Saturday, 6 April 2013

Joy and Stamina

One of the earliest "Grand Designs Abroad" (and one of our favourites) was the story of Doug and Deni who lovingly restored a HUGE five-storey French maison de ville, open to the sky.

We saw the program again the other evening and yet again we were in awe of the task they took on and also admiring of their evident joy, enthusiasm  and stamina - working 12-14 hour days over months and months, often just the two of them.

And here we are grumping about our six-week / six hour day DIY task.  Ah, but ours feels like a duty and a burden.  Just goes to show how miracles can be wrought if there is joy in the task.

I spent yesterday cleaning the filthy living room vinyl tile floor - hands and knees, scrubbing each tile with a nail brush soaked in a grease remover, then rinsing off the swirly filth, then drying.  Took me an hour to do the first row of tiles.

Mind you, I did speed up when I stopped trying to clean off the pattern. It's a kind of streaky smudge (meant to be a type of marbled look I think) and I thought it was dried in paint. Only another ten hours of lounge flooring to go.

A mere nothing! Doug and Deni persevered for a month lifting eighty flooring beams in place.

Doug and Deni's B&B
Grand Designs Abroad


  1. I've always enjoyed the restoration but...but I hate cleaning the results.

    Currently putting off cleaning the kitchen floor where black earth has been liberally spread while compost has been moved through to the balcony....

  2. I was awed by their enthusiasm and energy, especially given that they weren't exactly in the first flush of youth. Made my efforts look pretty puny. Good luck with your current project.

  3. hello Helen, like the sound of compost on its way to the balcony. :) Yes, I kind of accepted the painting bit, but everywhere is SO filthy as well!

  4. Hi Perpetua, good to hear from you - I think they make most people's efforts look pretty puny! It was the bit with Doug up this wobbly ladder, huge great floor joist over his shoulder and Deni down below him holding the other end of the beam - HOW??? I wonder if the camera man ever got roped in? :)

  5. Sorry , but I must have missed something in that I thought that you had the House and the Cottage and were 'finished' in both. Have you a third place to upgrade?
    Do hope that you have lots of industrial strength handcream.

  6. Hi Lesley - no you haven't missed anything, because I haven't explained - yet! All will be revealed shortly. ;)