Eclectic decorating is in progress

A lot of the progress made so far on the house is the progress of ideas, arranging tradesmen and preparation. However some things are well under way.

The entrance, once dark brown, has now been lightened and brightened. Firstly the ceiling received two coats of ceiling paint – goodness me, what a difference that made. I’m sure it must have had at least fifty years buildup of smoke and yellowing on it. The wood panelling had lost a good few knots from the wood, so a lot of filling was needed. Then Paul gave it all a light sand, painted it with a primer to block out the darkness of the wood, and finally top coated with two coats of warm white.

Tidied up entrance

Tidied up entrance

We purchased an old drop fronted writing desk from a second hand shop some time ago. When Paul gets the time he plans on cleaning up the hardware on it, but intends to leave the wood with the existing lovely aged patina. The writing desk resides in our entrance. We found the mirror and box of artificial lavender in Kmart – $29 for the mirror, $12 for the lavender, and the grey stone chook was $7 from an art shop in Deloraine. We’re thrilled with how its come together so far with just the floor to finish it off. That has to wait though till the rest of the house is finished.

Mirrors to brighten and lighten.

Mirrors to brighten and lighten.

We liked the mirrors so much we brought two for our bedroom. We’ve decided not to paint our bedroom, so the mirrors have gone a long way to brightening the room from the effects of the heavy brown wood. We bought the two white cabinets from a cheap furniture shop, and now we just have to find something to put behind the bed. We’ve been looking for some soft coloured canvasses at a good price. To date though nothings turned up. Im thinking of perhaps getting some nice fabric and padding some MDF to attach to the wall for a head board effect. It certainly needs something to cover the white power point stuck in the middle of nowhere on the wall. Why do people do things like that – it looks an eye-sore, and removing it from the wood in such a visible area will create further problems in need of covering up.

Sideboard and picture, gumtree bargains.

Sideboard and picture, gumtree bargains.

Soon to be white walls

Soon to be white walls

Today we found this framed picture of Horseshoe Falls in Mt Field National Park on Gumtree. We have a nicer photo of the falls which we took ourselves and may replace this photo with our own one day. For now though we have enough to occupy ourselves, so this picture will suffice for a time, and it adds a touch of something to otherwise blank walls. The walls are yet to painted, but that has to wait until after the lounge room windows have been replaced with double glazing. The windows have been ordered and should be finished ready for fitting within three weeks. We brought the sideboard before we moved into the house thinking it would fit into the entrance. Sadly though its too big, and too big for anywhere else, so we think that’ll have to go. For now though its ok where it is.

Farmyard ducks looking up at our TV

Farmyard ducks looking up at our TV

We love finding bargains, and it helps to have our eclectic taste for decorating. We loved these farmyard ducks which we found at K-mart for $9 each. They sit just nicely either side of the TV. The TV cabinet with its corrugated tin wine rack was another Gumtree bargain. It awaits a shabby chic Annie Sloan paint job when my wrist is out of plaster

Urn converted to side table

Urn converted to side table

We’re really enjoying the odds and ends we”re finding, like this mother of pearl urn. We’ve attached a small chopping board to the top and it makes a great little side table. We have two of these on either side of one of our couches.

Thank goodness for changing trends and the people who follow them. This week we found enough good quality drapes for our entire house for a total cost of $345. They’re all fully lined with heavy block out and come with either matching padded pelmets or matching valances, and all the tracks to hang them. It seems padded pelmets are now yesterdays look, and valances went by the by a good few years ago. Compared to our existing drapes these are like gold in both quality and style. So, we’re happy not to be dedicated fashion followers. I’ll post photos later in the week when Paul gets a chance to hang them.

Deloraine continues to impress

The renovations and decorating are now well under way, and Paul is doing a marvellous job of being chief decorator, cook, cleaner and bottle washer. I’m still out of action and most likely will be for at least another four weeks, although I’m now managing now to do a few more things for myself – like fastening my own bra, and tying my own shoe laces. Im still having weekly visits for X-rays to check its all healing well, and to change the plaster which gets lose as the swelling reduces.

Pauls painted the entrance and will finish painting the two spare rooms today. We’ll pick up some finishing items for them tomorrow, a mirror for the entrance and curtains for the windows. Then its just waiting for the new carpet to arrive. They look really good.

We try and fit a walk in most days which is usually either along the river, or up town to collect groceries. Whilst the idea of returning to the life of a ‘Grey Nomad’ is still very exciting and strongly beckons, having to spend some time here in Deloraine is by no means a hardship. The town is a lovely place to walk around, and to date I’ve yet to see a nicer, prettier or more interesting town.

