Monday was a Bank Holiday. Most unusually, it was hot and sunny. But did I spend the day in the sunshine enjoying the last blast of summer? I did not. I spent it (and the weekend before) indoors, wearing overalls with a polythene shower cap covering my hair, skimming the staircase ceiling, painting it, filling all the dents in the plaster walls, painting them, replacing the pendant light fitting, glossing all the woodwork and generally sprucing things up. The dreaded Artex on the ceiling is all gone, thankfully.
I wish I could say there is no more of it left in the house, but we still have a few small areas. Our ceilings are lathe and plaster, probably 100 years old, and you fiddle with them at your peril, but I just couldn’t bear the sight of the rough Artex finish above the stairs any longer. It was a massive dirt trap as well as looking very dated, and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve skinned my knuckles on it while changing the battery in the smoke alarm. The Artex may even be of an age that means it contains asbestos. Covering it up was an easier option than pulling the whole ceiling down and plasterboarding it, and that would have involved sending a sample off for asbestos testing first. Now it is sealed under a skim layer and 2 coats of elastomeric paint, which means any asbestos that may be there is locked away for a good few years to come.
What I need now is a dramatic lampshade to finish things off. I have in mind constructing one from slices of round and oval section plastic conduit, stuck around the outside of a beach ball which can be removed once the glue has set. I happen to have rather a lot of conduit left from various projects, like an outside light and two new sockets, because it comes in 2m lengths.
The Edison lamp
Between decorating stints I managed to find time to finish off the Edison-style table lamp.
For a 3W bulb it is surprisingly bright – 190 lumens, to be exact. LED lighting is such a wonderful technology: energy efficient, instant output, able to withstand frequent switching without risking early failure, good colour rendition and extremely long life. What more could you ask for? Even a fancy, vintage-style bulb like this costs a mere £8 and the ordinary ones I buy to replace 60W GLS bulbs are only £4.