Decorating with birdcages

When I was a teenager, I had a fascination with ornamental birdcages.  At the time, I was working in a florist, and I swooned at the lovely rustic birdcage my boss had in stock.  When Christmas came around, she wisely wrapped it up with a big bow and presented it to me.  I still have it, 13 years later (it’s to the far right in the photo below)!  Over the years, I started to seek out more birdcages.  Interestingly, they became more and more of a decor item.  Suddenly, they seemed to be everywhere!  At the height of my collection I had seven ornamental birdcages!

Birdcages in a floristry display
Birdcages in a floristry display

In 2011, I started to consider moving out of my parents home to buy my own place.  I also became a regular reader of the forums at Unclutterer.com and reading Colleen’s blog 365 Less Things  I started to question the wisdom of “collections”.  When I asked the common clutter questions, I came up short.  They weren’t functional.  And I didn’t love every bird cage.  I didn’t actively try to declutter them, but when someone asked on freecycle for ornamental birdcages, i was ready to share my ‘less favourites’.  I bundled up three birdcages that I didn’t love, and made this woman’s day.

That left me with three birdcages at my house, and one at my parents house.  My home doesn’t have a lot of flat surfaces for ‘displaying’ things, so for 16 months, I’ve moved birdcages around, trying to put them somewhere where they’ll be enjoyed, but not getting in the road with functionality of things around them (the TV, lamps, other things on shelves).  It just wasn’t working.  So I decided I’d go ‘up’!  I had a corner of my living room that was a little ‘dead’.  It had never really worked, and I decided it needed something to ‘jazz’ it up.

An empty corner, waiting to be filled
An empty corner, waiting to be filled

As you can see above, there’s definately not much happening in this neck of the woods, err living room.  After extensive consultation with Mr DIY (a close friend… who has a drill,  I don’t), we decided we’d use a wooden bar between the two walls, and then attach cuphooks to the underside.  Then with some chains leftover from the floristry display, I could hang my beloved three birdcages.

Not so empty corner - birdcage delight
Not so empty corner – birdcage delight

As you can see, it’s certainly changed up that corner! It seems less barren and empty. Interestingly, I’ve had this idea for about a year or more, but it might seem like I’ve been inspired by my all time favourite DIY bloggers at Young House Love – see this post for what I mean. This is one item I am ever so pleased to get off my ‘house to do list’!

Waste Wednesday update

Another week, another waste audit.  I have started weighing my trash (my last post was the first in what I hope will be a series).  I don’t weigh my organic waste, which I use a Bokashi bin for, nor do I weight everything I recycle.

First things first, I was just reading ‘Love Food Hate Waste‘ and was surprised that they say the packaging your single cucumber in, preserves it better.  Nonetheless, I know that Simply Being Mum and others have tried to avoid the wrapped cucumbers – seems pretty prevalent in the UK, but it’s not uncommon to find them in Australia.  All sorts of packaging is ‘good’ for the food.  And that we waste more food than we do packaging (‘we’ being the UK or England… but the point stands)

Source: http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/content/naked-truth-about-how-packaging-can-help-you-waste-less-food
Source: http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/content/naked-truth-about-how-packaging-can-help-you-waste-less-food

As I mentioned above, I won’t be weighing my ‘wet’ organic waste – it’s just a step more than I’m willing to get involved with! But it was ‘food for thought’ (oh, a dad joke, I’m sorry!)

So in this week’s total trash weighed in at 172g (last weigh in was 232g on 4 April).  I was away on the weekend for a wedding, so there’s been less cooking at home than usual.

Non plastics

  • Tissues – I might try soaking them in water, and burying them. Would be lovely to have my OWN garden to simplify this!
  • Matches – like skewers last week, what’s the eco way to trash these?
  • Food soiled paper – grease-proof paper and a cardboard crepe holder.  These might be able to be composted/buried at a stretch?
  • Ribbon off cuts – only the bits I cut to stop the ends from fraying.  I’m sure this organza ribbon is essentially a plastic, but who knows now days?
  • String – from a gift bag that was otherwise recyclable
  • Alfoil – this, I now believe, is able to be put in the recycling bin.  I usually use alfoil more than once before trashing, for a little extra eco credit

Plastics

  • Plastic cup – a restorative juice from the green grocer – no apparent recycling symbols
  • Straw – from the juice above
  • Plastic bags from food – this week there was ones from almond meal & the spice sachets (snipping the tops off to make the resealable bit work).  Plastic bag and tray from savory biscuits
  • Cling wrap – from half a pumpkin – they didn’t have whole ones on display and as it was, half was too much!
  • Sponge – my Bokashi draining overflowed, and it’s a horrible smell, so I disposed of the relatively new sponge after mopping it up.
Wednesday Waste - 17 April 2013
Wednesday Waste – 17 April 2013

What are your thoughts on food waste vs food wrapping waste? I know some of my commenters are committed to a wasteless process with fresh produce, kudos to you. I suppose I could implement my food waste audit into this post (without weighing – that just seems too hard!)?  As always, suggestions on limiting the waste listed will be gratefully appreciated.

