When we first arrived, I was in the kitchen and the light blew out. We messed around briefly with the fuses and lamps, but ended up calling an electrician. One of the two lights in the kitchen was already broken, so it seemed a sensible thing to do.
When he took the fixture down to look at it, water gushed out of the ceiling. It turned out that the people upstairs had had quite a small flood from the water filter under their sink (now fixed). It didn't take much water to wreck the light, so we needed to replace them. The electrician suggested that if we were going to change the lights, we should do the ceiling first. I wasn't too unhappy about this because the ceiling was horrible - water stained even before this recent flood and really lumpy. Here you see the ceiling and the temporary light solution.
Or here is a close-up:
So we emptied the kitchen and they put drywall over the existing ceiling and plastered over that, then we left the plaster to dry while we were in Italy.
The existing soffit had to be removed to plaster over the cupboards and when we got back and were preparing to paint the ceiling we discovered an old paint & stencil job that had been hidden by the soffit. It's Pompeian Red and a distinctly fresco-ey stencil.
Hideous now, but probably quite the thing in the 80s or 90s. Or the first century CE.
The COG has spent the last couple of days applying coats and coats of white paint to the ceiling. It looks fantastic now, but the other walls and the cupboards all look tired and worn.
The kitchen needs doing, but it works for us now and so we are going to paint a bit and then leave the rest for later. And a big kitchen reno will wait a while, too.