Oh my ears and whiskers!
Most of my posts these days seem to start a little white rabbitishly. And today is no exception because I’m late, late, late with a new post! Not late-as-a-plate late, but late nonethewhatsits. I can’t even claim house matters as mitigation this time, though certain aspects have been a little, shall we say, head crushing recently.
But let’s skip past all such nonsenses on fleet feet. Mere bagatelles anyway. And besides, having blown the chute clear of chaff and other detritus in the last post, I now feel ready to take on some truly weighty matters. To roll up my sleeves and get down and dirty with the issues of gravitas. Such as floors. Yes, floors! Because I have been contemplating the Regency Wreck’s floors of late. With some perplexity I might add.
This is a random example of what we have. The builder thinks it’s hemlock and in the absence of any other compelling hypotheses, we are happy to trot along with him on this one. They are a golden yellow colour and swoon-inducingly wide (by which I mean 9 inches). They probs came from a ship docked at the time in Sydney Harbour, since it was easier to procure from ships (I’m told) than it was to source things locally. Mr Bunnings, where were you when needed? And as with everything in the house, the Insatiable Termites from Hell have given all of it a right royal going over, so that the floors are now studded with pieces of metal everywhere under which are holes made by people in the past plunging into the rooms below, up to their knees in plaster dust and surprise. That sort of thing anyway. So the idea is to patch some floors from the remains of others, and those which are entirely denuded will get something new. I’m liking blackbutt myself, because for one thing it’s robust enough to withstand the rigours of the Herberts trit trotting over it on their four pairs of stilettos, and for another it’s palely interesting. Any flooring in a more robust hue (orange! red!) has me supine on a chaise longue with my bottle of sal volatile to hand. Call me sensitive if you wish.
So what is really floating my boat at the moment is bare wood. Nood, as they’d say here. In the nuddy as they’d say en Angleterre.
The problem is that both builder and architect are unanimous in the view that Boards in the Buff are Immoral, Impractical and just plain Intolerable. Tung oil is the solution, says one. China Wood Oil, says the other. Two pack, say both (two pac? or is that the rapper?).
But the trouble with all these oils and rappers is that they insinuate themselves into the wood and they change its character. They make it look smooth and polished and groomed, and that’s not what we want. What we want is…well… something a little deshabille. A little time worn, a little feet-of-ages-ish.
So I put it to you, ladies and gents of the jury – boards in the buff: achievable fact or impractical fiction? Are the owners of all these spaces really fashion tragics who, like the Flanders and Swann song, actually live in 7a, the house next door?
Surely, there must be a product which slips in invisibly, the way that some stone sealants do? It must be so! I need it to be so. If anyone can give me the answer I shall be forever indebted to them. I will shower you with big fat kisses (alas not transferable or redeemable for cash) or come to sing under your windows at night. Or if you prefer, I won’t come to sing under your windows at night.