Living aboard Cirrus, or indeed any boat, one comes to take for granted that many of the ordinary daily tasks we carry out, simple things like washing, getting water or shopping, either take longer or involve surmounting difficulties that simply do not arise when you live in a house. I know this may be a generalisation - those living in a cottage on a remote island where water has to be drawn from a well and the shops are a ferry ride away would say they have difficulties to surmount - but my point is that when we moved into a house located in a sizable town and we suddenly found ourselves with an endless stream of water emerging from every tap, supermarkets of all descriptions an easy walk away and our very own machine for washing clothes, we did not immediately take it for granted. In fact we were surprised and delighted. This is not to say that life is necessarily better though, it is just different. The extra time it used to take us to shower, for example (in the morning you get dressed at least twice - once when you get up to walk across to the marina shower block and once again when you exit the shower), this never seemed like time wasted; it is merely part of the live-aboard experience.
So, revelling in the live-in-a-house experience as we are, for the first week of our land-based life we hardly leave the property. Having for the past few months dwelled on and looked forward to getting started on the house renovation, we now throw ourselves at every job that needs to be done with no idea of pacing ourselves at all. In time we will adjust and find the right balance between work and leisure but it will probably take us weeks to learn how to do this properly.
Take the walls, for example. Many of our rooms have wallcoverings that we dislike (a stronger word is really needed) so the wallpaper stripper, a machine that generates enough steam to melt the entire wall if used carelessly, is deployed all over the house. What is revealed is an art form so little appreciated that I thought I would have a gallery of my own right here in this blog. Feel free to wander around.
I am convinced that in the right setting these images would be masterpieces of the WallArt genre which might sell for millions and hang in the most renowned galleries in the world.
OK, so maybe the time is not quite right for this at the moment but I'm sure their day will come.
This floral one is intriguing. Over a period of years the fleur-de-lis pattern has penetrated from the surface of the paper right through into the plaster, tattooing the wall to which it was fastened. One wonders whether this was what the wallpaper manufacturer intended to happen, to leave a permanent record etched in homes around the world.
Less artistic, perhaps, but no less intriguing is this message found hidden beneath the stripy covering in our hallway. We will forever ponder the fate of Deb, wondering who she was and what she had done to earn the epithet. Did she have a happy life? Was she aware that her life might be exposed in this way? We may never know the truth.
In reality WallArt is a transitory art form that lasts only until we have made and applied our own choices on decor. We find our tastes veering strongly towards the plain, pale colours always recommended in TV home improvement programmes and we swerve in horror away from the strident designs we have found around us here.