Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Second one down

You're stuck with sommat. Who do you turn to?
Its your Dad you turn to, isn't it? I know I do, even now aged 35.
Mums are great at loving you, but they often lack knowledge on faulty thermostats, head gaskets and leaky radiators.
Its always your Dad you turn to, if you are lucky enough to still have him around.
If you don't have him around, I'll bet you turned to him when he was.

Recently, I've realised that I'll be the one that someone will turn to.
Maybe not immediately. This little baby will just rely on me for the early part of its life.
But what then?
I've been thinking that I'll be the one that he/she expects to know everything. The font of all knowledge. The holder of all that knowledge that only Dads seem to know.

Getting the nursery ready has given me the excuse to hone my skills.
And I've noticed a change. There's nothing I wont tackle. Maybe this is the lead up to being a Dad.

I didn't get off to a great start with electricals (though I am typing this, so you know I didn't frazzle myself to death). Wiring in our house is contrary to quite a few safety regs (so Joe tells me) so no wonder I was reticent to mess about with what I found behind the switches

Joe did offer to talk me through it over the phone but I had an idea where it would end.

Not wanting this to dent my confidence, I moved onto something which didn't involve electricity.
Just electricity and water.

Wiring the new shower was a lot easier that I thought. The scariest part was turning off the water supply.

Once the water and power was off and the spiders were avoided, it was a simple case of off with the old one

and on with the new.
There isn't a picture. You've all seen a shower, right? If you haven't, click here.

Next up was carpet fitting. Or should that be carpet shitting. Looking at the pained expression, it could be either.


I was forced to engage in refitting the carpet on the stairs because my wife is too nice to complain.
[Not where I'm concerned, I might add. She is more than happy to point out every single one of my failings. And there are many]

Thursday saw the delivery of the nursery carpet. A relatively straightforward process, one would expect. This is never the case where we are concerned.
Rewind to the preceding Sunday when we are in the showroom. We pick the carpet, the man is terribly impressed with my scale drawing of the soon to be carpeted area and the quotation commences. At this point Karen enquires to the colour of our chosen carpet and I expect some suitably faffy "colour" being described.
Warm Mocha, Soft Truffle or Cookie Dough etcetera, etcetera.
Not in Attercliffe.
The colour of our chosen carpet?
"Second One Down"
"Ah, Second One Down" I say.
"Yeah" he says "There's no point putting beige" "They all look beige"
And I'm tempted to agree

Fast forward back to Thursday, where I get a phone call whilst enjoying an after work pint.
[This fact is not relevant, so pay no attention to it]
"Hello love, have they been"
"They've fitted the wrong carpet. What do I do?"
"Do you like the one they've fitted more than the one you originally picked?"
"Then you need to tell them to take it back up and re-fit the correct one"
"And they've marked all your new paintwork on the stairs"
"Can you tell them to be more careful"
"$£%^&*&*"£%&^$%" (or as we put on typed interviews "Inaudible")
"Do you need me to come home?"
"Well, that's a decision for you. If you want to stay at the pub, that's your choice"

Ooof! The old "that's up to you to make the right decision" tactic.
I'll let you guess what I did next.

Needless to say, I return home to be told that my good lady doesn't like the way they've fitted to carpet at the top of the stairs.
Now, at this point, I play right into her hands. A schoolboy error of epic proportion.
"Could you not have told them you are unhappy with it"
"Well, if you weren't sat in the pub, you could have inspected it and told them"
And that takes us nicely to the picture above, of me feeling a hernia coming on as I try to remove the nails which the fitters have used to "securely attach" the carpet to the landing woodwork.

A more enjoyable task, and with less chance of hernias or soiling myself, commenced when this was shoved through the letterbox.

Which makes up into one of these

Once assembled, we found out that it takes some degree of skill and effort to collapse and unfold one of these as easily as the show you in the shops. There's also a fair bit of reading to do, to make sure you're using it right. I found a quiet moment to have a little practice, with the items I had to hand.

Only I didn't realise I was being watched!

Remember this face. This is what I look like when I'm up to sommat.
I know feel happy in the knowledge that I can safely transport a bear to and from the bedroom in an approved carry seat. God knows how it fits in the car. I'll have to take bear down to try.
At night.

In other news, I came home from work and thought the tram had travelled forwards through time. Is this the shape of things to come?

And finally, a trumpeted fanfare announces that I have finished my work in the nursery.

I don't think you'd believe it was the same room.
So, I thought I'd finish off with a little photo montage, to illustrate its transformation!

I have passed the baton to Karen who is now underway with the interior design and accessories. When I say "underway" I mean "has talked about it".
You may have noticed her lovely little face has been missing from all but one of the pics on this blog.
So, I'll leave you with a picture which sums up what she's been doing whilst I have been working myself to exhaustion. The picture was taken whilst I was in the middle of emptying our wardrobes and moving them into the attic.
She will, of course, take umbrage with this inference.
But that is a pregnant woman's prerogative!

