Well, after the excitement of some new furniture and redistributing stuff in the first week of the year, week 2 was rather more sedate and more a case of small jobs (plus one big one which I didn’t do myself but will report nevertheless).
First things first, though: It had been bothering me for ages that a cupboard above the fridge that had been transformed from a junk hoarding place into a – in theory at least – practical storecupboard for spare tins, jars and packets of food had ended up really not very practical at all, given that I wasn’t actually tall enough to either see or reach the things right at the back. Fetching a stool to stand on every time I just wanted to check whether I had something seemed a waste of effort. To cut a long story short, I took all the stuff out, put my baking tins (which are rarely used) into the cupboard instead, where they have a LOT more room and now don’t fall out when I open the door (note to self: maybe this will make me more favourably disposed towards baking in future!), and in turn put the food storecupboard contents into the much more accessible cupboard that the baking tins came out of. Result!
This was also the week that saw me missing the Christmas tree, so what better to do than to go and plunder the post-Christmas sales (up to 70% off!) to buy more (yes, MORE!!) decorations for next year’s tree. I got a pack of eight medium-sized gorgeous orange baubles for about €1.80 plus various other bits of bling – nothing tacky, mind – that will also look rather nice in situ.
The achievement of the week – and now we get to the thing that I can’t really take any credit for – was getting the bathroom into rather better shape than it’s been in for some time, and hopefully sustainable shape, too. The mild, damp winter had led to some mould patches on the ceiling – especially above the shower and by the window – becoming more and more apparent and ominous. So, one day in this second week of the year, M donned his oldest clothes and set to work – carefully! – with rubber gloves, safety glasses, a spray canister of strongish bleach solution, and a scrubby sponge. An hour or two later, the ceiling was spotlessly white (and his clothes, in places, decorated with white spots).
Having removed the surface evidence, we needed to tackle the source of the problem: a bad combination of moisture and poor ventilation. Now here I have a confession to make. In all the 13 years I’ve lived here, there’s been a suction ventilator (is there a technical term for these things?) built into the wall that has never worked, and no one had really thought to investigate its innards as its absence of function wasn’t really an issue until this winter. I’d taken the front cover off a couple of times, thinking there might be a switch inside, but there wasn’t and so I’d simply shrugged, closed it back up and forgotten it again. On this occasion, though, M decided that investigative open-heart surgery was probably needed, so he took off not just the front cover but also unscrewed the outer panel of its inner workings. And guess what: it wasn’t even wired up to the mains, hence the lack of functionality. So we deactivated the mains circuit in the bathroom temporarily while the loose wires were screwed into the right connectors, and now we have a very powerful ventilator that kicks in immediately when you switch the bathroom light on, and switches off with a time delay of 5-10 minutes after you turn the light off again. And it sucks. Which is what it’s supposed to do – you really notice that the steam disappears much more quickly after a shower. It isn’t exactly silent – which is why the people who were in the flat before me might have disconnected it – but compared to mould, I know what I’d rather put up with.
Big thanks to M for his sterling work. xx