Sunday 26 August 2007

Adrian chews carpet

Something strange is happening. I used to be the impulsive one; the one who started major projects just as sensible people were going to bed: ripping down wallpaper; rearranging the furniture; lugging sofas up and down stairs, getting stuck and yelping for help. Meanwhile Adrian would roll his eyes and mutter darkly, ‘Why are you so damn impulsive? Why can’t you just wait?’
So I was somewhat bemused, as I lay in bed last night, to hear the distinct sound of ripping and tearing.
‘What the hell?’
Stumbling out of bed and peering over the banister to see Adrian setting into the hallway carpet with a Stanley knife.
‘What ARE you doing?’
‘Pulling up the carpet.’
Now, we had both decided the carpet needed to come up. For many reasons.
a) It was a sickly acid yellow (and not in a cool Designers Guild sort of way).
b) It was speckled with black spots all along the edges (and that wasn’t part of the design).
c) It smelled. Bad.
d) It was contributing to the General Damp Problem by dint of providing a soggy soft moss-like sponge for our dripping pipework.
e) We had peeled up a corner and discovered – oh joy! – the widest, most delectable floorboards we’d ever seen.

But then we had both agreed we would not be precipitous. We would wait for the Right Moment before ripping and tearing. Which begged the question…..
‘Why now?’
‘Er, I don’t know. It just sort of came over me.’

We’ve found, since moving into town, that things frequently just ‘come over us’. Usually alcohol. After nine years of having to be sensible and tossing coins for who became the designated driver and not being out too late because of driving to the school bus the next day has taken its toll. We are like teenagers leaving home for the first time: all sense of moderation has been flung into the ether. Since moving here, it’s been one non-stop party. Well, what do you do? Someone drops by and you offer a G&T/Pimm’s/glass of fizz, don’t you? It would be rude not to. Just as it would be exceedingly rude to go round to someone’s house for dinner/drinks/party and not pay suitable homage to their hospitality. But a few nights ago, it did dawn on me it had got a little out of hand as I found myself, on my hands and knees, climbing up the spinney steps in the pitch black after one too many glasses of Cointreau.

Anyhow, back to the carpet. Up it came in a frenzy of ripping and tearing and shredding. Hmm. Yes, there were some lovely wide boards but also some horrid new skinny pine ones and also a few patches of, er, chipboard. Not such a good look.
Then Adrian went a bit green.
‘Oh heck. We’ve just taken up the only thing between us and the Asbestos Cellar.’
‘Don’t be ridiculous. It’s got a ceiling.’
‘Er, I don’t think so.’ Shining a torch down through the wide gaps between the multi-coloured patchwork of floorboards.
‘Oh ***t.’

Ah well, we have a site meeting for the asbestos removal on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, both Adrian and I have developed coughs. Psychosomatic or what?
PS - I shall, when I can bear the endless wait for uploading, bung up some pictures that show the house in its less attractive you can hardly wait.


annakarenin said...

Ha ha, no shouldn't laugh but me thought I could get away with ripping up the carpet in bedroom and have floorboards. Mike was really impressed with the rather good condition pine ones that first emerged from under the chipboard but then encountered a block of cement and then annoyingly the lovely thick originals not looking good which had obviously had an attack of the old woodworm. We now live with mainly chipboard flooring, but a rather unusual arrangement of boards and cement in the corner of the room whilst I try and track down a carpet that matches the one on the landing.

Loving these diaries of a renovation.

Anonymous said...

Oh heck! Hope the asbestos isn't serious. I like to be spontaneous when it comes to home improvements. I've been planning a new kitchen since Easter and have still done nothing about it. I should take a leaf out of your book - it might just get done before next Easter.

Crystal xx

Frances said...

Hello Jane,

Remember when I wrote about the new building owners posting notices about asbestos removal from the building's basement. They protected us by hanging some large sheets of bright blue plastic, floor to ceiling, and I think, put up some plywood partitions behind that plastic, and that "barrier" also meant putting one of our elevators out of commission.

Funny, but during the week when all that was ongoing, I kept coughing. Even had a slight nosebleed. Blue plastic sheeting gone now. Plywood gone. That elevator back in service.

The elevator next to it has been out of service for a week. New building owners are endearing themselves to us.

Coughing over. No more nosebleeds.

I do like the old wooden floor in this apartment. Not exactly an intricate parquay, but there is a change of pattern in the laying of the planks around the edges. And ... best yet, I cannot see through to the floor below.

Perhaps that will come later as the new owners try to tempt us old tenants to leave....


Un Peu Loufoque said...

fret not as long as you are nto drilling into teh ruddy stuff or moving it at all teh asbestos is fine where it is its the breaking it up taht casues the harmful dust, been there done that , you'll live.

Milla said...

Dippy old Adrian. Floors last!! I thought you kind of liked that spongy mossy dank, er, carpet. Kids go back to school a week tomorrow and will start blogging again then.xx

toady said...

