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Zucchini Soup Ready To Be Eaten

 

I’ve been trying out the 5:2 diet since May last year. It’s pretty cool: I’ve lost ~9 kilos so far, slow and steady. I am enjoying fitting back into some of my clothes again, and look forward to more fitting in the near future 🙂 That’s one reason I went on my Great Pot Noodle Experiment of 2016.

So I am on the lookout for low calorie (VERY low calorie) recipes I can meal-prep and eat on the fast days. This Zucchini Soup is a bit of a winner: when you blend the zucchinis, the soup becomes thicker and creamy looking so you could be fooled into thinking it’s richer and higher calorie than it is. I’ve worked it out as about 66-86 calories per serve (but I am not a qualified nutritionist, and am relying on online calorie calculators for quantities), and I get about 6 serves out of this.

You will need a blender or stick mixer to blend at the end.

Ingredients

  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 tsp diced garlic (I used diced garlic in a jar for convenience)
  • 1-2 Zucchini, diced
  • 4 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1-2 tsp Vegeta Stock Powder
  • 1-2 tsp Olive Oil for frying
  • 6-8 cups of boiling water (put your kettle on when you start this recipe)

Pop the olive oil in your soup pan, and heat. Add the onions and start cooking until they are translucent. Add the garlic and fry, then add your celery and fry for a while. The onions should never turn brown at any point, we’re aiming for softened, translucent vegetables so you will need to keep an eye on your pan, and keep stirring. Add the zucchini and fry for a while, still making sure veggies are being stirred regularly and nothing is sticking to the pan.

When the Zucchini has softened, add your boiling water and stock powder. Stir to combine and then simmer for 20-30 minutes on the stove until the vegetables are completely soft.

Take off the heat, and leave to cool. Then blend and portion out into your storage containers.

When I take this to work for lunch, I will pour the soup into a bowl and add a little bit of water (1tbsp) to the jar, shake and pour into the soup bowl to get the very last dregs.

It’s pretty delicious, and I am not sick of eating this yet (although I do have something different for dinner to ensure it doesn’t wear out its welcome).

66 Calories of Lunch 🙂

I have to preface this post with the following: while I am not the most patient person in the world, and niggly, fidgety, finnicky, fiddly tasks tend to drive me n.u.t.s. I can usually damp down my ire with a couple of choice curse words, or occasionally a steady stream of pithy, acerbic cursing and commentary directed at the thing, or the designer of the thing, causing me issues (Exhibit A: If Wine Is Proof That God Loves Us And Wants Us To Be Happy, Toilet Cisterns Are Proof That Bathroom Designers Hate Us
).

Very pretty, still very rage inducing.

However, it is fair to say that I have never – n.e.v.e.r. – been driven to such rage as with the topic of this post. N.E.V.E.R.

Who knew it would be light fittings and replacing bulbs that would tip me over the edge?

Tip me over the edge? Tip me over the edge to the point where I want to ask John Wick to find the designer of this light fitting, and make them pay. And once John Wick is done with the designer, then I want to ask Pinhead from Hellraiser to make them pay even more. And when Pinhead is done, I am going to call Michael Myers (not to be confused with Mike Myers, but both could be punishment in their own ways), then Jason from Halloween, then Freddy Krueger. And then once everyone is done, I am going to wander over to where the designer is lying on the floor, and kick them in the proverbials. Yes: I know that is a little extreme (the kicking in the proverbials, everything else is frankly fair game and well deserved), and in real life I will probably settle for a stern scowl and maybe a basilisk like glare, but I am actually that angry. And the stern scowl and basilisk like glare would definitely come after John, Pinhead, Michael, Jason and Freddy have worked their magic.

If you are a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, shiny, brand-new home owner: learn from my lesson. Or deal with the same rage I currently have. And there is definite rage. RAGE.

And this story starts innocuously enough. When I too was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, shiny, brand-new home owner…

…we need some flashback music for this, don’t you think?

