Decorating, again…

You would think that we would be happy with the house by now, but there is always something to do, and indeed paint. Sometimes it feels like we are doing the Forth Bridge or Goldengate Bridge because as soon as we get to the end we seem to start again.

Last weekend I changed the colour of the chimney breast in the lounge and the fireplace. The colour on the wall was a soft green, but I got sick of it quite early after painting it. The fireplace was a light fudge colour.

I had started this post 6 days ago, and for some reason got carried away and left it. Anyway, the lounge is finished now, and all the touch ups have been completed. Next is the kitchen, so far stripped of most of the things on the walls. Filling and fixing next, then this coming weekend I should be in a position to start painting it. I am looking for a new ceiling light though as I really hate with a passion the tube lighting we have in it. It is bright, but so 70’s retro. I am looking for an LED light, but we have no real lighting places here. There is one in the village, but it is horrifyingly expensive I would not purchase anything there, also there are a lot of ugly chrome looking items, so just not my style.

Hue Cher LED Light

There is a lighting place in Liverpool, but last time we went there we were followed about the store as though we were thieves, so will not go back, why give our money to people who look down on two guys shopping for lights. Ikea has some good lighting, but nothing suitable. I like a bright kitchen with backlighting. Currently, we have the striplight and LED backlighting and under cupboard lighting, so when not cooking etc., the lighting is subdued with just the back and under cupboards lights on. I have Hive & Hue lighting about the house, so everything is voice controlled apart from the bathroom, and I want the same in the kitchen, but god forbid, can I find anything suitable? No sir. The closest I can find is a Hue Cher ceiling light (above), but being a pendant puts me off. It is 3000 lumens, so bright as a 200w bulb or a 50w strip light, so should do the job, but as with everything, comes with a hefty price tag, £195. On saying that, there are lovely lighting in John Lewis for £750, so I guess £195 is a little better, but all in all a hard pill to swallow.

This week we painted the garden fencing, got rid of the last of the junk accumulated over the year, installed brushwood screening over the fencing, then erected the gazebo for the BBQ area. We only got a small gazebo, but when it is up it seems quite large, but we can and will live with it. The neighbours are blocked from gawping in now too, which is a bonus. I am sure I have told of my odd and freakish neighbours in the past, but all in all, we would like to be left in peace to enjoy our garden, and not deal with the hillbillies.

One think about taking accumulated rubbish to the dump is that one forgets to check things, and indeed this was the case when I put the parasol in the car with the fittings, that although seemed okay were full of water, stagnant water complete with old seed from the birds and god only knows what. The result was the contents spilling all over the back seats of the car, and giving off an aroma of what can only be described as vomit and rust. We have an industrial carpet cleaner with attachments that do furniture etc., so I had to get that out today and clean the seats within an inch of their lives. I just hope that I have done enough to rid the smell from the car and will know tomorrow when I go out in it. Fingers crossed.

Flower Arrangements With The Dalai Lama…

Well, not quite.

The paint rollers were out again.  This time to do the bedroom.  As I mentioned when M was away I did the feature wall, which is really nice, but it has changed the dynamic of the room, so much so that I wanted to do the rest of the room.  Not only to clean it up but to go with the flow and change the room completely.  We decided to go with a colour called Egyptian Cotton.  It is a very subtle colour and has a tinge of wheat in it.  Again, this has changed the room.  

One of the problems with doing work on the house is that I have to repair the floors too.  The house was built in 1890, and most of it has not really been changed, especially the floorboards.  As I am not going to pay out for new flooring, I have just repaired what needs to be done, and then seal it so that there are no gaps or gusts of wind coming up through it before the new carpet was fitted.  I did have the house insulated a few years back, but there is quite a cavity below the floor to the ceilings below, and wouldn’t you know, quite an air flow through it.  A lot less since the cavity insulation, but all the same, it is cold air that I wanted rid of.

Once done, we needed to buy new drapes.  Sounds easy, but we have two windows in the room, one really large, the other only a few feet wide, but getting drapes to match really did feel impossible.  We have looked over the 15 years living here, and apart from very plain ones we never managed to get a matching pair.  We have vertical blinds throughout too, but a room is not complete without drapes.  We did manage to get really nice ones in the end from a department store.  However, we got carried away and bought new poles for both windows, then decided to get new drapes and poles for the hall windows, both upstairs and down.

