Festive DIY.

This is the one we have been putting off. About 10 years ago the old oil boiler chuffed a cloud of soot up the cellar stairs which rolled on a ball of warmth to the top of the house and settled in the lightwell. We gave it a clean 5 years ago and put the slight dinge it left behind down to authentic and atmospheric Edwardian patina. The problem was that from the back door the corridors connect the laundry room to the kitchen to the front hall, then go up a flight of stairs and from the housekeepers room at the end to the door to the front landing and gallery, and then up again to the attic door through a huge square lightwell that is 2 stories high. There is probably the same surface area in those non-rooms as there is in a 2 bedroom house. Plus lots of pictures (all with little moustache swags of cobwebs behind them), mirrors, and all the little holes from previous pictures and mirrors.

So me and mum took it on (partly for want of something to do indoors in what is always a quiet stretch mid December) and after a marathon 2 days the difference it has made is extraordinary, the backstairs is now so clean and smart I don’t want to put any of the pictures back up.

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