A Ramble about Lockdown Projects and Stuff..(Trials and Tribulations)

Kitchen
I decided to write about my exciting projects that have ensued during the last couple of weeks. The first being, (not at all exciting) is decluttering my kitchen cupboards and shock horror deep cleaning them and spraying with disinfectant (obviously) which, due to the lockdown thought might be prudent. Not exactly going to stop me getting Coronavirus but still. I also managed to get some yukky, stuck on, cooking debris surrounding and on the cooker hood off too. Very pleased with the overall result. The kitchen is now sparkling. One thing I’ve learnt about Lockdown cleaning is, it is better to concentrate on smaller areas but deep clean them properly. Boring as it is, at least it is done and you can declutter at the same time. I listen to podcasts during this task to make it less tedious. Oh, and who else is washing up their food shopping? The hot soapy water comes out and everything gets a good sloshing. Jeez. What a waste of time.


Lounge
Now I hate being stuck in the house for too long but even I’ve realised if the lockdown is going on for ages (ever!) then I will have to make use of the time. To be perfectly honest, all this flinging myself around the lounge, doing home workouts, doesn’t achieve much. Well, not really.
Now our lounge needed decorating and hubby and I hate decorating but I decided we should get on with it rather than procrastinating. Let’s face it, there isn’t much else to do.
Incidentally, I’ve started a small business which I’m supposed to be making official with an online shop but it includes being out with the public and so this isn’t going to happen now. So, the time had come to just get on with other isolation shite! Decorating. 
Bless him, hubby doesn’t do things by half. If we decorate it has to be thorough, and I mean thorough. This includes removing the blinds, our pictures, furniture, and covering the floor with taped up old sheets. We then locate and fill in the tiny cracks, and then rub them down and wash every surface. All this took a couple of days before we even start to paint. Phew. Exhausting this decorating malarkey. I do agree with doing all of this though, and as we haven’t decorated the lounge for ages, it was necessary to do it thoroughly. Also, it kept me occupied and for the first time in my life I quite enjoyed the tasks.
During all this, we texted the youngsters and my daughter was astounded and remarked: “Two days preparation? Cor, I barely do an hour and then tosh the paint on!”
Which to be honest, is what I suspected. People who enjoy decorating, probably don’t do it properly! There. I’ve said it. To be fair, sometimes it doesn’t need all the preparation but our lounge certainly did. Young people just move furniture out of the way, shove a few sheets over their stuff and paint. Yes, I’m probably being unfair. Who cares? I’m in a grumpy lockdown mood these days haha. Anyway, we did eventually paint the ceiling, walls and that was another surprise. I started painting the wall a light yellow and moaned I couldn’t see where I’d painted. My husband found the original paint pot and realised we’d only gone and picked the same colour! Couldn’t believe it, after all these years.
We had to ‘click and collect’ the paint (because of lockdown) so I knew the paint colours were a bit of a risk because we couldn’t just replace them. However, it is easy for me to make excuses not to decorate so I decided to take the risk on both colours and amount.
So, luckily, whilst we were choosing paint, we decided we were going to do one wall different because it would all look similar, although somewhat fresher. We painted the other (fireplace) wall green and of course, it dried out minty green and I wanted a lighter garden green, you know when the leaves first come out, sort of green. So that was a bit disappointing although I have to say, now I’ve got all my artwork up and furniture in, it looks kind of funky and modern and I’m really pleased with it. All the hard work paid off. I haven’t bought any new lighting, rugs, etc. because I feel it can wait until we are out of this lockdown.
All in all, I enjoyed the above tasks. It is better than being bored and scared. I found the whole project of decorating quite cathartic. No, I can’t believe I’ve just said that either!!! Fundamentally, it is good for my head to get on with stuff.
One thing I’ve learnt through this, is that I thought I was quite lazy but I actually like to keep busy. Hubby often walks into a room, sees me doing something, and mumbles something about “what is she up to now?” One tip, I can mention is to change your ornaments/art/photos etc. around. It gives the room a refresh. I took a much loved surrealist original painting from the dining room, into the lounge and changed all the other paintings and I love the change.
Since all this I’ve been reading loads and surprise, surprise escaping the world, by walking.

Thanks for reading. It is a bit of a rambling ‘type and post’ one. Comment about what you’ve been up to.
Toodle pip.
Andrea x

London – A challenging day out…

A day out in London shouldn’t be complicated. But it was. Very complicated and challenging. My friend and I decided to frequent London for a day trip of art, decadence and fun. Well, what a challenging day it was. Everything that could go wrong, did! However, we have a wonderful friendship and just laughed it off.

We arrived at the railway station and were informed that trains are not going to our planned stop and we would have to alight at London Bridge. Of course, our plans then had to change. We got off at London Bridge and Elaine, who is from London, decided we should get a red bus so “we could see London” which seemed OK, although I always ride on the Tube.

We waited and waited for the bus and then realised it doesn’t travel on Saturdays. We started walking and managed to catch a bus to St. Paul’s near the roof top bar. Got off and went to the roof top bar, Madison. The first lift got stuck at level 1 and then went back to the ground floor. We changed lifts and managed to arrive at the bar. The lift to the bar is glass and as you slowly ascend you see St. Paul’s Cathedral which is magnificent. We ordered wine, sat and admired the view and took copious photos. As we chatted away we realised we should make our way to Tate Britain to see the David Hockney exhibition. This apart from roof top cocktails, was the point of the day.

Yes, you guessed it, we got another bus and because it was St. Patrick’s Day, the powers that be in their wisdom, decided to shut The Strand as we waited for our bus connection.  We got the Tube to Pimlico (via Victoria).

On the way to the Tate, we popped into the restaurant to reserve a table for two, for that evening.  Wonderful views, cocktails and food expected, as researched online. The restaurant was shut for a function. “Sorry.” said to waitress.

We arrived at Tate Britain and bought our tickets for Hockney. The tickets were for 7pm that evening. As it was 3pm, we decided to view the galleries, have dinner and return for the long-awaited exhibition.

We thoroughly enjoyed the gallery and wonderful art then found a pub, which although a bit basic, was OK. The food was reasonable and frankly, I was glad to sit down.

The Hockney exhibition was superb and worth the wait. His work goes from the British avant-garde of the 1950s with phallic shapes and his looming (then) illegal sexuality coming out, literally, in his paintings. The period moves on to mid-late 1960s, with a blaze of blue and vivid green, towards poolside paradise and comfort. This is a fascinating insight into his life in sunny California.

Hockney is fascinated by water, glass and shimmering light. In his art, his version of humanity feels flat among the velvet, sumptuous furniture. A type of painting that has an accidental three-dimensional, sentimental effect which slowly draws you in because the colours are vibrant and stimulating. Although perspective sometimes seems wrong and inferior, the paintings are emotionally magnetic. Well, they are for me and judging by the crowds, for others too. Full of illusion and curiosity and subtle elements such as the white cat facing a window and unflattering features of his friends with a backdrop of clarity and modernistic lines. As you look at the faces of his friends, you wonder how disappointed they must have been by his depiction of them. Not flattering at all.

Overall, we felt the day was worth the difficulties. Life is complicated and you have to make the best of it with a little moaning along the way. Anyway, as I pointed out to my friend, who can remember the days when her father could park his car, along the banks of the Thames, Grosvenor Road, in Pimlico, if you don’t deal with the exacting problems, you will never do anything.

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