next morning I took her to the vet who said that cause I’d treated her with iodine she couldn’t do a culture and without it she couldn’t say what it was. I had a choice. Leave it without any treatment for 3-4 days and return to do a swab, or begin treatment as if it was ringworm. I bought the stuff but decided to wait it out. The worst thing about the culture is that the results will take 15 days!!! So I ordered the anti-fungal vaccine. If its ringworm she’ll need 3 shots at 35 euros a pop. Which is what Spartacus is getting. If its not ringworm she needs 2 as preventative vaccinations. Wonderful. At least after I get her swabbed I can begin treating her with antifungals just in case. I did ask the vet if I had staph, if she could have got that off me… she said that was rare.

But then do I really know I have staph?

I decided that all these doctors/vets who aren’t swabbing and testing to find out what something is and diagnosing with just looking at something aren’t doing a proper job. So yesterday I went to the hospital here in Athens that specializes in veneral and dermatological diseases. Trust me, its not a hospital I relished visiting!!!!

The doctor looked at me and said he had no idea what it was and that I had to stop the antibiotics I was taking, stop the cream I was using, take the ones he gave me, wash with an antiseptic he prescribed and come back in 10 days. He was said he would work on the assumption that it was fungal and that I got it from the cat and so did Lainee (or she got it off me poor thing) and go back in 10 days (to allow things to be back to normal from the treatments I was using) in order to run tests which wouldn’t be compromised.

So I have to wait in Athens till I get the test done. But the first dermatological clinic appointment available is July 16, 16 days away, not 10. And then, what will they say? Do this and come back in a week?

This is hell.

Not only do I have some pestilence which I most likely got from taking in a sick kitten, I gave it to my baby girl, and I have to stay in Athens for who knows how long, and even if I returned to Paros for a few days, I’m advised not to go swimming!

This sucks. I have no idea how this will affect my job as I delayed my start date till July 10 or so cause of the reno. Now? Who bloody knows.

Nope. I’m not in good place right now. Physically. Emotionally. Financially. This has cost me a ton. I may as well own a chemist with all the various medications I bought over the last 3 weeks. No income to speak of and anything I do earn goes straight out the window on doctors, physio’s, medication. Oh, yeah I didn’t mention putting my back out when I went to groom a dog, did I?

Wonderful, I told you. My life is all peachy.

z

where am i at?

In Athens, obviously, but where in the scheme of things am I at?

Short answer: still facing a steep hill.

Long answer: well… its a long answer…

Let’s see… Aunt 1’s house is a mess but the painting is almost all finished and it looks amazing. Almost finished cause the bathroom renovation was decided after the painter was booked in so the bathroom door and ceiling have been left to be done later.

As has the dividing wall between the living room and dining room. That wasn’t organised beforehand cause a friend told me she had a niece who was definitely interested in renting the place and they were a couple and would love to have a dining room. Now, I need the house to have 2 bedrooms in order to appeal to uni students or professors, hence we need a wall.

I’m sorting, packing, giving away stuff, putting what I have to in boxes to store. There’s always a ton of stuff in any home… so much that really just needs to go. Given Aunt 1 is in a nursing home and not dead, it feels awful to be going through her stuff and dividing it up among friends and relatives. But the reality is that she can’t come home again. She can’t live alone any more. It has to be done, the house must be rented to help pay for the nursing home.

And its my responsibility.

I got quotes to renovate the bathroom.

Good news: I chose the team I’m hiring to do the job and am pleased with my choice.

Bad news: they can’t start till June 26… That means an extra week away from home… not that I can’t use the time. I have tons to do, but I didn’t really want to spend so long in stinky Athens.

Thankfully my good neighbour is looking after my plants and the kitten. I’ve decided on a name for him: Spartacus. I love the idea of a HUGE ancient greek name for a tiny kitten.

I’ve also organised to start work after I return to Paros. I should have started next week, but its not worth going back and forth with the cost of ferry tickets.

More good news: I chose the tiles and bought the bathroom fixtures. All I have to do now is figure out the final bits and organise to have it all delivered.

I’m seeing a real estate agent tomorrow re renting the place but apparently its not the way its done here… most people don’t go through agents to find a rental I’m told. Everyone is advising me to just place ads in the paper and online and interview people and show the house myself while I’m here. Save money.

