FIRE

Recently I’ve had this annoying unsatisfied feeling hanging around. I feel like I’m stuck in a rut (again), trying to get ahead but always being pulled back. And somehow at the same time I’m feeling restless but apathetic.

I’ve been reading FIRE blogs and I guess the idea resonates with me. Maybe I’m just romanticising the freedom that comes with it. I think if I could just reach the stage where I don’t have to work because I need to… but can because I want to. Playing around with the calculators all put me around 11-12yrs away. I just don’t know if I can remain stagnant here for that long. I mean I’m good with the heads down and charge forward but every now and then something ends up shitting me. And I want to be a hermit again and not have to deal. Which doesn’t really work if you’re on a schedule.

Some days I wonder what it’ll be like to just throw it all in and do something crazy. Then the responsible part of me smacks me in the back of the head and tells me to grow up. Can’t win…

And when I get frustrated with life I get annoyed at everything in general. And at the moment that’s the mess surrounding me. So a few yrs ago I put up this:

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Seemed a good idea at the time. Increased the privacy a bit and seemed neater. Well it didn’t stand up to the test of time. Most of the wire holding the reed fencing together was starting to rust which means whole sections would break down in windy storms. And the sections in the sun bleached and looked blotchy. Then there was the amount of junk that got caught up behind the reed fencing and between the balcony walls. Finally pulled it all down, chucking it out is going to be another matter entirely. I threw half out but it doesn’t exactly fit in the bin.

Then I ended up with this giant pile of crap I had to sweep up…

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Like I said… mess… annoying… But at least it’s all gone now. Still need to rethink the balcony idea. Obviously reed fencing isn’t the solution although for about two and a half yrs it did ok. I just need something easy, non permanent and not ugly. Perhaps I’m asking for too much.

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Ouch and Dr Color Chip

So there’s nothing that feels like such a stab in the guts as finding scratches on your pretty new car. One month in and wham. Just kill me now…

Well after my breakdown, I started my research. Do I pay someone to fix it? Do I do a DIY in case I get more scratches? Will I be happy with the outcome? Rationality won out. Let’s try a DIY and if it still really bugs me in a few months I’ll get it fixed. Meanwhile still stewing about it. I just can’t have nice things sigh…

From what I’ve seen, this one seemed to have decent reviews and less likely to turn out looking like utter crap. And believe me I’ve seen some horrid DIY patch ups. Colour match was good. Paint was easy to apply, if anything it maybe dried a little too quickly. Or I just assumed being in the middle of freezing winter, it was going to take a bit longer to dry. The three tiny brushes were handy, probably should’ve started with the smallest one instead of ending up colouring outside the lines so to speak. I liked the apply and wipe off approach, although you do lose some gloss on the new finish. I’m guessing once the paint cures and you apply a wax it will all even out.

So far it’s still obvious under certain light. I guess I’ll give it a few days before a wash and wax and see where we end up then. Something tells me the OCD in me is still going to have a field day staring at those spots… I swear to god if another van boxes me in I’m going to bloody lose it. Goddamn useless Sydney drivers. Need to get half of them off the roads. And the fun begins with school zones back into play yay…

The Tap Situation

Jeez, so I’ve just hibernated for the last 3 months. Apparently so… well I am truly thankful for the warmer weather even if it does decide to randomly drop 10 degrees for no good reason other than the fact I put away my warm clothes. And once I pull them out we hit mid 30s again. Rinse, repeat. Still better than perpetual cold.

Also perpetual is/was the leaking kitchen tap for oh I don’t know, at least the past year and a half ongoing.

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The chux wipe and all its incarnations have been permanent fixtures draped around the base of the tap. Why? Well the tap was stiff and water was just starting to bead at the join where it turns. So sometime last year I decided to change the filter to fix it. And apart from the fun of tearing the tap apart that didn’t accomplish anything. With time, the beading just got worse to the point where water would pool at the base. At least the chux wipes redirected any extra water to flow back into the sink. Instead of floating around on the bench around the sink. And I could kind of pretend the wipe was just there drying after I cleaned the kitchen… constantly… Yeah, or not.

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Taadaa… new tap. Only took me about an hour to pull out the old one and install the new. Most of which was comprised of swearing at the goddamn sink and how much in the way it was. For some reason the shelf under the sink is non adjustable. Which means my head and shoulders have to squeeze through a tiny gap so I can bend my arms up to fix the bolts. Not easy when my arms don’t actually bend in that direction. Or when all my tools are big and bulky and the handles keep hitting the side of the sink. Coupled with the fact I can see jack all in the only position physically possible underneath the sink… well yeah… swearing. And dented heads. But hey, new pretty tap. Woohoo…

Now all that’s left to do this year would be putting some goddamn transition trim between the boards and carpet outside the bedrooms and getting the rest of the skirting in this area down. My excuse so far is wanting to find something 5cm wide due to the damn unhelpful doorway design so I don’t have to recut the boards to push the trim further into the rooms. Only problem is I’m not sure this stuff exists. Hence, it’s in the too hard basket at the moment. Meh, who needs trim. I’ve done without it for two years…

Also left on the list is attempting to make the balcony useful. I’m not sure how the growing things to eat in pots is going since I seem to have a bad track record with plants. In that… they die. So far random green things are sprouting. Fingers crossed for a harvest.

