Back on the tools


hallA few readers have asked where we’ve gone? The answer is no further than the hallway where I have spent a great deal of time staring into the distance – thinking.

The hallway has always been something of an issue, in part because of it immense size and condition.

The hallway, which snakes through the centre of the house, is panelled up to the dado-rail in tongue and groove timber. When at some point in the past the house was modernised this was covered up with hardboard sheeting and the walls lined in softboard. That was a simple enough job to remove and that part was done a long time ago but something stopped me in my tracks.

Underneath, the nice old varnished match lining had been mutilated with a spade drill in a frenzy of ill-logical drilling. We’ve spent much time speculating why this happened. There may have been some idea that it was best to aerate the backing material before the new lining went on but it doesn’t explain the frenzy. I suspect nothing more than an apprentice with a then-new electric drill and a hearty spade bit amusing him while the boss was elsewhere.

Our response to this was to put the whole hall way on hold. We covered up the worse of the damage with furniture and went about decorating, aka hanging pictures, over less than pretty wall linings. However it has become more and more apparent that we needed to tackle the space. The space is too extensive and untackled in leaves the house looking unfinished. Also, and not least of all, I need places to hang additional artworks and I’ve run out of wall space elsewhere.

We’ve had many discussions. We’ve come up with grand plans and went as far as to organize a few builder’s quotes and there we stopped again. The quotes were probably fair enough – it is an immense amount of wall but we just don’t have the dosh.

So it’s been decided after much discussion to go with a simple restoration and relining of the hall relying of the skills of – me!

This is something we haven’t done for a while, a very long while but today I found myself ‘back on the tools.’ This is a builder’s term used when someone who long since got moved to management finds himself or herself back on site swinging a hammer.

I’ve got to say at the end of the day having developed a pretty good scheme for plugging holes (only 32 more to go) which will be revealed later least any on you encounter the same problem – a maniacal apprentice armed with a spade drill.

It seems that it might be good to get out of the office one in a while after all.





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