Friday, June 7, 2019

Greywood Arts, final thoughts

I wanted to do a post about yesterday, but the day conspired against me.

I woke up late-ish but managed to sit down to work by 10:41am, still in the sweats I slept in. I wasn't warm, but the content must have been hard on my nerves because I could feel lines of sweat dripping down from my armpits. The next thing I knew, it was half past four and I hadn't even taken a break for lunch. But instead of eating, I went for a run because the weather was gorgeous and I thought a run would help me unwind from the hours of difficult writing.

And it was a brilliant run. I ran a longer distance than the run earlier in the week, but somehow it seemed to go by more quickly. I showered, changed, and planned to go for dinner with Mary and Yoni in a couple of hours. Mary gave me a handful of peanuts and I munched on a few corn cakes to tide me over.

But within ten minutes of sitting back at the computer, I felt a strange sensation, as if my hands weren't attached to my body. I stopped typing and realised that I was having the outer body sensation that signals an oncoming migraine. Oh no! Yup. I got up and walked around, trying to figure out whether I was right. The visuals hadn't started yet, but all the other signs were there.

Luckily the others decided to go to dinner an hour early. I took a boat load of nurofen and hoped for the best. The visuals started on cue about 15 minutes later, but I powered through them as well as the foggy brain and trouble finding words or stringing sentences together! Eventually I felt mostly normal.

We got Colm's number and sent him a text to meet us at the pub. The four of us enjoyed our last night together, telling stories and making each other laugh. I wish we could have had a little bit longer here, in this oasis. Today, I'll head back to Dublin, Mary goes to Cork, and Yoni will stay on in Greywood for a couple of weeks more. But the good news is that both of them are stopping in Dublin before they leave Ireland, so I don't have to say proper good-byes today! My bus will arrive to bring me to Cork in about a half hour, and then I'll return to regular life.

In terms of results - I have over 34,500 words of my book complete. It's maybe about half of what I was going for, but actually I think I'm about 2/3 finished. That's something I feel really proud of. I know it won't be long before I'm done. I worked my way through the tough bits that had been the real hurdles, so from here on out I have a very clear vision of my process. I am actually looking forward to the process, whereas before I thought mostly about the product.

So, all in all I know I wrung the experience as best as I possibly could and made the most of my time here and I return to Dublin with a feeling of great satisfaction.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Writing Week Day 4

I'm actually beside myself with exhaustion so I will try to be brief.

Last night I had trouble getting to sleep because one of the other residents had said "a woman" (aka a ghost) had briefly visited her room and I was a bit terrified to turn out the light. But it was fine.

Woke up at about half nine, showered, ate a bit of toast, and then went straight into it for about half ten. I worked without a break until nearly six o'clock, not even lunch. It was amazing. I'm up to almost 30,000 words now.

There was to be an event on a 7pm, so I cooked myself some spaghetti and ate it as quickly as I could. The event was an art share that started with a facilitated conversation between the Irish author Orla McAlinden and the artist Mary Coss. I'd say about ten people showed up, which was perfect. Their conversation was really compelling, and I found Orla's story about writing her first book really motivating. She was a veterinarian, and when her father died, she started writing stories using his voice as the inspiration. But seeing as she couldn't publish the stories (some of the featured characters still being alive), she decided to write other stories. And now her second book has just been published.

After the talk, Yoni played three of the movements on piano from the project he's working on. It was absolutely lovely. Although I have often heard him play since I've been here, it's been all stops and starts, and impossible to hear any sort of arrangement. So it was amazing to hear the results of all those stops and starts!

Finally, Jess asked if I wanted to share a bit of what I'm working on. I read a section of my book that talked about not having enough courage when it came time to help my dad use the urinal. I had picked out a second bit, but I chickened out reading that one. But the feedback on what I did read was incredible. I do think I'm really onto something. I can feel that my story will really resonate with so many people, even though at the moment sometimes I worry that it's pedestrian.

