Running-free week
November 21, 2009, 5:41 pm
Filed under: running

Bless me Father, for I have sinned; it has been 6 days since my last run. I’ve been on holiday from my paid employment for the last week; I qualified the ‘on holiday’ because it’s been anything but a relaxing break. We moved into our home 20 years ago and and we’ve redecorated at a very leisurely rate since then (there are 7 ‘rooms’ including the hall, bathroom and kitchen, so that’s about one every 3 years). So far we’ve avoided doing the room that’s laughingly referred to as the ‘dining-room’ because of the logistics of re-homing the contents while we do it, the contents including three six foot bookcases full of books.

Unfortunately I had run out excuses and I couldn’t ignore the 70s wallboarding any longer, even if it was partially covered by a sheet that formed a temporary screen for the HD projector (we bought the projector about a year ago but we put off getting a screen until the room was renovated – it was partly in the hope that it would spur us to action). I didn’t take a ‘before’ picture but here’s a picture of the sort of fake wood-effect I mean –

70s wood panels

Anyway, you get the idea. We hate decorating but it had to be done. Here’s how the work progressed :

Monday : Bill had to work, so I singlehandledly cleared a good deal of crud out of the garage, moved as much of the dining-room furniture into the garage as I could lift by myself, emptied two of the bookshelves into boxes. Didn’t run because muscle pain in my back was made worse by the lifting and carrying.

Tuesday : Moved the bookshelves to other rooms and then re-filled them, necessitating countless trips with an armful of books because the boxes were too heavy to lift. Lifted the carpet (tacked about every three inches) and what was left of the foam underlay, much of which had either disintegrated or stuck to the floorboards. Removed wallboards and most of the battens it was nailed to. Broke up thewallboards into manageable lengths by bending them until they broke, not learning from the first that they inevitably bounce back and hit your shin, so I now have a pattern of bruises on my legs. Didn’t run because back still sore and still knackered.

Wednesday : Chipped off the top layer of woodchip and several layers of eggshell paint. It came off in decent chunks so we persevered because our past experience of trying to steam off paint-covered wallpaper has been painful, even after copious amounts of scoring. Didn’t run because back still sore and still knackered.

Woodchip paper

Thursday : Steamed off the ceiling paper and the underneath layer of the woodchip, removed the quadrant moulding from the bottom of the skirting boards and the battens above the window to which the curtain rails had been attached (held on with 4″ screws, the heads covered with 30 years of paint). Didn’t run because head ached, sinuses felt aggrieved from all the dust and still knackered.

Friday : My sister came through to help ferry stuff to the nearest Council recycling centre (they call it a recycling centre but most of it still seems to go to landfill). It was actually a fun day, chucking carpet, bags of rubbish and bundles of wood into the huge skips and we cleared a lot of the stuff filling up the garage as well (old mattresses, an old futon that was being used as the spare bed but is barely more comfortable than the floorboards, boxes, broken small electrical equipment… I think 5 round trips in all).
Didn’t run because the dust-induced sinusitis had migrated down into my chest by way of my throat. When I lost my voice I decided it probably was a cold.

Saturday : Stayed in bed late definitely nursing a cold. The plan was to wash all the paste off the walls with sugar soap and start sanding the woodwork but when I finally emerged at lunchtime I decided I would curl up on the settee – I’m on holiday after all and it’s now the weekend. Didn’t run because I still can’t move without coughing although I do have my voice back.

I probably won’t run tomorrow either which will make it a completely running-free week. It happens.

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