Abomination Towers: The Beginning

It’s been four months (and three days, to be precise) since we got the keys to our home, and it’s taken us that long just to clean the place! I do jest a little, but those on Facebook and Twitter will know only too well of my #OvenGate woes – we moved in to a half working hob (two rings faulty, most of it held together with grease), and an oven that was so filthy I’d have been embarrassed to leave it behind when I moved.

Still, it’s our home and bit by bit we are changing it from a house into a home. I haven’t done a photo post, so now is as good a time as any – I’ll post it as a separate photo post which will be protected. Contact me via any means of email or Twitter if you want to be nosey and check out the photos. I’m using a new password, you see.

Why Abomination Towers? Well, quite simply, the houses are built on the site of an old convent. The sisters were doin’ it for themselves and flogged the entire lane to two developers, making a fortune and getting themselves a shiny new convent built at the same time. Our road is named after the name of the convent, and the second road that was built off of it was helpfully called ‘Convent Road’. The thought of us, a same-sex family in the very grounds where the highly religious sisters lived makes me laugh… and through telling the story of the convent and the road to a friend of ours, the name Abomination Towers was suggested. We are, after all, the very abomination that the sisters wouldn’t have wanted in their grounds…!

It also leans somewhat towards the description of the house itself. On moving in, it was, in places, a complete abomination. On top of #OvenGate, we inherited:

1) A bathroom that hadn’t been cleaned in months (used by two teenage boys and a teenage girl)
2) A toilet seat in said bathroom that we suspect was once white (say no more)
3) An ensuite with a curtain (curtains! In a bathroom!), original bathroom suite (in beige) and a shower that hadn’t been cleaned in (oh, you get the picture – they didn’t *do* cleaning)
4) Bedrooms in somewhat choice colours, self-painted by the children (no removal of sockets or care taken with wall:ceiling lines, resulting in paint everywhere)
5) Two bedrooms where the walls had served as dartboards (yes, seriously)
6) A royal blue cloakroom (the smallest room in the house is painted in the darkest colour)
7) A kitchen, where:
a. some of the doors had been replaced with red gloss, leaving the original wood effect doors on some drawers
b. at least two of said red gloss doors hanging off, with others held closed with Blu-Tack
c. a larder cupboard with half-depth shelves (it’s the biggest waste of space ever)
d. a leak under the sink
e. poorly fitted shiny work surfaces which never look clean or dry
f. the original four ring gas hob, with only two rings working, and four control knobs glued down with grease (and goodness knows what else)
g. The oven: the poor, poor oven, with years of fat splattering, no cleaning, abused by all in the house.
h. A dishwasher – installed without an end panel next to it, so when the dishwasher opens it hits the handles on the door of the cupboard that it’s at 90 degrees to. The handle is battered and bent. Oh and the dishwasher? Split and broken wheels and brackets, and filthy beyond all recognition.
8) A garden with a pond (emptied before we moved in but the lining left in. In Scotland it rains from September-May. It was full in weeks), with decking that had never been treated, installed up to the side of the house; with the water running off towards the house…….
9) Two monster (40ft plus) trees in the garden
10) Three (including the pond) water features.

I make it sound a lot worse than it actually is. The house is liveable – ie we could move all of our stuff (and the stuff we’ve had to buy since to fill it, for a 2 bed flat to this house was a big jump!), and more to the point, we inherited a few good things as well; such as a conservatory with a utility area (no need for the washing machine in the kitchen!), nearly-new double glazing, a part boarded loft, more space than we ever wanted, cupboards to stash stuff in aplenty and the blank canvas that we actually did want – whilst it’s liveable, it’s going to be transformed by us into our home. It’s getting there, slowly, but it will take a lot of effort on our part. The thing is, although we said we didn’t want a project (and by that we were thinking of the pink artex on the walls of a 1950s house we saw around the time we offered on this one), we have a project, but it’s a more manageable project because not everything needs to be done at once.

The joys of home ownership. Photos to follow…

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