Way back in August 2009 I had to get my house rewired. It was both a happy and a sad time: happy because it meant I was going to be able to plug both a kettle and a radio in my house, and I’d even be able to turn them on at the same time; happy because I could get rid of some rather heinous lighting fixtures…sad because rewiring your house and buying new light fittings is an expensive thing to do in the first month of home ownership. And sad because – if I had only known – if I had waited 2 more weeks to put in an offer for my house, the cost of rewiring the house would have been on the seller instead of me (some arcane law changes, the impact of which I didn’t understand at the time).

Way back then, in addition to downlights in my bedroom, and pendant lights in my living and dining areas, I purchased some energy efficient lighting for my office, my studio and my hallway. Track lighting, with spotlights you could position on it. I thought I was saving the world: energy efficient light fittings, energy efficient bulbs…I was doing.the.right.thing.

Well I may have been doing.the.right.thing. for the planet, but I most definitely not doing.the.right.thing. for me. Although I didn’t know it at the time.

What I didn’t realise is the bulbs were actually fluroescent bulbs. So they took minutes to warm up, gave out the most unflattering light possible and were generally a pain in the a** (if I had realised that to start with, I would not have bought the fittings). The quality of the light has become more of an issue as I’ve got back into painting. I need good light to work.

While you can fit LEDs and Fluroescent bulbs into these fittings: the spotlights are actually teeny little tubes about 8cm long, the fluorescent bulbs are about 7.5cm long and almost every compatible LED bulb is 5.8cm long. It’s easier to get leverage to slide in the bulb if it’s 7.5cm long, otherwise you are fiddling around with your fingers about 3cm into the spotlight trying to turn a 5.8cm bulb in the socket. That’s…quite difficult to say the least. To say more: it’s almost @#$%$^$ING impossible. Requiring superhuman patience, agility and…did I mention patience? You probably need two lots of superhuman patience, if I’m honest.

And by the way: you can’t just pick a bulb off the shelf and use it. You need to use a little suction cup thing (comes with the light fitting) to get the bulb into the little tube, to line it up before you can turn it in the socket and the suction cup does not stick to all bulbs. Of course it doesn’t stick to all bulbs, why would it do that? Then you would be able to buy any economic compatible bulb in any hardware store, rather than having to go back to the lighting store you purchased the fitting from to buy bulbs. ARE YOU @#$%$^$ING KIDDING ME????

This expensive LED GU10 bulb is compatible with the suction cup, the cheaper GU10s from Bunnings…not so much.

If that’s not enough: if you think getting the bulb into the little tube and miraculously aligning it with the socket connection is easy, think again. Regardless of the little suction cup…it most definitely is not easy. There is no visibility on the actual socket, because it’s about 8cm down the spotlight tube. Behind the bulb you are trying to fit in. With the bulb  in the way, and the tube is just wide enough for the bulb to be misaligned when you try and fit it in…let’s just say the bulb will not go in first time every time. More like twentieth time, every time. Replacing these bulbs is as frustrating as one of those claw machine arcade games: except you are lifting your arms above your head to manoeuvre this thing into a tube to connect with a socket you can’t see, you barely have any grip on the controls and you won’t have any light in your room until you do all of that successfully.

The one bulb you can see in this fitting isn’t working,and it’s also one of the pants fluorescent bulbs. Maybe I can have tealights in my hallway instead of actual lights?

And the bulbs aren’t cheap: I have 10 to replace. That’s about $150 in one sitting. While I don’t mind paying for energy efficient bulb, I object to the fact that I can’t purchase compatible bulbs elsewhere for cheaper and use them. They are compatible: there is just no way of actually turning the bulb in the socket to screw them in (that is, if the gods are smiling and you’ve actually managed to align everything so the #$%^ing bulb is actually in the #$%^ing, @#$% of a thing). ARE YOU @#$%$^$ING KIDDING ME????

It took me 10 minutes to get this bulb in and 5 minutes to do the first one. I still have one more to do… For my sanity: I can live with only having 2 of 3 working spotlights.

