There is little else he detests more than painting and digging. The Retired Husband (TRH) that is.
And guess what he’s been doing? Painting and digging!! Many long years ago in the flush of early marriage, TRH (he was not one then – retired, I mean) began an epic journey of renovating. And epic it has been. Forty three years to date and still going.
When we moved into our current home back in 1976 (what happened to the time?!) he kindly started building me more cupboards. As any woman will tell you, houses NEVER come supplied with sufficient numbers of those things. As fast as I build ‘em, she fills ‘em, he complains. And I did. Well, you know what? I’ve got enough. In fact, I need to start decluttering them. One day soon – ish.
There was one problem though. We never saw eye to eye on the type of cupboard doors. I call them dust collectors. Hate ‘em!! Always have. See that picture on the top right above – that’s them. He put them EVERYWHERE!!!! When they went out of style, he had them made. I mean, he went specifically to some factory and ordered MORE of them. Made to measure. Can you believe that ?! What’s more, he did it without discussing it with me.
Well, it has now turned around and bit him on the bum. TRH is renovating the main corridor. Six metres in length. It has 3 big solid doors that need painting and routering to match my office door. And SEVEN louvred doors. Which will finally be replaced. But – and here’s the catch – they are not stock size. He has to remove the louvres, replace them with panelling, sand, undercoat, sand, paint, sand, paint. It is winter. It is cold and damp. Each door takes a week to do….
And you know what else? There’s more of those blessed little dust collectors dotted around the house just waiting for a make over.
The other job TRH detests is digging. There’s been lots of that over the years too. This year we removed an ailing hedge in the front yard. Replacing it with standard roses was an easy decision. We went to a rose show. I poured over rose catalogues for hours oohing and aahing at the splendid specimens, wanting them all. I even wrote a post about roses last October. Alas, only eight would be needed. The list chopped and changed many times until I had it fine tuned enough to be content with the selection. An order was placed.
TRH dug and prepared the rose bed a couple of months ago to give the soil time to become conditioned for its new occupants. The roses arrived this week via Australia Post in a long cardboard box. We’d ordered them from a reputable local grower, Ross Roses and organised delivery given the long trip to go and pick them up.
While I was out visiting some friends yesterday afternoon, TRH planted them. Bless him. He got up off his sick bed, coughing and spluttering to plant the newcomers in time for the forecast rains.
And here they are – our beautiful new roses. Oh, and the soursobs which we unwittingly are now cultivating in glorious abundance. Our winter here has been cold, wild, stormy and wet. Interspersed with glorious, springlike sunny days. Ideal growing conditions for Oxalis pes-caprae.
Problem is, we don’t want to grow soursobs, a member of the sorrel family. An introduced plant, it is an invasive, noxious weed. It does look pretty when covering whole fields out in the wilds. BUT beneath there lurks a deep dark secret. It’s busy making new little bulb babies underground for the next season. Because we refuse to poison it, it has to be carefully removed, mummy bulb intact before flowering or it’s too late. We’re doomed – it’s too late. All our hard work has gone down the gurgler this winter. Undoubtedly we will have an equally glorious crop of them next winter too.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, about the four legged one – she’s OK. One of the doors needing painting was the laundry door. TRH of course had to remove it. For a week. So for a week, because her bedroom door was missing, she was free to roam the house at night. She found the chocolate on a coffee table within easy reach. Fortunately she only ate a little bit. She’d left the rest on the floor as a present for me in front of our bedroom door!
© Raili Tanska