Sunday, November 18
DIY

Rain drives me indoors

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This also meant going shopping for stuff needed for alterations

When Dan Fogelberg wrote Rhythm of the Rain, he was singing about a lost love, but as I listen to the “rhythm of the falling rain”, I have to admit that for all the negativity surrounding us at the moment, I am lucky to be one of millions of Capetonians who went the extra mile – and continue to do so – to ensure there is water at the end of the pipes.

The weather has driven us inside, and Mrs Mac has not missed the opportunity to get us pressing on with our upgrades/minor renovations at home. To be honest, I am really enjoying it and much as I had a go last week about not wanting to regrout our bathroom tiles, the work gave me an opportunity to go shopping – after cooking, my favourite pastime – and to meet interesting people.

We met two over the past weekend – firstly Ian from Ruby’s Cottage. Mrs Mac has decided the guest bedroom is to be white as we have spare white curtains brought back from Clanwilliam.

The Oregon pine bedside tables did not quite fit the picture, so off we went to have them turned white. Ian and his team have done a super job and phoned us five days earlier than promised to say they were ready.

Not only has the company produced great work, but a walk around the shop and a chat to the enthusiastic Ian is well worth the time spent. Mrs Mac was initially coaxing/cajoling me into attempting this transformation myself, but this was definitely a job for experts – the cost of paint, equipment and time cannot be equated.

Mrs Mac’s second project is the conversion of what has served as the guest loo for years, but started life as the family bathroom. We are referring to it as our iconic bathroom, and it includes such things as Frank Zappa posters and record covers in frames, as well old signs and bric-a-brac.

The challenge is to disguise the bath, which I have no intention of ripping out as when eventually we sell and downscale (this does not appear to be in Mrs Mac’s medium-term planning), the house will still have baths for young children.

Mrs Mac has ordained the bath will look like a seating bench and a board has been placed over it. We then went in search of foam, which will be covered to give a cushion effect.

To me, a piece of foam is a piece of foam, but this is not the case if you speak to Sean from Foam4Africa. We had to discuss what thickness and density would make it “fit for purpose”, and you don’t want any of that imported rubbish, we were told – proper foam is made locally.

Mrs Mac and I had a great time watching Sean and his assistant, Steven, toss piles of foam around the shop until the right piece was found, then laid out to be cut to size. Back home, I marked out where cut-outs were needed and returned to Sean, who was quite happy to cut and trim at no extra charge.

*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to don@macalister.co.za or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB: facebook.com/thehandymac

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