I suspect the next time I need to replace the bulbs (once I have finally been able to replace all the current ones), I will be purchasing some new light fittings to go with my new bulbs. And replacing the whole ARE YOU @#$%$^$ING kit and caboodle.

ARE YOU @#$%$^$ING KIDDING ME????

I know the designer meant well, just as I meant well in buying them. But – as well meaning as the designer was in making energy efficient light fittings and bulbs and as well meaning as I was in purchasing them – the level of patience and finnickyness in fitting means these light fittings are completely incompatible with my lifestyle. Because I really don’t want to spend my time wishing I had every single villain from ever 80s horror film series as well as an overly efficient hitman on speed dial, while I am changing a fucking light bulb.

So…learnings?

Just like you should check the washing tags before you purchase any clothes (to see if the washing method(s) are compatible with your lifestyle), and the cooking time before you make any recipe (so you don’t accidentally commit to a 3 hour recipe that you should have started the night before), you should also check your light fittings for ease of replacing bulbs. It has to be easy, simple and obvious to replace the bulbs. Replacing bulbs in the fitting has to be something you can do while standing on tiptoes, in a darkened room, with your arms above your head. If that’s not the case…DON’T @#$%$^$ING BUY THEM.

 

Behold the deliciousness

I got a little inspired when I found a Yumsugar article on How to Make Chocolate Salami, and went down a google-hole to discover a recipe for Chocolate Salame by my good friend who I have never met (GFWIHNM) Nigella. The Yumsugar article mentioned a recipe that used raisins for chewiness, while my GFWIHNM’s recipe revolved around different nuts and amaretti biscuits, but had nothing for fruity “chewiness”.

I idly considered what I could add to my GFWIHNM’s recipe that would give me “chewiness” but which didn’t involve raisins or sultanas. A recipe that maybe had slightly less varieties of nuts too. And what goes better with dark chocolate, hazelnuts, and natural almonds than…glacĂ© cherries!!!!??!!!!

I love, love, love glacĂ© cherries. I can’t keep them in my house because I will eat them from the packet, with a spoon. So any excuse to legitimately purchase a packet of glacĂ© cherries, where there is the possibility of leftovers to be eaten with a spoon is…appealing, to say the least.

Now before I get onto my recipe, there are a couple of stipulations about glacĂ© cherries: they have to be the luminescent red glacĂ© cherries in syrup. There can be no green glacĂ© cherries in syrup. Not in MY house, not in THIS recipe. I don’t care if they taste the same. They are not.

And they most definitely can’t be those sad little lumps of dried, candied cherries available in irridescent crimson or emerald green – that are often also called glacĂ© cherries and are mostly found in fruit cakes, or crying to themselves next to the currants and the dried peel in the baking aisle. Leave them on the shelf. THOSE cherries are an abomination, so don’t even…

I cannot emphasise this enough: you must, must, must use the luminescent red glacĂ© cherries in syrup. They provide the perfect balance of flavour, chewiness and moistness for this chocolate salami. Plus they really are the “only” glacĂ© cherries.

See the glorious luminescent red glacé cherries in syrup?

Ingredients

Makes a shedload. Or about 2 x 30cm logs of chocolate salami.

  • 250gm of dark cooking chocolate
  • 250gm amaretti biscuits (the chewy ones) (crushed: I used my mortar and pestle)
  • 100gm soft butter
  • 150gm caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 100gm raw almond flakes (crushed roughly in mortar and pestle)
  • 100gm hazelnuts (roughly chopped)
  • 150gm luminescent red glacĂ© cherries in syrup (roughly chopped)
  • Icing sugar (to serve)
  • You will need clingwrap and alfoil to wrap in.

Melt the chocolate  and 50gm of the butter (in the microwave, or on a double boiler) until smooth, then set aside to cool.

Cream the rest of the butter and sugar in large bowl, beat in the eggs one by one (can look a little curdled at this point, don’t worry).

Sieve the cocoa powder into the chocolate (I guess cocoa and chocolate makes it a double chocolate salami, really), then stir until combined.

