Do you see this?
This is a blog post to shame me into getting a move on with the decorating.
Do you reckon it's going to work?
Nah, me neither.....or possibly.
Despite people looking at me strangely when I mention this, I think it's FINALLY getting cooler. We've stoppped having days where the temperature is over 110F/44F, I'm having the air con on less and less and coping more with just the fans, and I've finally started getting some more serious gardening done.....although admittedly I'm doing this at 6.30am whilst it's the coolest part of the day.
So it's time I stopped moaning about the house not looking like our home and being very brown (though not as brown as the world's brownest house) and started thinking about decorating.
In my defence, I reckon if you didn't paint quick enough the paint would dry quickly in the heat so you couldn't take breaks......ok, unless you do one wall at a time and stop in the corners. This is my 'justification' and I'm sticking to it.
So I'm starting with one of the smallest rooms in the house....the downstairs loo, guest toilet, restroom, half bathroom and all the other mad & crazy things we Brits and those Americans call this type of room.
One of the more interesting things I learnt when I arrived in the USA is that whereas Brits use the word toilet generally to mean the room the loo/bog/porcelain throne etc is in, the Americans tend to use it for the actions you do whilst sitting on one. Hence, I now understand that "I need to go to the toilet" whilst perfectly acceptable in the UK caused me strange looks in the USA. A friend from New York explained to me that any mention of "going to" or "using" the toilet was actually considered rather crude....and the nearest he could describe it was if you heard someone ask "do you want to go potty" (he was desperately trying to be polite hoho). So trust me, if you're in the United States and need "the little girl's room" ask if you can use a restroom or bathroom.......or go totally Mary Poppins like me and refer to the loo all the time just to confuse our Colonial friends ;)
Our Trophy Room has a toilet in it, a sink/basin, a mirrored medicine wall-cabinet, a big oval mirror and a strange, high-up, long, thin window. Here's our only pic of it before we moved in, Melchett had been charged to take photos of everywhere, this one wasn't her best:
So why do we call it the 'Trophy Room'? British humour I'm afraid. You have to remember that Mr Devyne and I were brought up on a diet of Carry On movies.
This is the toilet that guests will use when they come to the house so we wanted something quintessentially British. The original ideas were to create a men's club reading room, smoking parlour or big game hunting trophy room. I've always wanted somewhere to display some of the kids achievements (and mine and Mr Devyne's) but being British I've never managed to put anything up because I thought people might think I was showing off or bragging.
Happily, this attitude isn't one fostered in the USA, you can blow your own trumpet without fear of being called a show off. And, if I put things in a loo/restroom I can relax my inner British worrier and tell myself I'm being ironic. It's just like you hear of British actors and actresses displaying their Oscars in the loo.....just mine's on a much lower scale.
Having certificates up on the walls shows me and the kids that we HAVE actually achieved something in our lives. They also help on my bad cyclothymia days when I hate myself and think that world would be a better place without me, I can look at the stuff on the wall and try and tell myself, I've done some good stuff before so I will be able to again one day.
(P.S. we also thought calling a toilet/restroom 'The Trophy Room' funny because unfortunately we're all children in this family and delight in toilet humour......and the room has initiated the phrase "I'm off to deposit a trophy" makes us laugh.....sorry if that's TMI).
So anyway, I'm rambling....here was the first addition to the 'Trophy Room', he's called Neville for some reason:
I need to get my bicycle repair kit out though, his right antler has a puncture and keeps going floppy.
Then we started adding the certificates on one wall, trying to mix our serious ones with sillier ones (Brit not being able to admit to successes again). I've had to blur out the kids' names on these as for some reason the schools and clubs refuse to call them Goth Child and Melchett:
So we've got academic awards mixed with sporting achievements and some less serious ones like 'first place for animal made out of vegetables' at the Village Hall Annual Show and 'member of the Cloud Appreciation Society'. I've also got all the newspaper cuttings we managed to feature in and to the far right there is a big frame with lots of pics of our ancestors....the oldest person pictured is my Great Great Great Grandad John born in 1829.
That 'trophy cabinet' Mr Devyne saw in IKEA and wanted it. It's a Freden. It does take up slightly more room than I wanted but is a great place to hold all of Goth Child's karate awards she keeps winning at tournaments.
A few weeks after buying it, I was checking out the clearance area in my local Lowes (think B&Q or Do It All) and saw a very similar basin pedestal cabinet reduced down to $33 (£20) for a quick sale so had to buy it.
Oops you can see I haven't taken off the sticker yet. And there's the loo itself. I don't like it, it was put into the house not long before we bought it by the Bank owners and it's a bit basic. I don't think I'm going to be able to change it just yet, but I will at least change the toilet seat, probably to an oak or similar dark wood one. Obviously I want a Crapper eventually, preferably with a high-level cast cistern.
Mr Devyne doesn't like that oval mirror, but we might compromise if I can use the jigsaw to make a suitable plywood frame for it and then paint it black.
He's also bought in a sale a huge black photo frame that has multiple holes for pics and he wants (to prove without any doubt that the whole Trophy Room is tongue-in-cheek) me to photoshop the four of us into famous historical photos and into handshakes with Kings/Queens/Presidents etc. He particularly wants himself shaking the hand of President Obama to annoy any Republicans we have visiting. And I think we'll have to mock up us kissing on Buckingham Palace's balcony with the frowning flower girl.
I'm going to see if I can get some big burgundy tapestry or velvet curtains/drapes and edge one side with gold tassel trim, put up a dark wood curtain pole almost up by the ceiling and drape curtain across the end wall with a tie back, basically ignoring the whole window and it's pretty useless:
And obviously those walls need painting something far more interesting than their current beige. I ideally want a hunting green or deep burgundy....and yes I know this will make the look smaller but that's ok, it will cope. I'd love some victorian over-the-top wallpaper, but they just don't seem to do wallpaper in the DIY shops in Arizona and I'd need to do something about the textured paint on all the walls first (I hate it, but it's on every wall and ceiling in the house).
Aaaaaaanyway, that's the room as it stands at the mo. I think it's probably time to do something about it........or sit with a cool drink browsing pinboards on Pinterest and Polyvore, or other great blogs of those who have gone before me (I adore so much about Wisecraft's bathroom re-do especially the colour and Michael Sowa paintings) and wait for the temperatures to drop another 10 or so degrees.....
If I haven't shown you any progress pics by January, please nag me to get on with it. Thank you.