Sounds great… till I think of the tenants from hell I approved to let rent my place in Tasmania…

I dunno. I’m afraid to trust my own judgement, but on the other hand agents here are NOT like agents in Aus. Most agents here just find a tenant, take 1/2 to 1 whole month’s rent as payment for their service and then disappear. No responsibility to collect rent on time, no property management, no visits to check on your property. That is a service you can opt for for extra money, but its not part of the deal… strange. In Australia I paid an agent up to 10% (can’t remember) of the rent per month to manage the property but there was no up front finder fee. They did visits and made sure the rent was paid on time… Not sure I should pay someone to just find me a tenant… not when the house is in a very popuar area for students. We live very close to the universities and this is the time of year people are looking for places to live.

And Aunt 1’s house is gorgeous. Very 60s in style. I’d live in it any day. With a de-pinked bathroom and bedroom wallpaper removed its gorgeous, even with the original old kitchen. In fact if I was to live there I’d make a few changes and it would gorgeous…

The way the economy is going, and my finances, I may very well have to live in Athens this coming winter, but I can’t afford to pay the rent!

sigh

But let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. Cause who knows what will happen come September, let alone winter. The way things are going in Greece we’re heading into another lockdown. Greece is open for the summer and they’re actively promoting us as safe place to holiday… but with every tourists comes COVID19… I’m not gonna rant and rave now (though I reserve the right to revisit this at another time) but lets just say my feeling is that Greece will go from a great example of handling the COVID19 pandemic to a pitiful example of what not to do…

Later. Things to do now.
z

bathroom update

The bathroom has become one of those ongoing projects that just lingers…

When we started it dragged on, mainly cause I got the plumber to do the tiling and it turned out he’s a great plumber but not such a great tiler. It took forever. In the end I just wanted him gone so I opted to finish the room myself.

Not that much to do… Or at least that’s how it seemed till I listed it:

Patch holes in the window frame and paint
Remove silicon around the shower where it was stained by the grout and replace
Seal the grout
Paint the wall that wasn’t tiled
Put in skirting boards on that wall, quad in the corners and trims around door
Gap fill and paint woodwork
Put up the towel rail
Sort out a shelf/shelves for above the vanity
Finish the cabinet for storage
Paint and mount the mirror
Make a cabinet out of a window to finish the storage corner

Suddenly, it wasn’t such a quick job to finish…

This week I managed to cross a few items off the list – some cause I did them, some cause I eliminated the need to do them! Always a bonus when you rethink your plans and eliminate steps!

bathroom1

What I did get done:

Attached the towel rail
Broke the vintage mirror I had sitting on the window sill
Sealed the grout
Finished the cabinet
Did most of the door trim

Here is the cabinet’s story. This cabinet was on a pile to go to the rubbish tip. I rescued it cause I could see potential in it. By the time I got it it was missing its doors, shelves and was a total mess.

before

None of that worried me, I liked the shape. Problem was, it was too wide for the space I had. So I cut it down. I basically had to pull it apart and put it back together again in a narrower shape.

cabinet1

I painted it with a very pale grey DIY chalk paint and put a new dark grey back on it. The dark grey back almost matches the concrete effect wall the cabinet sits against.

bathroomcab1

bathroom3

The plan is/was to put towels in the larger shelves on the left and make boxes (or buy baskets) to slide into the smaller shelves on the right. These boxes (or baskets!) will hold the kind of stuff you don’t want on display – makeup, hair stuff, whatever. That way, since the cabinet is not in front of the mirror, I can take the box/basket to the vanity to do my hair or makeup… then put it all away again.

Since I wanted to start using it, I’ve gone ahead and made do with what I have for now. I some towels on the right and used some old suitcases to hold other stuff. It’ll do for now!

bathroom2

When I put up the towel rail I was able to put 3 of the screws into the joins between tiles, into the grout. However the last screw had to go into a tile.

Have you ever tried to drill into a tile? I hadn’t. I had to go buy a special drill bit.

I never want to do it again. I bought an acrylic suction type shelf for above the sink. MUCH easier… It gets things off the window sill and out of the way.

bathroom5

I also added a small IKEA mirror for doing makeup.

But I didn’t explain why the vintage mirror got broken… Well, when I sealed the grout I had all the house windows open plus the fan on in the bathroom, but I was still choking on the fumes. When I finished spraying I ran out and left the mirror where it was, leaning against the open window…

When I got back into the house after grooming I found the mirror on the floor, broken to bits. Sigh…

Oh well. At least its not the mirror I planned to put in the bathroom long term. It was a temporary mirror. I still have to paint the long term mirror.

bathroom4

So what’s left to do? Well… I need to finish the door trim. I had enough timber to do it but I cut the top bit too short, then cut another bit and did the angle wrong. Measure 3 times and still get it wrong… I bought some new trim and will finish it this week.

