Exciting but terrifying news: Dr G and I have purchased a house. Bloody hell. The happy dance of home ownership is somewhat restricted by the little financial shackles clamped round our ankles. I remember the days when a grown-up purchase was just a vibrator or a litre of very cheapest vodka.
It’s a great place; the same age as Dr G (36). I had to surrender my naive Great Australian Dream of a laundry room but it’s in our favourite part of town and there’s space to grow tomatoes and shelter Antipodean visitors.
The only problem is that part of the house stinks. In the literal sense. It smells. It whiffs. It honks.
I don’t know we missed this at the time of viewing. I did have a really bad cold. Or maybe I was too busy mentally allocating rooms to notice, “One for me, one for Gareth, one for the budgie…”
How can I describe it? Stale and smothering… Eau de Elderly meets Something Dying Under The Floorboards. Like a mangy cat moved in during the intervening weeks between us viewing and collecting the keys. Or like a real estate agent was so suprised at selling a house in a time of deep recession that his bladder burst from excitement. We may never know the true answer.
Turns out the smell was living in the carpets. We figured this out by snuffling around on the floors like truffle pigs. The hallway was the worst offender. I actually reeled backwards when I inhaled, gagging and coughing.
“Gareth, you have GOT to smell this floor.”
“No way man! I don’t need to smell it, I saw your your reaction.”
“But you have to experience it for yourself! Otherwise you’ll always wonder if it was just me doing bad slapstick.”
He reluctantly kneeled, then promptly keeled over.
Just to be 100% sure the problem couldn’t be solved by bicarb soda or Febreeze, we called in Mother-In-Law Mary to verify. She just walked about the house; we didn’t make her get down on the floor.
“Yes, yes!” she was her verdict, eyes watering, “You need new carpet!”
So we have spent the past three nights attacking the floors with Stanley knives. I am quite enjoying the destruction. Sure there’s the unfortunate bit when you peel back a layer and get a big lungful of Stink but the ripping up part is very theraputic. Beneath the carpets and underlay lurks 30 years of grime, so every time you take a step or cry, “HA HA look at this mess!”, a long trail of dust flies up like a Mexican wave. There will be some long nights of scrubbing before we move in December.
Fortunately removing the carpets seems to be removing the scent, so already it’s starting to feel like Our Place and not That Pongy Financial Burden.