helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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More FLOOR! news.

After six days of work and with one day to go, we still haven't finished the subfloor in the front room upstairs. Richard's amazing ability to underestimate how long jobs will take strikes again! Argh! (Actually, I'm not that upset by it - clearly, he was right to pull up the old floorboards - they're all over the place, and held onto the joists by rusty tacks if at all; wobbly, warped, and damp in places.)

What I am upset by (mildly) is that the big meanie keeps poo-poohing my buried treasure! There's all sorts of $stuff in the gap between the old subfloor and the current ceiling of the rooms below. Most of it is total junk - dust, wood chippings, old plaster and rubble - but some is interesting, even exciting. We found a (disconnected) lead-sheathed electrical cable with cotton-covered conductors, probably from the house's original wiring, but Richard wasn't excited by it. I also found another an old electrical cable which was plastic-covered (though rather brittle now) that was red, red and black instead of brown, blue and green/yellow stripey, but that's even more modern. Apparently it only stopped being legal to use that sort of cable last year :P The interesting blob of metal I found today and thought was a pendant of some sort turned out to be a lump of solder from the old lead pipe. We also have a strange meandering gas pipe, which starts on one side of the room and wiggles its way across to the other by a rather bizarre route, but it no longer has any gas in it. There are vast quantities of dressmaking pins under parts of the floor - obviously someone at one point did a lot of sewing with nothing covering the floor, so the pins fell between cracks in the floorboards.

So the buried treasures have been:
* a Times Education Supplement from 1949 which mentioned "Mr Attlee", but it was all dried out and crumbly so it went straight in the bin. This has enabled us to date our Worcestershire sauce bottle to 1949, which fits as Sri Lanka was still Ceylon up to 1972.

* a lid of "Cutex Paste Polish" - we're guessing 1940s from the text, which is quite amusing in an olde sort of way.

* ha'pennies from 1954 (boring, has the current Queen on) and 1862 (exciting, has Queen Victoria on it!). Not worth anything, though.

* a pendant made of some sort of silver-coloured metal in the shape of a rather odd grand piano - and yes, even Richard the big meanie agreed it was supposed to be a pendant.

I am most definitely not counting the wrapper from a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, with a barcode and best before date of 04/12/97. (Why was it under the floorboards?!).

I'm contemplating burying a time capsule before we finish laying the subfloor, but I'm not sure what to put in it. I suppose the 1862 and 1954 ha'pennies, along with some 2006 pennies (1p, 2p, 5p, 10p?), and maybe some of the old European currencies that don't exist any more. We found a French franc masquerading as a 10p coin the other day, so that could go in it. Not sure what else. Old decimal currency would be interesting - the 1/2ps that stopped existing in 1985(?), the huge old 5ps and 10ps (conveniently sized the same as shillings and two shillings) and 50ps (just enormous, with no redeeming reasoning), but I've no idea where any of that is. (I did keep some, to pass onto my friends' grandchildren in lieu of any of my own, but it's in the bottom of a box, somewhere). Also not sure what we'll put the time capsule in - film canisters were the usual method for awhile, but I haven't used a film camera in years. I have lots of little Body Shop eye gel containers, though, and I could wash one of those out.
Tags: house, wuzzie

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