Beat the chocolate-cocoa mix into the butter-sugar-eggs mix, and ensure they are combined. Once smooth, switch to a large spoon and incorporate in the amaretti biscuits, hazelnuts, almond flakes and glacĂ© cherries. Stir until combined, taste a spoonful and raise your eyes to the skies because it is g.l.o.r.i.o.u.s. (if you can’t see the skies, raising your eyes to the kitchen ceiling is also perfectly acceptable).

Pop your bowl into the fridge for about 20 minutes, NO LONGER. It needs to be malleable enough for you to form it into a roll.

While you are waiting, lay out about 45-50cm of clingwrap flat on your counter.

Once your mix is chilled, spoon a generous line of the mix onto one lengthwise edge of the clingwrap (start about 7cm from each short end), then roll the whole thing until it’s wrapped up in that first layer of clingwrap. Twist the ends of the clingwrap like a lolly until you have a vague log shape (each log will be about 4-5cm in diameter). Do the same with a second layer of clingwrap, then follow with a layer of alfoil. The alfoil will give your salami structure. Do the same for the second roll. Then pop them both on a flat space in your freezer. They will keep up to a month in the freezer like this, if you can leave them alone long enough.

When you want to serve, unwrap and slice in 1cm segments and serve with the rounds dusted with icing sugar.

Still life in danger of being eaten

 

Let’s get something out of the way first: toilet cisterns are a**holes. Absolute a**holes.

And when they leak, they are quite possible the worst a**holes in the world. They are the parking inspector of a**holes. The traffic cop of a**holes.

They are incredibly fiddly and finicky things. If they were a human being, they would be a difficult person to deal with. If they were a person, they’d be the sort of person who can’t eat gluten as a rule, but can eat wholemeal stoneground organic wheat that’s been harvested by virgins. They’d be the sort of person who can’t eat dairy, except goats cheese (but only if those goats were milked under the light of a full moon) and they’d probably be able to eat those woeful cream cheese wheels that have fruit or herbs on the outside (who eats those things? they are a disgusting hangover from the 80s or 90s imho). They’d be the sort of person with weird, unpredictable, but definite food dislikes. Dislikes in spite of never actually having tried the thing in question, so an illogical dislike as opposed to an actual preference for/against something based on experience.

That’s what toilet cisterns are: one of THOSE people. Ugh.

There are 4 places they can go wrong, 3 of them are quite simple – but incredibly fiddly – to fix HOWEVER what usually happens is that they go wrong in combinations of those 3 places. So you might fix one part of the problem, but there’s still another part – and another trip to your local hardware and/or plumbing supply store in your future.

And unfortunately, while you can certainly selectively weed out THOSE people from your life (keeping only the best of a finicky bunch); basic house planning regulations mean that you will always have to have a toilet cistern in your house, and therefore your life. At least one. UGH.

I really hate those a**holes.

/end rant

If you can see water trickling into your toilet bowl even though you haven’t flushed it: know you are dealing with an a**hole. One that is simple to problem solve, and you can fix it yourself with some basic supplies but it will be a little fiddly. But knowing how to problem solve and fix, means you can potentially save money.

What makes is confusing is that:

  • the internals of the cistern can look slightly different
  • there’s no standard washer size (remember my point about incredibly finicky things)

However, there are 3 simple things to check (and fix) before you call in someone, regardless of what the internals look like:

  • The flush or outlet washer
  • The float
  • The ballcock or inlet washer

If water is trickling into your toilet bowl even though you haven’t flushed it…this is how to problem solve

Step One: Lift of the lid of the cistern

The lid is usually held in place on the cistern by the flush button. You should be able to unscrew that, lift out the flush button cover pieces (pieces: the button will be held in place by a threaded seat) and then take off the lid of the cistern.

At this point it’s good to place the lid and the flush button pieces somewhere out of the way, where you won’t step on them.

