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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.


  1. My heart goes out to you Tanya. I don't like cats. When I was a student nurse in the bush I went on a home visit to an old lady who lived in a house full (to the brim!) with rubbish and cats. And their business. Number ones AND twos! It was everywhere. In her kitchen sink. In her bath (I had to hose it out before we could bath her!) All over her furniture. Down the walls etc ETC! Truly revolting and shocking to unworldly, ignorant little me. Anyway I digress. The hard slog and heartache will be well and truly worth it Tanya. Just look at that beautiful path you've unearthed! Keep your chin up and head down and in no time you'll be rewarded with the house you've always dreamed of.
    On another note, we (Anth and I) are heading to Tassie during the next school hols. I would absolutely love to meet you. I'll send you an email later - I hope we can arrange something...I'd be chuffed to sit on that lovely worn step and have a coffee with you.
    Hang-in-there xxx

  2. You have a diamond in the rough and will eventually see the beautiful gem. The path you unearthed is a sign of that fact. I love the worn step under the gate - lovely.

  3. Amazing find Tanya! It's sad to see what had been a beautiful home be allowed to deteriorate to such an extent but wonderful that you and Craig have come along to restore it to its former glory.

  4. I was admiring the delightful worn front step never thinking that you would unearth some thing even better. That path is so beautiful ! Pity about the cats but at least you knew they had been there.

  5. What a find. Both the house and the path. I cant wait to share all your adventures in the new home. 1.7 acres - imagine what you could do with that.

  6. If you need to clear weeds (!), a boiling kettle will kill anything, no need for chems.
    Even on the odd selective weed in a lawn..

  7. Wow. I'm so amazed and intrigued and happy for you guys!

  8. Gee what a lot of work to do Tanya, what a disappointment. But also what a great find the path is. The place will be lovely once all the work is done. I lived in Devon for a while but had no idea about the history of pebble paving. Interesting.

  9. I hope you can get the smell out, I have heard bi carb and vinegar helps and you can use a UV light to see where the stains are. Love the path and I am sure you will find more gems along the way.


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