Although not to everyone’s liking, we have many Tribal Masks from all around the world.  Some are really scary, others amusing but all originals and they have always been a focal in the bedroom along with quite a few African paintings, again all originals.  Sitting in the lounge writing this, and I look around to see 6 more African artefacts, so maybe it is more of an obsession with us.  Our main hall has African masks in it along with other paintings and artefacts.  But we have toned it down in the bedroom, and only have 8 in there now, and moved 11 to the hallway.  The paintings we did not rehang as I thought less is better in the bedroom, and I like the clean edges to everything.

I mounted the TV and sound system on the wall too.  I felt that it made the room feel smaller by sitting on the double chest of draws.  When you came into the room that was the first thing you saw, this bloody great big TV, but now it is on the wall it is as though it is not even there.  Also watching TV in bed is very relaxing now. I also have led backlighting on it, so a soft warm glow emits from the back when the TV is on.  I put a couple of dove grey floating shelves in the alcove on my side of the bed, may as well use the space for my books LOL.

So, now it is finished, it is a very relaxing place to be, warm and very inviting too.  

West facing
Harper relaxing in her bed
Some of my masks
50" TV looks so small now.
That’s Entertainment!
My corner
My Teddy is called Fred and he is 52 years old now.



I love art, and that may be seen as pretentious to some, but I love art.  When I started my English Language and Literature degree we studied art for many many months, and at first, I did not understand why, but then after a few weeks we had to write critical reviews of the pieces, or study the reason for the artist composition and write about that, we covered Duchamp, Rothko, Benin, Cezanne, along with many other artists.  However, my favourite artist is Rothko.  Yes, not many people will agree with me, but his piece Untitled No 4 (below) is one of my favourites.  At first when looking at his abstract art I was a little unsure as I have a deep love for classic art, the type you would see in the Vatican (which was an amazing place to go), but the more I read about Rothko, the more I started to understand why he made these compositions, and the deep-set depression and mental health that he suffered from.  I began to look at his works in a new light, enlightened you may say.  I have been lucky to see many of his original pieces at Tate Liverpool.


Whilst in Rome we visited many churches and saw some of the greatest masterpieces in Vatican City, those being The Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s ‘Transfiguration’, Caravaggio’s The Entombment of Christ, ‘Raphael’s The School of Athens’ and ‘The Annunciation’, Leonardo’s ‘St Jerome in the Wilderness’, ‘Belvedere Torso’, ‘Laocoön and His Sons’, but one of the most impressive pieces of art was Bernini’s Baldacchino, which dare I say, was enormous and so detailed.  I could have spent the whole day just looking at it and if it were possible touching and feeling it, realising the sheer effort in making such an impressive bronze sculptured canopy.

Art is all about us, in everything we see, some bad, some good, and some damn right mediocre, but all in all, it is everywhere.  I am writing this on my MacBook Pro, which in itself, is a delicious piece of art.  But do we appreciate the art all around us, or do we take it for granted, and in turn miss what is in front of us.  One of my biggest loves is photography, I was trained in photography when I was 20 but always had an eye for it.  Every day I see things in the world that a lot of people miss, back in Rome it was overwhelming but even the street graffiti had an allure to it, again art, but by another name.

Over the next few months, I will be posting photographs I have taken, all in the name of photographic art.  Feel free to comment and tell me what you think.  Do you enjoy art? if so, do you stick to a particular genre, or like me have a taste that runs the gamut?  A lot of us are crafters/knitters and that too is now an acceptable form of art.  Greyson Perry being our champion, promoting not only his puts but his tapestries, again I have been very fortunate to see a lot of his works in the Liverpool Tate.

I guess I have been lucky in my life with the appreciation of art as I have been surrounded by it when for many years I worked in Liverpool.  The city is swamped by many museums, galleries galore, private collections open to the public like The Lady Lever and an overall wealth of statues and world heritage architecture.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but sometimes, I think we all need to stop, look, and be consumed by what we see, see it for what it was originally set out to be.  Next time you go out to your local town, city or village that may be at first drab and uninspiring, dare we say boring and typical, don’t just go from A to B with your head down, take your time and look up, yes up, a place we miss the most and you will be very surprised at what you see.  Look for things that you normally miss, take the blinkers off, and the world will show you some amazing things.