Step Two: See if you can visually identify the problem

  1. Underneath where the button sits, you will see a piece of equipment that is broadly called the flush unit, or outlet unit. If you press the flush button (you can still do that without its cover on), you should see part of the flush unit lift up to let water into the toilet bowl. The flush unit should also have an outlet for excess water towards the top (so if your cistern gets overfull, water leaks out through the water outlet and to the toilet bowl without you flushing it). There are two things to check here:
    1. When the cistern is full (so the water stops running into the cistern): does the water level sit higher than the outlet for excess water? If it does sit higher, you will see water trickling into the bowl. Then you need to adjust the float so that it sits lower (we’ll get to where the float is in a second).
    2. If the water level does not sit higher than the outlet for excess water, then the problem is probably the washer for the flush unit. This is the easiest thing to fix.
  2. You also need to look at the other piece of equipment in the cistern: this is the unit that is connected to a pipe that runs to the tap in your wall. This is the inlet unit, where water comes into the cistern. The inlet unit also has a washer in it (called a ballcock washer normally or inlet washer), as well as a float (the float floats on the water level in the cistern; when it reaches a predetermined level, the float acts to stop the cistern from filling any further. The predetermined level is adjustable). There are 3 things to check here:
    1. The level of the float, and where you can adjust it (this is the second easiest thing to do): if the water level is sitting higher than the outlet for excess water, you need to adjust the float so it sits lower in the cistern (the water level should be 2.5cm lower than the outlet for excess water). After you have adjusted the float, you will need to flush the toilet, and let the cistern fill. Watch the cistern fill to confirm you’ve adjusted the float properly, and then leave it for about an hour and then check the water level:
      1. If the water level is still 2.5cm lower than the outlet for excess water, you’re golden
      2. If the water level is back up to sitting higher than the outlet for excess water, there are one of two things that could be the problem:
        1. The inlet washer could need replacing. This is the third easiest thing to do.
        2. If the washer is fine (or you replace the washer and the water level still sits higher than the outlet for excess water), the issue will likely be the whole inlet mechanism. Somewhere in the mechanism there is a leak(s) that is bypassing the inlet washer and filling the cistern.

Step 3: Fixes

A) Replacing the washer for the flush unit

This is the most common problem, and the easiest to fix. Although it is a little fiddly.

Before you do anything: turn the tap off at the wall, and flush the cistern. Then you need to look at the flush unit to work out how you can lift it out so that you can change the flush washer.

The washer sits at the bottom of the flush valve (between that mechanism and the pipe that carries the water from the cistern to the toilet bowl), it seals the flush valve so water does not leak out. To replace this, you will want to google your brand and model of cistern (should be written on the front of the cistern) to determine what washer you need to purchase.

Equipment

  • Needle nose pliers: some inlet parts are detachable, they are held together by plastic pegs. You can pull out the pegs using the needle nose pliers
  • Replacement washer:
    • If the degraded washer is still in place, take it out and go to your local hardware/plumbing supplies store to pick up one.
    • If there’s no washer, you might have to google or buy a couple of different washers to see what fits

Note: sometimes the recommended washer does not sit nicely on your outlet. I use a washer that’s different to the one recommended for the flush outlet in my cistern. I tried the recommended one, and literally would have to flush 4/5 times before the valve would seal, who needs that in their life? So I bought 4 different washers and tried them until I found the one that worked best. The washers are $4-5 each normally, so not a huge expense to try a couple.

There are different ways to get to the washer, so I’ve included a couple of videos to illustrate

B) Adjusting the float level

This is the second most common problem, and the second easiest thing to fix.

Before you do anything: turn the tap off at the wall, and flush the cistern. Then you need to look at the inlet unit to work out where the float is, and what is keeping it in place. That should be adjustable: you should see a little knob or screw you can turn. You might have to google your cistern brand and model to see if you can see inlet units and find instructions for where to tighten/loosen floats.

Equipment

  • Flat head or phillips head screwdriver: some floats can only be adjusted by turning a little knob, which usually can be easily tightened/loosened with a screwdriver. The type of screwdriver depends on the float.

C) Replacing the washer for the inlet unit

This is a little more fiddly, as you will likely have to take off the float to get to the ballcock washer/inlet washer.