One thing I'm realising through this process: I used to describe this book as a book about my father. And as I write, I'm realising that my father's actual, healthy, real personality is actually virtually absent. Cancer erased so much of his essence. The story is about me. I never thought of it as a story about me before, but it definitely is. As it should be. The only one qualified to tell my father's story is him. I mean, it makes sense. Writing is largely a narcissistic endeavour. But I want to tell my story so that other people who have been or will go through this experience can read it and see themselves.

One woman at the event spoke up and said that only a couple of days ago, she'd been to her parents' house to care for her mother and father, who had both been in a fall (one fell atop the other). And she said that the passage from my book that I read was almost exactly what happened to her. "You need to write this book," she said, emphatically. Later, I got into a conversation with another woman who was talking about another point I was talking about relating to being assertive and advocating for your loved one. She told me that I could probably get funding from patient advocacy groups.

I didn't realise it, but I think I really needed the encouragement. I'm just over halfway done with what I planned to do. I may not finish it all before I leave here, but if I don't, I'm 1000% certain I'll finish very soon upon my return. I know that I can finish, I will finish, and I will find my audience, too. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Writing Week Day 3

Oh my goodness. What a time I've had just now. But wait - let me start at the beginning.

I didn't sleep as well last night as the night before -- probably because I got my period and also I had a couple of glasses of wine and I should know by now that wine (even a glass or two) negatively affects my sleep. But even still, I slept better than normal, so this is in no way a complaint.

I made myself a little omelet and some toast and then it was straight into it. I sat down to work and basically worked from about 10-something to 5-something. I didn't even break for lunch. I now have 18,500 words down. Some of the parts I worked on today felt a bit tedious. And a lot of the story isn't literary -- it's difficult to be literary when you're talking about the minutiae of death. So much of the story is like, I bought him a steak and he only had three bites. But I want to include that bit because it's a true representation of what happens when you're desperately trying to keep someone alive.

I was thinking about that bit in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - you know, the hardest section of the book, where the priest is giving that long sermon about hell. It's so fucking long and boring that by the end of it, you really start to feel like you are actually in hell. Well I guess the thing about what I'm writing is that I want to really convey how tedious and relentless it is to be obsessed with another person's food intake. I don't want to gloss over the long-winded, desperate planning that goes into finding the perfect food that they're going to gobble right up, and look at you, and say, "That was delicious, I'll have approximately 500 more, and then once I eat these, I promise I'll have the will to live and we'll all be so happy, and p.s. I'm never going to die. Thank you for buying me this shake." Because this is the fantasy land that carers live in and I want to be true to that life.

So anyways, Mary, the amazing sculptural artist here, is doing a really neato project that entails recording women's stories and she asked to interview me. So I stopped working and went up to be interviewed. The mic stopped recording a half hour in, so I went for a walk while she sorted out the technical difficulties. My MdDS has definitely come back, although mildly, and I decided that I should probably walk for the sake of my vestibular system. While I was walking (and being rained on), I chatted to my sister Tina. We had a lovely chat. Then I returned so Mary could re-record me. There were still some technical issues, but we left it because by then it was 8:30pm and our stomachs were growling.

Next door there's a thatched roof restaurant with tourist prices, but we had 10% off coupons and it appears to be the only half-decent restaurant in the village. Yoni joined us, and as usual we updated each other on our projects. We talked about vegetarianism, our artistic goals for our time here, and various other very interesting subjects. When it became clear that the restaurant side of the establishment was closing, we moved over to the bar, where a man named Callum was already drinking. Mary introduced us. Callum helps Jess and Hugh with bits and pieces here in the house, and that's how he and Mary were already acquainted. He introduced himself to me and Yoni, but already seemed to know a bit about each of us.

We then proceeded to have one of the most hilarious and entertaining conversations that I have ever had. Callum has lived here in Killeagh for 40 years. Previous to that, he was living in Dublin for a couple of years, and then previous to that he was born and reared in Derry (the county, not the city). He wore an Easter Lily pin that he said someone stuck on that particular shirt several years ago, and has never come off since.

