Well, the line is that any Bozo can do it. No need to be a rocket-scientist. Actually, that’s not true. Those who make a profession of it charge a fortune as a daily rate. So I decided to have a go at doing it myself. I mean, why not??? As someone unexpectedly early-retired, I’m time-rich and cash-poor. What was there to lose? After all, if Dodgy D the cowboy builder and his desperate men who conspired to do a “reverse Robin Hood” on us when we first bought Les Terraces could get away with it, why couldn’t I?
My first inkling ought to have been when a friend who looked at my valiant preparation work said, “I admire your dedication, Alex.” I have since learned that this was the non-confrontational way of saying, “Are you completely off your rocker!?” I first got wind of the real meaning when tears were close to the surface after the first 3 hours. I used to be blonde … it takes me a while to catch on!
So, the point-of-no-return and the realisation that I had bitten off more than I could chew were simultaneous. Of course. I hadn’t leapt blindly into the abyss. I’d done loads of research on the Internet, and watched a lot of YouTube videos on the subject before I started. But they’re tricky souls, those YouTube how-to-ers….. they never show you the close-ups of the winning techniques, wrist-action, or anything. Smoke and mirrors. Buy my downloadable DVD for 20 quid and you’ll be an expert. Not.
And so I ploughed on. It was messy, and the dog wasn’t happy. Instead of romping on the riverbank with her, I was busy getting plastered. So was everything else. I persevered ……. I could do nothing else. I measured and stirred my concoctions, and nearly cried when a brief absence lead to the loss of an entire batch of mix. When I had the cocktail right, I started in on using it fast…… time is the enemy when getting plastered. Well, one of them. I muttered key phrases to myself like “make sure that you maintain constant pressure,” and “bend at the knees for the downstroke.”
Eventually, I finished. It was, inevitably, a rustic-looking job (I’m being kind to myself here). A couple of coats of paint didn’t do much to improve the result. But I had an ace up my sleeve….. someone was coming in to hide a hefty portion of my work…. the all-important at-eyeline bits. So I figured we’d be fine. He did, but not without carving up some of the better bits of plasterwork in the process and leaving me with repairs to make.
With just 2 days before the first guests of the season arriving the work was complete, and it remained “only” for the clean-up work to be done. Good thing we had 2 days, really. A week later I’m still evacuating plaster dust from the creases in my ears!
And here’s the finished result
And before you ask: yes, plastering is much more difficult than I thought it would be, but not so difficult that I’ll not try it again. Just not next week!
PS: Apologies for the “clickbait” title of this post.