Film Review: Identity Thief

**Firstly, thank you to all those new readers out there. I’m not sure how or where you came from, but you’re most welcome! Tuesdays are review day – usually books, but today a film**

Somehow, reviewing a film is far less academic that reviewing a book.  And then I picked a comedy… sigh.  Apologies – I just haven’t been getting into the latest book on my reading pile Unbroken by Laura Killenbrand (who also wrote Seabiscuit). I did get a little more read on Sunday night, but there’s no hope for a Tuesday review!

Sunday week ago, the BF and I went and saw Identity Thief.  I’m not widely known as a comedy movie fan, but for some reason, the premise of a female stealing a male’s identity just seemed, quirky!  And given the BF LOVES comedy, well I figured I should offer up the films I was willing to see before I became a negative Nelly, always nixing films that I absolutely positively would not see!

Identity Thief Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2024432/
Identity Thief
Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2024432/

Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) receives an innocuous sales call offering credit card fraud insurance from absolutely free.  Naive as he is, he hands over his identifying details to Melissa McCarthy, who then becomes none other than Sandy Patterson!  From here on in, I’ll use the actor’s names, otherwise, this will get totally confusing!  Jason only suspects something when a beauty salon in Florida calls to confirm his appointment.  Next, the police arrive at work… It just snowballs as one would expect.

Jason is unable to escape the ‘crimes’ of his double and is told that the laws (being across states etc) make it difficult and lengthy to resolve identity thefts.  However, if Jason was to bring Melissa back to Colorado  then everything could be tidied up, including Jason getting his job back.

Whilst this movie is a comedy with so many great lines and laugh out loud moments, it brushes past some interesting issues.  Melissa uses the money to buy friends, and happiness, however fleeting.  She had multiples of the SAME appliance (at least her taste stayed the same?)!  Consumerism, to her, seemed to be the solution. However, in true Hollywood style, Melissa finds a friend in Jason, and his family.  Everyone say ‘awww’ in unison now!  Sometimes, a little light hearted comedy is just what you need.

Interestingly, my aunt was a victim of identity theft a few years ago.  It seemed to me that the bank tried very hard to discourage her and her hopes of recovering the funds taken.  However, as my father is in banking he assured her that the bank had insurance for these events and she would not (in the end) be out of pocket, which proved to be correct.  The thieves were incredibly crafty – setting up Paypal accounts in my aunts name, selling non existent products on Ebay.  My aunt got some very interesting calls from buyers who never got their paid for products.  As a result, my aunt had to change and pay to un-list her number.  She also had to change her work email address, given it had been publicly listed and the disgruntled customers were able to find it and contact her.  I’m not sure how the theft occurred – but given my aunt lives in a high density building and area, it could have been as simple as mail being stolen from her letterbox.  It certainly makes you wonder…

Any film recommendations? I know I’d like to see Warm Bodies, and Trance.  Even Zero Dark Thirty (but perhaps not in a cinema, somewhere I can pause!) Perhaps Anna Karenina, but I feel I should read it first, but that might never happen. In any case, I think the BF might sit that one out! Or any brushes with identity theft?

Saving money with health insurance

In Australia, health insurance is something the individual (couple or family) funds. Only people lucky enough to work for US based, or international firms, are granted employer sponsored health care.  By and large, our public system is pretty good, and many people survive with public health insurance only and live a long and healthy life.  However, over the past decade, our government has been creating ‘incentives’ to have private health insurance.  When I say ‘incentives’ – I’m not really sure how they’ve sold it to us, cause, really, it’s disincentives!

