Monday 25 January 2010

Five go skipping

We're on the home straight for the Brighton flat. I think. 2009 was the year of decorating and building works, and it would be a nice thought that in 2010, we might actually get to spend some time there. At leisure. Without the builders. Without the rubble and dust. There is, after all just the flooring to do. Oh yes and the second bathroom. And getting rid of stuff. There's lots of stuff to get rid of.

We had a skip delivered on Friday to chuck away 20 years worth of accumulated treasures. Which mysteriously appear to have turned largely into crap. Reverse alchemy I think. In Brighton, and I suppose elsewhere, you have to apply for a permit, which we did - a special one so that we could put it in a residents parking bay. Unsupervised, the skip people dumped it in the road. On a double yellow line. Not to worry, it only slightly blocked the road and inconvenienced all the neighbours. As it was raining all Friday, I was thinking of changing the plan and charging for entry to our community swimming pool.

It was an extraordinarily tiring weekend, even though we had recruited help - there were five of us, and only two of them apathetic teenagers. The flat is 93 steps up from street level, and in our fine grade 2 (1) listed building, the age of the lift has not yet arrived. I'm not sure it would be of interest to list everything we chucked out, but it included drawers, shelving, computer tables, dead computers, dead DVD players, cushions, fact it was a veritable treasure chest of stuff for anyone wanting to start a new home on the cheap. And not surprisingly, the scavangers descended. "There's some great stuff in here" said one lady, "Yes, there is" I said. "Oh is it yours?" "Yes....please help yourself" And she did, shamelessly, all day Saturday and Sunday "I'm going to sell it for charity she said" And I'm sure she will. Of course, this help make room for more stuff. Of which there was plenty. It was never ending, and by Sunday evening, we still hadn't managed to finish - all the boys toys were left to be sorted for another occasion. The skip was full. Over full really. How could there possibly be so much stuff...clearly my hoarding tendencies have got the better of me for two decades. I feel somewhat cleansed.

Naturally, it cost me a pretty penny in bribes to the teenagers, who for once seemed to see the attraction of spending as much time as possible doing as much homework as possible. I don't blame them.

The high point, or low point was breakfast on Sunday. Being served about 1 o'clock. Bacon, egg, beans and tomato. After about half an hour of cooking by the teens, I heard, "Oh fuck" and "Shiiiiiiit" followed by a woosh and billowing smoke. I rushed into the kitchen to see flames reaching up towards the ceiling. They'd set fire to the bacon under the grill. And decided to put it out by putting it in the sink and pouring water on it. Haven't they seen the fire safety demonstration? And my poor, poor, newly decorated just the flooring, a bathroom and a bit of kitchen to do....

The skip at lunchtime on Saturday


  1. A hard weekend for the upmost satisfaction. It carthartic finally ditching stuff you hung onto for so long that you know you don't really want. Well done :0)
    (I wonder if it was for a charity sale or just an excuse for skip dibbing - those kind of things have me thinking for ages!)

  2. Hope there isn't much damage to the kitchen. Isn't it amazing to de-clutter, though (once it is done- clearly a lot of work at the time).

    We did house stuff here as well this weekend. I've finally gotten around to getting drapes made for the front room (a deep red silk) and my younger daughter wanted to help by putting up the hardware. She did not take my suggestion to pre-drill to heart and as a result there are several new holes in the plaster on one side and the rod is not quite level.

    We had more luck with re-upholstering the dining chair seats - they turned out quite well. I am just about to start a bathroom reno too. It seems to never end, really.

  3. K - I'm still aching a fortbnight later... sound as though you're busy indeed - I hope you treasure those holes!


There's only one thing worse than being commented on...not commented on