Striving for a greener, more ethical life

Archive for the tag “bathroom”

30 Day challenge (sort of update)

Well I guess the biggest challenge is recording what you have done and when.

The results of that challenge are :

I am definitely fitter  – and enjoyed hours of dancing at my nephew’s amazing fusion wedding. I would say it was the nicest wedding I’ve ever been to as everyone was so friendly and the two extended families had loads in common. The venue was stunning, the food was delicious and the band were fantastic and kept us all on our feet. The weather was also amazing, hot and sunny (feels even more amazing as since then it seems to have rained non-stop).

The bride and groom exit the hall after ceremony

The bathroom got finished and looks much better than before (although it seems smaller for some reason. I haven’t put back all the things I love in there yet and we need a new cupboard/storage for towels etc. The perfect container will come along…

The decorating is finished

I still have not found that perfect job although I am a bit more enthusiastic about doing so and remain hopeful that the job right for me is around the corner. I have had a few days paid work and hope to build on that with part-time work and expanding my business ideas (more in next post)

I have done at least one session a week litter picking on the common and love going there to soak in the greenery. It slightly saddens me that people seem to go there to eat and drink in a nice environment and then drop their rubbish. Still, it is always satisfying to look back at the areas you have cleared.

I have continued to clear the clutter in the ‘junk’ room/office and can now walk freely around the room. Having said that there are still areas to be cleared and lots of paper work to be sorted. That’s my June challenge.


Update on 30 Day Challenge (Days 1- 10)

Update on 30 Day challenge (Day 1 – 10)

So far: I already feel fitter, my clothes are not so tight and I have mostly managed to keep to not eating too late at night which for me helps me keep my weight down. I’ve also noticed I am more attracted to healthy food and am not eating as much overall.

The bathroom is looking better (but it is a pain not being able to use the bathroom all the time –it’s a nuisance having to keep taking off the plastic protecting the bath and putting it back).


I haven’t had any positive answers to the job applications I’ve made but I remain postive

The clutter has mostly been ignored as I’m so busy with everything else.

Day 1 (Sunday) – Long power walk where I decided I needed the 30 Day Challenge. Sugar soaping walls and ceiling and finished off sanding uneven parts in bathroom decorating saga.

Day 2 (Monday)  – Short walk with Bebo (pouring with rain), 5 hours decorating. 4 hours job applications. The clutter will have to wait…

Day 3 (Tuesday) – 2 hours decorating.  Long walk with M (after a coffee and pastry), explored new bits of the local woods.  7 hours of job applications (deadline was midnight!)

Day 4 (Wednesday) – Walked to local garden centre and pushed back 3 large bags of compost (and a rhubarb plant) uphill  – I really felt this in my legs and upper arms. 5 hours decorating (another coat of gloss on the window and surround, skirting and both sides of the door and surround).

Day 5. (Thursday) –   Incorporated walk by not taking the bus to Woolwich and back (saving money) when I took Baa to the dentist. Also a long walk along and back from dentist.  Concentrated on cleaning (which has been neglected due to my focus on decorating). Children got involved. I re-potted the apple tree I was given as part of my leaving gift. It has two extra varieties grafted on as branches so produces 3 types of apples. Last year only one type of branch had flowers so we only got 4 apples from it.

Day 6.  (Friday) 2 hours decorating in the morning. Long walk with J (after coffee and cake at her house). J reported she felt shattered afterwards and had to lie down. I remembered that the first time I did a long walk with M I felt the same. Now, I’m finding the walks invigorate me and make me feel more content. That also shows me I am fitter.  3 hours decorating in the evening.

Day 7. (Saturday)  1 hour decorating (still on gloss paint – 4th coat on the parts that had not been painted before). Mango smoothie with M and then a good walk over the common. Not walking fast as M has had a cold. Met a really nice woman doing some litter picking – made me feel guilty as I keep forgetting to take my litter picker and bag with me. Could do better on that… Rested in the afternoon and watched silly films with the children.

