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Date: 11/12/17


It is a measure of just how irksome I find it to write the time-honoured end-of-year piece that I find all sorts of things to do to distract me from the task.

(Actually, I've hit a bit of an obstruction anyway; namely, the severe difficulty of writing something which makes some sort of sense about the politics of Greater England in 2017, something which makes no sort of sense whatsoever)

So, despite having been snowed in since early Friday, I have instead spent my time - energy levels permitting - making progress on the long-in-abeyance Great Winter Project™. This has involved me trying to clean up the floorboards on the landing, a task made more difficult by my predecessor tenants using gloss paint on those parts of the landing they were too parsimonious (or too pecunious) to cover with carpet, and by one of them also applying what looks like a dark brown varnish to two of the boards. Both of these substances have proven largely impervious to - in succession - a heat gun, a belt sander and hand-wielded 40-grain sandpaper. So it has meant using a scraper to get the shit off, which means also removing the topmost layer of wood. Which means in turn having to go over it with the sandpaper again.

There were also areas where there was some other brown stuff (possibly more of the varnish) which scraped off easily enough, only to reveal another layer of white gloss paint beneath.

My hope is that I can get the landing ready for staining during my scheduled week off immediately after New Year. The problem then will be figuring out which bits to stain and when, as doing the thing in one go would mean that I would be trapped downstairs for twenty-four hours while the thing dries. Can a consultant topologist advise?