Do you ever just laugh and laugh and laugh so much that you realise you can't remember when you last laughed that much? That's how this conversation went. All four of us were in absolute stitches. And it worked perfectly -- each person added a funny element to the conversation and it definitely would not have been as entertaining if even one of us hadn't been there. First we talked about this house being haunted. Then we moved onto ghost stories, crazy artists who stayed in the house, stories about the house's previous tenants, the church conductor, flying in planes, and more. It was one of those times when I felt completely in the moment, listening intently, translating Callum's accent for the other two, telling jokes and stories, and thinking this is fucking amazing. This makes life worth living. This is what I want to recreate when I write, or at the very least put a name to.

So it's later than I'd like it to be, and I'll go to bed now. But first I want to say something.

You don't have to have the perfect job to live the life that you want to live. You can live a great life in other ways. I used to think that if I didn't have certain things, then I was a failure. Now I see that as long as I can feel joy or feel that joy is possible, I will never be a failure. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Writing Week Day 2

Before I talk about Day 2, I have some more things to say about Day 1!

After I wrote yesterday's blog post, I went out for pints with the other two artists here this week. The first is a young composer named Yoni, who is one of the most interesting people I've ever met. He grew up in Jerusalem and Montreal, but has lived in India and New York and is especially well travelled for his age. He speaks Hebrew, Russian, English, and French (and maybe a bit of Romanian and Albanian, if memory serves?). When he said he was from Jerusalem rather than Israel, I immediately picked up on the tension - I do something similar when I am anticipating a certain reaction to where I'm from. I kind of ... bend the location a little. So in other words, I didn't write him off or confront him when I learned he was from Israel. I knew from the second I met him that he was a nice person, and it would have taken a lot for me to think otherwise. ANYHOO - let's just say he mentioned having a Palestinian friend and after two days I am unwavering in my conviction that he's someone who will make the world a better place.

The other artist is Mary, an artist from Seattle, Washington. The projects she was talking about sounded super impressive and also extremely cool and interesting. Right away, from the second she introduced herself to me, I felt like I knew her. She's 64 but honestly I was kind of shocked because she has an extremely youthful affect. And she is so beautifully open and curious. You know how sometimes people get to a certain age and they act like people younger than them don't have anything interesting to say? Well Mary had lots of questions for me and Yoni, and then shared her insights, and the conversation just flowed in a lovely trajectory.

But here's what I wanted to tell you about. So we were talking about the US -- I haven't been there for over three years, so when I talk to someone who lives there I usually have a lot of questions. Yoni was saying that apart from a visit to New York, he hadn't been to the rest of the US except for a wedding in Florida. I was just about to launch into a speech about how much I hate Florida, when I asked him what part of Florida the wedding was. He said it was on the coast, south of Orlando. "Melbourne?" he said, "On the beach..."
"Melbourne Beach??" I asked. He said yes, the wedding was in Melbourne Beach. That's where my grandparents lived for like 25 years. Then, he said, "But I actually stayed in a nearby town - I think it was called Palm Bay." I was absolutely stunned. Palm Bay is the town where my father was living when he died. And his death in Palm Bay was what I came here to write about. What are the odds that I'd meet a guy from Jerusalem in Ireland who had been to Palm Bay and Melbourne Beach? There's even a whole section of my book where I talk about going to Melbourne Beach with my siblings. What the heck!!