When you earn over a threshold, you will have a levy added to your tax if you don’t have private health insurance.  Therefore, with the minimum health cover, which must include hospital cover, will sometimes be less than the levy you’d get on your taxes.  For this reason, myself and many others purchase health insurance.  Also, once you’re over 30, every year you don’t (or didn’t) have health insurance increases the cost of your cover.  So really, once you’re earning some good coin, or you’re ‘old’ (over 30 :p), you pretty much have health insurance.  Now that everyone is on the bandwagon, then there are the premiums.

source: roleofgovernment.edublogs.org
source: roleofgovernment.edublogs.org

Thankfully, my employer (who is large, employing 5000-8000 within our state) has negotiated some reductions in premiums at certain health insurance companies.  The down side is – it seems that if you buy a product online, the ‘saving’ is added retrospectively.  This meant, when I first started with this company, I actually bought MORE than a year’s worth of coverage.  Well that seemed all well and good, at the time.

Every April, health funds are welcome to increase their levies.  And they do!  Every March, they advertise HARD to ‘buy now, and save buying when rates go up’.  Therefore, I like to pay my annual premium every March, and delay the cost of higher levies for another year.  All this is well and good, provided every year, the premiums come out in March.  When you start to get more than a year ahead paid in advance, things start to look a little… uncertain.

What happens when you throw Easter long weekend into the balance?

Nothing good!

NIB iphone app
NIB iphone app

I saw this coming.  I called my health insurer, NIB, in early March.  I spoke to them about how much I’d owe and when it would be direct debited (the ONLY thing I allow to be direct debited – because I get an additional saving for this).  We discussed that I would pay a 11-month payment in March 2013.  So in March 2014, I could go back to buying a year, and always owe (and be charged) in March.  Sadly, this did not happen.  Who knows why?  I have letters assuring me of the cost and the date.  I have the phone calls too.  And I have an online account which has another magic number on it.

*Sigh!*

I had the money waiting to be put on the credit card, which hadn’t been drawn.  At least I knew my cover was still continuous (not due to lapse til mid April).

I promptly called NIB about the lack of a withdrawal, and they were great (that’s why I feel OK sharing their name with you).  They totally admitted their stuff up (they’d inputted the withdrawal’s date with the wrong year d’oh).  As it was their mistake, they offered me the same ‘cheapest’ price from the many I had (there was the number on the first letter, the second letter (cheapest), the online account).  Now that we’re in April 2013, the price wouldn’t cover the 11 months I’d asked for, but they offered to ‘pay’ the difference between the rate I was quoted, and what it had changed to.  Thank you, health fund, for being sensible, accepting some blame and saving me money!

In a related update – once I’d paid this bill, I closed the account where I’d be saving $20 weekly for the premiums.  By closing the account, I got rid of the last account with that bank, bringing me down one bank – remember my bank round up a little while ago

Future house wish list

I love my loft apartment, mostly.  But I can’t help thinking ‘one day’, I’ll move and these are the things I wish my house to have

  • lots of natural sunlight: a loft with a single double height window doesn’t allow a lot of light, and given the orientation of my place, and the garden beds, I don’t get a lot of light, and only for an hour or two in the morning.
  • a fireplace: Sydney gets cold!  And I love the smell of other people’s fires in winter.  And it’s a great way to dispose of paper/tissues/wood
  • In a modern homesource:eliteproductionsintl.blogspot.com
    In a modern home
    source:eliteproductionsintl.blogspot.com

    In a more traditonal housesource:www.bluboxfireplaces.com.au
    In a more traditonal house
    source:www.bluboxfireplaces.com.au
  • a garden: even with a bigger, sunnier balcony I could go back to growing things, I loved growing sweet peas (the flowers and the vegetable!), and keep seeing awesome little ways to grow other things I’d love to have on hand
  • gas: for both cooking as well as heating/water heating.  Currently I only have it for water heating.
  • natural ventilation: firstly a bathroom window! The style of my loft makes that impossible.   It was on my wish list when I was househunting, but some things you have concede.  My next place will hopefully have more than just a bathroom window, but windows everywhere!

And hopefully it’ll have things I already have in my little loft

  • a good sized pantry
  • a linen cloest
  • an entry area – with places to store ‘grab and go’ items (umbrellas, name badges, coffee cup), somewhere to process mail, dump handbags, put things for delivery when next out etc.

What do you have on your future home’s wish list?  What did you used to wish for, and no longer need/want/wish for?

Waste Wednesday update

Yep, I’ve resorted to weighing my “trash”. I don’t actually call it trash, I call it rubbish, but it doesn’t have the same drawl… Anyhow.

