My new house hates me. I came to this conclusion whilst I was scrubbing off freshly applied paint at midnight a couple of weeks ago. I don’t tend to make a habit of undoing hard work but in this instance the paint just had to go.

In an effort to prepare for re-carpeting the upstairs of our house, James and I have been embarking on the rather mammoth task of decorating all three upstairs bedrooms as well as the hall, stairs and landing in our rather limited, spare evenings. Last year my dad painted the dining room in our old cottage and eight months later we decided to use the leftover paint for this job. As you may have seen on our recent Right White post I had the pleasure of painting umpteen swatches to illustrate the post and Dulux Timeless was one of them. It seems when I got the paint out to do this I didn’t secure the lid on properly. Folks if there was ever a lesson in storing your paint correctly then this is it. In leaving the water based paint exposed to the air the water had become stagnant and it had gone off. Who knew paint could go bad?! Well I do now. Good God people, THE SMELL! While there was no whiff when we first started to apply, the sour stench of the bacteria as it started to dry back was bloody awful. After about half an hour of internet research we destroyed our new paint job scrubbing back with an all-purpose cleaner, then again with a white wine vinegar solution before painting again with an alkali attack-resistant primer. Not really they way I’d planned to spend the early hours of the morning. Thankfully the smell has gone and I haven’t lost faith in Dulux paint either, this was definitely our cock-up.

This wasn’t the first hiccup at the new Chez Coleman. In the first ten weeks of living here we spent more on maintenance than we had in a decade of home ownership. I won’t go in to too much detail for fear of boring you rigid, I mean this post started by talking about paint going off. You may have seen on instagram I mentioned how routine gas repairs left us without heating or hot water during the coldest week of the year nicely illustrated with a styled picture of my fireplace. What was also going on behind the scenes wasn’t quite so pretty; I’m not really sure how you instagram a photo of your drains? Well this was another expensive and whiffy tale which also brought with it something rather unexpected – a vermin infestation. When I was considering a pet I wasn’t thinking of something with quite as long a tail…
The biggest catastrophe of all (tongue firmly in cheek here) was when we moved in and realised we didn’t have a TV arial. As you know moving doesn’t come cheap so I would have preferred to buy a new chest of drawers rather than line the pockets of a TV engineer scrambling on the roof in the dark so I could watch the Strictly final. The said engineer joined the very long line of electricians, floor fitters, pest control, heating engineers, gas fitters and most recently very friendly police people (!) who have all passed through the house recently fixing and tending to things we really hadn’t anticipated.

We’ve now been in our new cottage over four months and I’d be lying if I said the little hiccups hadn’t tainted the experience. However one thing remains, we absolutely adore the house. We’ve been prompted to make changes we didn’t anticipate but we’re slowly getting a home that’s fit for the long haul. It’s an expensive business and while I was expecting to invest in a cat flap rather than a rat flap, this house better get used to us. We haven’t run for the hills yet and are well and truly staying put.

Any similar experiences you’d like to get off your chest? Any unexpected issues you encountered when you changed address? Did anyone else turn into the Pied Piper too?!