Every member of mankind has a tolerance level for dust in theirOB-UO969_091412_J_20120914152044

living quarters, which varies with the individual.  I find myself nowadays, often marvelling at my mother’s tolerance and forbearance of my father’s hobby workshop at home – which was situated immediately inside the back door, and through which we all traipsed continually on our way to the kitchen.  It was sometimes ankle deep in wood shavings and sawdust, and would have driven a lesser woman mad – but if there were ever any rows about this provocation – I never heard them.

When I became a young married woman in the days before most married women had careers or contributed to the mortgage –  Cleaning_Lady_-_ChargeI quickly became aware that some women undertook housework to a degree that made their family’s life restricted and uncomfortable.  Then, I thought it was a bid for self-validation that bordered on mental ill-health – which has become  much less common as women are able to access other forms of self- expression.

I am not the most compulsive of housewives – and never have been – but I have to confess that several weeks of sanding and dust have made me a trifle obsessive about it.  While all the doors were off, I carefully hung lightweight dust sheets from the door frames – but the strategy didn’t work until I taped them with masking tape to the door frameswoman-crawling-bathrobe-illustration-depicts-floor-wearing-nightgown-38861156.  This meant I had to crawl on my hands and knees underneath them from room to room, and I have seldom been so grateful to live alone.  But it did add some truth to the saying “crawling into bed”.

But my spirit is now broken.  Much as I love the efficiency of my little Makita palm sander – I 14452549-illustration-of-an-explosion-or-fight-in-comics-vector-illustrationhave spent the last two days hand sanding the staircase, in the belief that this would not throw the dust so far.  This may partly have worked, since the smoke alarm has only gone off three times – and at least I can hear it when it happens.  This has often been painful due to the gripper rods which anchored the discarded carpet.  I have stubbornly ignored my daughter’s advice to get rid of them and the underlay which is in good condition – and I can vouch for the fact that the gripper-rod is still needle sharp.


Alfie has wisely spent most of his time indoors on top of the wardrobe in the front bedroom.  Undoubtedly, the air quality is better up there – but I do wish he didn’t look so haughty and disapproving, and could express some sympathy – I’m really suffering at ground level.

32 Responses

  1. VegVamp says:

    Oh Sheila, you poor wee thing. :rose: :rose: :rose: Are you nearly at an end? Is there light at the end of your dusty, murky tunnel? I do hope so.

    Have to say, yet again, you have given me a laugh though, and I can just see Alfie, perched atop a wardrobe, glaring down in his own inimitable way. :lol:

    • Beanstew says:

      I am nearly at an end of this phase Karen, because the last bit (sitting room and kitchen) will be on hold to be fitted in around more civilised gardening activities as and when able. I always knew the hall, staircase and upper landing would be the worst bit because it impinges on everything else. Cleaning the dust from everything in every blessed room on either side will take me another week of full-time obsessive housework – because NOTHING works to keep it out.

  2. dandlyon says:

    Shelia the last time I could see light at the end of the tunnel some bu–er turned it off :whistle:

    • Beanstew says:

      I might add it’s murderous trying to see through glasses covered in paint dust – but feel grateful for it when I pass a mirror. Face looks as though it has been dipped in a bag of flour – and my hair has become a haystack.

  3. Jenn says:

    Oh Bean, I do sympathise but you have given me a much needed lift. You have a brilliant way with words and I commend you for your diligence and light-heartedness in the face of adversity. My mind is full of the image of you crawling, commando style, between rooms with a distinctly unimpressed Alfie looking down at you. Glorious!

