Tuesday, 11 March 2014

With the benefit of hindsight in advance.....

In about a month's time, when I'm moaning and whingeing fit to bust, please feel free to direct me straight back to this post. 

I almost certainly won't thank you for it but it will be only what I should deserve.

Think back to last summer when we were embroiled in DIY/makeover hell.  House improvements, redecorating, completely gutting and renovating the workroom, opening up the fireplace in the sitting room to install a woodburning stove etc......

Remember how I said I was never, EVER going to wield a paintbrush in anger again?

Well hush my mouth......  

We've decided to redecorate the bedroom.  It was last painted about 10 years ago, in what, at the time, was a rather fashionable shade of aqua/pale turquoise.  Actually, three of the walls are in that shade and the fourth is a deep, dramatic jade, but because it's almost completely hidden by a large triple wardrobe you don't notice it.

It's not a large room, and it doesn't get much in the way of sunshine.  Because of the colour of the  walls we've been stuck with bedding, curtains, soft furnishings in various shades of cream and aqua and despite the fact it's taken 10 years to pall, we're thoroughly sick of it.


Cue a bit of redecoration.  Slap on a few coats of antique white matt paint (did I mention we made the monumental mistake of doing the original paint in a satin finish, which shows up every brushstroke and imperfection?  No.  Well we did.) New curtains, new bedding, new soft furnishings.  

Bish bosh job done.


I've been thinking.  We don't use the smallest bedroom next door at all, except for storage.  It would make perfect sense to use it as a dressing room.  If we moved the triple wardrobe in there it would give much more space in the bedroom.

Excellent idea.  Brilliant  even.


We both built the triple wardrobe from flat pack.  It took us a whole day and nearly killed us.
The huge frame had to be assembled on the floor, on its front.  As it almost filled the alcove we had no room to manoevre around it so we made a reasonable impression of mountain goats, skipping and leaping around and over it while the assembly was completed.  Bear in mind this was 10 years ago when we were both immeasurably fitter and more mobile.

When the frame was done, we then had to get it upright, in the alcove, against the wall.  At that point in the helpful 84-page instruction booklet, there was a diagram of two men, effortlessly lifting and gliding the frame into position, smiling smugly at each other.


What followed is seared into my memory and will stay with me till I breathe my last.

We had a brief debate about whether we thought we would be able to lift it.  I thought not, but PP was feisty in those days and her unbridled enthusiasm for the lift reassured me.  We each crouched down on one corner (which would eventually be the top corners) and braced ourselves.  On the count of THREE we strained and heaved and managed get it up to knee height, bearing in mind we were crouching down.  

At this point we were committed.  We had to perform the rest of the lift in one smooth, easy action, or abandon it entirely.  I remember the mournful glance we threw each other, as the realisation dawned that if it went wrong, there was a very real possibility that we'd be crushed under it if it came crashing down.

The next few minutes are a bit of a blur, but there was a lot of shouting and swearing as we struggled to push the frame up into a vertical position.  It was a close run thing.  With the last few ounces of our strength, and with our lives flashing before our bulging eyes, we got it past the tipping point and it rocked backwards.

Our jubilation was short-lived though, as we realised that although it was upright, it was over a foot out from the wall, so we had to shuffle it backwards with just a few inches to spare on each side, grazing knuckles and elbows in the process.

Afterwards we lay on the floor, puffing and panting, bloodied but unbowed..... before tackling the process of making drawers and hanging three sets of doors which were so difficult to align that we were yea close to throwing them out the window.


The prospect of moving the behemoth is not to be taken lightly.  We can empty it, take out the drawers and remove the three sets of doors (which have never closed properly anyway) but we're still faced with the task of moving a massive wardrobe round a tight corner to get it out of the bedroom door, then doing a three point turn, reversing it along the landing corridor before moving it into the small bedroom and somehow manoevring it back against the wall.  

There's no way we can do it on our own.  We couldn't even have done it 10 years ago.  To be honest, even with help I'm not sure it's possible, given the relative angles of doorways etc, and it could end up like that song by Bernard Cribbins where the piano gets stuck and after almost demolishing the house they give up and they give up and have to leave it there forever


Best laid plans and all that.....


ginnysminis said...

i am knackered just reading this.....give me a minute..................well what can I say Sandra.................I'd get a man that can!!!! simples

Sandra Morris said...

We'd need more than one! Might need to go back to the drawing board on the whole wardrobe issue though.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another fun job for you. Why not go the whole hog and knock the two bedrooms into one, always assuming it isn't a load bearing wall. Then you would have a huge bedroom. We did that. Big job but worth it in the end.

Sandra Morris said...

We thought about that a while back but decided it would be counter productive to turn a 4 bed house into 3. It's the smallest bedroom though, so it's a single and wouldn't add a huge amount of space to the main bedroom. It's right next door though so it would make a lovely little dressing room.
Hm.... decisions, decisions