55. the one with the death stench

when we downsized to cute little cottage, one of the puzzles was
where to fit ALL OF THE THINGS??!!

there was a little cupboard under the stairs that we thought we’d use for the computer,
so once we’d unpacked and set up all of the important stuff, there wasn’t much room to, like, move or stand, but it was fine temporarily.


of course it wasn’t really fine at all.

it had a cold concrete floor, painted in an attractive maroon lead paint.
the walls were so wet, that after the plaster started crumbling off (everytime i accidently brushed against the wall – difficult to avoid in a shoebox – my pyjamas clothes got covered in a thick white paste), we could see that the brickwork was disintegrating.
no electrics, so we were on wifi and one overloaded extension cable.
and no heating of course, so it was arctic. and it stank.

unsurprisingly, computer went r.i.p.
and there was NO WAY i was putting a brand new one in that shithole.


we started off by stripping out wet plasterboard, chipping off damp plaster and gluing the walls back together again.
unless you’ve done this in your spare time too, you won’t understand the frustration & inconvenience of ongoing dust everywhere, the breathing woes, the grit in your dinner, tripping over tools
and all of the other things that you had to remove from here before you even started and there’s nowhere to put them except in a big pile in the centre of the lounge and then you can’t even clean in there so that there’s somewhere to sit down at the end of the day… *rant-reminisce*

plus THE STINK! 300 years ago did NOT smell good.

the floor

after the walls, we tackled the floor.
first drilling and smashing up the concrete, and then digging up the crap we discovered beneath (mostly builders rubble – Beneath had been a tiny cellar at some point in time – but also glass and bones), all of which had to be bagged and removed.
on this weekend ^ our neighbour hated us, and we got banned from the local dump.

oh yeah, we also hung a suspended wooden floor with an airgap under and plenty of insulation. electricity, modem wires, and central heating also occurred.

typically, the weekend we’d intended to plaster, coincided with the snowpocalypse of november 2010. there was 3 ft of snow outside and temperatures had plunged to -16, so we abandoned that idea.


oh mixing plaster is just the best!
early 2011 then, we eventually had smooth dry walls and alcoves for future-storage.

i got the walls painted, treated myself to a print from (my new friend) caroline rose art as a reward. and called on daddy to build me a desk (and a load of other woodworky things. “since you’re here anyway”)

painting walls

Husband and i had laid a new pine floor, which i planned to colour in & varnish so it’d tie-in with all the olden wood… colouring in the floor

…the first thing i did was kick over the brand new tin of woodstain
but you can hardly tell :)

and that brings us up to date with how the room looks now…
computer cupboard

still too small for cat-swinging, but clean, dry, warm, functional & tidy.
(please use eyes-photoshop to disappear all of those offensive hanging wires)

EXCEPT! some bastard rat moved in(to the walls) over christmas.
i could barely hear my supernaturals over the sound of his persistant chewing in the evenings, and my late night facebook sessions were disturbed by his crazy games as he raced under the floor and scrambled up and over the under-the-desk cupboard (built into the stairwell).

i can’t tell you how bad it smells. seriously.
and there’s no way in to retrieve a corpse, not without a sledehammer.

plus THE STINK! 300 years later does NOT smell good either.



18 thoughts on “55. the one with the death stench

  1. The solution to your rat problem is obviously for you to come and live with me in the dirty south.
    I will stroke your hair and make you tea and fine things to eat, and in the night times I will perch on the end of your bed like A owl and watch you sleeping.
    It will be joyous.
    And then I won’t have to hide any more dead rats in your house.

  2. Would Anakin tolerate sharing his cuddles with a cat?? The odd mouse gets in here so I think we will always have to have a cat. One tried to sneak in to get warm while the snow was here last week but Trouble got him. Mr P rescued the traumatised mouse and didn’t want to put him in the snow so put him in the garden shed instead!!

    • hahaha!
      maybe when i get my woodstore built, i’ll make a cosy corner for vermin and see if they’ll go for that instead.

      alternatively, i might put this rats head on a spike as a warning to the others

  3. I’d suggest you put a cat in there to get the rat out. But then you’d probably just end up with a dead cat in the wall too. And you’d have to send a dog after it and the whole thing would get even smellier and you’d have to move out and knock the house down and people would never be able to build anything on top of it because it would be like Pet Semetary.

    so on the whole, don’t do the cat thing.

  4. I believe in times gone by that the homemade ‘beak mask’ filled with scented herbs and other nice smelling things was favourable. http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m10bdkqUlp1rrdkrbo1_400.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/black%2520plague%2520mask&h=500&w=360&sz=140&tbnid=y9V30U8vZNiW8M:&tbnh=93&tbnw=67&zoom=1&usg=__2Skaj4bQZ_5oJz2h_eUjxp7BrnY=&docid=zy3lo3pYDUNclM&sa=X&ei=MnYJUd_pNOfT0QXq1IAQ&ved=0CFwQ9QEwBw&dur=1921
    This got us through the black plague (dimmest of times) and surely would be no match for dead rat stench?

  5. Oh the joy of home ownership. Been there done that with the dead rodents smell. When I was a kid the mice would get in the ceiling over my bed, it would freak me out. I kept thinking they were going to come through the ceiling in the meddle of the night.
    Hopefully the smell will disappear soon.

    • oh no, natalie!
      see, we have one in the bedroom ceiling as well… but i wasn’t too bothered as
      1. there are no important wires up there
      2. it’s easy to pretend it’s a bird

      but now when i’m lying in bed, all i’ll be able to think about is…

  6. Oh noes! Dead rat smell is not great… ewww… So, I wonder if you decided whether to use the sledgehammer to get it out, or just to not use the room for about a half-bazillion years, while you wait for it to finish decomposing to dust and bones?
    I do sympathise, I do…. only, I couldn’t help chuckling at your post… because it is funny…. as well as sad and also interesting (I love looking at people’s renovation pics)….
    But the Comments are much more funny. I have been laughing a lot at the comments….
    I bet that rat electrocuted himself by nibbling a live wire (poor old rat, eh… ho hum…).
    What you need is an x-ray camera, so you can see into the wall and work out where the rat is. Then you only have to make a little small hole to get him out – sorry, re-phrase…. then MR FionaT only has to make a little small hole… perhaps helped by FionaT’sDad….
    Couldn’t you get at him by removing the top from one of the stairs and getting into the wall that way?
    Anyway, yuk and eww and much sympathy! X

    • we *could* remove the stairs – only we JUST had spiffy new carpets fitted (after 6 years. because we were “done”)
      and we *could* sledgehammer the walls – but i’m not going through all the dust & plastering hell again to reconstruct…

      so i’m just going to go with the IGNORE and WHINGEaboutthesmell technique *thumbs*

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