Street Sculpture

Street Sculpture

The street has lovely metal sculptures every couple of lamp posts apart. There must be at least three dozen in total and include guitar playing minstrels, circus troops, Tai-Chi, wood cutters etc. You name it, its probably represented in the sculptures on Deloraine’s main street.

A guiter playing minstrel

A guiter playing minstrel

An acrobatic/circus troope

An acrobatic/circus troope

Then theres the multitude of arts and craft shops, and I’m not talking old ladies crotchet and hand knits, although they’re here also. Walking up and down the street there’s so many window displays that successfully beckon one inside for a closer look. One of my favourites is the Alpaca shop which has some lovely items, some crafted here in Deloraine, and some from as far away as Peru. Be warned though, you need more than small change to make a purchase there, a lot more….

Theres lovely rustic hand made wood craft, like these rocking chairs adorning the footpath outside a craft shop.

Rustic hand crafted wood work

Rustic hand crafted wood work

My favourite window display at the moment though is these three heads.

Window display in one of the many art and craft shops

Window display in one of the many art and craft shops

I love the green one which I think is titled something like ‘Entrancestress of the Forest’. The blue one has a similar name but for the ocean, and the red one is for volcanoes I think. The green one reminds me so much of my friend Toni, and I just know she’d love it.

My favourite - reminds me of my good friend Toni

My favourite – reminds me of my good friend Toni

The gaps between the shops open up to a stunning vista of the surrounding western Tiers.

The Western Tiers, providing a picture perfect town background

The Western Tiers, providing a picture perfect town background

Even the guest houses are interesting to look at, like this one with its statues of Laural and Hardy on the balcony, and a garden full of statues and memorabilia. Theres even an old push mower powered by by an attached bicycle in one of the gardens.

Lifesize statues of Laurel and Hardy

Lifesize statues of Laurel and Hardy

A guesthouse on the main street

A guesthouse on the main street

The cafes and pubs all serve very nice food, and have something special to recommend each and every one of them. I”ll post some photos of a couple soon that are particularly good – one for its wood fired pizzas and balcony overlooking the Western Tiers, and the other for its 50’s memorabilia. My brother Garry will love that one.

Yes, its no hardship at all having to stay a while here in Deloraine.

Turning 60 shaping up to be an infamous year.

I’m sure theres some pleasant memories between our sequence of unfortunate events in the year of our 60th birthday. At this point in time though those times are certainly being overshadowed, and are hard to recall.

To date:

Paul injured his left ankle on the Ottway zip fly.
Paul then injured his right ankle helping an acquaintance to fit a roof top camper.
An old ankle injury of mine has been causing me grief.
All injuries are still troubling, and we have made appointments to see if anything can be done.

Pauls birthday celebration in the Uk certainly started out with a few problems, but ended up fine with the beginning of the night almost being like a comedy of errors that, dare I say it, actually made the night a fun night.
Circumstances outside of our control meant we had to cancel our Italian tour at very late notice. We are waiting to hear if we will be able to claim the cost on our insurance.
Circumstances, this time within our control, meant we missed a second short short trip to Italy – definitely not an insurance claim event. Flight costs, hotel fees, and 1st class tickets on Eurostar all lost.
We had colds for most of the seven weeks we were in the UK. This turned to full on flu when we arrived back in Tassie. Neither of us have had a cold for around three years.
An hotel booked in Sydney for our return trip was forgotten, and we booked a second hotel. The first hotel booking was only remembered when we saw the money disappear from our account the following day. Our mistake so have to cop that one on the chin.

Then to top it all off, yesterday i was enjoying the sunshine as I pruned a creeper. Unfortunately i tugged backwards as i stepped into a pothole. Result was a backward fall and now I’m out of action for 4 – 6 weeks with my right wrist broken in three places and now in a cast. I am very right hand dominant, so very simple tasks are proving very difficult.

At least I hope thats now the topper. Anything that tops that won’t be easy to take.

Needless to say, we can’t wait to get back to the simplicity of our life on wheels. We weren’t sure if we would keep this house in Tassie empty through the winter and just spend time here in the summer, or if we’d rent it out and return to our life on wheels full time. Its ending up a no brainer – the road is beckoning big time. Alas, though we need to spend 6 – 8 months here tidying up the old place before we rent it out. That wasn’t a distasteful thought yesterday morning, but typing this left handed while my right arm hangs heavily in sling, and theres so much to do, and i can’t even prepare a meal or wash a dish for at least a month – well it certainly puts things in a different light.

Update – Clause in the small print of the insurance contract meant the Italian trip and tour wasn’t covered. If Paul’s dad had lived in Australia we would have been covered, but no cover for a sick relative in another country. Never mind – time moves on and it’s now just a distant memory, albeit that particular time is up there with he worst of memories.