So I had an absolutely blissful night's sleep on the amazing bed with this amazing pillow and this amazingly quiet room. Honestly the entire trip was nearly worth the one night of sleep that I got, it was that good. I fixed myself some breakfast, had a bit of a chat with Mary, and sat down to work. I made some decent headway, until I hit about 10,000 words and decided it would be a good time to go for a run. Laced up, I headed to these wood trails around the corner. It took a little figuring out, and I still didn't do the route that I planned, but holy smokes. First of all, I left my phone in the house. I wanted to be really present. It was amazing. The woods have some of the most gorgeous trees I've ever seen and rhododendron trees, which I did not know could even grow that high. Some of them were over two storeys tall. And the smell of dirt! It reminded me of New Hampshire and the many, many hours I spent in the woods around our house, just exploring. And I didn't do too bad with the running, either - there were some long stretches of uphill terrain, but I just did what I could do and walked when I felt like it. But mostly I ran the whole way! As I was running, I ran some things about the day's writing over in my head. I let my mind go wherever I wanted it to.

And I also decided that this week is, hands down, the greatest gift I have ever given myself. And the best part is that I can totally do it again, as many times as I want!

Running feels life affirming in the most literal way. And it's something I wrote about in this book, but I want to expand on it a bit when I get to that part. Running is not something I particularly excel at, but it is something that I always go back to, again and again, when I want to feel happiness. It's a form of meditation for me. I don't care if I can't run the longest or the fastest. I just like to run and feel my body living and working while I can. Running definitely kept me sane when my father was sick and afterwards.

When I came back from my run, I made a little cheese and tomato sandwich, took a shower, and sat down to work for another two and a half hours. So far, I have nearly 13,000 words of my draft finished. The panic of whether I will accomplish my goals is starting to dissipate. I feel confident that if the next three and a half days go as well as the last day and a half have gone, I will leave here with a full first draft of my book. I don't know whether anyone else will think it's any good, but if I'm happy with how it comes out, it won't really matter. At my age, dreams of being some famous writer fell away a long time ago.

I went to dinner tonight with Mary and Yoni -- the restaurant next door closed early because of the bank holiday, so we went to a Chinese place. Chinese places are kind of a crap shoot in Ireland. Mary was gutsy and ordered squid. Yoni and I got vegetarian dishes. I was slightly amazed that we all enjoyed our food. All three of us were glowing from the buzz of productive days. I'm happy. I'm just so happy. I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self that happiness is possible and one day you'll feel true joy. I wish I could go back in time and tell my grieving self that no, you won't always feel suffocated with sadness and loss. But they're two sides of a coin, aren't they? And you can't have a rich life without those coins. xoxo

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Writing Week Day 1

I started my journey to Greywood Arts in Killeagh, Co. Cork, before 8am. I treated myself to a cab, which dropped me at Heuston Station with nearly 30 minutes to spare before my train to Cork City (leg 1 of my journey). Traveling without Mark makes me feel like a tourist without his Irish accent to validate my existence in this country. Once in my seat, I decided to get straight to work. I began to read the printout of journal entries, and started making notes and highlighting each section with different colours, based on whether I thought they were good to use, could be used with significant editing, or whether they needed to go. I noted where I needed to add details, and where I might talk about different developments along the way. I was a little paranoid that I'd somehow miss the stop at Mallow and forget to switch trains, so I stopped reading two stops ahead of Mallow. I made the switch without a bother, and before I knew it, I was in Cork.

I had an hour to kill in Cork, which was good because I wanted to pick up some conditioner and shampoo, which I did. But I nearly got on the wrong bus because there are two number 40 Expressway buses leaving the same bus station at roughly the same time, except one goes to Waterford and one goes to Tralee. I tried to get on the Tralee one because I didn't see the Waterford one -- I had even put my suitcase in the boot. But luckily the bus driver (who was much more confused than he should have been, all things considered) told me I needed the bus to Waterford, not Tralee. So I grabbed my suitcase and booked it to the opposite end of the platform area, only to bump into a guy who was standing next to the Waterford bus, trying to figure out how the heck he was supposed to get to Tralee. I told him about the other 40 bus, and he took off running. I think he literally got to the bus a second before it pulled out.

