It’s been a quiet and yet hectic start to 2021, living life in lockdown (again!) in Ebbsfleet Garden City.I didn’t manage to get a blog post out in December due to testing positive with Covid-19 the weekend before Christmas. While I was very poorly with all the classic symptoms, I luckily didn’t need to go to hospital, didn’t seem to pass it on to anyone else, and recovered well at home (other than lingering taste and smell issues, which went completely but is almost back to normal two months later!). It was a bit of a dismal Christmas for me, but my kids still had an amazing day and I am now back to full health, which is what’s important!
As I am writing this post on Random Acts of Kindness Day, I have to mention the incredible, kind support I received from my neighbours and friends during this time when our household was self-isolating. They did our grocery shopping for us, waited at the butchers for an hour to collect our Christmas meat, and one neighbour even brought round sweets as a treat for my kids after hearing how guilty I was feeling that I wasn’t able to look after them myself. I had neighbours who I have never even met before offer to do our shopping for us, and it all made me feel so incredibly grateful to be living in such a kind and giving community.
After spending five days in my bed, then another few days taking it easy, by day 10 I was absolutely desperate to do something to make me feel a bit more like myself. For me, that of course meant DIY! My husband tried to restrain me, but New Year means New Projects, and I decided to tackle some ‘gentle painting’ to build my strength back up. I had been putting off painting our hallway and landingfor months because it seemed like such a huge job, with lots of doorways and ceilings to cut-in. Post-Covid and in Lockdown 3.0, it now seemed like the perfect task to get me back on my feet!
Newly painted hallway.
When we moved into our new build home, the walls were all painted a crisp, bright white. I had been thrilled with this (Magnolia horror-stories are rife when moving into a new home!), however after living here for two years I felt that the rooms that were still white just felt a bit unfinished. As new builds don’t have features such as cornicing, even a slight change in wall colour can help createdistinction between the wall and ceiling, and make a room look more ‘done’. As lots of our rooms have very strong themes and bold contrasting colours, I wanted to keep the hallway and upstairs landing neutral to provide a bright, open, flowing space to bring together all the other areas. I initially thought of painting in a light tone of grey, however upon reflection felt this was too similar to the floor, and I certainly didn’t want it to look like a grey box! My neighbour had recently painted heralmost identical hallway in Valspar’s Soft Pelican, which seemed like the perfect warm, but not too yellow, milky grey-beige. I ordered a colour match to Soft Pelican from Decorating Centre Online in their Hardwearing Matt finish. I’d used their paints before and knew they were great quality, thick so go very far when painting, and perfectly scrubbable – essential with four small grubby hands in the house!
It took me 7l of paint to do the entire downstairs, stairway and upstairs landing. The trickiest part was painting the bulkhead above the stairs, as even my 6ft6 husband couldn’t reach high enough! Another lovely neighbour came to the rescue and lent us his telescopic ladder, an incredible item that I need to purchase myself for future projects. We stood the ladder on the stairs and lent it against the wall in order to get to the trickiest parts. I love how the landing now looks fresh and bright, while still warm and cosy.
I genuinely felt so much better after completing this painting project – yes we could have paid someone else to do it for us, but I actually find painting incredibly relaxing and I really think it helped me in my recovery to get up and do something productive that was physical but not overly strenuous.
Aside from the endless interior faffing I’ve done during lockdown, the whole family was provided with a much-needed distraction from the monotony of juggling home–schooling and working at the start of February, when Ebbsfleet Garden City became a real-life winter wonderland, with a whole week of settled snow! My kids were absolutely thrilled to pieces, and we went out every morning for four days to sledge in the little hills around the playground near our house. I also pulled my youngest son to and from his nursery on the sledge! I am so glad we managed to make some incredible memories together in the snow, and it was great to see other families enjoying our neighbourhood’s open outdoor spaces.
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