I live in a nice flat on the top floor of a nice house in a nice part of Sheffield. The flat has many attractive features, including high ceilings, big double glazed windows, gas central heating (when I first viewed it in freezing December 2012, living at the time in a bedsit with a single small electric radiator, this was the reason I snapped it up), big rooms, new carpets and a very nice landlord. It also has some endearing eccentricities, the main one of which is that to get to my bathroom, I have to go out of my 'front door' onto the tiny landing, and in through another door at right angles to it, as the bathroom is separated from the rest of the flat by a substantial chimney breast. Can't go through it; got to go round it. The tiny landing is only shared with the one other flat on the top floor (they have their own, internal, bathroom) and so far this has never presented a problem.
On the positive side, this quirk means that the rent is considerably cheaper than it would otherwise be, and that I have an absolutely massive bathroom. While the bath and shower are fairly new and modern, the basin and loo - and the tiling over the basin - are probably fifty or so years old. The Twyfords pedestal basin is deep and solid, and the Dudley Slimline plastic cistern isn't pretty, but boy does it flush. I like it all a lot. There was no denying, however, that decoratively it was a little tired. At some point it had been papered with the woodchip wallpaper that doesn't quite hide all evils (and which always peels off when you want it to stay on, but is absolutely impossible to remove when you don't). The skirtings seemed to have been made of lots of leftover scraps, and the radiator - whilst wonderfully warm - was undeniably rusty.
So in a fit of looking for a project, before Christmas, I asked my landlord if it would be ok for me to decorate, stressing my credentials as having been fully trained by Jim. He agreed, and said that he would pay for the materials. So all I had to do was start. Well, I bought the paint, and various abrasives, and a few weeks later I started to rub down the radiator. Sadly, within ten minutes, I was heartily sick of it. Well, I thought, it's going to take a long time at this rate. So the next time Jim offered to help, I accepted with alacrity.
Jim came up for a long weekend - Rocky stayed with Baz in Eastbourne; we didn't think we'd appreciate his help - and we got started first thing Saturday morning, and by Monday afternoon everything was rubbed down, filled, rubbed down again, patched up, repaired, stuck down, primed, undercoated and painted. I don't think I've ever in twenty-whatever years worked so efficiently with him! We even had time to go out for fun with Adrian and Linda on Sunday afternoon while the gloss was drying.
My bathroom was lovely and big before, but now it's big and lovely.