I had my first foray into home repair today. Our flat had the ugliest I-don’t-even-know-what-you-call-them — guards? — over our radiators. They had what I can only describe as chain mail hanging down. The minute we moved in Stephen decided they had to go. So he took them all down, not realizing the giant nail holes and discoloration that comes with something that has been attached to a wall since the ’70s. It wasn’t much of an improvement. But instead of calling Ted (who I’m not sure would approve of our “redecorating,” but better to ask for forgiveness than permission, right?) or waiting for Stephen to get around to it, I was overcome with a fit of I-can-do-it-iveness and decided I was going to fix the walls myself. So today I headed to Homebase (which I mistakenly called Home Plus, meaning I’ve been watching too much “Big Love.”) Homebase is essentially Home Depot. As I am not a fixer-upper type of girl, hardware stores intimidate me. I wandered around inside like a man in Victoria’s Secret — I had no idea where anything was but was not about to ask. It’s hard to wander inconspiculously though when you’re trailing an empty shopping trolley (my friend calls hers her hobo cart). I love my shopping cart/trolley/hobo cart after I’ve bought my groceries, but beforehand it is a nuisance on wheels. Eventually I found the paint section and bought filler, sand paper and a tiny tub of paint. I was proud of myself for finding what I needed in a reasonable amount of time. I then headed over to Sainsbury’s where I filled my “shopper” to the brim with food, making for one long, cold mile walk back. But I’m not writing about grocery shopping again, I’m writing about home repair. (Although, fun fact: in London a cart return is called a trolley bay. That sounds like it could be a San Francisco-themed restaurant, where your Cioppino comes with a toy trolley.)
I’m happy to report that my first home repair project was a success. There were no spills or fires, as I feared ( :knock on wood: I was a little nervous about working close to the heaters, but since our flat is always freezing, I should have realized they wouldn’t be very hot). The touch-up paint I bought is not a 100 percent match to the walls, but it’s close enough.
Here are a couple before and after pictures (side by side) to prove I actually did it (sorry I don’t have any pictures with the chainmail on):