Pretty Balcony

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Taadaa! Ok it’s not that great but it’s a step up from ugly crumbling concrete. After 2 days of hacking through reed screen I managed to get it all up. Oh and that was fun on a semi breezy day. Trying to wire things up while bits of screen keeps falling down makes things run so smoothly. And look the table I built last year! It’s still a bit rickety even with the braces on the legs but hey it’s functional. And doesn’t look half bad so I’m doing ok for an amateur.

Currently I’m trying my hand at growing some things. Given my black thumb it’s more a case of seeing how quickly things start to die. There’s the dwarf lime tree in one corner which has stopped growing over the past month. Still looks green and perky so I’m not panicking yet. Some new leaves or branches or something might be nice at some point though. Then there’s the passionfruit plant I picked up out of the clearance section at Masters the other day. Fingers crossed that one takes. I planted some herbs in that rectangular pot on top of the air con unit so it’ll be a while until those come through. But the random lemon seeds I put in a few wks back look really good. Not sure exactly what I’m going to do with them but we’ll see. And I thought the mango seed I buried would be dead by now but digging through the soil it looks like it has sent out a tap root. Just no growth coming up. Maybe I’ll give that another month or two to see if it can decide what it wants to do.

For some reason I thought I had some before and after shots of my balcony but apparently not. All I have is a dodgy camphone shot of the horrid concrete.

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Yup looks much better now. Just need a bit more greenery and perfect. Or at least halfway to perfect.

Onwards

The hiatus on the DIY front has been lifted. Well, not like it was self imposed. Bloody Masters ran out of timber I needed. For about a month. How that even happened… Either way it was annoying. My backlog of to do stuff was definitely not getting shorter. And my skills of procrastination did not need more practicing.

So my plan for the balcony was to rig up something to cover the damn air con unit. Coz it’s ugly. And I don’t like looking at it. And it’s a waste of space. So I need something a bit more practical.

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Frame up, stained and sealed. Just gotta do a wrap around with some reed screen. And then reed screen the rest of the balcony. Oh yeah, Masters ran out of the size of reed screen I wanted. So they ended up giving me a longer height for the same price. The downside? Lugging 3 rolls of 1.8m reed screen in the car and up 2 flights of stairs. And the next part will be trimming it down. Granted the 1m I wanted was probably going to prove a bit short. So at least this way I get to choose whatever height I want. But still… extra work involved.

Fingers crossed for a dry few days. The recent bout of storms sucked. Though that meant I got back to redoing the silicone in the bathrooms. It feels like my life is an ongoing saga of siliconing and sealing. Given I spent about 2 weeks at my parents place doing that. Well when I moved in I was planning on redoing every bit. But by the time I did the important bits like the shower and the kitchen I was half over it. Which meant I had white silicone that really wasn’t white and got less and less white with time.

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And that’s probably one of the deeper darker corners which is a bitch to clean. Hence dust and probably the startup of mould. Shh… don’t judge. Anyhoo, plus then getting an annoying cat as a roomie who, I must add, moults everywhere like crazy, not inducive to a siliconing mood. That and the fact I really hate who originally tiled the bathrooms.

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Why hello random chunk of grout, what the hell are you doing there??? And in about a thousand other annoying places where grout has no right to be. You make removing old silicone so convenient. Scraping away with my little tool only to get suddenly stuck… again… Then having to re silicone over it. I did contemplate chiseling it off but that could’ve ended badly. I was tired and pissed off you see. Well now it’s all covered and no one needs to know. Until someone comes along in a few yrs and tries a reno. Then they’ll just have to wtf like I did.

2 days of curing and then I can seal. Meanwhile back to the balcony. And tick, tick, tick off the list.

Cutting Down The List

So for most of the year the shoe situation has been this.

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Which really I suppose isn’t that bad. Except my sofa is opposite the console table so that’s what I see everyday. Just kind of annoying after a while. So I went out and bought some stuff.

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That’s been sitting around since Easter. But guess what, now it looks like this.

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Yay all covered now. Attempting to backstitch and hem by hand? Yeah, I should’ve just bribed someone who had a sewing machine. It got done eventually. So ticking stuff off the to do list.

  • Hem curtains
  • Get the skirt/curtain done for my console table to hide shoes
  • Sort through giant pile of bills and file them
  • Find some frames for the canvasses I brought back from hols – dreading going to the shops these days with the crazy pre-xmas crowds, though it’ll just be as bad post-xmas
  • Get rid of the crap cluttering the kitchen bench and dining table (half of which relates to point three) – bills are gone, just got to get rid of the rest of the stuff

That was a productive last few days. It’s amazing what one can accomplish when not working 60hr weeks. Just got to plough through the last part and then new list for the new year. Woohoo.

The Microwave Situation

I’ve had issues with the layout of the kitchen ever since I moved in. Namely I can’t decide where to put stuff. That and the initial lack of powerpoints. So I’ve gone from shifting things around…

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To shifting things around… but not without some more hacking. Since my joinery skills leave something to be desired, it was just going to be less annoying and frustrating to get the hard part done. So taking

and playing around with the fancy saw that I bought

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and that tin of leftover outdoor stain/oil eventually leads to

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Yay perfect fit. Well until I decide I’m sick of it and want to change things again. Guess there’s a limit to where I can find new spots for things though. The kitchen ain’t that big.

Given the nice shiny day reflected off that microwave you’d think it would’ve been great weather. But nope, weather is bipolar here. Strangely enough Sherlock is fascinated by the thunderstorm.

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Weird cat. I just want to hide in bed and cover my ears. Maybe we can swap and he can go to work for me tomorrow.