DIM – Do it myself?

Our heat pump installation is drawing ever closer, and the work to clear things out is ramping up. The featured image is from a walk we took around Burrator reservoir over the weekend.

Yes it’s back to DIY time again, and the wallpaper stripper is out. It’s a week and a bit until the team arrive to replumb the house, and there’s still a lot of junk to shift. I’ve taken to eBay and the local charity shop to get rid of stuff, and started clearing space in the workshop for removal of the boiler.

The dresser, previously centred, has gone to a new home and the wallpaper is coming down

In preparation for the new radiator in the kitchen (in a bizarrely unheated space), I’ve been removing the slate-effect wallpaper. It’s a little bit of a shame as I liked the aesthetic, but it was somewhat marred by some enthusiastic cat scratching, and the grey feels a little bit too dark. The rest of the kitchen has long been repainted in lighter shades, but that wall was spared primarily because it was covered by a bookcase and dresser. The dresser was sold last weekend, and when the new radiator goes in, I’ll be fitting some rather large shelves to hold glassware that was adorning the dresser. The bookcase is also undergoing improvements, as the bottom shelves will be turned into a proper drinks cabinet to hold our (now rather large) spirit collection.

The previous owners of our house favoured form over function and made some odd choices including removing pipes and radiators from previously heated rooms, and removing the conservatory doors to ensure the entire house remained popsicle-like throughout the winter. We may not have the same minimalist style, but damn it if we don’t make this place warmer and a bit more environmentally friendly. I’m hoping the combination of the new heating system and additional loft insulation will make a difference to our comfort levels.

Not an attractive look, but I’m not quite finished yet.

The wallpaper has been a bit of a beast to shift. I’ve found the best approach is to dry scrape the top layer off, then steam the backing paper. Removing the wallpaper has revealed both vibrant green and magnolia paint, and I’m not even done yet. Who knows what the rest holds. Hopefully no more secret messages….

The bookcase looking rather sparse without cookbooks or most of the spirit collection

The conservatory radiators are being removed as part of the installation, and I’m considering bringing the floor level with the rest of the house as the step down often catches people unaware. Part of the floor needs redone anyway in the wake of the leak that damaged multiple floorboards last year, so pulling up the rest of it isn’t completely out of the question. There are a few spots of damp that need exploration so that’s a definite possibility.


I’ve made a little bit of progress on the water feature front. So far I’ve separate the three pieces in the sculpture, and done some light sanding to the outside. How exactly I’m going to join it together is another matter. The longest piece is probably going to be used for the tilting bit in the middle, but the rest is up for debate. I’m probably going to use a small mains pump too instead of a solar one, as our weather is too unpredictable in the UK and part of the appeal of the shishi-odoshi is to have a regular, soothing sound in the background for meditation.

The aforementioned bamboo


Signalis is the PS1-esque survival horror game we’ve been playing over the last few weeks. It has been excellent, but we were almost caught out by a fake-out ending part way through. It almost reminds me of the Pyscho Mantis battle in Metal Gear Solid, where you’ve got to switch controller ports to stop him reading your mind (and describing your saved games). There’s a lot to like about Signalis, and it’s worth exploring if you’re into Resident Evil or Silent Hill.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: