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Tuesday 20 December 2005

Chop, Chop, Dig, Dig

They say that you spend a third of your life sweeping, but after the last couple of days I’m beginning to think it’s more than that.

We have been tearing up old carpeting, here at Tino Manor West. Old, as in ‘installed sometime in the mid-1960s’ old. In the high-traffic areas, the padding underneath had turned to dust, and then compressed into some kind of diamond-like material. It’s diamond-like in that it’s incredibly hard, until you scrape it off the floor, whereupon it crumbles into a million pieces and scatters all over the place.

It’s these pieces of carpet padding that I’ve been sweeping up. No matter how zealous we are with the shop-vac, no matter how careful we are to scoop up all the debris and get it into trash bags, it winds up all over the house. I’m looking at a piece of that’s somehow made it into the middle of the kitchen floor.

There are also a million splinters from the carpet tack strips, all of which have been laboriously pulled up to reveal that the hardwood floors don’t go all the way to the wall. Apparently, wood was so valuable in 1936 that you wouldn’t put any under the shoe molding when building a house: why, that’s your profit margin, right there!

Livingroom Floor

So the floor looks like hell, and it will until the floor people come here to put things right. It looks better than it did with the carpet, anyway. Why on Earth anyone would cover up nice hardwood floors with uncleanable and dusty wall-to-wall carpeting is entirely beyond me. It was the style at the time, I suppose: undoubtedly in another ten years people will be driving staples into their floors again so that they can keep just a little bit of the dung on their shoes around for the next ten or twenty years. It’s so much more modern than those nasty old hardwood floors.

Our trip so far has gone something like this:

Saturday: Arrive in the afternoon. Do some basic cleaning and set up the Eddie Bauer Inflatable Bed. Eat a pizza. Go to sleep.

Sunday: Wake up cursing Eddie Bauer and his issue. Start pulling up carpet. Buy new shower curtain, bath mat, knife, cutting board, paper plates, etc., etc.: the basic bootstrap necessities of life. At 3 p.m., order new king-size mattress. At 4:30 p.m., take delivery of said mattress. Assemble new bed. Collapse.

Monday: Continue pulling up carpet. Lunch with friend. Run into cell-phone-talker in parking lot of restaurant. Wait a very long time for the police to show up because the other party ‘is going to school to be a cop and I know you have to call the police whenever there’s an accident’. Police show up and point out that this is not at all true. Return home and pull up carpet. Also sweeping.

Tuesday: Buy and install new toilet seat. Buy desk chair because I’m going to be incapacitated if I don’t. Buy red bow to zing up the wreath on the door. Buy more floor cleaner for the amazing amount of floor cleaning we’re doing. Clean unspeakable filth from all over the place.

Note that there’s nothing here about decorating for Christmas, or in fact doing anything in preparation for Christmas at all, like shopping. Presumably we will try to cram that all in tomorrow, along with shopping for some basic furniture, a TV, a phone, and all the other million and one things that we don’t have here.

And then for a nice relaxing holiday.

Posted by tino at 23:20 20.12.05
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