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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cleaning, Stripping, Nourishing

We are making headway slowly and starting to see results for the hard work.
A lot of our efforts are concentrated on flooring with repeated scrubbing of all perimeters and skirting boards. Above is the third bedroom Georgian boards. Every time I washed and scrubbed, more dirt was smeared over everything so I had to resort to using a thin (old) knife to lift the compacted dirt from between the boards. The next step was to scrub each board with fine steel wool and turpentine and scrape old paint spots with a scraper, then apply bees wax to nourish and protect. Previous owners have painted boarders on the boards in the original rooms and we'll make a decision about that later.

The kitchen has been fully gutted and remediated and is currently drying out ready for the next step which is a coating of shellac based primer Zinser BIN and then re-plastering. It will be weeks months before we have a kitchen unfortunately. 

Our bedroom has been undercoated and the shearer is working on the ceiling which had foam tiles glued on it and even the ceiling rose is made of foam...(like Styrofoam) 

Every day we scrub and scrub with protein neutralising solutions but we are winning.
When it all gets too much and we need a "treat" we work in the garden. Already we have transplanted lots of fruit trees and we have the beginnings of boundary fences. 
Little by little.
We have had lots of visitors and their enthusiasm and positive feedback are so encouraging and we thank you all. You have no idea that such little things mean so much. 
We have had some wonderful help from family and friends too and I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have someone provide a nourishing lunch or dinner - what lifesavers you are! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Win Some/Lose Some

And so it begins...
Our dream home is somewhat of a nightmare as it turns out.
The previous owners had 10 cats and we knew we were facing a big clean up job.
What we didn't realise was that the cats were using the house as one giant toilet! They have urinated (and worse) around every perimeter of every room and the damage is astounding. The remediation task involves very specific and specialised steps.

For many days we have felt like we are fighting a loosing battle but we did have a small win today.
The first step of remediation is to remove everything that can possibly be removed. We knew we would have to pull up the carpet but urine seeps and we have had to remove lining boards, flooring, architraves and incredibly the whole kitchen!

My new front yard is my favourite part of the house at the moment. After hard slogs in truly putrid smelling conditions, I come out here with a coffee and sit on the step kicking off moss. Across the road is a paddock of grazing sheep and the sun streams across and the air is crystal fresh.

As I sit and sip
I scuff and pull....

A path emerges....

A pattern emerges....

And a thing of wonder and beauty is revealed.
Long narrow and round smooth river pebbles have been sourced locally, probably from the Elizabeth river just about 50 metres up the road. This use of river pebbles and patterning was typical of the mid 1800's in Devon England. Someone far from home, in a sparsely populated Tasmania of 1840, built a Georgian sandstone house and paved the front path in a style from home.

This is my win for the week.

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