Needless to say I’ll then need to do the gap filling and painting of all woodwork.

What I eliminated from my list was the skirting board behind the cabinet. Without it the cabinet sits flat against the wall. Perfect.

What I’m changing my mind on is the quad in the corners. I dislike quad so I’m going to try gap filler in there and see if I can make it neat enough. If I fail I’ll go ahead and use the quad.

My plan is to make a smaller cabinet to sit on top of the larger one, with a window as the door. Step one is complete: I found the window I have earmarked to use as a door. Now on to making the actual cabinet…

That’s the fun bit!

z

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we have a vanity!

vanity33.jpg

Yes! We have a vanity.

The bathroom isn’t finished, but today I waved our adopted plumber off for the last time (for this project).

I feel like a weight’s been lifted. I have a heap of work to do to actually finish the bathroom, but the house can now go back to being a home instead of a construction zone.

So, let me remind you what the vanity started out like. I found this little cabinet, complete with a broken top, at a garage sale a year ago.

forsink2.jpg

From the moment I saw it I thought it’d make a great vanity for our bathroom. So it sat in the shed for months till I was ready. I had planned to just fix it up and replace the one we had in our bathroom currently. Till the broken shower moved the bathroom reno to the top of the To Do List.

The plan was to find a sink to put on top and I’d fallen in love with this Ikea sink:

rattviken-single-wash-basin-white__0404539_PE302665_S4.JPG

So I had the cabinet. I had the sink. I needed to decide on a colour. Well, that took a bit of work. I ended up with a grey/blue/green colour I love. Its paler than my original ideas, but I’m happy with it. Our towels are sea foam and white, so this will fit in nicely.

Here we are now. Finally.

vanity2 (2)

vanity1 (2)

All I managed to do today after work, was to clean up a bit and move a few necessary items into the bathroom. A vintage mirror just leans against the window for now, toothbrushes close at hand… An Ikea trolley holds bits and pieces and can be wheeled in and out as needed. Our towels are on a timber towel rack for now. The idea being that I can continue to work in there with minimal need to move things back and forth till the bathroom is finished.

vanity4

For now I’m just happy to have a sink in the bathroom!

z

new grooming room… almost done!

My new grooming room is almost finished. I mean I’ve been using it for weeks, but I’ve almost got it how I want it now. Not that I’ll ever stop making small adjustments and changes – I am who I am, after all. Being able to say its finished is a big thing for me.
Last week Wayne made me a ‘portico’ for the entrance. I love it. I just wanted a plain old canopy over the door but he created this wonderful little space which protects the door (and room!) from the wind and rain. He used materials we already had – some cedar boards a friend gave us, leftover bits of laserlite and treated pine from the stable makeover.

You can see where I’ve put flashing to stop water from seeping into the concrete. Hopefully that works… we’ll see when we get the next big rainfall.
Of course, you may have noticed there was one problem with this design… Its dark. Too dark. The three single fluoro lights in the grooming room didn’t seem bright enough any more. But I have a cunning plan…. watch this space.

The outside area is almost finished. I put two large pots out there with cuttings from my white hydrangeas in them. Both are doing well even while the original bush the cuttings came from seems to be dying. Even if its not dying it will die soon as I plan to dig it up. Its just not doing well at all.
Anyway, back to the groom room yard… last week, feeling energetic, I decided it was time to fill the yard with pine bark. I’d already lined the ground with newspapers, old rugs, old carpet, whatever I had lying around to stop weeds coming up. I’d ordered a load of pine bark which was sitting in the driveway… I had a shovel and a wheel barrow… what more could I want?

