As new members of the middle classes we had to undergo the traditional initiation rites of removing most of our carpets. Our 100 year old floors would clearly be too knackered for sanding and varnishing I thought. But it turns out that everyone I know in the UK who claims to know about such things is a fucking idiot…judging by the reaction I received when speaking to “experts” over here anyway. The ideas I had about taking up the floors, replacing the fucked floorboards and moving the existing ones closer together are apparently the work of drug-induced madness. Nah, said our expert, these will come up lovely (ok he didn’t use those exact words, but I wasn’t there at the time and so am paraphrasing for other Londoners). So, we booked him and his mates, moved all of our stuff out of the affected rooms, and moved our parrots and ourselves back into Michele’s mum’s place. I managed to negotiate for my “office” and the stairs to remain carpeted. I like carpet, and believe that un-carpeted stairs are plain dangerous.
Now, in fairness, the guys worked super quickly, and the end result looks very beautiful (compared to our previous wine and parrot-shit stained beige carpets anyway). I can’t complain, and it looks way better than I imagined but still:
- There are gaps in the floor that allow us to see into the basement.
- The application of varnish caused great globs to pour through these gaps and onto the “precious things” in the basement.
- The birds are still pissed off about the whole thing, and we can only hope they aren’t being slowly gassed by the fumes.
- We have wood-dust all over the inside of our double glazing.
Michele stitched me up quite nicely too. She’s been wanting to paint a wall since we moved in. So, rather than talk to me about the idea, she skipped to asking me for advice on a colour for the wall she was going to paint, and generously provided me with a bunch of colour swatches that ranged from avocado green, to a slightly darker avocado green.
“I was thinking some sort of green” I responded.
So we now have a very beautiful, parrot-scaring, green wall. I call it “Avocado” but Michele calls it “Jalapeno”, and apparently they’re not the same thing at all; one was a very popular colour for bathrooms in the 1970’s and is now a hideous anachronism, the other is a great colour for the living room wall. Other than that they’re identical as far as I can tell.
This weekend has consisted of moving furniture back to their carpet positions, working on installing Debian to a high-spec HP server in London, playing with Michele and the birds, and wandering around South Philly with Kevin and a Burrito.