The bus ride was unremarkable. I ate a falafel wrap and a cookie. I thanked my lucky stars for technology as I tracked the bus location on my phone because the bus driver was not announcing the stops. I got off the bus, grabbed my suitcase, looked up, and there was the sign for Greywood. Jessica (a fellow US ex-pat from Connecticut) showed me around the place and omg Mark would be so jealous if he could see it. I have my very own room for writing that overlooks trees and a river. My bedroom is so lovely, too. Killeagh (pronounced Kill-AH, if anyone is wondering) village is also very cute.

I chatted with Jessica for a while and then I got to work. I finished reading my print-out, which was hard in bits because of the subject matter, obviously. I realised that it's been years since I re-read it all and some of it I don't even remember writing. Some of it I had forgotten had happened! And some of my descriptions of how I was feeling and what I was doing still resonated so strongly that I have to thank myself for having written so much down as it was happening.

But now that I've gone through everything and made these notes, it all feels much more manageable. I just have to sort out this beginning bit (aka the part that has been the stumbling block for the past 9 years - no big deal) and then I think I'll be flying.

There's just one kind of big problem. I think that the long train and bus ride has caused my Mal de Débarquement Syndrome to return. This is an issue I had after a trip to Italy in late 2017 that lasted for nearly 5 months where I felt like I was on a boat constantly. After working for a couple of hours at the table, I had to admit that the sensation of floating was creeping in. So I went and took a short walk and then I came back and made some dinner, after which I felt much better -- pretty much normal. But then it seems that when I sit back down and try to work, it comes back. Very frustrating. So I'm going to stop for the night, maybe go for a pint, get a good night's sleep, and then tomorrow morning I'll go for a run and maybe do some vestibular exercises. Think good thoughts for me. xo

Monday, April 29, 2019

Random post about makeup

I actually don't wear much makeup. Most days lately I'll wear 3 products: mascara, blush, and some eyebrow gel mayyyybe with some tinted lip balm. HOWEVER, I do love makeup, I watch a lot of tutorials, and I like to keep abreast of makeup trends and such.

Recently a friend of mine asked about a sort of makeup for beginners - she doesn't really wear much makeup herself and she was looking for tips on products to buy and how to apply. I have been saying for months that I'd put something together, so here it is!

So this post is for the non-makeup wearer or the person who doesn't want to spend a lot of time doing makeup. These are the essentials.

1. Brushes. In the old days eye makeup came with a little spongey applicator and blush came with a little brush. Nowadays you need to buy your own tools. And boy you can spend a lot of money on brushes! Personally, I invested in this Zoeva eye brush set for 74 euro and bought brushes for other parts of my face separately. However, Real Techniques brushes are readily available in most Irish chemists, and honestly they are very good. This is a good set for the eyes to start with. You don't want to go too cheap and make sure whatever you get is nice and soft.

For the face, I find that I mostly just use a blush brush and a powder brush, but it's good to have some others on hand, such as a brush for a little contour or in specific spots like under the eyes or for applying concealer. This set from Real Techniques should do the trick.

Here's a youtube video on brushes for beginners:

2. An eyelash curler. This is a must. It will instantly make your eyes look bigger and make you look more awake. I recently bought an expensive one and didn't think it was any better than the drugstore one I had before. This one from Tweezerman gets really good reviews. I will say that really cheap ones (like the ones in Penneys) will do in a pinch but I wouldn't buy one for regular use.

Now... onto the actual makeup!

3. Get a decent eye shadow palette. You don't have to spend a lot of money, but also don't just buy any old palette because there is huge variation of quality. If you're reading reviews of an eye shadow, you want to know that it's what the beauty gurus call 'pigmented.' In other words, you don't need to use much for the colour to show up. If you're someone who doesn't wear a lot of makeup and who wants to keep it simple, go for a neutral palette that has mostly matte shades. Something like NYX's Lid Lingerie Shadow Palette, which only costs a tenner. My go-to is an old Urban Decay Basics palette kind of like this one, which sells for 32 euro.

When it comes to application, you can keep it really simple! But, here's the thing...

