Vanishing Act

They are gone. With a puff of emphysema and a one eyed knee twitch, they have moved to their new abode. I just wish they had taken their stuff with them!   With the anticipation of having 2 full days to clean up before our own van arrives, it was only natural that we thought we had stacks of time. We really did not count on them leaving so much of their own stuff here. Isn’t there a law against that? There is no way we can get all of this out in 3 days, let along clean it – and trust me, it’s absolutely filthy.

I can’t believe the crap they left behind. Rocking chair, a roll top desk, a wardrobe, a dead leather chair, dead bedside tables, tools, machinery, clothing, dishes, a lounge suite, a wall unit, bookshelves…  just to name a few.  I just wanted to bury my head in the sand. 

Some left over treasures for us – a lounge suite, a dart board, piranha teeth (!!!!!) dead carpet, old grungy shoes. Ergh. Even the pot plants. The dog poo. All here for us.

More treasures – a knife and fork in case you get hungry. A wall unit to store your own stuff in, in case they didn’t leave us enough.  A dilapidated laundry trolley, fence pickets sitting atop besa blocks (tasteful!!) to keep their dogs out,  fly screen doors with no fly screen. This awful old bar (see there is a ship in a bottle!) was still laden with empty sticky spirit glasses and empty bottles. (Yes that’s me reflected in the broken mirror tiles) And see the extension cord? That operates the porch lights!

Or, below – how about a tasteful, real Aussie authentic barbecue? There are even left over chop bones in the grate – instant flavour! 

I always hear of people finding ‘treasure’ in old houses. The only ‘real’ treasure” we found, was a genuine wall mounted oil lamp.   We kept that :)

A sample of the food, grime and dirt left behind. This is cooking residue under the cupboards.

A sample of the food, grime and dirt left behind. This is cooking residue under the cupboards.

Roll up the sleeves and jump on in. This is the laundry shed, the only way to remove the grime was let the walls soak in CRC and sugar soap and then blast them off with a gurni.  That’s the best way to tackle any job that looks daunting isn’t it? Attractive look!

And the state of the art carport, (That’s a roller door rolled on the side there, left for us. Did they think we would actually install it on this? It would fall down!)

Can you see yet why I am thinking this was a baaa-aa-aad idea?   By the end of the 2 days, we have filled 6 (six) skips with their left behinds. You can see here, this one was specific to old car parts. The real estate sign is still up behind it. Great advertising, Harcourts!

We have yet to move our own stuff, and an extension on our own settlement is now too late to arrange. People move into our (clean, immaculate, modern brick) former home the day we move out.  I’ll write again soon.

Diarised end of September, 2002

You can find the finished photos here, if you are impatient to see how the renos finished up :)

Crikey – moving in and ready to start

Well .. we are in! It’s been 3 weeks since moving 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, we were having the clean up that we needed so desperately to do after Mr Emphysema and Mrs one eyed no-knees moved out. (no disrespect meant at all.) You’ll recall, when we came in, a few 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.. all ours to cherish for ever.

Hmmmmmmmm. So after a few days of removing all their junk, we had no choice but to move in as it was. I’ll share what we did prior to moving, shall I?

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…

Look at the helper! Removing the moving carpet from his room so he could use it needed all hands on deck.

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 uteloads, 6 trailers loads, AND 6 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 :((((((( How do you fail a gas line link test? There’s been gas here, running from bottles, fo at least a decade or two!.

“You have a gas leak in your main line” he says. I see the dollars fly off into the sunny sky as I ask him about the course of action. “Probably need new pipes”, says he,  “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..)

(This the dodgy hot water sytem. That is more of the stuff they left behind, not ours!)

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…. Better get a plumber in to have a look… (and we have not even got all the stuff out of the removals 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 “temporarily-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… The plumber, our new best friend, is coming hopefully next week, to completely re plumb the house, reposition the indoor and out door taps, get rid of the gal and copper piping 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 – 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?)

The very antiquated old electrical power supply board, which still had old rubber wiring and was not earthed.

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 ensuring no nasty thieving theives can cut off my power and rob me of my exposed walls, saggy floorboards and collection of peanut butter jar 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. (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. The lawn is slowly coming in as the bindii, broadleaf and other weeds dies of noxious gassing (heh – call me Arnie the terminator), 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.

Eventually, this 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 dust bowl… 

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 next door 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 (neighbours have windchimes in the trees 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 erect 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 installation 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…..

Diarised October, 2002

You can find the finished photos here, if you are impatient to see how the renos finished up :)