My balcony is usable again!!1!one!

My fantastic uncle helped me out with getting the last of the trash from this winters building project taken away, and it’s finally usable again. He generously hired a firm to come get it so that he wouldn’t have to do it himself.

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My mum is coming in to clean it this week, and plant something in my balcony boxes and when my comfy chairs are in place I’ll be ready to stay out there. She also has the idea to hang bamboo roller blinds on each side so I can manage to stay out there even when the sun is to strong for me. So if you see a woman with ear protection and sunglasses hiding behind a roller blind trying to water some plants this summer it might just be me. Fingers crossed for a stable sort of summer – not to hot or cold – with just the right amount of humidity.

Oh boy do I want this project

I am bit above normally interested in architecture, restoration and interior design. I have a dream of owning a country house that I could restore and make my own. I often wander through the property section on finn.no which is Norways premier site for buying an selling stuff. There is a section for foreign properties as well, and I’ve found the house in Sweden I’m going to buy if I win the lottery:

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It’s from 1865 and a lot of the original details are still in place. I would carefully restore the old details, try to find out what sort of wallpapers and finishes there would have been on the walls. Plan electrical an plumbing carefully to make it so unintrusive as possible. and replace anything broken with the same attention to detail as the original builders. 08_2097190111

You know you’re in trouble when you start picking out furnishings for a house you have no chance of ever owning. I’ve gone trough anything from historic wallpapers to light fittings and finding tiles that would fit the house. I’ve gone over the plans an figured out the few changes I would make to make the house perfect.

I’ll continue dreaming of my perfect house, and just cross my fingers and hope the people who do buy it thinks the same way I do. Someone who is passionate about preserving this kind of property.

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Almost done with 2015

2015 has been a very strange year for me. I had a massive flare up of ME/Cfs in march after being fairly well for several years and has been on sick leave ever since.  This time as it has before it was triggered by a sequence of infections, but unlike before I haven’t recuperated enough to go back to work even part time. I just count myself lucky that I didn’t end up in the severe category, and in need of home care. I am mostly stuck at home, but I manage the day to day stuff on my own.

Now I’m nothing if not stubborn, so I started preparing for the renovation being home all the time anyway. Now that might not be the smartest thing ever. I was trying to get things in order, but six months later and I think most people would think that I had done nothing.

In October my brain decided to rebel, and gave me what is apparently a second brain haemorrhage. I don’t know when I had the first one, it must have been really small as I can’t recall any extra symptoms. I’m really grateful that things went so well, I have some problems with my eyes and short term memory but other than that I’m doing pretty good. New glasses has fixed the worst of the vision problems.

This led to the renovation project of course. I don’t think it was ideal to start something like that when I was recuperating, but it really needed to be done and I got to spend Christmas in my new home. It’s almost finished. There are some details left but I’m in no hurry now.

2016 will start with massive follow ups to my health issues. I’m having a new MRI scan in the first week of January, and then the neurosurgeons will decide if I need an operation. I had to come off some of my meds that increased the risk of haemorrhaging, and they have obviously masked some problems I have with my joints that needs looking at.

I do have one resolution for 2016: I want to live as well as I can do, and I want everyone else to do the same. You don’t know how long you have to do the things you love and be with the people you love, and that is the most important thing. I’m going to try some new things next year, and maybe I’ll love them as much as the old things I’m no longer able to do.

 

I’ll have a home for yule…

…if my new sofa shows up. And my new dining chairs. It’s just the fiddly bits left to do now, like painting the windows and my new inbuilt book shelf and stuff like that.

My new ceiling lamp looks fantastic by the way:

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Look at the shadows not the mess.

My television has been mounted on the wall, and I really recommend doing this to anyone who has walls that can take the weight. It already looks a million times tidier than before even if I’m not finished. The bracket didn’t cost much and can be reused when I need to get a new TV.

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Progress!

I have a floor! And a kitchen that is semi functional and walls that are panelled! Huzzah! Just a few more days until it’s all finished.

A minor disaster struck yesterday when JH was putting down the last part of the floor.

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We sprung a leak in the radiator system! Water everywhere and all my towels were used to mop it up and stop the water from spreading. Apparently the pipes in my building is very fragile and just a little tap from a floor board made it burst. Emergency plumber came, and at one point there was three people fixing my radiator and restoring heat to everyone in my building on the first real snow day of the winter.

We ended up being a bit delayed, and didn’t get quite as far in finishing the kitchen as I had hoped but I’m almost there and can see an end to the whole process some time next week…

 

So about those floors…

I didn’t as much change my mind as revise my budget, and I’ve landed on a low price light oak parquet floor that I really liked. I liked it even better when I ended up almost 150 NOK lower per m² than with the pine.

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The walls are a bit beyond spackling and painting, my handyman reckons someone had a bit to drink during the construction of my living room and kitchen cause not much is straight or done very well. I’m using painted panel plates on the walls. They are 6 mm thick and looks like tongue and groove wood panel and I love how they look already. The walls in the kitchen will be ready tomorrow, and then the floor goes down and my kitchen comes up.

 

It has begun…

So have I told you how great my mom is? I’m feeling like crap these days, and had to throw in the towel on organising the renovation and she just runs with it.

We’we been amazingly lucky that the handyman that did the demo turned out to be a great guy and incredibly competent and has agreed to do the majority of the building work for us. They (my mom and JH) have apparently finished painting the ceilings and prepping the floors today, and are starting on panelling the walls tomorrow. The kitchen has arrived from IKEA. We need a few more things but I’m hopefully we’ll enough to do a little shopping next week. Fingers crossed we’ll be done early December!

Flooring – what to get – or not to get – or get – or not to get

Get it? Yes, yes I know.

Oh so many rounds on what my new floors should be. Do I get vinyl strips like I’ve put down in the hallway and the bedroom? The floor I bought seven years ago is no longer in production, and getting something that matches brings the price up to something I can’t quite justify for vinyl.

When I moved in the previous owners had put in different floors in all (4) rooms of my tiny apartment. Mostly they had used really cheap tiles and put them directly on top of the 80’s vinyl floor. I understand why they wanted to cover up the light brown/beige floors that was supposed to look like cork, but can’t for the life of me understand why they chose to use cheap terracotta tiles and do a really bad job of putting them down evenly. The only way to clean something like that is to get down on your knees and scrub with a brush. So not happening.

Not only did they put in tiles in the hallway, living room and kitchen but all three rooms have different tiles. It looked frightful.  It’s also really cold in winter, as in freezing. Tile floors without underfloor heating is just not practical in Scandinavian winters. I wish I had taken a picture of the tiles in the hallway, they were a pinkish beige colour that I have never seen before or since.

Although laminate flooring has come on in leaps and bounds over the last decade, I still don’t like it. I’ve been living with my hard icy cold tiles all these years, and get the same feeling every time I walk on a laminate floor no matter how good it looks. There are cheapish versions of parquet floors – particularly oak – but the colour is all wrong for me, it’s too red and the floor just looks dead and lifeless. The really good oak floors, the ones I would love to have costs a minor fortune and is only happening if I win the lottery.

So what’s left you say? Pine floors:

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I might have repressed their existence. We had pine floors in my childhood home, but we had to sell the house after my dad died and sometimes I miss the place so much I get weepy. That place is still home for me, although there have been three families living there after we left. Our dogs wore grooves in the floor getting to the garden door, it is a soft wood but I don’t mind a floor that has marks from the inhabitants.

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Dog – also known as Viggo Mortensen. Fearless balancing artist and missed a lot

So anyway. I’ll try to go for a bit of a whitewashed pine floor, I think – I might change my mind again tomorrow.