I’ll tell you what: a younger back. 
Or more sense.
I did something like 24 wheelbarrow loads of pine bark. I was breathing hard. I was tired. I was aching. But I kept pushing on. I kept thinking ‘not much more to go and it’ll be finished’…
Big mistake. I stopped about 3 loads short of finishing cause by then I was too sore to move.
I couldn’t walk for a week.
The original plan had been to put some sweet peas along the fence but I’ve decided against it. With the snake incident I’ve become a little bit too scared to let my dogs outside unless I’m home… However the snake lady who came to visit gave me some advice I’m following. She basically said two things: 1. get rid of the food source (ie keep all horse and chicken feed in sealed containers which won’t attract mice and rats) and 2. don’t try to keep snakes out – they will get in anyway if they want to – allow them a way out if they do get in. ie The one thing you don’t want is a snake trapped in with your dog.
So, I’m not putting plants in the ground in my little yard. I’ll let the sweet peas grow on the outside of the fence so if a snake wants to rest in a cool spot, its outside the fence. And if one gets in somehow, it will have plenty of gaps to escape through.
As for the embankment with the tyres – where the snake was – the snake lady suggested we fence it off. Again, using what we have, we decided to put an electric fence across it, thus stopping dogs from climbing onto it, and again, allowing any snakes that may get into our yard a way out.
Lets hope no snakes come into our yard again.
Its looking good though, isn’t it? I have little metal poodles which will have arrows on them to point the way, and a large sign on the wall. Hopefully people will then know where the grooming room is…
Inside is still a work in progress. I have hooks for my dremmel and clippers. I have paintings and photos on the walls. The door has a window and a handle!

Okay, not in this photo, but it does. My first ever door handle! I’m so proud of myself! 
I still have tools lying around everywhere so excuse the mess.

I even made myself a scissor rack. What self respecting groomer doesn’t have a scissor rack?

I have a cute little stool for visitors…

Of course I have a cd player, and a cute poodle planter holds my business cards.

Pictures, paintings, old ads featuring poodles… my aprons on a huge nail and a plaque painted by a friend many years ago.

I bought this mantlepiece years ago and have never had anywhere to put it. I decided I’ll use it as a shelf for now – to display some of my poodle items.

Eventually I’ll have all my poodle collection on display in there, along with items for sale. Since I now have a separate area for drying dogs things don’t get covered in dog hair in the room. Its such a relief!
Anyway, I’ll take more photos soon, as things progress – like the signs and the change to the portico…
z

progress in the grooming room

Its been slow. I mean, its been months! A project I thought would take me a couple of weeks… ok, a month or so… has taken ages. Partly cause it was a bigger job than I thought (ain’t it always?) and secondly cause I haven’t actually been working on it as regularly as I’d planned.
Things happen. I get busy. You know how it goes. Sometimes a book just has to be read, or a TV show becomes an addiction you can’t ignore.
Despite that, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.
This last week I finished the walls and ceiling. Those were the big things. 

The ceiling was the hardest. I used 3mm MDF sheets to cover the flakey, gappy, holey baltic pine ceilings. I’d have loved to remove the baltic pine to reuse but the job would have been way too big. I opted to just cover it, last thing I wanted was stuff falling down on me every time I groomed a dog. Now I have a smooth surface to paint.

The electrician is coming tomorrow to put my lights in – fluoros so I can see! There are no windows, just the one in the door, so I need plenty of artificial light.

Speaking of windows, I’ve made the window/door frame and have perspex to put in it, it just needs to be painted.

As you may remember, the right hand wall is covered in recycled masonite. It needs a good wash before painting. And everything needs undercoating before I paint the entire space white.

I’m leaving the center panel with its shabby paint look. I love it.

It was really hard to do this room cause nothing is straight. The ceiling and walls don’t have straight edges. Look at the gaps! I did all kinds of dodgey patches to try to minimise gaps. I also ended up lining the back wall which I thought I’d leave as it was (ie old) but I had pine left over. Not enough to go all the way up the ceiling though. I used leftover bits of MDF at the top. Very unevenly. I figure once the entire space is painted white and I put things on and against the walls no one will notice.

I hope.

Don’t look at the mess in the workshop outside the inner door.

This is better. Forget you saw that mess.

The room is clean now, swept, tools and rubbish cleared out. I just have to wash walls and move the compressor back to its spot in the garage and I’m ready to paint.

Outside in the tiny yard I’ve put flashing against the bottom weather boards to stop rain soaking in over the concrete slab. Hopefully that will stop any dampness – not so much in the new grooming room but in the old one.

I’ve sprayed weeds and have cardboard and newspaper to spread over the ground, then I’ll get pine bark to fill the space which will keep it from getting muddy.

Meanwhile, it’s been so windy here that I’ve had to go to extreme measures to save my little silver birch. There was a huge cosmos flowering to the left of it but it was broken by the wind. So sad.

The garden is looking awful right now. Everything that flowered in early spring has died (or gone to seed). I now have to find the time to cut back the dead stuff and pull out weeds. Then all I can do is wait for the summer flowering stuff to start looking good. 
z