Scrubbed Walls and RSI

I think I may have SRSI (Scrubbing Repetitive Strain Injury). What’s that, you ask?

It’s an injury that afflicts those who have to pry the photo frames they put up on the wall using double sided tape.

You see, we are moving apartments tomorrow, which is epically exciting. We have found somewhere with good natural light (hard to find Hong Kong, where buildings are so close to each other you could spit a cherry stone and easily hit your neighbour’s windows), with an oven (because life without an oven is just not worth living) and with an open plan kitchen (about as common as hen’s teeth). These things are all rare individually but together they’re Hong Kong Real Estate Gold Dust. The Jackpot. The Holy Grail.

When you find such an apartment the only thing to do is bring a sleeping bag with you, change the locks, and barricade yourself inside, declaring squatters rights until the flat is yours. To do anything else is to risk losing it. Which is why I won’t be leaving our new apartment, nor answering calls for the next three months, at which point the flat will become mine.

Just joking.

It takes six months.

*Anyway*, coming back to my SRSI. It seems that all walls in Hong Kong are made of concrete (yes, seriously). Good luck sticking a nail into that to put your pictures up. So, genius over here *ahem* came up with the idea of using industrial strength, foam double sided tape to hold our frames up. I should also add that we had a very cool (even if I do says so myself) wall of photos from our travels around Asia. Lots of small frames mean a LOT of tape.

Have you ever tried to pry industrial strength, foam double sided tape from a painted wall? I don’t recommend it.

I tried boiling water, nail varnish remover (it removed the paint like a charm, does bugger all for the tape), I tried scraping at it with a blunt knife, a sharp kitchen knife, scissors, the corner of a credit card, I picked at it with my nails and tried to slice it off with dental floss (I am nothing if not imaginative in my attempts at DIY though sadly I lack practicality. No, the dental floss didn’t work. Shut up.) Then I tried all the scraping again whilst blowing at it with a hair drier on maximum heat.

Nothing worked. Then I finally did what I should have done from the start, asked Dr Google. Turns out you can buy products that dissolve sticky tape, even industrial strength double sided tape. Doh. Problem solved – or was it?

What I got was no magical product, it only works when combined with lashings of elbow grease. And that, for each and every little bit of foam tape. So other than those first couple of hours, I spent the ENTIRE day scrubbing the walls. Which is about as fun as watching paint dry, but with the added kick that my arms are now as floppy as noodles.

How did I type this post you ask? With my feet. One of the perks of having big feet with long toes.

PS: I’ve just realised that I wrote an entire post about my walls. Quite possibly the dullest blogging subject ever (Is there a blogging award for that? If so I definitely win). Sorry guys. Next post will be interesting. I promise.

See you the other side of the move.


18 thoughts on “Scrubbed Walls and RSI

  1. Good gravy you’re a talented lass. Think of the tony triceps you’ve given yourself!! You’ll have 6 squatting months to think of some other way to hang pics in your new abode – perhaps hang vertical ribbons and attach them to that? or stretch some pretty, heavy duty string or wire horizontally and hang them on that. or Google to find out what to use on concrete. And all that squatting will be good for your quads 🙂


    • Haha, that made me laugh out loud! Yes, what a great workout, now if only said tricep muscles would make themselves known and be visible to the naked eye that would be just dandy.

      Now that we are in the new flat I am simply going to forgo DIY and find a handyman to hang my pictures for me. I’m ashamed to say that concrete won that battle.


      • I’d do the same thing. Hope you enjoy your new digs and surroundings. You’ll have to take us on a little walking tour by photo. I should do the same!


    • Woop Woop – stand aside imaginary Hugo Award, I got a “made walls interesting” award!

      Thanks though, glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂 Move is now almost done, I have internet again, life is almost back to normal – at last.


    • I’m sure I should know – what’s wax-on, wax-off?

      Move went as well as moves can go! Almost done now though, finally. Can’t wait for life to go back to normal.

      And glad you found my walls interesting! 😉


      • Oh, sorry! I wasn’t thinking…it’s probably just an American 1980’s phenomenon, but it’s a line from the film “Karate Kid” where the sensei uses the actions of waxing a car to train the kid played by Ralph Macchio. I guess it’s sort of become a way to express when one does monotonous motions now for profit later?
        Glad the move went well!


    • Haha, thanks, glad you enjoyed it, fellow lower than average DIY-er 😉 Glad I’m not the only one.

      I’m giving up on DIY in the new flat, I’ll be finding a handyman for putting my pictures up, much better solution 🙂


  2. Hope everything goes well with the move! Sounds like a hard slog, scrubbing all those walls, but your post was fun to read! 🙂


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