4. Ya gotta prime! In this modern age, primers are a fantastic invention. For the eyes, there are loads of options and I've been known to use a frosted primer and call it a day! But usually primers aren't tinted or else they have only a hint of colour. I use a product from MAC called Pro Longwear Paint Pot in the shade 'Painterly'. It's a little on the pricey side at 22 euro, but it lasts forever. It's like a cream that just conceals the veins and discolouration in my eyelids. As I get older, my eyelids have become more uneven in tone, so I like to just even it all out with something thicker. But basically any old eye primer will do.

So, back to number 3 - there are obviously a million tutorials out there. Maybe more than a million? But for the basics you don't even need to watch them. My first advice is to use glittery, foiled, or shimmery shadows very, very sparingly, especially if you're a little older, and especially for daytime. If you've only got five minutes, really just one shade of shadow is all you need. Be sure to blend it out so there are no harsh lines at the edges.

I found this fantastic graphic for knowing where to put which shades where:

5. Mascara is really all you need. A few years ago, my friend Emma told me that Bobbi Brown had the best mascara. So I bought some. And she was right! But I wanted to see if I could find something even better and also a tubing mascara that worked just as well. What is tubing mascara, you ask? According to Beauty Haven, "Regular mascara coats pigment on your lashes, whereas tubing mascara contains flexible polymers that actually wrap themselves around each of your lashes, ensuring that each lash has 360-degree coverage." And let me tell you. Good tubing mascara does. not. smudge. If you're like me and you have oily eyelids and you find yourself having to wipe off mascara smudging throughout the day, then consider tubing mascara. I have tried at least 10 different mascaras that people have claimed to be tubing mascaras, and let me tell you people are wrong a lot of the time. However a couple of tubing mascaras that are the real deal are the No 7 Stay Perfect Mascara (in Boots) for 18 euro and the Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero Smudge Lengthening Mascara for 27 euro. These will give you a pretty natural look so if it's high drama you're after, stick with a non-tubing mascara.

But for regular mascaras, I've been to the moon and back and haven't found anything better than Bobbi Brown's Eye Opening Mascara for 29.50 euro. Other ones I tried were either really clumpy or else didn't give me the length I was after.

6. Don't forget your brows. If you're new to makeup, it can be a bit jarring the first time you put makeup on your eyebrows, especially if your eyebrows are light in colour or density. However, it can really make a big difference to your overall look and you don't have to go full BROW -- just a little bit of product can go a long way. I have extremely slim and light brows, so most days I use a brow gel to just make my eyebrows stand out a bit more. There are some great brow gels out there, but the two I currently use are NYX tinted brow mascara for 8 euro and Glossier Boy Brow for 15 euro, which is a little more sheer. When I have extra time, I'll fill them in properly with either a pencil or a brow powder. I switch up the brow pencils with inexpensive brands, and the powder is just a cheap one from Wet and Wild. But there are a gazillion different brow products from microbladers to different kind of pencils and gels, etc. Anastasia brow products have a great reputation.

7. The face: the options can be overwhelming! I consider makeup for the face completely optional. Firstly, because I was blessed with pretty decent skin, but also because I do not like the sensation of having makeup on my face. For one thing, I blow my nose a LOT so a fair bit of makeup inevitably comes off from my nose and around my nose, including around my mouth. I also don't like worrying about makeup coming off on my clothes, or settling into my wrinkles or wearing off unevenly. HOWEVER, for special events I will wear a full face and I definitely look more polished when I do.

Having said that, there are products that can give you a little polish without being old timey full coverage foundation. These are tinted moisturisers, BB creams (a little heavier than a tinted moisturiser), CC creams (the CC stands for Colour Correcting), and even DD creams, which is supposedly like a BB/CC cream combo. There are also tinted primers that some people use over a moisturiser. And some of the above offer different options like SPF and anti-oxidants. And all of the above are available in a wide range of price points from drugstore/chemists to luxury department store and speciality brands. It's best to read the reviews before taking the plunge, even for the cheaper products. I often like to wear Benefit's Porefessional, which basically sort of blurs your skin and makes it look slightly airbrushed. NYX makes a less expensive dupe also. You can't even feel them on your skin.

