Today is the last day of the first half of Spring term. This term is named, I am convinced, more out of hope than reality, since there is nothing particularly Spring-like about the weather. True, it is not cold particularly, though we have had a few rounds of hailstones falling on our skylight, but boy is it wet.
This is therefore the perfect time to go away in the caravan. We are leaving Monday evening and returning Thursday lunchtime, using up the last two and a half days of holiday I have remaining until April. We are going to Sandy Balls, which has hard standing pitches and a little centre, so perfect for Winter 'vannin'. We are also off to see War Horse on Wednesday, something I am very much looking forward to personally, even if I am just a little bit worried about how it will be received by the two youngest members or our party. Time will tell.
This weekend, it is us lads alone together, since LO is off to Bristol for two nights to see her good friend, who lives down in Cornwall. The weather may well yet play a part in their arrangements, but fingers are crossed and general safety measures are being taken.
In fact, for half of Saturday, even Maggot 1 will be off, swimming and pizza eating with a school friend to celebrate their birthday. This will leave me and Maggot 2 to do the clubs early, and then to do whatever takes our fancy. I want a bit of a tidy up on the garden, including, I am ashamed to say, our Christmas tree, which I dumped there at the start of the year, and then promptly forgot it. There are also a few leaves and wotnot that can also go in the organic waste bin. Maggot 2 loves to be outside, so he will relish it, I hope. We may also get a bit of Fifa 14 in on the PS4.
The other big task this weekend is for me to do the final steps in the re-decoration of the front room, in anticipation of the new sofa arriving early March. Indeed, I cannot believe that even a visit from the Queen would have caused more cleaning, painting and polishing.
The final step is to varnish the floor. To be precise, to re-varnish the floor. Over the previous weeks I have sanded it (so that the new varnish has a key), hoovered, cleaned with white spirit (to get the worst of the gunk off the floor) and cleaned round the edge which had lots of tiny little paint splatters. The work tonight therefore is a final hoover and white spirit clean, then varnish once the maggots are in bed, so it can dry overnight.
Varnishing the floor is a tedious task, but now is the ideal time to do it, so I am doing to get it done and then hopefully won't even think about it again for several years. Someone did ask me why I did not just use Danish oil, then it would be just a matter of layering on more oil every so often. That would have been a very good idea in hindsight, however when I originally did it, I wanted a gloss finish, and I wanted the boards, which were very light once the grime had been sanded back, to have a bit more colour, so the first round of varnish was oil-based, known for its "yellowing" effect over time, and indeed they did bring a lovely deep and darker hue to them.
The other change we have made is to revert to gloss for the woodwork. We currently have the whole house done in a silk finish, which is much easier to put on, but does not have the longevity or toughness of gloss. We are therefore reverting to the classic look, and I have to say we love it. The woodwork looks finished, and our internal doors look the best they have in living memory. The only negative, albeit a small and bearable one, is that now we have the front room done in gloss, LO wants it everywhere, and now. To be exact, we will re-decorate the new extension in the spring/summer when furniture can be on the lawn for a day, and that will be a matter of a quick run over with white matt on the ceiling, the chosen off-white silk on the walls, and gloss on all the woodwork, of which there are two four-panel doors, two window sills and perhaps one hundred feet of skirting. Yowzer.
I hope you have a great weekend, and speak next week.