We bought our house six years ago last month. For a long while, before we came along, it had been rented out. Consequently it had received little love.
The Minton-tiled hallway, art nouveau porch tiles and fireplaces evidenced that it was once a beautiful house. We knew it could be again.
We made our offer. It was refused. We could afford no more, so we left the offer open whilst looking elsewhere.
After seven months and much to-ing and fro-ing, the house was ours. It was in such a poor state that nobody had wanted it but us.
On the day we moved in, a wheelie bin in the kitchen filled the whole house with the ripe smell of rotting student refuse.
We borrowed money for a new roof of reclaimed slates. We saved for a year to do the bathroom. Good job it took no longer: when the floor tiles were removed they turned out to be all that prevented us from falling through the rotten floor into the kitchen.
Little by little, room by room, we have coaxed our house into a home. It is now warm, comfortable and, I like to think, quite beautiful again. In parts.
But there is always another job. Several other jobs, in fact.
The windows (prehistoric double glazing that mists up and channels water into the walls). The attic (damp dealt with; leaky window dealt with; decor distinctly not dealt with). The stairs (a sea of stained beige nylon still).
And the sage green industrial nightmare that is the front bedroom carpet.
Today I was at a loose end…
Despite my fear that it was fused to the floor with industrial-strength glue, I started ripping and snipping and picking at the edges.
It wasn’t glued! Just stuck around the skirting with industrial double-sided sticky tape.
Its amazing how much carpet and disintegrated underlay one person can shift in an afternoon.
Its amazing how much better it looks already.
Its amazing it took me six years to get started.