In the Bedroom

You come home and you hear banging and grunting from upstairs. You hear Carol yelling, Oh yes, that's brilliant. A more jealous husband would be reaching for the bread knife but I notice that my tool box has been ransacked, and that can only mean one thing. Carol is doing DIY. This is the woman I love but she cannot pass a piece of wallpaper that is destined for the bin, a loose end, a ragged tear on the wall and you will come back ten minutes later to find her like a puppy who has got into a cuddly toy factory. There will be wallpaper everywhere and she will ascertain that: It was like this when I got there. So, off I trudge upstairs to get changed from the garden and wonder what she has discovered.

Getting nailed in the bedroom

I find her hammer in hand, the bed is a mess, covered in old materials, toys and the bags of things for sorting that have been stacked against the wall for the last month. It seems Carol has gone from sorting things out to archaeology. Yes, Indiana Jones has nothing on my wife when it comes to thrills and action in the bedroom...with a hammer.

Today, the sorting out has skipped straight through our bedroom wall. We discussed taking the hardboard panels off together to find out what was there. We knew there was probably tongue and groove back there. Carol has found it with the realisation that whichever idiot put it up in his Barry Bucknell rampage has put it behind the skirting board too. The skirting board has been pried forward in a way that is reminiscent of a dog panting in the mid day sun. The wood lollops towards the floral carpet. Carol shows me the other bolt that echoes the one in the bathroom, together we scrape above the beam, hoping that there is wood there.

Wallpaper stripping

Oh, brilliant, we both yell as horse riders outside look up at our open bedroom window, shake their head and tut. I've got wood, I yell and the riders speed up and canter away. Sadly, the wood reminds me of wood I have seen around the house. Yes, this is full on Bucknell 'hide the old with something new' (for those of you wondering who Bucknell was, he was a TV home improver from 1950s-60s, who convinced people to rip out original features or cover doors in hardboard. If you ever find a bad DIY job, you can damn well guarantee Barry Bucknell was to blame). Towards the wall I manage to get a finger in by the bolt, the wood capping the beam is around an inch deep and to rip it off would mean ripping down the wall. We can't afford to do that and we would lose the tongue and groove. We don't know what problems could be hiding if we do that or what damage we could do. We decide the best bet is to board the top of the wall around the beam so we can protect it for someone in the future who will own the house long after we have gone. They will know the beam is there, because we revealed it in the bathroom and hall. We will slide a note in by the other bolt, tell them this story, tell them to yell, I've got wood, when they uncover the beam as someone on a hoverboard flies by.

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