Week 2 weigh in
Week 2 weigh in

Am I getting any better at getting to zero waste? Well how would I measure that? Which is why I have started weighing bags of the stuff, and so over time we can look at how often I’m sending things to landfill and also how much, in real terms, is being sent.

I have three ‘trash’ bins in my apartment- one in the bedroom, one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen. The kitchen gets emptied far more regularly, with the other two being on a ‘when full’ basis (seeing I don’t have anything decomposing and stinky, this doesn’t worry me, and it saves wasting the precious few plastic bags I have, by having a routine to emptying the bins). My weight totals aren’t likely to be consistent given they rely on reusing plastic bags that enter my home.

Here’s what I’ve tracked so far
610g on 29 March
232g on 4 April

Easter weekend trash bag
Easter weekend trash bag

What was in there? Let me break it down to serial offenders, and one time specials.

Serial offenders:

  • Tissues – will too many of these disturb the Bokashi bin’s balance?
  • Backing from 3M adhesive – I don’t ‘always’ have this, but often enough that it features regularly. There was a lot this week due to the lighting in the dining room coming with it.
  • Backing from contact adhesive (for under the sink protection)
  • Plastic bags from food – apricots, again! cheese – again! snacks – again! Rice noodles – something that’s not at the bulk store. Rocket – plastic tray AND bag (the green grocer was out that day, otherwise I did almost dodge this waste)
  • Meat trays – from the grab and go section, so things like prosciutto, prawns and the like. I really need a local deli to cut this one out.
  • Plastic wrappers from recyclable bottles – I think I’m just esoteric.  These are probably recyclable.  But seeing I separated the bottle from the bottle for another purpose, I just went and ‘binned’ the plastic sleeve.
  • Sponge – despite everyone’s thoughts that these are germ hoarders, I remain a sponge user. Every now and then, they get too old, smelly, fall-apart-y and they get trashed. I know I can be compostable ones from the US, but the mailing costs (even within the US) are exorbitant…
  • Wooden skewer – conflicted on these – they aren’t really compostable, but then they aren’t really trash… nor recycling. And when in doubt :s
  • Band aids – not sure I will ever be using a zero waste adaption
4th April trash (reusing the toilet roll bag)
4th April trash (reusing the toilet roll bag)

One time offenders:

  • Old silicon
  • Cracked mug – these aren’t permitted for recycling, and wouldn’t be worthy of a second hand shop.
  • Stamps – I skipped a lot of trashing with my recent DIY stamp map, BUT, I did discover stamps that were too damaged for collecting/swaping/using, so they went in the bin
  • Chocolate tray – to celebrate the end of Lent, my friends brought me some Lindt chocolate balls, which come with a pesky inner tray that isn’t recyclable 🙁
  • Baggage tags – I refuse to boycott travel so I don’t have this type of waste – this was a friend’s baggage tag though.
  • Easter egg foil – at least it’s not regularly Easter. Wonder if this foil might actually be recyclable?
  • Sim card – mixed plastics with metals. At least it’s not a regular trash item

This post is inspired by the work done by Everyday Life on a Shoe String to Slim your Bin and as always Zero Waste Home.

Any helpful suggestions and comments on how I can reduce the regular trash items (or one time offenders)?

Book Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

This book came onto my radar thanks to reading www.71toes.com  Actually, I think it might have also have been mentioned on another blog I read too, and so with that sort of serendipity, I added it to my reading list: A tree grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith.

source: www.colbypubliclibrary.org
source: www.colbypubliclibrary.org

Despite not really being a reprieve from the doom and gloom of my last few books(here, here and here), I did thoroughly enjoy this book. I’ll admit that I’m usually a little reticent to read ‘history’ books – I’m not great at adjusting my imagination to yesteryear, at least that’s what I thought. But I didn’t have any trouble reading, and enjoying this book set in the 1910s. The book, I believe, was meant to be an autobiography, but fears that it wouldn’t sell turned it into a character narrative.

The book focuses on the tween to teen years of the main character, Francie, and her life with her mother (Katie), father (Johnny) and brother Neeley. Evidently, all the other characters of the neighborhood and extended family are also woven in the narrative. Francie lives in Brooklyn in relative poverty – which was hard to grasp in some respects, as it’s hard to know what a penny then is worth in today’s money! But from the tales, it’s clear that anyone who collects trash in exchange for pennies is surely not living a prosperous life.