Before you do anything: turn the tap off at the wall, and flush the cistern. Then you need to look at the inlet unit to work out how you can  unscrew it so you can change the inlet washer.

The washer sits in the inlet unit, normally below the float, and when the float reaches the level, the float presses on the washer and seals the inlet so water does not leak out. To replace this, you will want to google your brand and model of cistern (should be written on the front of the cistern) to determine what washer you need to purchase.

Equipment

  • Needle nose pliers: some inlet parts are detachable, they are held together by plastic pegs. You can pull out the pegs using the needle nose pliers
  • Replacement washer:
    • If the degraded washer is still in place, take it out and go to your local hardware/plumbing supplies store to pick up one.
    • If there’s no washer, you might have to google or buy a couple of different washers to see what fits

There are different ways to get to the washer, so I’ve included a couple of videos to illustrate

D) Replacing the inlet unit

This is the most fiddly, and I’d only do this if I’d exhausted all other avenues as it’s also the least likely. But if you’ve replaced the flush washer, adjusted the float to get the water level right, replaced the inlet washer AND THE CISTERN IS STILL OVERFILLING AND LEAKING OUT THE OVERFLOW OUTLET AND DOWN TO YOUR TOILET BOWL…then you need to replace the inlet unit.

At this point, I call in DIY Dad (sometimes the nuts fastening the cistern and inlet unit to the inlet pipe are quite tight, and the instructions are painful to read when setting up, so it helps to have someone else doing this with you.)

Before you do anything: turn the tap off at the wall, and flush the cistern. You will need to purchase a new inlet unit. To replace this, you will want to google your brand and model of cistern (should be written on the front of the cistern) to determine what inlet unit you need. Or pop to a specialist plumbing supplies shop, so you’re given the right unit

Equipment

  • A spanner
  • Flat head or phillips head screwdriver: some parts of inlet units can only be adjusted by screwdrivers
  • Needle nose pliers: some inlet parts are detachable, they are held together by plastic pegs. You can pull out the pegs using the needle nose pliers
  • New inlet unit
  • Bucket

This video has two parts and includes a section on replacing the inlet unit.

house-1010

The front of the house, circa 2015

One of the jobs on my 2017 New Year’s Houseolutions list was to paint the external window frames. Given I did the front and back doors in the early part of my holidays, and was looking for things I could do without DIY Dad assistance, external window frames seemed achievable.

house-1121

Looking from the dining room window to the rest of the windows to be painted (taken in 2016)

I had scrape, sand, then use a rust converter on some of them, as they had spot rust, then prime them twice and then do 2 topcoats on them. On top of this, I had to work around when the sun hits some of these windows and also when it was too hot during the day to paint plus a 16 hour drying time between coats.

So I split the windows into 3 groups: back windows except the studio window (I couldn’t unscrew the bolt keeping that window shut, so had to wait until DIY Dad was free to unscrew it), the front windows and the studio and office windows. The back windows are pretty shaded, they get the sun from about 4.30pm onwards. The front window get the sun until 2pm by which time it’s too hot to paint, but if you get up super early (like 5am) you can paint them while the sun is lower in the sky and it’s not as hot. The side window (the office window) gets the sun from about 1pm onwards.

This is a little like one of those awful physics questions, but what it meant was that if I was painting several of these groups in a day, it had to be done in the following order:

  • Front windows
  • Side window
  • Back windows (or if I missed the window before it got too hot, I could come back and do these at 3.30-4.00pm, or after 7.00pm at night)

Back windows, looking from the bathroom, across the newly painted back door and window (they were wood), to the kitchen and on to the dining room window:

house-1122

And so it begins…

The back windows where the first to be started. I used the extra wide blue painters masking tape for the windows as some of the window parts are quite narrow, and I didn’t want to have to clean a lot of paint off the glass if I could help it.

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Primed and ready to be top-coated

It is a commonly acknowledged fact that to fix something around your house, before it’s fixed everything has to get a lot messier.

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Looking back at the priming

My front windows took ~45 minutes to an hour to mask, so I started each group of windows in waves.

