Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
The last post made me go through the pictures since our arrival. The first night here was Monday, March 9th. As the gates opened I was in absolute awe of the house. I wanted to run in and see everything- but I promised Mike I’d wait so he could take me room to room. We tried to put the heating on but it didn’t work; that moderated our excitement. The utter size of the task of restoring a place like this left us both somewhat shaken. Up to then we’d romanticized the experience in our minds, but seeing empty room after empty room was incredibly daunting.
A family member of the previous owners came to our rescue that evening with a trunk full of wood (and a couple of lamps as all the chandeliers were gone!) and we set up shop in front of the fireplace in the grey salon. We’d bought an inflatable bed for our arrival. The dogs loved it.
Not knowing where anything in town was Mike wandered out and soon discovered that on Mondays all the shops are closed. He managed to find the Mcdonald’s and brought us back a couple of sandwiches. Just as we were settling in for the night, the people from the removals company called to say they were arriving with the art collection and the antiques that were coming from England. They arrived at midnight.
Two days later the grey room looked like this (notice the bulb dangling from the ceiling:
And from then on everything has been moving at a very good pace. All things considered I think we’re doing very well. The interiors basically hadn’t been touched in 100 years, so there’s a lot to do; but some of the rooms are looking quite nice. Particularly the grey room, which means we can host a small group with some degree of dignity.
I think the place will be more or less done by spring. Refining will probably take the rest of my life, but the basics will be in place. This week I’m hunting for a mirror for the dining room. There are lots of stunning things on the market, but rarely at a price I’d like to pay.