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Home improvements: before and after

Ten years ago this summer, I took the plunge and bought the flat I currently reside in. As I'm not one of the world's great savers, I didn't have a lot of money to play with to do it up, and after most of the structural and decorative work had been done, some jobs were left to such time as I would have the inclination and the wherewithal to get to them. Curtains being one of them.

Two years into my occupancy, my downstairs neighbours moved. As a going-away present, they gave me their Venetian blinds, made to measure for our front windows. This solved my problem in the lounge, but it still left me to find a better solution to that of my bedroom window than the one I had arrived at in the meantime:

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a cheap and easy curtain I got at the supermarket for less than a tenner. It didn't really fit, but it helped preserve my modesty undressing before bed at least.

Last February, I had my windows replaced; and in the process, I broke my Venetian blinds. I did this, not the double-glazing men, so...I suppose I have been lucky that this summer hasn't been much of one, as my lounge is on a south-westerly aspect, and directly below the eaves, so in a normal summer, sunlight not only usually floods the room, it also heats it up quite considerably. Still, I couldn't leave it like it was for long


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so last month, I finally did something about it. I bought new blinds and new curtains, and they've just been delivered and installed.


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I've been advised not to close them yet, but let them hang like that for 24 hours so that the folds have a chance to settle in; but there's a full set, one to cover the window and one to cover the door out onto the balcony, and I'm pleased with them. I wasn't too sure about the pattern, and was worried I might not like it after all when they arrived, but now that they're here, I think I'm quite happy with it.


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As to the lounge and the Venetian blinds, this is what they look like:


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Since the window at the side now opens inward as opposed to before when it opened outward, getting one big blind made up proved impractical, so now I've got two: one bigger one and a smaller one hung side by side.

To give you an idea of the colour, here's a pic taken a bit too close up:


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Just before the man came round to hang them, the cats dashed to the windows giving those excited little meows that tell me they've spotted a bird perched nearby. And so they had this time as well: there were two bright green parakeets in the tree on the other side of the street. They must have escaped from somewhere, but I do hope they find shelter soon before the cold weather sets in. Can parakeets survive in this moderate sea climate of ours?


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Comments

( 18 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
meko00
Sep. 6th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, they look great! The blinds especially; that colour is lovely. :-)

As for the parakeets, the summer climate is not a problem: e.g. budgerigars, which they seem to be, live in the Australian desert, with freezing nights. And, we used to leave ours outside all day on fair summer days. But yes, they might get colds from the sea air, too. And I'm not so sure they'll be able to feed themselves adequately. Most probably they'll starve to death before the winter becomes a problem...
gamiila
Sep. 6th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
Most probably they'll starve to death before the winter becomes a problem...

Oh noes! Poor budgies! Or do they have a homing instinct, like pigeons, and go back to where they know food and shelter are at hand?
desdemonaspace
Sep. 6th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
I love your flat! Your cats must love all that sun streaming in.

I share your worrry about the budgies, but perhaps they'll be all right. Consider the wild parrots of Chicago, and also Brooklyn. Neither climate is exactly moderate.
gamiila
Sep. 6th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
I love your flat!

Thanks! So do I, still; even though I sometimes wonder why I didn't have the foresight to look for a 2-bed rather than a 1-bedroom flat when I decided to step onto the property ladder. With my ever growing shoe collection, I could really do with extra wardrobe space...

You know, those monk parrots look an awful lot like the birds I spotted earlier. I fervently hope they were the same hardy species, as that would mean their chances of survival are pretty good.
gamiila
Sep. 6th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
Actually, I'm an idiot: I have a 2-bed flat. I should have looked for a 3-bed one.
desdemonaspace
Sep. 6th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
You're not an idiot!

(I HAVE a 2-bedroom, but getting a 3-bedroom one won't help a bit--the kid persists in sleeping with her old grandma!)
gamiila
Sep. 6th, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC)
Hee! I hope she's less of a duvet-hogger than my niece was at the weekend...plus she took up 2/3rds of my queen size bed, and had me lying precariously on the edge ;-)
curiouswombat
Sep. 6th, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
This might make you less worried about the parakeets - they are now a common sight in parts of the UK!

The new blinds and curtains are very nice.
gamiila
Sep. 6th, 2007 09:04 pm (UTC)
Green feathers: check.
Red beak: check.
You know what? They were parakeets, and they can fend for themselves. I can sleep easy now. ;-)
diachrony
Sep. 6th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
I think the curtains are beautiful, and the blinds too!
gamiila
Sep. 6th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I think the curtains are a huge improvement on the previous situation, although when they're closed (they were for about 2 minutes when the man was hanging them), they do seem to make the room much smaller...and actually, I have noticed the blinds are having the same sort of effect in the other room. I just have to get used to them, I suppose -- pretty soon I won't know how I could have ever managed without them!
enigmaticblues
Sep. 6th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
Oh! Parakeets in the wild! My mom has two, and they're very pretty, but not terribly bright.

I love the new window-ware, though. It looks great!
gamiila
Sep. 7th, 2007 06:24 am (UTC)
not terribly bright

Pretty, but thick as two short planks, that seems to be the consensus. Still, you've got to admire their pluck, flying off into the great unknown like that...

Thanks for loving the window-ware -- makes me feel better about having splashed out on it! ;-)

pohewa
Sep. 7th, 2007 12:19 am (UTC)
ooooeeeh, I like your flat! Loving the blinds in the livingroom! I find curtains always make a room more cozier :-)
gamiila
Sep. 7th, 2007 06:30 am (UTC)
Cosier...certainly; esp. if by that you mean smaller. I don't know, I used to have such a sense of space because the inside seemed to flow into the outside...Now I've put up these physical barriers, and I will have to get used to waking up and not seeing the bright blue/dark grey sky first thing...and getting dressed BEFORE I open the curtains! ;-)
anonypooh
Sep. 9th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC)
I know you are already resting easy but... Here is another UK example! .. I have worked here recently and the flocks are famous and can be huge they actually survive TOO well in our climate and sometimes the authorities have to (?) cull some

The flat and the curtains .. and love the blinds! ... all looks wonderful. No home improvement goes on in this house! I will live it through yours!
gamiila
Sep. 9th, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
With the clearer pictures on that article, I now know for sure that those were the kind of birds I saw, and I also know not to worry about them anymore. ;-)

No home improvement goes on in this house!

That garden room still not finished then? Pity...Maybe next year?
anonypooh
Sep. 9th, 2007 07:32 pm (UTC)
mostly actually ... there is a row of CDs along the floor that are supposed to be on some shelving. Shelving currently invisible. ;)
( 18 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )

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