Following on from my last "poor me" post, I decided to keep busy by making headway with the decorating. My next job was to be the kitchen/diner which is at the very base of my Jacob's ladder of a staircase. The problem is, I have been waiting months for a painter to get the kitchen ceiling painted, before I paint the rest of the room. I hate painting ceilings with a passion. I think it has to do with putting your arms above your head and cricking your neck to see what you are doing. I love painting walls..... and woodwork...... all very therapeutic. But ceilings..........no, no, no. One of my neighbours recommended two fabulous painters who had done work for her. I approached them both back in September. One, a reputable family firm, took a month to send me a quote and when I said he could go ahead with the work, he then avoided all my calls and wouldn't give me a start date. I tried his mobile and home number several times over a period of two weeks and each time his wife insisted he would call or had called, but he never did get back to me and I decided I didn't want to play cat and mouse games with him any more. The second painter is a very nice chap - a bit of an odd jobs man who is good at many things. He painted the top landing with the long wall drops for me back in November. He also quoted me for the kitchen ceiling and some other carpentry jobs too. But he is also heavily subcontracted to put in kitchens, bathrooms, conservatories and double glazing for someone else, so his time for other "smaller jobs" is limited. He even works evenings and weekends too, so it is not that he is shirking work. He told me in December he would be back soon to do my kitchen ceiling. Of course, I am still waiting. I could get someone out of Yellow Pages or the local paper, but I prefer to get someone recommended rather than a cowboy.
As I could not yet proceed with the kitchen, I thought I would turn my thoughts to the lounge. The lounge is open-plan (has no door) and has a staircase going through it - a flight up and onwards to the bedrooms and a flight down and onwards to the front door and the kitchen beneath that. In decorating the stairway recently, I had passed through the lounge, keeping only to the stairs. The lounge now looked a little "sad" in comparison to the bright stairway paint. I fathomed that the ceiling still looked in good nick and I could get away with not painting that, so I pulled all the furniture into the middle of the room and set about mending any nail holes in the walls, then painting walls and woodwork. It only took two days - I started on Friday morning and finished last night. It looks good, even though I say so myself, and today I even cleaned the window glass and PVC frames to finish off the effect. Another room freshened up in my master plan of projects. Five more rooms to go!
This morning I rang my dog-walking companion (the one I mentioned here) to see how her dog is. We have been walking our dogs together in the park every morning for about the last eleven years. We have become firm friends and although our ages differ (she is at least 15 years older than me) we have a lot to talk about. Her dog took ill two weeks ago, the same time as Snoopy, and was displaying very similar symptoms- back legs not functioning, in pain, shaking. The only difference was her dog kept vomiting. We did wonder whether they had both eaten something poisonous in the park, but our respective vets discounted that. In the end, my vet thought Snoopy may have a combination of spinal arthritis mixed with a damaged liver (possibly tumour or fibrosis) and my friend's dog was diagnosed a few days ago with tumour of the spleen. Because both our dogs have been ill over the last few weeks, neither of us has been going to the park at all and so have been communicating by phone. I called at her house last Thursday to take a bunch of cheerful daffoldils for her and to give her dog some soothing pats. This morning my friend told me that the dog worsened over the last few days and was put down yesterday. My friend is naturally very upset. She has always had a dog (she even, in less politically-correct days gone by, used to take her dogs with her into the classroom all day when she was a primary school teacher and before the governors made her stop doing that). Instictively she feels she would like another dog straight away, but a lot of the local rescue homes now ban rehoming dogs to people over 70. The fact that she is fit, energetic and would give the dog a fantastic life (two long walks a day and agility classes once a week) is by the by. It seems our morning walks in the park may have come abruptly to an end. Snoopy meanwhile continues to chug along, although is definitely not 100%, and will need further blood tests in a few weeks to see if his liver is deteriorating.