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Home improvement

As some of you may know we’re planning to spend a few weeks in Canada this summer. To that end, we’ve decided to do a home exchange, which in my opinion is one of the most superexcellent things ever devised. Truly, my enthusiasm for this newfound travel option knows no bounds. So far we have had home exchange offers from Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, Colorado, Boston… and this despite the fact that we specifically stated that we wanted Toronto. And there’s still a whole world out there with endless possibilities!

Be that as it may, this home exchange business has a slight downside – or upside, depending on how you look at it – in that you suddenly start to view your home as it would appear to a perfect stranger living in it. Inevitably this highlights a number of flaws. Meaning that the last couple of weekends have been given over to home improvement activities, as will undoubtedly the next few. Nothing radical, you understand, merely the sorts of things that get perpetually put off until you realize that you need to make a good impression so you’d better get your butt in gear and stop wasting your time on inane activities like blogging or watching stupid TV shows.

For instance. In AAH’s room there is a big standalone closet. It was there when we moved in and it’s pretty ghastly looking – sort of industrial grey plastic-covered plywood. Blech. Now if I were a typical Icelander I would have tossed it out long ago and bought a new one on payments or something; however, being a pseudo-Icelander and a very practical one at that I have tended to look at the positive side, like that is is a really good storage unit. And as such, it had a lot of potential. It could, for instance, somewhere down the road, become covered in some very cool wallpaper [see photo above].

So what with THE PEOPLE arriving, YT got on her painting clothes the weekend before last and gave the big monstrosity a good base coating of paint. Last weekend, off came the doors and YT set to work on the wallpapering, with a little assistance from EPI [the owner of the closet is so busy gearing up for her big West Side Story debut these days that she’s never around], taking great care to ensure the patterns matched and whathaveyou, and that it was cut properly so that the pattern was facing the same way on both sides. [Incidentally, I’ve never wallpapered anything before, ever.] This took the better part of Sunday and was a relatively messy experience, although the feeling of having finally got around to executing this long-delayed project more than made up for it in terms of satisfaction.

So yesterday YT was like a gleeful child, could hardly wait to put the doors back on [they needed some time to dry] so that I could inspect my work and feel infused with the great accomplishment of finally seeing the closet dressed up in its new wallpaper garb. I headed out to the DIY store [‘hardware’ if you speak American] to get some cool new handles for the doors, and finally we were all set. All that was left was to lift the doors back on the hinges and affix them with the screws.

Which is when I noticed that I’d made a grave mistake: the pattern faced UP on one side of the closet [two doors] and DOWN on the other.

Did I mention that I’d never done this before?


To make a bad situation worse, the roll of wallpaper had originally fallen just short of what I needed, I’d gone back to the store and they very graciously gave me the metre or so that I was short of. So now it’s kind of embarrassing to have to go back and admit that I’d botched the whole thing and that I need another roll after all. Which is why I’ve sent EPI.

PS No prizes for guessing what I’ll be doing this evening.

Because the weather looks beautiful. It was freezing cold this morning, -5°C or something, with flurries and snow on the ground. In the afternoon the sun came out and now it looks beautiful, although the mbl.is website now tells me that we have a perfect case of window weather, with temps still at -4. Sunrise was at 07.22 and sunset at 19.49.