April 25, 2010

The State of Things, Including Me

The other day I spent approximately two and a half hours scrubbing the wooden stairs in our apartment. Scrub brush in hand, and a bucket of water beside me, I knelt scrubbing away and wondering about all of the other women who had scrubbed the same stairs over the five hundred year history of our building.

By the time I got to the bottom of the stairs (there are only sixteen of them and yet so much time had gone by) I knew that I'd been wrong, that there had been no other women. Nobody could have ever washed those stairs before. The wood is an entirely different colour than it was when I began, and there is still a grey film over them that I know I should get rid of with a second wash, though I can't bring myself to further abuse my poor, sore knees.



Our apartment renovations are coming along, though. The bedroom is nearly completely finished: the trim still needs to be painted and the floor in there needs to be scrubbed too. The office is the only reminder that we still have work ahead of us, but Christian and I have decided that having someone else do it for us is looking increasingly appealing. I cannot bring myself to rip that wallpaper off the walls and then have to deal with what is underneath it, again.

Anyway, we went to Ikea on Thursday for a few things we'd forgetten the first time and managed the entire expedition without a breakdown or an argument, which is probably a first. (I've told plenty of people that I genuinely believe Ikea should have relationship counselors wandering their stores.) Getting some stuff to decorate rather than renovate was fun for a change, and it's nice to know that our elusive Housewarming Party is not just a chimera.

I am procrastinating by writing this blog post. I should be either washing the mountain of dishes that are on my counter or else working on the oral presentation I have to give on Wednesday which I completely forgot about. However, we went out on Friday and Saturday this week and I am having a bit of trouble doing anything other than sitting. I just got back from having coffee with (my new friend) Adrieanna, but two coffees and Baileys later (her idea), my hands are still a bit shaky and everything I do is done v e r y s l o w l y. On the Katie Peacock hangover scale, I'd say, I would hold a baby, but I wouldn't... am too slow at the moment to think of something more breakable than a baby. My dad's four hundred year old liqueur glasses from Amsterdam? I wouldn't hold those.

OK this needs to end. I will probably write something about Brussels soon, or at least post photos. Here is my new favourite part of our apartment.

PS Learned an excellent party trick last night: we were in a building which is normally a Boyscout Club House, and the hosts had taped plastic over the walls, like the kind that you would use to protect the floor while painting. It wasn't very noticeable since the room was so smoky and dark, but prevented marks and spills from ruining the walls.

PPS I don't think my mom is very impressed by that party trick.