“Oh, do drop in”

9

Friday 21 June, 2013 by Uncle Spike

The first house that I ‘bought’ was in February 1993. Having completed my worldly wanderings, having got married, having landed a ‘responsible’ job in a bank, I suppose it seemed like the next best grown-up act to take on.

download (2)Not having much money, both on a low salary, the options were limited, mainly to small apartments in a predominantly ‘retirees waiting for God’ type of locale, whereas I desperately wanted a garden, even if it was 2 metres square; I needed somewhere to pretend I was still living wild, living off the land. Ok, I know, suburbia was not exactly my plan, but hey ho, it was right at that time in my young life. With a bit of family help, the biggest loan we could take, some tough hardassed negotiations with the realtor’s, we secured ourselves a pile of bricks, doors and windows that vaguely resembled a 1902 Victorian semi-detached house.

It was, how shall I say, a bit tired, a bit lacking in the tender care one applies to a home. Basically it was a pile of poo, but it was my pile of poo, and I was darned proud of it too. The former owners had moved out a couple of years previously, probably in the form of one-way boxed transport, if you get my drift. As it happens, they were hardened drinkers it would seem; basing that factor on the empty bottle stashes we found in those first heady days of ‘living’ in this hobble. Another little surprise was the degree of fire, or rather smoke damage the place must have endured, with handfuls of soot falling out of door frames when changing door handles, lol.

images (1)But even with all the negatives, such as the soot, the moldy carpets, hideous 1970’s decor… the house was on the whole stable, solid, and free of architectural defects; well it was after the roof was strengthened, the wall ties replaced etc etc (all prerequisites to securing the bank loan). It took a lot of work to gut the house, and much we did ourselves, as is par for the course when you are young, struggling financially with a new loan and probably a tad naive if truth be told. Needless to say, the list of jobs was endless, well not endless exactly, but it did take 5 years to get it all done, working evenings till late, every weekend and holidays. No complaints though, it was good honest graft; exercising the body, mind and credit cards in equal share.

The floorboards downstairs were interesting, with built in features such as a gradual slope, a few chunks missing, and one end of the main room downstairs that resembled a very wide high diving board, due it it’s 20cm vertical movement as you walked closer towards the dirty windows set in their rotten frames. Much of the floor joists and floorboards were replaced thankfully as part and parcel of the initial works, and kind of a necessity too. Such was our house, which doubled up as a home, a building site, a rubbish tip and a source of work and entertainment for some of the local tradesmen.

downloadThe floor of the house was about 30-50cm above the bare earth. Of course, for those initial days, we had neither a kitchen or come to think of it, a downstairs floor. It was on one of those days that a pizza delivery was agreed upon as a way of solving the problems of hunger and the lack of a kitchen. With virtually no floorboards, boxes still piled up everywhere from the move, I slowly, carefully made my way to the front door upon which Mr Pizza Man was dutifully banging his fist – no working doorbell either. I opened the door to greet the chap, hand over some cash which I had earlier extracted from a nearby ATM, and accept the box of steaming hot pizza, whose smell was wafting right through the huge holes under the still closed door.

I opened the door, I looked up, he sort of stared. “Oh, just moved in then?” said the spotty young chap in a rather disapproving laughable manner. He addressed his blatantly facetious comment right over my head as he didn’t appear to be sufficiently over-endowed in the brain department to quite figure out why my knees were at same level as his expensive daddy-bought-me sneakers.

“Of course not!” my overtired self curtly replied, “It’s a new design”.  

That moment passed, the pizza was devoured, body slowly recovering, I got to thinking about our front of house entry point… was this where the term ‘dropping in’ came from?

9 thoughts on ““Oh, do drop in”

  1. swamiyesudas says:

    Kudos, Bro Spike! You write Very well indeed. Please give us More! (But write on Social issues too!). Regards. 🙂

    Like

  2. […] here is the technical bit – click this blue bit… Ok, so the image below is quite what I ended up with, but it did feel like it at times, I […]

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  3. […] also takes place in that old heap of a house already the subject of a couple of other posts, namely “Oh, Do Drop In”, and “Brain Reversal”, but for new readers, I shall just set the […]

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  4. […] a regular follower of Uncle Spike’s Adventures, and happened to read the episode called “Oh, Do Drop In”, then you’ll be somewhat familiar with the place; if not, let me give you a very brief […]

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