Sunday, 9 September 2012

Uncovering a Surprise

I think that there will be many surprises in this little home. Some of them will be good, and some bad! The mouse poo in the carpets qualified as a bad surprise, especially the bedroom carpet. The mice had spent a lot of time there. I had to chop the carpet up with box cutters in order to get it into manageable pieces that I could cart outside. I wore a mask and gloves and I got dirty. The area rug in the parlour was easier - my husband was there to help with that one, so we just rolled it up and carted it off to the dump.

At least we haven't spotted any mice since we took possession of the house. Also, there has been no sign of recent mousy explorations of the house. I will tell you why I think they are leaving the house alone in a future post.

Then there are good surprises. See the wallpaper on the ceiling in the photo, below? It was bulging and generally falling off; gravity was taking over. This wallpaper, throughout the parlour, appears to be attached to a thicker layer, to something that looks and feels sort of like cardboard. Beneath that, one can spot other layers of wallpaper.

In this particular part of the room, however, the wallpaper had been affixed to the ceiling. It had to go. I was just too curious not to take a peek.

Bay Window

I took a hammer and gently removed the nails that were holding the wallpaper in place on the ceiling. Any glue that may have been holding it there was long gone. It came down quite easily, and I was surprised.
Ceiling in Bay Window Area

Well, it doesn't look great so far, does it? There was water damage, from years past, before the roof was replaced. The old paper covering the ceiling in this area is faded and yellowed, in addition to the water stains. However, you can see a delicate pattern in a gold leaf on the old paper.
The Surprise

Here is what I found that made me happy! I know the whole thing is going to need a massive amount of work. I know we are eventually going to have to get into these walls and insulate them and fix it all up. But we have to enjoy these small moments when we get them: there is a gorgeous pattern along one edge of the parlour ceiling. It is in red, black, gold leaf, blue and silver. It felt like Christmas to discover it. I will take that.

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