I have given up booze for October. A decision formed in part to raise money for a wonderful charity and to give my poor abused liver a chance to recover (in three weeks it will be completely new!) but ironically mostly because I was a bit drunk when I saw the poster and thought it would be a good idea.
It's been ok so far. Not life changing or epiphanic - just ok.
But I have noticed one thing. I suddenly seem to have so much more time. Sunday mornings people... WHO KNEW?
In an attempt to actually do something useful with these extra hours, we've finally started decorating again.
To be honest we've been a little lazy in the last few months. Doing up our bedroom turned into such a long, expensive, cold and hugely frustrating 2 months, I think we'd became a bit decor phobic.
But, in the cold, cruelly sober light of day it turns out there is only so long you can put up with mouldy walls, smelly carpets and tragic curtains.
So as we dust off the brushes and brush off the dust sheets, here are the three most important things I have learnt so far.
1. Meet halfway.
Some people call this 'compromising'. They are the women who loudly proclaim every decision is 'a team effort' while their poor, belittled boyfriend sits quietly picking the fluff off the jumper she bought for him.
In real life, agreeing on a colour scheme is more akin to brokering a peace deal. My advice? Pick your battles wisely, plan ahead and know your enemy (love of your life).
Most important of all, once the deal is done... STICK TO IT. Literally. No last revisions, impromptu purchases or finishing touches, unless you're willing to deal with their last minute addition of a 60 inch widescreen TV or signed photo of their favourite football team.
2. It's not like the movies.
So you've got a plan, and you've started painting. It's fun for about five minutes and then you realise that your arms hurt, you're already sweaty and everyone else you know is at the pub.
It's normally now that you realise the outfit (men's shirt, leggings, hair scarf) you thought was adorably reminiscent of a 90's movie decorating montage, now makes you look like paint covered tranny.
Your vision of charming paint fights and high fives is disintegrating as quickly as your sense of humour.
At this point I recommend the following; headphones, minimal chat and a tacit agreement never to take photos of one another mid project.
3. You will cry.
Whatever the project, there comes a point (normally in the middle of the night when you're high on silk gloss fumes) where you both look at each other and question everything you have done so far.
The walls are patchy, the lighting's weird, you hate the colour and everything is all shit.
This will happen and it is important you're ready for it. The trick is just to KEEP GOING. Everything is worse when you're tired and fed up, and when all is said and done, you'll never notice the odd mistake.
Also wine. Wine helps.