Sunday, 23 July 2017

Itchy itchy scratchy scratchy

Armed with secateurs, pruning shears and a small step ladder I returned to our house on Wednesday morning.  The real estate agent was due at 10am and the plan was to have the curtains rehung before he arrived.  Well that didn’t happen because when I climbed the stepladder I realised all the plastic eyes on the curtain rail had been broken.  Obviously someone had pulled on the curtains breaking the eyes.

Thwarted over the curtains I decided to cut back the native tree which had grown through the bottom and top timber decks reaching the roof of the upstairs pergola.  I’d almost completed that task when the agent arrive.  His advice was very informative and help set my priorities.  His observation was structurally the house looked good but that the new owners would likely redecorate.  Therefore I should forget about the curtains.  Actually his advice was to remove them as they “dated” the house.  I should also forget about replacing the carpet with the patch as any new owner would likely replace the carpet.  He gave me the name of a good handyman/gardener who could prepare the house for sale.  Also, an empty house is hard to sell and we should have it temporarily furnished with selected modern furniture to highlight the positive aspects of the property.  Again he gave me a contact.

I spent another four hours with the secateurs and shears battling the jungle.  It was apparent to me I wasn’t going to make much of an impact with the tools I had and that evening I mentioned the problem to Trevor asking if I could borrow the small battery powered saw he had mentioned the previous day.  After describing some of the trees he produced a petrol chainsaw.  for the mould on the deck and joists he produced a pressure washer.  Obviously I was going to be busy on Thursday!

Next morning I was at the house for a 7.30am meeting with the handyman.  We agreed I would do as much as I could then he would return to assess the size of the task and give me a quotation.  The first task was to remove the tree from behind the water tank.  The tank stand has been pushed out of shape by the growing tree but it can be repaired.  Next I pressure washed the lower deck, timber ramp and roof joists to remove all the mould.  Of course I got soaking wet and covered in mould.


The deck can now be painted.  All the rubbish and vegetation from the house and ground floor area was piled into the paved clothesline area awaiting removal.


The next task was to cut down all the native trees in the backyard with the chainsaw opening the area up to light.  The bougainvillea growing over the steel arch on the lower path received a very close haircut with the chainsaw.  I even used the chainsaw to cut back the lavender bushes.  All this vegetation was placed into three piles for removal.


I decided the Jacaranda tree was too nice to touch, however the fruit trees got pruned in an effort to get them growing in the right direction.


The handyman will have his work cut out removing all these cuttings up to the road for removal. 

After a short break I tackled the front yard, again with the chainsaw.  All but one of the tall native trees were cut down.  The large gum tree on the verge beside the letterbox receive a ‘short back and sides’.  The cuttings went onto two large piles. 


It’s now possible to see the house from the road



By now the sun was starting to set and I was exhausted.  It was a tired and dirty old man who arrived back at Trevor and Carolanne’s after the sun had set.  I was so tired I couldn’t eat all of the lovely meal Carolanne had prepared.  You might think I would have slept like a log but for some reason it didn't happen.

Friday morning I had another meeting with the real estate agent handing over the keys before leaving for the airport.  My return flight was with Jetstar (EasyJet equivalent) and it’s fortunate I’m only 4’6” tall otherwise I wouldn’t have fitted into the seat .Smile

Jan collected me on arrival in Perth and took me home for a light dinner.  I was too tired to eat a normal sized meal!  That evening I had to take off my wrist watch and fitness bands as my wrists were starting to itch.  Lots of scratching during the night and I woke to find both arms covered in a red itchy rash.   By Saturday night the right side of my face and neck had a lumpy red rash which itched.  Another restless night!  I think this is “The revenge of the bougainvillea”.  I was wearing gloves, safety glasses and a long sleeved shirt but it obviously wasn’t enough.

On reflection I became so engrossed with the work I failed to take a photo of my very kind hosts, Trevor and Carolanne.  I also failed to take a photo of the panoramic view from the upper deck.  Rather than disappoint you I’ve placed some photos taken in 2011.


The house won’t go on the market until Jon (the handyman) has completed the maintenance and tidied the grounds.  Angela (decorator) will then temporarily furnish the house.  It was quite interesting to hear Charles and Harry (real estate agents)  tell me they had sold five adjacent properties, all with the same floor plan and views.  They only furnished one of the houses and every time that was the house that sold.  Buyers weren’t interested in the unfurnished homes despite them being exactly the same.  They did eventually sell all five homes, but had to move the furniture five times! 


Marilyn McDonald said...

What a mammoth task you took on, Tom. Well done, you!
It is so disappointing to see how poorly some tenants care for a property, isn't it?
I'm amazed that your neighbours didn't get in touch and tell you it was going to hell in a handcart - it looks like a lovely neighbourhood, and it seems strange to me that neighbours would see your place deteriorating and not notify you.
I hope the itching and scratching have calmed down now - could be any one of the trees or plants you extinguished taking delayed revenge. Of course, it could have been Jetstar ...
Good luck with the sale!
Cheers, Marilyn

Tom and Jan said...

Marilyn I suspect it was more "silly fool" me attempting the project. I should have paid the handyman more and let him fo the work.

Marilyn McDonald said...

Perhaps an allergic reaction to parting with money? ;-)

Tom and Jan said...

More than likely! :-)