I have found that if I don't do things impulsively they never get done. I remeber in our first house OH came home after a late shift to find me and some friends drunkenly peeling the foul hall wallpaper off. We were having a competition to see who could peel the biggest bit without it splitting and giggling our heads off. It's the only way to do it I find. Toady

Chris Stovell said...

The combination of impulsive partner, manky floorboards sneakily hiding amongst the good ones and asbestos would certainly have had me reaching for a stiff drink!

Faith said...

Yes, I agree with Toady, impulse works for me. Hope you get rid of the asbestos asap.

Norma Murray said...

I love the blog, but just need to know, How can anyone have one too many glasses of contreau? I might be able to manage one, to please a host, or a little bit more if it was poured into half a melon and served with strawberries - but more than that. Hmmm!

Westerwitch/Headmistress said...

From what I can remember the asbestos is indeed fine as long as you don't move it - it is the moving that causes the dust.

What a shame that all the boards on the stairs aren't the same lovely old ones. What will you do try and match them all up? Mind you anything has to be better than the ghastly smelly carpet.

Blossomcottage said...

At least you have wall to wall flooring, a friend of mine lived for three years without wall to wall flooring, going for a pee was and expedition in itself!!! Felt quite nostaligic when they put all the floorboards back and we could walk straight to to loo without fear of dropping to the next level.

Cait O'Connor said...

I would have torn up the carpet too, I am impulsive about that sort of thing.
Sure you will be fine if you don't disturb the asbestos. It is probably carpet dust making you cough.

Pondside said...

I understand that impetuousity! We spent all of one winte doing floors in an area that divided the older house from it's new addition. We had huge gaping holes through which we worked on wiring and plumbing, and at night before we went to bed we'd nail down an enormous piece of ply wood so that kids wouldn't fall through when they got up to go to the toilet! Ahhhh memories! We'll all live vicariously through your nightmare...err I mean your experience!

DJ Kirkby said...

This made me laugh and then i felt a bit guilty..I mean asbestos and all but lol all the same! I am really enjoying these tales of the house!

bodran... said...

Pub's close at hand....! fatal, you lucky thing..xoo

Anonymous said...

Love the renovation descriptions - sounds like a mixture of fun, and er, horror?! Asbestos is not what you want to disturb...

You lucky thing being in Dulverton - had a wonderful holiday in Withypool, staying in The Royal Oak. Got soaked walking to Tarr Steps one day and also fell into a bog - not my finest moment.

Having just renovated our cottage, will read your exploits with interest!

ps. We lived in Maresfield for two years by the church in what i think was at one time the chemist - only rented, but we loved the area so bought nearby!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, posted before I could tell you it was me....

@themill said...

Great stuff. I'm an impulse doer too. I got one of those blog interview thingys too. Haven't done it yet tho'.
PS You sound as though you could be keeping the baggy bottomned one company on his post school summer binge which now seems to have ground to a halt as his voice has gone and he has slept most of the day.

Milkmaid said...

Not only us then that pull things up to reveal - nothing,we had hoped to find lovely stone flags in our kitchen huh fat chance

Mutterings and Meanderings said...

When it comes up well it's like peeling skins off sunburn or getting a really long piece of wallpaper off in one go when you're stripping walls... Addictive!

Fennie said...

Must chase up your renovation diaries. Sadly we live now in a new house - not old enough to renovate, though we have done our share in the past.

As you mention asbestos - I ventured down a quiet lane today in which asbestos sheets from a roof had been fly-tipped at ten yard intervals down the middle of the road. If the scumbag who did this is ever caught I suppose he will be able to say 'it just fell off, accidentally.' And all because he wants to save a few quid in disposal fees. Breaks your heart.

Anonymous said...

Some day, my girl, we're definitely going to find you have Irish blood and we're related...I confess, I am one of those impetuous types. It takes extreme effort for me to "wait and see". Still, I have my moments of calm. I can wait forever to open the electricity bill and the telephone bill!

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

just love the shifting roles. we do this too. Ian will spend months being mr sensible and then go off on one and be madder than a basket of cats. have been in okehampton seeing my parents this weekend and wondered how far away you were. have you the next llandudno trip planned? see you are to be interviewed! quite right too.

CAMILLA said...

Darling Girl,

Thank you so much for your kind comments. Heck, ripping carpets up in the night,shame the floorboards are not all the nice ones. I think Asbestos is alright as long as you do not move it. We have a large row of Outbuildings attached to the Cottage, Cottage is Asbestos free, but not Outbuildings. We were thinking of pulling them down once to renovate into Studio's, we did not know at the time they had that. A professional chap dealing with that has to be instructed I believe.

We have Cottage on the market,(again)! the Architect did not get back to us, so now looking for another buyer. The 17th Century Cottage that I liked has been taken off of the market for now as the vendor's husband did not want to move in the end, but the wife does. She apparantly will have her way she said, so she is putting it back on the market later, whatever later is I ask myself.

Hope darling Asbo Jack is behaving himself.

Chris at 'Chrissie's Kitchen' said...

I love the idea of renovation projects and their transformations with the 'before & after' stuff. Looking forward to seeing your photgraphs.

Lizzie x