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A shed load of masking tape.

In case you wondered: I used 3 x 54.8m long rolls of masking tape. That’s 164.4m of window panes that I masked. That’s beyond a shed load of masking tape, into a f*ck load of masking tape.

And once I masked them, I had to paint them x 4 times, waiting 4 hours till they were touch dry and I could close the window, and 16 hours before I could recoat. Once the last coat was on and dry, I then had to remove the portion of the 164.4m of masking tape on those panes of glass. It was an epic job.

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First to be completed, the back windows barring the studio.

I suspect I would be feeling a warm sense of fulfilment at a job well done, if I wasn’t feeling so tired right now.

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Once I could move everything back into place, I could also clean the back garden.

I’ve also painted the gas meter box (also metal) in the same colour (did that when I did the front windows). One day I will take a photo so you can admire my matchy-matchy painting skills. In the meantime, here’s a photo of the front with the windows complete and the masking tape just removed.

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More epic than Lord of the Rings.

So…15 days into 2017, and one New Year Houseolution = done AND my epic holiday window painting (exterior) task = done. I look forward to a world where I am not moving ladders, chairs or milk crates holding a 1L can of paint in one hand, and a paint brush in the other. I look forward to not having to think about temperatures and angles of the sun throughout the day. I look forward to not having to clean up with turps. Mostly I just look forward to not using my arms for a while.

house-975

Hipsta before shot from 2015 😀

Another holiday job was to paint the exterior windows and doors to my house. Most of the windows are steel, some with a little rust that needed treatment, so it made sense to split the job into front and back door (and window)…and windows. Apart from the different pre-painting treatments required, there are significantly different drying times for metal paint vs wood paint.

Again, I had to scrape, sand and fill the doors and their surrounds. I removed the fly screens on the front and the back doors. The back door screen is in such bad nick, I have popped it aside to chuck. I have kept the front doors but as yet have not put them back on…since I intend to get security screens at some point this year.

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Front door and meter box, pre-painting.

The back door was in particularly bad condition in terms of painting surface: a lot of the original paint had peeled and flaked away, probably as a result of the weather:

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Back door and window, pre-painting.

Given the doors appear to cop a bit of weather (mainly the back door, but since I was on a roll), I primed with an oil-based primer and did 2 coats to ensure full coverage.

Once that was done, it took 3 coats of the British Paints exterior in Ironstone (it’s a colorbond colour, not that I have colourbond but it was really nice) to coat the wood. I even did the meter box out the front (in truth: while I was painting the front door, I completely blanked that there was a wooden meter box about 1m away that could also do with a paint…luck there’s a quick drying time on these paints, so I was able to prime x 2 and paint x 3 in 2 days):

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Front door looking very distinguished.

I haven’d finished cleaning the glass to get rid of the paint accidentally splattered or painted on the doors, but that’s not an urgent job…

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The after shot. Looking mighty fine.

I did find the coverage of the wood exterior paint to be a bit painful: dark colour on light primer, so it took between 3-4 coats to do these surfaces.

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The Ginger Menace inspects the new colour…

I’ve been on holidays for the last month, with a full list of things to do. Some of which I have managed to tick off, in between binge-watching British crime TV and regular nap-times.

One of my holiday jobs was to finally paint the laundry door and window on the interior. When I moved in, I had run out of the paint I used and never quite got around to buying another tin of paint and finishing the job. It wasn’t all paint-tin procrastination, though. I had to fill a hole that had been left in the door thanks to a lock replacement prior to me buying the house, mind you I did that in 2011…there’s still 5 years of “one day I’ll get around to it…” in there.

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The before shot.

I had to remove venetian blinds, scrape, sand, fill and prime the door and window: some of the old paint was in pretty bad nick. Then, after 2 coats of primer (it’s a wet area, so I wanted to get very good coverage before I top-coated), I applied the water-based enamel.

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Job almost done.

The dark surround does make the room a little darker, but it’s so worth it. If I want the room to be lighter, I could open the venetian blinds a tad.

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This looks like…another tick on my to do list 🙂