Well the results are in.

The verdict is…….much as anticipated really. A fun filled Easter Holidays trying to find the sneaky cells of doom – a week of injections, scans, more injections (in my posterior no less – no one needs to see that level of orange peel first thing on a Monday morning!) and more scans, with a smattering of blood tests thrown in for good measure. Woo hoo!

On Wednesday I have to begin the low iodine diet. It turns out, pretty much everything I eat is in the red “must not be consumed” list. Bloody typical! No eggs! No eggs!!!!! What the? It’s my first meal of every day. And then there’s no dairy, no fish, no raw green veg, no processed meat, no processed anything (no Diet Coke 😳). You will mostly find me eating chicken and carrots, with a side of water, for the foreseeable!

You’ll be pleased to know, the first thing I did when I was told they had updated the list was to check which column wine is in. And you’ll be even happier to know, an angel put that bad boy on the GREEEEEEEN list. Get in. A Helen without wine of a weekend is not a Helen you would want to know. Since its green for go, is it a fair substitute for my usual eggs for brekkie? Perhaps not…..

But, on the upside, I have new things to paint, rooms to redecorate and furniture to move around, all to keep me occupied. I do like an output when I feel stir crazy, even if it gets me into a little bit of trouble for not taking it easy.

I am hoping to update our formal lounge later in the year. It currently houses the worlds most uncomfortable sofas, literally. I sit on the floor when we are in there. To be fair, I mostly sit on the floor anyways, sofas and I don’t seem to be great friends, but that’s not to be shared with Hubby. Any excuse to not spend pennies on the house, he will seize with both hands. The joys of being married to an Accountant.

Upside is, he did buck the trend of Accountants being boring, he’s averagely entertaining, his Dad on the other hand….

After a lot of sofa searching, I think Ive fallen for something a lot more neutral, and a lot less baroque, and with the all important comfort factor built in! But more on that another time.

As the years have rolled by, my taste has changed, and developed, allowing me to make more confident decisions and less Pinterest boards.

By definition our house was very, very monochrome. And had areas of Over Bling (still do love a bling here and there, old habits die hard).

When I say monochrome, I should say black with a splash of white.

Initially I put black floors through out the entire house. Whether that be stripped floorboards adorned with Farrow & Balls Pitch Black floor paint, carpet, slate tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms, or laminate in the high traffic areas. Everything was black. And I loved it.

I then discovered some major flaws (did you see what i did there?) in my design:

1. Black flooring shows every single piece of minuscule dust. Every single dot. Nightmare with 3 kids and 2 ninja kittens.

2. It makes even high ceilinged rooms feel small and somewhat claustrophobic.

3. My favourite rooms in the house had black floors, walls, ceilings and decor. I occasionally migrated to F&B Railings, almost a grey black, but there wasn’t much faltering from as black as could be.

4. There is more than one shade of black….in fact there are so many shades of black, some rooms look liked I had created a colour chart.

So, I did what any “normal” person would, I changed it. Ok, so that isn’t the best form of solving the problem, and it certainly wasn’t cost effective. But my, oh my, did it make a difference.

My 2 most favourite Deviance From the Norm rooms, are my hallway (I know its not technically a room, but hey) and my en suite.

A couple of years ago, in said hallway, I noticed a damp patch on the ceiling whilst reinstalling some art pieces. I thought I was perhaps over worrying, so called on Poppa Bear before spending money on professionals only to be told I was wrong and there was no damp.

For once though, I actually wasn’t. At the time I was so very happy, I was like “Redecorating is a MUST after water damage Husband Dearest” And I could feel my Rollers doing a happy dance in hope. You see, if Matthew says Yes, he helps pay, if Matthew says No, he rolls his eyes and I crack on stealthy anyway doing everything myself to save money in my ever so tight budget of life. Side note – I have decorated and wallpapered an entire bedroom in Graham & Brown Wallpaper and Dulux paint for under £100 (B&Q sale). Is it perfect – No, am I damn proud of it – Hell Yes!

So, with an onboard Hubby I thought I was on to an absolute winner! Until Poppa Bear asked the nagging question of where the water was coming from. My joy at a genuine need for wallpaper samples, soon turned to horror.

Upstairs, our en-suite effectively had a swimming pool that had been filling up nicely between our wet room and the hallway ceiling. Initially, having already dreamed the dream of wallpaper in the hallway, my budget conscious head cracked on with a grout remover and determination to try and rectify the leaking wet room tray beneath the showers.

Many wasted hours later, Poppa explained that we could not reuse the tiles I had painstakingly removed triangle by triangle, grout line by grout line. I was gutted. I was gutted that the weeks worth of cut fingers and broken nails had not saved me a penny as the WHOLE bathroom had to come out.

I cried. Then, I had to call the house insurance, this wasn’t just a job it was a HUGE job, with a wet joist problem.

My wallpaper dreams were put on hold, and as ever, to save vital pennies, I set about taking the tiles off myself. Our original builder let us down big time. The standard of work he “Project Managed” is dire at best, dangerous at worse. The tiler he employed was terrible. He put 4 dots of adhesive on the corners of 60x30cm slate tiles. Slate is heavy, really heavy. One scraper up the back of a tile, and with no exaggeration – the ENTIRE wall of tiles (floor to ceiling no less!) came crashing down. On me. That hurt. You’ll be pleased to know that anger propelled me forward and the rest of the tiles were down in minutes and a pile of tiles, blood and expletives lay on the once very black, beautiful bathroom floor.

A few weeks later, insurance claim in progress, all that remained was a toilet and a very worse for wear looking me.

It took months for the joists to dry, but with patience (not my forte) they did, and building the en-suite of dreams began. It would appear I am very fickle and my wallpaper dreams were shelved as soon as someone whispered the words milk glass.

From a pile of broken tiles and dreams rose a very white and very beautiful phoenix.

And now, well loved, and well lived in, it really has become my favourite room in the house 🖤

Happy Saturday one and all, sod somber, social it is.

In the words of Rihanna – Cheers to the freaking weekend, I’ll drink to that.

Helen 🖤

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