There are some delightful observations – of Aunt Sissy who changes after “adopting” a baby (after 10 stillbirths). Francie only seems to be able to establish that when you have a child you stop smelling so heavily perfumed?! There are some great quotes I want to share – some because they are topical to my life, but others for their sweetness. Here’s some of the ones I liked enough to write down:

‘She puzzled as to why learned people didn’t adopt chemistry as a religion’

On work/life balance
‘You work eight hours a day covering wires to earn money to buy food and to pay for a place to sleep so that you can keep living to come back and cover more wires. Some people are born and kept living just to come to this. Of course, some of these girls will marry, marry men who have the same kind of life. What will they gain? They’ll gain someone to hold conversations within the few hours at night between work and sleep’

And isn’t that all life seems sometimes?

On hairstyles (for those who read 6 reasons I shaved my head will understand why I added this!)
‘Why do you want short hair like a boy?
It would be easier to take car for.
Taking care of her hair should be a woman’s pleasure.

A woman’s hair is her mystery. Daytimes, it’s pinned up. But at night, alone, with her man, the pins come out and it hangs loose like a shining cape. It makes her a special secret woman for her man

When you’re eighteen you can shave your scalp for all I care

Overall, the book paints a wonderful portrait of living in the tenements in Brooklyn, and the naive life of a young lady, hoping to make more of herself than those before her. There’s a wonderful spirit to the book – of rejecting charity, and ensuring education of the two children to elevate them above the generations before them. I can understand why this book is still being read today!

Oh my – the innocence of youth (mine!) – this was turned into a film in 1945. Rest assured, if anyone had told me, or offered to let me see it, I would have said no – now that I’ve read this, I might open myself up to seeing the film adaption of this ‘olden days’ period.

The world in stamps

Pinterest be damned – so many good ideas.  And this Easter was the weekend to make the excess stamps from my childhood collection, and poster I’d bought for this almost a year ago, a thing of great beauty!  I shared my pinspiration photo in my long weekend to do list post, and now for the ‘how to’ of what I did, and how it turned out!

Stamp Map of the worldA source (not the original): http://www.designpoi.com/2010/11/stamp-map/
Stamp Map of the world
A source (not the original): http://www.designpoi.com/2010/11/stamp-map/

I realised that I didn’t have enough stamps from China or Russia, or South America to cover the land mass.  So I decided I’d do all the map in Australian stamps – using all my doubles and triples.  It took a while, even with the template.

Seeing if I could use country specific stamps for each continent.
Seeing if I could use country specific stamps for each continent.

1. I struck the template A4 pages together, to make the continents. (This challenged my mind just a little!)

Opps, the Europe A4 page is landcape, that stumped me for a while!
Opps, the Europe A4 page is landcape, that stumped me for a while!

2. Then I had to cut them out – not that easy with a runny nose.  I decided I’d lie on the sofa and read a chapter or two, then cut some, then lay back down.  Seemed to work, but slowed progress down considerably.

Cutout almost complete - the islands are still attached
Cutout almost complete – the islands are still attached

3. Next, I laid out the two sheets of poster paper (which having been stored in a rolled tube, took some weights to coerce back to flat overnight).

4. I traced around my maps that I’d cut out.  I kept little islands (you know, like England and New Zealand) attached to bigger land masses, until I’d outlined everything I could.  Then I cut out the islands, and finished off their outlines.  This way, hopefully most things are in the right location, at least according to the template I used!

5.  Laying of the stamps – this took a while.  I started with the Americas – laid them all out, then shifted them out of place, and stuck each back down with PVA – perhaps not the best glue for the purpose, but what was on hand. (Then I made dinner for my brothers!)  I then got one brother to assist in stamp placement for Africa/Asia.  All in all the laying of stamps and sticking of stamps probably took about 5hrs (?!)  Didn’t help that my stash of Australian stamps kept running down and I’d have to flip through my albums to find more.

North America's close up
North America’s close up

6. The last step is to overlay the country specific stamps in the right location.  Now that I have all the landmasses collage-d with stamps, I don’t need to worry about gaps etc.  I can just find a stamp for the small countries and call it done.

World map with Australian stamps
World map with Australian stamps

With the stamps I have, I could have done the Oceania on a poster page four times the size, and still had enough stamps! But a world map is what this girl wanted, so a world map she made! I have to thank The Crafty Cow for their great template – I was stumped til I had that in my hot little hands!

I might update this post with a photo of it bluetacked to my wall – it’s not the most professional piece of art, but I’m happy with it!

