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Monday, 24 August 2009


A breed I am destined to become very familiar with over the coming months.

Today our house renovation started, with one older Polish guy supervising, and two younger guys doing the sweaty stuff. I'm at home supervising, ready to make decisions on things as they occur, and helping with the sweaty stuff occasionally. It was about 27 C today, so it has been warm for London in late August.

Our house is very old, positively antediluvian by US standards. While stripping off the 4th layer of wallpaper in one bedroom the builders discovered a date of 1878 penned on the wall by a Victorian paper hanger. Of course the house may be older, but can't be any younger. Unfortunately that wall is probably going to have to be stripped down as it's lath and plaster, and over the 138 years since it was last plastered the plaster had lifted from the lath in places. Shoddy Victorian workmanship, and we though they built things to last. The lath and plaster causes a lot of dust, and also the walls are not as straight and even as plasterboard would be.

We now have two completely empty bedrooms at the top of the house, leaving our remaining stuff crammed into one bedroom and the main living room. My PC is offline for a few days because the broadband cable connection comes into one of the empty bedrooms, so I'm typing this on my wife's laptop which is wireless. The room emptying helps highlight what we're still keeping, and what we're still trying to get rid of for cash. If we just binned the cash crop we'd have quite a bit more space, but as we're here for a few more months at least, we're prepared to live like pigs if it nets a few extra bucks.

When we get to the US, we will hopefully refresh our acquaintance with builders, during the process of building our new home, assuming everything pans out as per plan A. I'm looking forward to it, as I suspect things are done rather differently.

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