If the idea of foundation puts you off (sometimes I feel like I'm painting my skin when I put it on), I really love the face products from Bare Minerals. You put on a clear gel primer, and then two types of powders that convert to a creamy consistency when you brush them on. It's very 'buildable', meaning you can put just a touch on, or you can really pack it on for a lot of coverage. You can get a starter kit that gives you the primer and powers, plus a brush for 24 euro. Here's a tutorial:

You can't go wrong with a bit of blush on the apples of your cheeks -- there are of course bronzers and highlighters up the wazoo, but for the beginner I think we needn't even discuss them. Concealer is also maybe a topic for another day.

8. Attention to the lips will transform your face, but beware! I love the idea of lip colour. I'm always buying lovely lip products with the goal of being a person who wears lipstick. But the truth is, I can't stand the feeling and I am constantly rubbing it off when I blow my nose. So I usually throw on a tinted lip balm and call it a day.

If you want to try something more bold, be honest with yourself about what looks good on you and what actually will stay put. Sometimes we want to be someone who has those perfect matte red lips, but actually it ends up smudging and fading, or on our teeth, and then you look in the mirror an hour after application and it looks like the morning after. So my advice is to prime your lips, use a long-wearing product like a liquid lip with good reviews, and for the love of god use a lip liner if you want it to stay put! They come in clear now so you don't have to worry about hoochie mama lips. I really like the Beauty Youtuber Sharon Farrell, and she's got a good tutorial on how to apply lip colour:

I really like the tinted lip balms from Lush, which they tragically don't make anymore and Body Shop (surprisingly, I'm not into the Burt's Bees ones that are for sale literally everywhere). I'm on the hunt for a new one.

And lastly, if you really want to wear makeup but don't want to look like you're wearing makeup, give the Glossier products a go. Most of them are sheer and very subtle. I love their aesthetic and they've nice little starter sets.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Upstairs Bathroom Renovation, part 5: decisions were made

As we get closer to starting work on our bathroom, I am happy to report that I have BOUGHT SOME THINGS. And some of them have arrived! It's all very exciting. I also changed my mind on something I thought I was sure about, which goes to show you need to be flexible sometimes.
Here's a visual for you!

I was pretty overwhelmed with the electric shower options, to be honest. You can spend as little as 80 euro on an electric shower and as much as 400. And almost every shower at every price point had a good handful of negative reviews, which didn't help my decision. I hadn't intended to get a black one, but as it happens the one I wanted was available in black, so why not? It was the Triton Pello. The tub and basins are ordered- they're pretty basic so I'll leave them for later.

The bath and basin taps arrived from ebay, and they look exactly as I hoped! And when the wallpaper samples arrived, I put them up on the wall. There were some I really loved, but in the end it was this dark floral that really captured us. However, I quickly realised that my marble wasn't going to look nice next to it. I had gotten a sample, and when I held it up next to the wallpaper, it was too cool-toned. Then I remembered this amazing Mexican tile I'd gotten a sample of a couple of years ago from a place in London. And sure enough, it goes perfectly with the orangey yellows in the floral. We both loved it. So that was that decision made.

I'm still very committed to the large black hexagons for the floors, though. It was a real pain to find the size I was looking for, but I finally found a place in Cork who sells them and will ship them to me. I must have sent messages to every tile place in Ireland!

I'm not sure which colour to paint the lower part of the walls, but I've a bit of time to decide. I extracted a couple of samples that might be nice -- there are so many rich colours to choose from that I don't think we can go wrong.

This weekend I managed to strip almost all the paint off of the dresser for the double sinks. I need to remove a bit more varnish, sand it down, and re-stain it, but the really messy bit is done now. I'll post before and after photos when I'm done. 

But it's really happening! Getting ready in the morning is going to be so much more enjoyable when it's done.