Saturday, March 22, 2014

Final deletions

It's been a busy week getting ready for our move, packing and moving and unpacking and settling in to our smaller space.  After a couple of days here we're starting to feel at home.

In spite of all our culling and sorting before we moved, the big decisions about what had to go came only once we were here.

We knew ahead of time that there wasn't room for this bookcase that I rescued from the dump and painted about 15 years ago. It went out under the arbutus tree and was snapped up, along with many other items of furniture and household goods.

But it was only when we were unpacking that we were able to look, for example, at the three graters when there's only room to store one and let the other two go.

Here are the contents of our three (!) utensil drawers, that had to fit into one narrow one.  At least half of these utensils were sent to the thrift shop.

This is our third day here and every day we've taken boxes of stuff out to give away. I think we'll find that we'll do fine with the reduced inventory.

The place feels so much more spacious and open with the wall removed.  Here's the view from the bedroom across the hall to the opened-up space before we moved in. This room will serve several purposes: a space for my painting, a guest room, and a dressing room for Harry since there isn't room in the bedroom for his dresser or his clothes.

We've made the transition and it's feeling good.  Geordie's settled in too.  Soon I'll show you what our new home looks like with furniture.  But we still have to get rid of some things.  The big pine armoire that I thought would work in the living room as a linen cupboard and storage is way too big so it's going to be sold and we'll shop for something smaller scale that will still function as storage space.

Once all these details are sorted out I think we'll be very happy here in our smaller space without the complications of our life up on the hill.  There's lots to explore in the new neighbourhood.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Another wall comes down

Last year we took a wall down upstairs at Yukon Street to create a big open area suite.  Now, in a sudden fit of insanity, we decided to remove a wall downstairs just two weeks before we move in there.

The layout of the downstairs is kind of odd, with a largish living room at the front of the house and a nice big kitchen at the back, but separated by a very narrow hallway in the middle with a small bedroom on each side of it.

Here's the hallway. It's only 30" wide and really cuts off the front from the back of house, not to mention the light. This is looking from the kitchen into the living room.  The hallway is so narrow that if you stand in the middle you can touch both walls with your bent elbows.

We've always wanted to do something about it but we couldn't decide whether to do a major revision of the space and we were going to wait a while and think it through.

But last weekend we realized that we needed to open it up now before we move in. So the following morning we took it one of walls down. Here's the hallway on Monday morning and later the same day.

It's a smaller job than the upstairs reno, because really we're just making an archway into the second bedroom.  On the right, that's  Jamie in the room with the wall completely gone. He came over from Vancouver to help us meet our deadline. Since then we've had help from a friend who is a good plasterer and we've also taken out the angle arches at each end of the hall.                                                                                                                                                       Today the plastering is finished and I'm heading over to put a sealer coat on the walls.  By this time next week we'll be moved in.    Talk about "down to the wire"!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Catching up on 50 years

This photo was taken of me and a few of my old schoolmates standing on the steps of Crofton House School's "Old Residence" building.  It's the only building left from when I attended the school from 1962 to 1964.  I was a boarder and lived in several rooms in this old mansion.   

On Friday I spent the day at the school seeing the new buildings and having lunch and touring our old haunts. There are no boarders there now; the school is firmly in the 21st century with state-of-the-art computer rooms, science labs and theatres for its over 800 students. But the girls still wear uniforms with a Gordon tartan skirt and a blue blazer just as we did then.  Here are some of the younger students at the morning assembly.

The main event for me was seeing and catching up with some of the old friends from boarding school that I hadn't seen for 50 years.  Life has dealt all of us many different hands and there wasn't nearly enough time to talk about it all.  What an intense time it was!

The funny thing was that for the most part, people seemed very much the same as they were fifty years ago. Their stories were unique but their personalities remained the same.  The girls that I liked to spend time with 50 years ago are the ones I still would choose as friends and the ones I found shallow and irritating were still that way.  Some of those that intimidated me then don't do so any more. But that's probably due to my increased self confidence from fifty more years of living.

Here's a photo taken at our evening get-together, where we wore name tags with photos from the 1964 yearbook.  Although we're 50 years older, from our perspective we look just the same as we did then.