  4. Oh Shelia, I do feel for you, as I think there might be some sanding and painting in our new house for me to do as I wont be working, but I did have a giggle at your words, so i thank you for that. It will look fab when its all done and you can have the smug satisfaction of knowing it was all your own work :rose: As for Alfie its pay back time for all the attempts at paw crossing last year ;-) :rose:

  5. shedsue says:

    Teee heeee shouldn’t laugh, but the image is brilllliant :yes: I too hate man-made dust!!!…Hate plaster dus teven more !!!!!!!!!!…living with a DIY man causes much distress to me on the DIY dust front…does he clean up??? mmmmmmm :unsure: …BUT when the poppydog hairs are rolling through the lounge in a tumbleweed fashion, I get told off for not using the hoover :rake: :lol:

  6. Beanstew says:

    Can only imagine your suffering. Should think the resentment, if I had to put up with DIY dust caused by another, would choke me. No wonder the pair of you are always scarpering off to the Lake District. The clean air must be irresistable.

  7. Sheila :-) all that scrubbing on your knees when you were younger has obviously got you in prime form for crawling under dust sheets around the house :lol: I only hope you’ve been using your ever trusty gardener’s knee pad to assist ;-)

  8. SIMONDO says:

    Maybe time to invest in a sander that has a dust extraction connection for a vacuum to connect on to. Not totally effective but a Massive improvement in a indoor space. A big desk fan behind you to blow some of the fugg through a open window is a low tech helper too. The Suggestions are to reduce the dust settling inside but i know they won’t totally eliminate your anguish Sheila !!

  9. dixon says:

    Have eaten enough coal dust to keep a few fires going for a while. :wacko:

  10. gibbon says:

    I did not intend to reply Dix but the box came up, so , I will bet you have and a few blue scars aswell, :good:

  11. cilla says:

    Bean, what can I say? Others have commented so beautifully on your woes but you always have my deep admiration for your humour in the face of adversity. In other words “I don’t know how you bally do it” I would have given up the ghost long ago. My builder’s dust seems small fry compared to yours. Alfie sounds like one wise moggie. If we had wardrobes I’m sure our two would be up there. Had to laugh about the cat flap as Robert, our white mog is always sitting in front of the cat flap so that Kit won’t go through it…………..hence the reason she scratches the door like a wild thing at 4 and 5 most mornings. :wacko: :wacko: :wacko:

  12. Bill says:

    Brilliant Sheila, please keep up the renovation work. Perhaps you could film Phase 2 of your project, you could make a mint. :good: :-)

  13. gertie says:

    Yet again, what else can I say but SPEECHLESS! :heart: :rose: :lol:

  14. Hayley says:

    Thank goodness you’re at the end now though Sheila, well, until you effect a re-start around outdoor pursuits. In fact, that may be better, a bit of fresh air in between dust inhalation. You definitely should invest in one of those masks people wear when not wishing to be infected. Bet it looks great, pictures please! ;-) :good:

  15. Beanstew says:

    I have dust masks which adjust over the nose, and are kept in place by elastic over the head – but find them wildly uncomfortable – and they make my glasses steam up with condensation. What with that and dust on the glasses, I become practically blind.

  16. Allan says:

    Most sanders have a dust bag on them Sheila, But then if you had one of them, We wouldn’t have the pleasure of reading your saga, :yes: :rose:

  17. Beanstew says:

    Mine has a dust bag too – but heaven knows where it is – lost somewhere in the wilds of the attic – and my sandpaper doesn’t have extraction holes in it anyway. Did try it at the beginning, but it kept falling off, and didn’t work too well when it was on. Probably using it wrongly.

  18. Allan says:

    The best way to use a sander is to ask someone to show you how it works,Then let them get on with it. ;-)

  19. karenp says:

    Oh Sheila you certainly put a smile on my face this morning, and can visualise the scene too what with you crawling under the sheets and Alfie on top of the wardrobe not looking amused :lol: :lol: ;-)

  20. Veggiepatch says:

    Ha ha I shouldn’t laugh but a month or two ago we were ‘re-decorating, sanding all woodwork incl the stairs. Up had come the carpet and we must have trodden on those gripper more times than I can remember and oh the dust, for weeks after it was still settling.

    You l get there though and url be worth it.

Leave a Reply