Striving for a greener, more ethical life

Archive for the tag “low cost”


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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