20 March 2011

Changes for the better and worst

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.


Anonymous said...

that's very sad about your friend's dog, and it makes me very cross that she might not get another pup because of her age... that is wrong and discriminatory on so many levels. my dad is 72 next month and equally as active... so this infuriates me. i live alone and my cat is my company. it has been proven that pets relieve stress and loneliness. plus your friend must have years of knowledge of dog ownership so she'd know to choose a breed right for her level of activity AND would make a much better owner than a young person who's never owned a dog. Hmph.


Nora said...

Congratulations on the painting job. That must make you feel really great. I dislike painting ceilings too, though I must paint mine and am putting it off. I need a handyman too, I think.

Sorry to hear about your friend's dog and that she can't get another one. Would they give her an older dog? I got one once that was 7 years old and he lived until he was 13. It was definitely worth it.

I hope your dog is not seriously ill. I'll keep my fingers crossed.


Working Mum said...

I've only just read your previous post, but I'm glad you're feeling a bit better and motivated to do all that decorating! I'd say it's worth waiting for someone you know will do a good job - we waited a few months for my childminder's husband to do our staircase (which he had to fit in at weekends because he was contracted to fit kitchens during the week) and it was worth it.

Spencer Park said...

Just a thought but my local dog rescue centre (NCDL) is always looking for foster homes for older dogs that they have taken in and have little chance of re-homing. Perhaps, your friend could try that? I doubt that they would be as strict with their regulations in such cases?

Kelloggsville said...

Oh those kind of blanket rules about age and gender and all else make me angry, people differ and circumstances should be taken into account. I think Spencer has a good suggestion. Glad you've perked up some. I think decorating is food for the soul. ove to paint with a Talking book playing away.

Anonymous said...

Hi Addy,

I think you are right and getting a recommneded painter rather than someone straight out of the book. Though that appears to be hard enough in itself. I guess the good ones are heavily in demand.

It is ridiculous that your friend would have so much trouble taking on a dog with her obvious attributes. The poor dogs will probably go to people as novelty pets or locked in a house all day while the owner is at work. The world is as mas as ever.

All the best


DogLover said...

I'm in open-mouthed awe of your house painting abilities! When I used to do indoor painting (was it before or after the Flood? I can't remember) I used to use a roller on a long handle. Then the only stretching was to do the bits by the walls with a brush.

Not sure if your friend has in fact tried to get a rescue dog or not. Spencer Park's idea of fostering a dog is an excellent one; we tried fostering and couldn't part with the first dog we had!

Eliza said...

I'm glad you're feeling better. It's a shame about your friend, these dog rehoming centres should look at people on an individual basis.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your friend's dog, how very sad. I would take my dogs everywhere if I could so I know what she must be going through.

As for tradesmen, they are getting picky and choosy these days I find. Probably because the younger generation doesn't want to work long hours. I don't know, but we have a painter here now who is in his late 60's. He's a lovely chap and a friend of ours but he's hardworking and always has been.

I originally asked my cleaner to do the painting as she painted Amy's bedroom. She agreed then let me down on the last minute. She's 20. No disrepect of course, but can a 20 year old really be so choosy these days?

Anyway, that's me ranting off again. I've just had a big rant on my blog too!!

Take care, CJ xx

Cadan Henry said...

ceilings are not difficult for most medium talented painters. check your local retail paint store they usually have a contractor list. waiting as long as you have is unacceptable. even a large ceiling in an average home shouldn't take more than a day or two to cover.


Nota Bene said...

I'm rooting for Snoopy, and would offer to paint your ceilings for you, but knowing my DIY skills, I don't think you'd want me too!

Flowerpot said...

Well done on allthat decorating Addy. I am so sorry ot hear about your friend's dog though - and how ridiculous that she can't get a rescue dog. Has she tried ringing local vet etc? Hope Snoopy continues to improve xx

Kit Courteney said...

Oh, how sad for your friend. Keeping everything crossed for Snoopy.

What a bloody silly rule re over 70. Before I moved, a large percentage of the fellow dog walkers I saw each day were in that area, age-wise, and put me to shame!

Here's hoping common sense prevails (and big loving strokes and pats for Snoopy in the mean time).

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Good to hear that Snoopy is "chugging along" and do hope he continues into better health soon. A x

Julie said...

I'm very sorry about your friend's dog, she must be heartbroken. Can I recommend she takes a look at Oldies Club? www.oldies.org.uk They rehome dogs over the age of 8 who have lost their homes for various reasons (some owners have died or gone into care, but some dogs are simply handed over to the pound so the owner can get themselves a puppy instead) and they are so often overlooked for younger dogs. They are very careful to match the right dog with the right owner - the owner's age is no barrier - and many of their dogs are on permanent foster. I hope that helps.