Day 8. (Sunday) 2 hours painting in the morning (last coat on the windows and surround – hurrah!) Incorporated walk by walking to Woolwich and back when I was taking Bebo to Upton Park to find an Indian costume for her as she will be presenting the flower garlands at my nephews wedding. We visited a lot of shops and were starting to be overwhelmed by colour and beading and sparkly bits when we finally found something that wouldn’t compete with the bride. Made a special supper as its been difficult to cook anything complicated with all the decorating going on.

Day 9. (Monday) Still no answer to the job applications I have submitted (disappointingly). Updated my financial accounts – I’m finding it difficult not to get depressed by that so got up and got on with the decorating. Finished the gloss on the two sides of the door and on both sides of the door surround – hurrah!).  Started painting the walls and ceiling. The decorating took 5 hours so didn’t get to go for a walk, but it felt like I had been for a work out.

Day 10. (Tuesday) Spent 2 hours looking for jobs to apply for. Had to ignore the decorating today in order to get job application done. Went for a brisk walk and did 30 minutes of litter picking on the common. Have not managed to do as much of this as I imagined but the area I did looked great.


The characteristic that I’m least fond of in myself is my incredible ability to procrastinate. It really annoys me but usually not enough to make me take action. I wouldn’t say I was lazy – I’m happy to be active but usually not on the things that really need doing. A case in point is our bathroom. This was refurbished X number of years ago (I’m too embarassed to say how many) when we discovered all the joists were riddled with rot after a small leak for a number of years! I did not really think at the time about which kind of flooring I would have although I have always wanted Marmoleum (a completely natural product that is naturally anti-bacterial and warm underfoot). It’s not particularly expensive but I have never had the spare cash so the builder without consultation put down chipboard, screwed to the joists.  Even before he finished it a bottle of avocado oil got spilt on it and the greasy patch has remained. I’m really happy with the sink which was from LASSCo (a London-based reclamation place in the wonderful Georgian building at Vauxhall). The sink was taken from a former home of nuns and dates to about the 1930’s. I bought a modern toilet as that is all I could afford and then couldn’t make up my mind about the bath. I looked in bath shops all over London, on line and in magazines. The only baths I liked cost upwards of £3.000 and apart from these I liked my existing bath better than anything I could afford so that has remained in the bathroom. All the walls were insulated with the Fermacell system (recycled fibreboard that can support heavy weights and is fire retardant and insulating. You put the boards together and then just put some plaster like material over the joins, no need for skimming with plaster. These walls have remained unpainted and the extra woodwork that was needed around the window because the walls are now much thicker has never been painted. I haven’t really noticed how shabby it looks until recently when I was trying to look at the house with fresh eyes as I am planning to rent out a room for some extra income. Suddenly I could see that it looked terrible. So I heard my mother’s voice (she’s been dead for 17 years but when I’m feeling self-pitying or overcome by the enormity of what I need to do I hear her saying to me ‘just get  on with it’. It used to annoy me that she rarely showed any sympathy but in the end there is no choice but to get on with things and a small step forward is at least in the right direction. I recently heard a quote from a successful business man who said ‘don’t dwell on the big picture, which can overwhelm, just focus on the individual steps needed to get there’. I’m paraphrasing but that’s the gist.

Bathroom - not a good picture

So I have ‘got on with it’ and have started decorating the bathroom. This has already involved enormous amounts of work as I stupidly started with painting the floor – a low cost (£40) solution that looks good so has given me a bit of a boost (despite needing four coats of paint!). I also got a few small tester pots of a metal paint and managed to paint the outside of the bath with one tube (costing £1.45). Unfortunately neither of these paints is environmentally friendly but I have some Auro Organics gloss paint and wall paint that were supposed to be for the equally shabby hallway and never got used.  I’m not sure pale grey is going to look very nice in the bathroom but as the whole room is disrupted and we can’t use the bath because it has protective sheets and tape all over it, I just need to get it done as best I can.

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