Corona Lock down Diaries – Day…Er? – More Backdoor Shenanigans

The ongoing saga of the right old state our doors were in…

We’ve lived in this house for about 15 years and am still not quite convinced which is the back door and which is the front. We enter through the door straight into the kitchen from the small road at the back of the house. This would make me think this is the front door. But the traditional front door, which leads outto the garden, is far more ornate and has the feel of a front door which means what I think is the front door is probably the back door. We were discussing this with a neighbour just this week and she said she thinks of the backdoor as the one at the kitchen so its probably right that what I think is the front door is actually the back door.

Whenever Mrs afterwards and I need to reference one of the doors we generally point to it. Seems easier.

Anyway, as I wrote about here I recently sorted out the front door? Last weekend I sorted out the backdoor as it was also in need of some TLC. I will admit there were quite a few ‘backdoor’ jokes during the 5 hours it took me, none of which went down particularly well. Best I got from Mrs Afterwards was an eye roll I think.

Anyway this was the before and after. The surround took some serious filling and its a bit scruffy close up but from a distance I think it looks alright. Still going to add a transfer to the glass pane above the door with the house number on it (once I clean up the stray paint).

I painted the 2 stone teddies too.

So I think that makes me an official backdoor officianado. (Cue eye rolls).

And yes, there is a skip outside my house. Has been since March. Will be until July…

Corona Lock down Diaries – Tuthwedday – Renovations

Want me to sort your back door out?

When we bought this house 16 years ago we did so (or at least on my part) because it had a great garden and a wonderful cellar. Two weeks before lockdown we started a building project (which I will write about some when) to eventually turn the cellars into something usable, and the plan is to create a small gym, a TV room and put a toilet in. Oh and add a new entrance to the garden.

That work continues (with a 6 week off site in between) but inspired by the manliness of the chaps working still I thought I would have a crack at sprucing up the back door. Whilst I will willingly try my hand at DIY my track record is not great.

There was the time I tried to install a kitchen worktop and measured in centimetres but cut in inches. Took 2 weeks to get a new top delivered and I had to prop it up with a broom. Or the time the oven door handle broke and I bolted an old coffee table leg onto it. I thought it was genius. Mrs Aftewards disagreed. Oh and there was that one time I thought I could tile the shower. It had more undulations that a scenic drive out into the country. So as willing as I am I just seem to actually know what I am doing.

Oh that reminds me of when I thought I could change the taps in the kitchen. We had to keep a bucket under the sink to catch the post installation leaks. I thought that was a perfectly reasonable solution. Again, Mrs afterwards suggested that perhaps it was not.

Anyway, inspired by all the handiness going on in the house I renovated the back door. Yes I accidentally painted it grey instead of blue, but I think it looks ok. We have blue paint but for some reason I just picked up the wrong paint. It has been suggested I did not listen and I will admit that may carry a degree of truth.

So with some filling, priming, painting and sealing I spent a couple of days last weekend sorting it out. On close inspection there are things I would do better and that I will apply when I do the front door, but with the added paining of the handrail and the addition of some lights I think it looks okay.

Keep on living that lockdown dream!

Corona Lock down Diaries – Day Eleventytwelve – Green Fingers

In an English country garden…

I’ve never been one for gardening, the extent of my green fingered interests lying mostly with occasionally mowing the lawn and popping to the tip to throw away all the dead plants Mrs Afterwards bought in an attempt to brighten up the back way.

About 2 weeks before lockdown we started a building project, a cellar conversion is underway with a new entrance meaning the builders had to dig our where previously I was cultivated a lovely collection of weeds, hosepipes and rusting bicycles. As they dug out for the steps and the new door they discovered a mass of old stone which seemed to have been used as backfill when the house was built in 1906. Driven, I think, by my love of cutting corners and looking for shortcuts I insisted that they not worry about moving it but to leave it and I would instead build a rockery.

I then went away to research rockeries.

Anyway, long and not particularly interesting story short, Ive spend the past many weeks putting together what I think passes as one (who knows how long has passed – we are, as you know, in lockdown time and that doesn’t move like real time) . Something I am sure will be proven by bearded scientists in years to come in an attempt to explain just how it was possible that people got so fat during quarantine when they swear they went for a long walk everyday and ate lots of salad.

There was membrane laying. rock piling, soil carting, plant planting, fountain fitting, light fitting and pebble placing. The photos below show my progress.

I would note that as pretty as I think it looks, I am currently having some problems with finding it all a little creepy and unnerving. The plants (I just went for alpines and succulents) are spreading at a phenomenal rate. The succulents doubled in size in a week and I swear to Jeebus they sing this sweet little song when I look at them but I know that they want to lay spores inside my orifices and control me and make me do their bidding.

Fuck them! Might just lay a patio.