The Bubble Doesn’t Lie.

Posted By on 1st February 2021

A few weeks ago I started my latest project, decorating the back bedroom. I actually prefer it to the front bedroom because the view is spectacular.

But before I could start the ‘good’ bit, ie painting, I had to tackle the built-in cupboard in the corner.

It had once housed the hot water cylinder, water tank etc. but these had been ripped out some time ago, not very carefully, leaving the cupboard in a bit of a state,

with holes in the wall and peeling paint, not to mention old lead pipes, which I sawed off.

I had some ‘ready-mix’ mortar leftover from laying the quarry tiles in the garden, so I used that to fill some of the bigger holes. Not a pretty sight, but it will be OK when it’s finished.

I had at one point considered ripping the cupboard out altogether, but decided on balance a bit of extra storage space wouldn’t go amiss, so I decided to put shelves in it.

Never having done anything like this on my own before it was to be another voyage into the unknown.

I measured carefully and a very helpful builders merchants in Huddersfield cut me 3 shelves of MDF to the exact size. Each just needed a small adjustment on one corner when I got home to allow for the door frame.

Happy days!

Sadly the euphoria was short-lived, because whereas the shelves were perfectly squared off, the cupboard wasn’t, not only that the walls were like a lunar landscape.

I started with the bottom shelf first and struggled to get it in place for over an hour without success, which didn’t bode well for the others.

After a good nights sleep I tried ‘plan B’ which seemed to have come to me whilst I slept, but even that had it’s problems, which I overcame one by one.

Finally I got to fixing on the battens for the upper shelves. I’d decided to use ‘No Nails’ as I’ve discovered to my cost that drilling holes in stonework is not my forte and I wasn’t going to be storing anything heavy in there.

Sadly I hadn’t taken into account the ‘lunar landscape’, because ‘No Nails’ only works if it has 2 flat surfaces to stick to.

Once again I needed a ‘plan B’ but it was only 10am so I couldn’t rely on nighttime inspiration.

So I decided to stick a couple of sheets of hardboard over the worst offending area on the back wall, then fix the battens to that. Good idea in theory, but in practice when you only have one pair of hands it proved somewhat trickier.

I needed something heavy enough and long enough to hold things in place, light enough for me to manhandle and small enough to allow me to work around it.

In the end I used a 4ft framed mirror!

It seemed to work, but with the benefit of hindsight, I should have used it ‘mirror’ side down, as I could have ended up with 7 years bad luck, but worse than that, I could see myself at every stage of the process struggling, and it wasn’t a pretty sight!

Anyway, after 3 days of extremely hard work, I finally made it. All it needed now was a coat of white paint.

There are those among you (if you’re reading this ‘AR’ you know who you are) who might say that they don’t look straight, but here’s the thing,

The Bubble Doesn’t Lie.


I discovered when I was filling the holes at the top with mortar, that the easiest way was to grab handfuls of the stuff and lob it into the gap, pressing it in with my fingers, because if I tried it with a trowel it just fell out.

The funniest part about that was the fact I was wearing red, sparkly nail polish, put on by my niece’s 5-year-old daughter some days earlier as part of a make-over. And the amazing thing was it stayed on, completely intact during the whole process.

In fact even ‘white spirit’ wouldn’t shift it and I had to resort to borrowing some nail polish remover.

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