Could it be springtime, or just that the inside of our house needed attention and rejuvenation after years of neglect?
So we felt that in these straightened times with our country in recession, we might turn savings into help for business and the livelihoods of their employees, and bring our house up to date.
Outside in the garden my ‘60s elmwood sculpture of more than life size lovers embracing had, over the years, been eaten internally by mice and split outwardly, so that the figures were becoming both hollow and falling apart.
So it was time to act – more on Margreet’s part than mine, as I rather like living in a decaying and slightly seedy environment and seeing my sculptured wood returning to powder.
Tension straps and glue were the first moves to help the lovers return to their previous embrace. Later there would be wood preserver, wood hardener, glued dowel rods, filler, and possibly paint or the application of an impervious coating.
Inside the house the carpet layers had done a splendid job. Almost every object of our daily lives that rested on the old carpet had to be moved from room to room and returned to its regular place (often by us) after the new moth-proof carpet had been laid. Electrical equipment had to be wired back and plugged in again exactly as before. It was furnishing chaos, and one thwart with considerable wiring problems. It was a surprise to me to find how complex and numerous were the (often hidden) wires in our house.
Then all was well. Nothing fused when plugged again (except the necessity of re-tuning the TVs). A lot of items in the house were discarded. And a feel of rejuvenation ensued, with everyone happy.
The recovery of the sculpture would have to take many days, but new carpets in the house took only two days of extreme exertion.
Although I was a bit reluctant to accept the internal bringing-up-to-date, I liked it in the end.
The soft, synthetic carpet surfaces were a pleasure to walk on for those who were shod, but not quite as soft as the previous woollen ones to the barefooted.
As I had just painted the outside of the house, we felt that we could both settle back to our normal routine without any outstanding jobs to be done – except for an internal fibre door to be replaced with a part glazed pine one. And then there was putty to apply to beneath leadwork where rain can enter when it is raining hard at the same time as a violent east wind. The sculpture repairs had to be finished. Then there are windows to clean for the summer. And on it goes.
Will it ever end? I hope not, because I like it that way.