house – day 38 – cover-up

A bright start to Easter Sunday, it’s cold but sunny, a much more cheerful day than the previous few days (or even weeks). I put the five remaining boxes of porcelain floor tiles in the car – 125Kg in this lot – and off we set for another day’s scraping. It was a typical bank holiday drive to the house – a lot more traffic than usual, many people driving too fast (why is everyone in such a rush, when it’s a holiday?) or  just plain badly. On the way, we wondered how tricky the parking situation would be when we got to the house – our road is on one of the few free-parking roads near to the centre of town.

Turned out our supposition was right.  We couldn’t get anywhere near the house, we drove around three times before we found a spot some distance from the house. Too far to carry the tiles, I’d have to wait for that. A spot eventually appeared across the road and I brought the tiles in – that warmed me up.

We spent the rest of the morning removing the remaining distemper from one of the walls in the small front bedroom – a two-man effort, one steams, one scrapes. Once we’d completed that, we went for a drive, first to have lunch and then to warm up. The house is frigid.

After warming up a little, we got back to working on the walls, Fiona to continue stripping the backing paper in the small room, me to remove the Anaglypta wallpaper from the frieze in the large front bedroom. I made rapid progress, the wall paper stripping away very easily. However, when I came to the last strip over the door, the steam spalled the plaster, which fell away to reveal a previously unknown crack. My heart sank.

There are cracks in other ceilings and cornices. A bit of settlement is only to be expected in a hundred year old house, but this one is a little wider than the rest and had been covered up – when, we don’t know. I’ll talk to Chis about it on Tuesday and try not to worry about it in the meantime.

Fiona carried on stripping wallpaper and I spent the rest of the day recovering more wood from the kitchen and removing nails, etc from all the timber I’ve reclaimed. As the sun set, it was getting very cold and snow stated to fall as we set off for the flat. And we’ve got more of this tomorrow. Brrr!

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