Under the sink contact

A while ago I saw book contact, in the checkerboard pattern. I thought it was so cool – and I’m not sure if it was the chicken or the egg, but I also wanted to protect the base of my under sink cupboard, which occasionally get soaked when I forget I’ve been draining the Bokashi. I’d seen the same product at both Mitre 10 hardware store and Kmart. Always price conscious, I bought some at Kmart for about $5, knowing I could easily return it – days later I noted that Mitre 10’s equivalent products was $42 a roll! Who knows why or how Mitre 10 sells it at that price, but I was mighty chuffed at my savings!

Before
Before
Halfway there - Checkerplate book contact
Halfway there – Checkerplate book contact

I contacted the back half of the cupboard a while ago. I had to do it in two pieces (to get it around the pipework. I also chose to create a skirting in contact, for that little extra protection. For reasons I don’t recall, after I did the back half, I called it a day. So this weekend, I thought best to complete the job (and use up the surplus contact I had). Without the pipe having such a great impact, I could lay it in once piece, just trimming it to fit. Sadly, I didn’t have quite enough to make a skirting on both sides, but it still looks pretty slick!

Checkplate contact completed!
Checkplate contact completed!
Here's the cupboard in action - Left: trash; Middle: recycling; Right: Bokashi bin
Here’s the cupboard in action – Left: trash; Middle: recycling; Right: Bokashi bin

Re-siliconing the bathroom


I mentioned in my Easter weekend to do list that I wanted to replace the yellowing silicon around my bathroom.  I actually did around the bath back in July when I got it resurfaced.  But all the other silicone joints were yellow and dirty looking.  I did not like that I noticed the yellowing silicone next to the stark white tiles.  So, not discouraged by the ATROCIOUS effort I made in July around the bath, I decided I would live and learn, and try again.  From here, I might call the silicon, ‘grout’, even though they are in fact different things.  Grout just runs off the tongue better!  Here’s a ‘before’ photo:

Silicon before - yucky and yellowed :(
Silicon before – yucky and yellowed 🙁

It took probably about 5-7 hours to strip out all the old grout.  I was advised by a lovely man (on my lovely Thursday afternoon where the world just seemed to smile upon me) to buy a tool designed to get the silicon out of crevices.  It was wonderful.  Sure, I still needed a blade afterwards, but I realise without the removing tool, things might have been much slower!  There’s so much fine silicon on the tile surface, and in the crevices and gaps (cause the tiles are not perfectly laid).  Thankfully, I had a friend on hand, that helped.  Bless her heart!

Silcone removal tool kit (minus the grotty bottle of metho)
Silcone removal tool kit (minus the grotty bottle of metho)

Once stripped, I run the vacuum over the joints (and picked up all the discarded yuck at the bottom of each joint).  Then, I wiped all the joints with isopropyl alcohol.  And then metholated spirits. (Better to be safe than sorry!).

Silicone removed (that's hardly zero waste!)
Silicone removed (that’s hardly zero waste!)

And then came taping – this is something a colleague off handedly asked about last time I mentioned I regrouted. I hadn’t even though of it! So this time, I taped my little heart out.  (And, of course, totally in contradiction of my zero waste hopes!).  Once the taping was complete, I went to bed.  I figured then the joints would all be extra dry of metho and alcohol, and I needed to sleep – it was 11pm!

The next day, I got right onto it, re-reading all the instructions on the packet.  Another learning tip this time around – I used rubber gloves.  Bless, they work a treat! (Alternatively, you can rub your real hands on a plastic shopping bag to remove silicone – or with metho). I prepped everything – I even had a tool for making a nice angle on the silicon – which I used last time.  This time, the gloved finger seems to work better and deal with the natural differences between meeting tiles.  Of course, siliconing took WAY less time than all the prep – I’d say I was done in an hour? (I did have more tapping and scrapping in the morning to do, on some joints I hadn’t got done the night before).

Some yellow silicon left, as it was a hard to reach spot, always hidden by the washing machine - but look at the difference!
Some yellow silicon left, as it was a hard to reach spot, always hidden by the washing machine – but look at the difference!

Sadly, the ‘new’ ultra white silicon I used (not the same tube I used around the bath, that yellowed too!) needed 72 hours to dry.  So for three days I schelped to the gym in our building to shower.  It actually wasn’t too bad – though I did feel weird carrying my bathtowel and bath products in the hallway and the lift.

And a before and after?:

Before
Before
After
After