The hole in the plasterboard of the ceiling was fringed by pieces displaced when husband put his foot, followed by his leg, through it when raking around in our loft — a large space too suited to hoarding. The broken pieces of plasterboard hung grimly on, arranged like petals round a weird flower with the rockwool insulation poking through like the flower centre.
The height of our hall ceiling means no repair could be carried out until scaffolding was brought in. A bit of a hassle, so it kept being put off, and for the last six months or so the scaffolding has been in use for painting the outside of windows and as a platform from which conifer branches could be lopped as they were interfering with our television signal. Quite why tree branches eight feet off the ground can disrupt our access to a satellite, high in the heavens, remains a mystery, but I leave such technical stuff to others.
Last week I returned from shopping to find the hall in disarray and the scaffolding tower erected. The flower hole had disappeared, replaced by white crazing against the pale blue ceiling. With my eyes fixed upwards, the state of the ceiling light shades impinged and began to annoy me. Their warm creamy colour had browned into a dirty tone. For umpteen years they had hung there, doing sterling work diffusing light bulbs and creating an interesting pattern — a row of cone-like shapes along the length of the hall, but their best days were long over.
So as the scaffolding was in place, to me it made sense to replace the shades, giving the hall a visual lift.
Because of the length and height of our hall, lamp shades look silly unless quite large, though I never really thought of them as large until I began my online search. I scoured the websites of well-known retailers who stocked light shades, found a few I liked but the size was far too small. A more expensive retailer stocked suitable shades but I baulked at the price, especially when the cost had to be multiplied by four. For considerably less than that total I could buy a new iPad Air that performs many more functions than a lamp shade!
Eventually I found a design I liked but swithered over the cost. Next time I looked it had gone and no-one else appeared to stock it.
Back to Google searches. Ikea had white and black drum shades. I didn’t want either colours but we drove up to Edinburgh to have a look anyway. Husband was muttering about the need to replace bulb holders as well. Bayonet fittings, seemingly, are being phased out in favour of screw, making the purchase of new bulb holders necessary. In store was a type of metal light shade not on their website. Husband liked it so we bought four, pleased they came complete with appropriate bulb holders.
On to the bulbs. Earlier this year we bought, thought invested is probably a more appropriate description, new lights for the kitchen. For years I have complained about poor light when I chop vegetables, and the cooker hood light above the hob could only be described as weak. The new swish chrome lights came with LED bulbs. LED, from not so long ago being in its infancy, has made gigantic strides, and provides almost daylight working conditions in my kitchen.
So with our new hall lights we bought LED bulbs. Thankfully, as I am firmly stuck in the 100W mode, instructions were provided as to which bulbs were suitable — E27 with a choice of 400 or 600 lumens. Sounds excitingly sci-fi! Egged on by potential energy bill savings, husband decided we should purchase LED bulbs for our bathroom downlighters, as well as for that pesky cooker hood light. Hooray! I can now see when stir frying.
Now I can relax, knowing it will no longer be necessary to wait until scaffolding can be erected in the hall to change a light bulb, with all the disruption that causes, as LED bulbs have a lifetime of twenty years.