So we got sanding!
The plants that surround our patio became refugees.
Now, I have limited ladder-abilities. I can go up them if I have assured myself that they are firmly attatched to the ground or the wall at all points, but I get a bit panicky if they make any sudden movements...
But I got better as the week went on, and also learned when to stop (there came a point each late afternoon where my sense of balance just deserted me, and even a pot of Himalayan tea in the garden with Ben couldn't restore things). Ben and I sanded, we washed and wiped, Ben sprayed wood preservative...
And then we applied the carefully chosen 'lasure', or wood varnish. A number of years spent working with this house have shown me that people do not actually go out and say, 'Orangey pine, yup, that's the look for me!' Instead, they spend hours scanning colour charts and DIY store wood pannels for a non-orange varnish, and then they apply it to their actual pine, and the actual pine turns a varnish described as: 'Mid Oak' into classic 1980s 'Orange Pine'. You've just got to live with it, I think.
It looks miles better, it's not going to rot, we've worked hard on it, and the orange will fade a bit, I think.
Whilst there's still a bit left to do, it's mainly evening work now. I am therefore turning my attention to various little bits of wooden furniture that I've bought and then done nothing with, because I hate sanding, paint stripping and painting, I'm afraid.
Having everything set up already makes it easy to attack these two sets of shelves, which I will paint and we will hang in our dining area, to hold glasses and decorative china.
I've really enjoyed spending a few stolen moments looking at your blogs over this last week - I didn't have the energy to comment, but it's lovely to see what you've all been doing.