Thursday, December 28, 2017


Renovation of naff old sofa going well sofar. Didn't watch any Christmas TV whatsoever but cooked and ate chicken and then apple/mandarin/blueberry/raspberry pie. I believe in improvisation but if it doesn't work, improvise better.

For anyone interested in improvised technique of sofa-renovation without previous experience of this type of DIY activity (that's me) see progress in photos below. Essential requirements: patience, stubborness, tools.

Watch this space for final result in a couple of days.

It's a sofabed so the seat pulls out. Easier to work on this way. Brown wrapping paper taped together to make pattern for cutting out the covering fabric.

Saturday, December 23, 2017


New floor finished, visible sawdust hoovered, invisible sawdust probably hiding in lungs, but look how lovely everything is.

At the oriental carpet shop around the corner where I got my new rug the man explained that this design represents paradise. Paradise! As described in Genesis - it's all there, four corners and everything. Too wondrous for words, my humble home is paradise. The green house plant is my Christmas tree, decorated with offcuts of gold 3-D paper which gleams brightly and when you get up close, reflects your face like a miniature Dutch painting. 

The plant, named Reju (long story) has been with me since babyhood - the plant's babyhood, not mine - and would grow through the ceiling if allowed. It has personality and while it doesn't respond when I apologise for cutting bits off, it is obviously very happy with me.

My Christmas will be solo and if you intend to go Awwww in that so-sorry-for-you way, please don't! The absolute truth is that I really love it this way. I am by nature and inclination a soloist and actually have fun on my own. Yes I do enjoy good company and all its joys but have long outgrown the obsession - it was an obsession at one time - with partnership and other variants on that situation. Been there done that. I love the family and friends that fate has kindly given me and am happy to be with them when that occurs. But it's not a need. There's so much stuff to do, to play with, when I'm on my own.

A toast to you all, alone or in company, and may life always amaze you.

Thursday, December 21, 2017


To all of you
from all of me
very best wishes
for this time of the year
and for all times
of the New Year,


Now he's brought his mother....and the cat!

Monday, December 18, 2017


Looked out the window this morning and was startled by this apparition.

Saturday, December 09, 2017


Holmes - Watson, have you forgotten to sweep the new wooden floor in my study? Look, a fine film of dust is still clinging to it!

Watson - While you were out, Holmes, I went over it again and again but to no avail. Moments later the dust reappeared.

Holmes - My dear fellow, I do not doubt your good intentions but I'm afraid your eyesight is not what it was. You simply failed to see the remaining dust.

Watson - My vision is as good as yours, Holmes, and dare I say, better. I have been pondering a theory as to why the sawdust is lingering.

Holmes - Let's hear it. Then kindly redo the dusting while I go for a walk to clear my lungs.

Watson - Well, sawdust particles are tiny little things of infinite lightness and duration and millions of them were released into the room by the men sawing the wooden boards.

Holmes - Those foreign workers, yes.

Watson - That's neither here nor there, Holmes. The particles, being so small and light, are still floating in the air as we speak. Therefore as soon as the floor was cleaned, those which were still hovering above gently floated down.

Holmes - Watson, take off your shoes.

Watson - What? My Aberdummy and Kitch handmade brogues?

Holmes - Precisely. Take them off and show them to me.

Watson - Very well, if I must.

Holmes - Observe the soles, Watson. Do you see fine particles of sawdust clinging there?

Watson - I'm afraid I do, Holmes. I see what you're getting at. My shoes are responsible for the lingering dust.

Holmes - When I return from my walk I expect the study to be pristine, Watson.

Short interval. Holmes returns, finds Watson in an armchair, smoking his pipe. A fine mist of sawdust covers the floor.

Watson - I was right, Holmes. It's gravity, you see.

Holmes - Those foreign workers, you can't rely on them.

Watson - Einstein was a foreign worker, Holmes.

                                                                  THE END

Friday, December 08, 2017


It's what I imagine the aftermath of a face lift is like. If, for instance, you had your jowls lifted, afterwards you'd probably say: now my eyebags don't go with the rest.Then after the eyebag-lift you'd say OMG, the nose! So you'd get a nose job. And so on.

Not that I would ever consider having my face lifted even if I could afford it and even though every bit of my anatomy needs lifting at this stage of life. Have you seen videos of actual face-lifting surgery? I'd rather be drawn, quartered and hung out to dry.

But I was talking about my new floor, now finished. The spic-span loveliness of it makes all the rest look cips-naps. Naff old Argos sofa, stripped of the ethnic throw under which it has lived its whole life, naked as the day it was born, well...what can I say? A ready-made loose cover costs as much as a new cheap sofa therefore, in ongoing efficient/economy trance, I've decided to do it myself. Not by proper sewing or upholstering but via creative handling of staple gun and new fabric, yet to be acquired. That's just one of the consequential improvements to be DIYed.

New floor, old sofa

Old sofa with ethnic throw under which it has been hidden all these years.

Sunday, December 03, 2017


When I posted a moan on 6th November about longing to clear out, reorganise, clean slate, start again, it was one of those typical moans that never gets beyond moaning. However it did lead me into a trance of efficiency. I can be very efficient when I want to but as I don’t often want to, I have to wait for a kind of self-hypnosis to take over.

Thus entranced I spent several nights and days investigating innumerable websites dealing with the installing of engineered wood flooring and other home-improvement madness. The whiny voice of comfortable passivity kept nagging me with questions such as Are you mad?  The mess? The stress? The time? The pain? The cost? You cannot be serious? I didn’t reply.  A trance is a trance and needs no justification.

I’m now halfway through the process and yes, whiny voice was absolutely right but I’m almost sure the disruption is worth it. I’ve disrupted everything habitual, nothing is where it was, stuff on top of stuff is shoved into the room where the flooring is not going to change. I’ve nearly cleared the living room and bedroom and on Monday a man is going to remove fitted carpet and begin laying the  engineered wood planks currently stacked in the back room. He’ll be finished in 3 or 4 days then I’ll do more renovating. I have plans. Action!

The trance continues. Exciting in an obsessive way. De-familiarising familiarity is liberating, innit?

Living room before renovation.

Living room and glimpse of kitchen, before renovation. Kitchen will not be renovated.

Enginered wood flooring and underlay stored in back room.

Stuff piled up in back room.

Books waiting for re-shelving.