October 2002

Time for me to bore your socks off  with an update.

Well .. we are in! just….
It’s been 3 weeks since ‘Le Movin'” day… and things have not exactly gone according to plan. Why,  I hear you ask? Oh, please, let me take a few minutes to fill you in on our nice, simple stress free move…  (If one more person asks me if we are ‘settled’ yet, I shall smack them about the head with a benchgrinder).

As you can probably recall from the last chapter in the continuing sto-o-ory, we were having the clean up that we needed so desperately to do after Mr Emphysema and Mrs no-knees and one eye moved out. (no disrespect meant at all.) When we came in, 4 days before settlement, we thought they must not have finished moving. There was so much ‘stuff’ here. Bedside tables, a couch, rugs, a rocking chair,  a recliner, a wardrobe, roll top desk, buffet, bookshelves, tables, crappy units of some description , a set of piranha teeth complete with jawbone (true), a staircase,  … car bodies.. errrrr hang on… back up… car bodies?  watssallthishitthen???  Yes, this was our inheritance, our treasure trove, our wonderful goodie bag of loot, ours to cherish for ever.

Hmmmmmmmm.

The walls are covered in a thin layer of dusty dank grime. The light fittings and power points are actually slippery with age old ick. the carpet seems to be speckled. The speckles move… err.. the speckles move???  The carpet has things JUMPING in it…. There is a patio, underneath a mountain of dog hair and leaves.  The kitchen is inhabited by the creepy oil man that lives in the peanut butter commercial… (always oily, never dry..!!) and the toilets may not really be beige after all…

In 4 days, we scrubbed the house from top to bottom, starting at around 8.00  most mornings and collapsing around 1.00 ish each night. We removed 6 ute  loads, 6 trailers loads, AND 2  SKIPS  of rubbish. At least it was clean enough to  move into. Sort of. And it smelled better :)

Moving day arrives, and as we shift and shove, Mr Gas man comes to link up our gas bottles. He tests our lines. We fail :((((((( “You have a gas leak in your main line” he sez. I see the dollars fly off into the sunny sky ask him about the course of action. “Probably need  new pipes”, he sez – “Maybe a new hot Water system too” (as he eyes off the 40 year old Vulcan held together with duct tape and good luck, and a bit of rust to boot..) Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….  Better get a plumber in to have a look… (and we have not even got all the stuff out of the removalist truck yet!)So, 3 weeks later, here we are, *still* showering off gas bbq bottles hooked up to our leaky dinosaur Vulcan (Beam me up, Scotty)… but a nice shiny “new” (read “I-got-this-second-hand-from-a-plumber-mate-but-it-has-a-few-good-years-left-in-it) storage Hot water Unit ready to be installed. And the pipes? The pipes are dead, my whites are brown, my browns are browner… erk. Nigel-the-plumber, our new bestfriend, is coming hopefully next week, to completely replumb the house, reposition the indoor and out door taps, get rid of the gal and copper pipes and put in the new whiz bang ones (which means I will have water in my water pressure, what a novelty), install the new H/W system – (install a Rheem, install a Rheem, install a Rheem…..) and new gas lines. I won’t know myself. I will think I am Rose Porteous. I will be Queen of my shower!!!! (well, okay, but you understand about no hot water and no water pressure and brown water for 3 weeks, right?) 

What else have we done? Ross has totally rewired the house, installed a new whizzy looking indoor power box, housing all fuses and safety switches (state of the art, natch) ensuring no nasties can cut off my power and rob me of my exposed walls, saggy floorboards and collection of Penotti glasses…. and… a whizzy new meter box at the side of the house for Mr Elecrickery man to read my kilowatts, without having to open anything… all nice powder coated bone, thankyou very much. (It pays to be safe!)  I have new wires all through ceilings etc, no fires for me (damn there goes my insurance claim)… and 2 speccie new fire alarms/smoke detectors. Ripped up all the carpet in the house (untreated floorboards are better than rotten carpet) and as we lifted the carpet it fell away in our hands.. erk. The lawn is slowly coming in as the bindii, broadleaf and other weeds dies of noxious gassing (heh – call me Arnie), the rose bushes we found UNDER the weed matting (true) are actually blooming already (Thanks mum – that seasol worked a treat) and recovering from  their collar rot.  The woman on the other side of our house  (Now known as Groovy Groober and her strange husband) said the roses have been here for 40 years. She thought they had been ripped out, or died. They were chopped very low and covered with weed matting and cheap pine chips. There are 15 or so bushes, and although they are not where I had planned the cottage garden to go, if I can salvage them I will replan the garden to incorporate the roses, and add to them.The dustbowl will become a lush tropical garden out the back, the front a cottage type garden. for now, I concentrate on weed ridding. We ripped down a doggie door (gross) a dead security door, and found 9 boxes of tiles, all new, but none matching (??) in a box in the weed patch aka dust bowl…

In addition, I spent a day painting not-so-nice-white kitchen cupboards only a semi gloss white, threw away the doors (so swollen with grossness they just about jumped away from the screwdriver,  – how long I can live with open shelves in a kitchen/ pantry/ pot cupboard etc… ?  – , another day completely disassembling kitchen stove, took it outside, used 3 cans of oven cleaner and a bottle of ammonia in it, gurney’d it and put it back together (and the sucker works!!). Took the eagles out of the front yard (needed a fridge trolley to lift each one, held down with 2 feet of premix each) much to the chagrin of the neighbour (who is henceforth known as Mr Nosy) who was mortified that we were removing them, because “That’s where they LIVE” – and WE ARE PUTTING THEM BACK, AREN’T WE?  (in a pigs eye we are). Conclusion: We need a fence down that side – SOON… very tall!   (Friends are quite sure that we will find a body under the eagle site, the guy was so beside himself thought he was going to come over and put them back in himself. I’ll let you know when forensics leave)… Have taken out 3 utes of garden waste from front and back yards, removed a VERY bizarre picket fence enclosure thing from around patio area,  and now, on Mr Nosy’s side, need to work out : A. where the dog is getting out, and B, how to sleep at night (wally neighbours hung windchimes in the tress on their side of our fence line. Cheap ones. Ones that do not bong, tinkle, or gently chime in the wind. No – these sound like badly tuned children’s tin xylophones, all lined up in a row, with a group of Kindergartner’s banging away  furiously with wooden spoons. Very melodic… and C: – how to find and resurrect a 6 foot fence with no money…

The new windows are here (antique silky oak), the new front door was delivered Friday, the French doors are on their way, and as soon as finances allow, we will start the first major project – the removal and replacement of the front wall in the lounge room  and the instillation of 2 sets of windows (we have 12 sets to do all up) and hang the front door. Until then, little jobs that require little (read – NO) money, and several bottles of wine to keep me sane.

Where is that sledgehammer…..

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