My Favourite Window

February 4, 2011

A Different Kind of Fabric

Since Elwin's death, the day after the Earthquake inspectors came, I have done nothing structurally progressive about the Skudder House at all. I have been awaiting the return of the inspectors to survey the chimneys, but otherwise understood that the house did not qualify for either Earthquake Commission cover or private insurance cover. Today my insurance company sent a structural engineer to look at the building. Whatever the insurance outcome, this specialist has at last given me hope that the cracks in the fabric of the house are not terminal. Glue! Apparently there is a sandy glue for jobs such as this (Cracked 4 November 2010).  And here's me imagining into existence great steel rods tipped with steampunk bolt heads to brace the old walls.  I feel such a sense of relief to have this professional insight.

Looking at the state of the concrete walls meant pulling away the wallpaper in some places.  We discovered that it had been pasted over layers of newspaper. I haven't found the date yet, but the Phillips electric razor suggests the 1950s.
I am intrigued by the blue wash over many of the walls, and wonder whether it was an earlier decorative treatment or had a practical application: a copper-based mildew deterrent maybe?

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