Spot The Knit
Until next time.
Thanks for reading x

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Exams, Prams and Clicking Cams

You might remember me? No?
I'm Damian. No?
I'm your friend.
I used to see you all the time. Come on, you must remember me.
We used to go to the pub and have fun. It was a while ago, admittedly.

I was just looking back at this blog and was amazed to see that the last post was December 27th!
I've been busy you see.
"Nesting", I think they call it. Or more accurately "Being instructed how to nest"
As its been such a while and I'm mindful that my rambling might not keep your attention, my update today will predominantly be brought to you via the medium of digital imagery. Saves reading, doesn't it?

Its been a whirlwind of a year so far.
I've started a new job, which was the start of my slippery slope into becoming a social recluse. In order do the job, there's a fair bit of training. And an exam! I haven't had an exam since sitting in the main hall at Thomas Rotherham, wondering why I thought A-Level Physics was a good idea.
There was a bit of light reading around which the exam was based:

In the run up to this exam, I was like a coiled spring and a right pain in the arse (with reason, failure meant possible redundancy). Though this made a change for me to hold that title!
Having got the exam out of the way (I passed with 90%), it was time for the aforementioned "nesting" to commence.
Now, as is always the case with my lovely wife, nothing is ever straightforward.
What should have been a simple case of creating a nursery has, so far, consumed my whole life for the last 5/6 weeks.
Friends have asked "What on earth have you been doing / Why is it taking you so long?
And that is a perfectly reasonable question, because you've never seen behind "The Door"
"The Door"
"The Door" which must remain closed whenever you have visited our house.
"The Door" which must not be opened in the company of others.
"The Door" which leads to "The Knits" secret habitat.
"The Door" which leads to the entrance to Hades if you ask me!

[In best David Attenborough voice]
"and here we see The Knit, at her happiest, in her natural habitat of material, buttons, threads and wool"

Just take a moment to appreciate JUST HOW MUCH knitting gear there is in such a moderately sized room!
I mean, look!

Clearing this room took 2 full weekends to sort through, with what was not needed being thrown away and what was to be saved being relocated up a flight of stairs into the attic.
Not surprisingly, for Mr Trebus [click Trebus] the stuff for disposal amounted to a couple of bin liners worth and therefore, the rest I had to hump up stairs!
Eventually, I got it looking a bit more spacious:

and it was at this point that Davros turned up to assist (I thought Daleks couldn't climb stairs?)

With the nursery on its way to being prepped, phase #2 of the job began.
Did I not mention phase #2? The nursery wasn't enough to take on. I'm also doing the stairs, stairwell and landing!

First priority; get in the professionals

A professional in the form of my brother, Ashley, who did an amazing 12+ hours of solid plastering.
For which we are forever grateful..
(Im sure this was only made bearable by being able to boss me around and constantly refer to me as "his lad")
During the plaster-a-thon, I was taught how to plaster (you thought I wasn't listening, didn't you mate) so I put my new found skills to good use when I ripped most of the wall down whilst removing the shelving in the nursery room

I was quite proud of myself, if I'm being honest. Not a bad job I thought.

Hence the smug look

I will gloss over (I'm here all week) the next bit as I can feel my blood boil at just the thought of sanding/stripping/undercoating/painting skirting boards, door frames, bannister's etc.
Now to colours; I preferred the darker one, in the glass.

In the end, Karen opted for "A Hint of Soft Khaki". The colour? Its anyones guess. Greeny? It does look nice when its on the walls though.

I did not pose for this photo
So, in the nursery, we've nearly done. Its all decorated, just the carpets to go down and the cotbed and furniture to go in. I'll save the big "reveal" for another time.

In between the painting, the sanding and the painting, we have found a bit of time to do other, less mundane things.
I took myself off to get a bit more of my tattoo done

which was a definite mistake when it came to painting the staircase the following day.

A less painful morning was spent in the company of a good friend of ours; Sarah Cullumbine.
Sarah dabbles [very professionally, I might add] with a camera in her spare time and had kindly offered to capture a few pictures of Karen's growing bump. I'll post a bigger selection of the fantastic pictures she did for us another time, as I still have to edit some of them and haven't had the time (did I mention I've been busy decorating?)

I think I'm having a boy as its sitting higher up.

We also managed to get some wheels.
We opted for this

Check out the suspension and disc brakes on that bad-boy!
Only me get excited by that? Oh well

I did also manage to sneak for the pub for a few (12+) hours last weekend but this did me no favours. Sanding is painful enough as it is, but 1000000 times worse with a hangover, in silence, whilst being glared at by a hormonal woman.

A forced smile
So that's about it really, well, it isn't but I'm tired of typing and uploading pictures and my teas ready.
I'm having tea cooked for me as my reward 2 x 8hr in a last big flurry of:

and not breaking my neck whilst climbing up these

I appear to have lived and breathed the life of a serial DIYer for the last month, which has left me feeling like this, most of the time

But, as much as I'm knackered and I moan, I just catch a glimpse of Karen with that podge and I smile to myself. All this, for a little thing that is, in approx 36 days, due to change our lives forever.
Well worth it.
I'll catch you all later, as soon as I've put this brush down!