Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Phase one- summer 2006

We moved in during the hottest July on record. The removal men laughed long and hard when they saw what we'd bought. I'd moved without any help from family and friends and with a three month old baby in a bouncy chair for most of the day, so they thought we were a bit odd anyway. (My husband had to go to work, as we'd exchanged on holiday and got back having to move five days later - he didn't have any leave left. So he says.) Luckily our three year old was at nursery and the baby was still at the sleeping all day stage...

The place hadn't been lived in for over a year so I was amazed to find a working washing machine and tumble dryer plumbed in inside the shed in the garden, and that the boiler worked. Crazy as it seems, these were really happy days despite that violent orange wallpaper and the sudden lack of mod cons. Hot weather really helps!

Of special note to first-time visitors were

-the ashtray in the upstairs loo, handily screwed to the wall so you could have a fag and admire the violently floral wallpaper in private

-the amazing bespoke fitted wooden stereo corner unit in the sitting room (quite nice actually, I was sad when the builders ripped it out and threw it away.)

-the unique psychedelic wallpaper in the bathroom and dining room, teamed with an array of groovy sixties light fittings. (We kept most of them but toned down the dining room paper to one wall - even the ceiling was orange when we moved in.)

-the secret room - a hidden ensuite to the master bedroom, complete with avocado basin and vanity unit. (This has grown on me...)

- the sixties fitted kitchen complete with rather funky but sadly non working old gas cooker ( we tried to get it fixed and or taken away by an enthusiast but no takers I'm afraid)

-and naturally, the garage, complete with electronic door and remote control, plus a stash of vintage car mags, calendars and trophies. Very handy for storage - I've no idea what we're going to do with our bikes when it's gone.

We did some quick fixing over the next few weeks with the help of some white paint and a lot of bags of rubbish. We threw out endless motheaten old carpets, dust caked venetian blinds, disgusting cracked loo seats, spiders webs and ancient hideous curtains. A fox had got into the house while it had been empty and had peed on the carpets ( and worse) in the children's bedrooms, so we got someone in to sand the boards and make it bearable for them. Even though all our visitors could barely disguise their horror when they visited, we were delighted with the place and had more people over than we had ever managed in the old house!

The jungle aka garden in July

and the following spring

The kitchen/diner in July 2006 and after a (very) quick paint job and tidy up

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I'm 39 and married with two children aged seven and four. I'm fatally attracted to house renovation projects, and this is our third in the last seven years, my personal fifth since I bought my first flat in 1996. I think we might have bitten off more than we can chew with the Worst House.

Fame at last!

Fame at last!