Friday, 26 February 2010

The Ventilator

We're back in the sunny BOP, in our old home in Tauranga. And boy is it sunny - it's 27 degrees out there says my thermometer - and a load of washing dries in an hour. I'm wearing minimal clothing, much to the horror of the hordes at the supermarket - and it took me half a song to drive there. NO TRAFFIC LIGHTS. No Audi and BMW drivers taking up two lanes. No snooty ladies-of-a-certain-age hogging the hummus section. It was bliss.

Moving back has been a two-sided coin. It is utterly fantastic to be back in our house. To have our garden back, and our driveway, and the ability to put holes in the wall, should I want to. I certainly wanted to when I saw the state that the previous tenants had left our house. Keep in mind, this is with a property manager doing quarterly inspections. And here's where I've given myself the name the Ventilator. Look out for me on the wrestling circuit.

The walls were YELLOW. And sticky. The oven was filthy. The extractor fan literally dripping in oil and fat. And why was this? The family that were renting our home were Indian. They cooked all day every day, and never opened a door or a window, or, it seems, picked up a cloth and some Easy Off Bam (my new favourite thing in the world). The smell is horrendous. And it's not only the kitchen. Every room has stains, marks, and has never been cleaned to any normal person's standards. I am furious on so many levels - at the property manager for not doing her job, at the tenants for being disgusting, and at myself for my naivety in thinking they would take as good care of this place as I did.

After a comedy of errors, my family and I had to clean the entire house ourselves. I have gone through 3 bottles of Easy Off Bam, 4 kitchen cloths, 3 pairs of gloves and an entire bottle of bleach. I've mopped the ceiling, the grouting around the toilet, and removed cooking fat from my washing line. MY WASHING LINE. Honestly, I've been a student in Dunedin, and we were so disgusting, but at the end of the year, we left those flats spotless.

So it's off to the Tenancy Tribunal and the insurance company so that we can fix the damage (food colouring on polished floorboards, mildew on all brand-new curtains...etc. etc. etc.). If you're thinking of renting out your home, DON'T DO IT. Seriously.

After a week of cleaning, it's slowly coming right. I have bunches of lilies around, and a Jo Malone candle in Wild Fig and Cassis that is just gorgeous. The hot weather means all windows and doors are open. Yesterday I spent the day in the garden, cutting back the roses, removing whisky bottles from shrubs (!!!), planting flowers and vegetables. It was glorious. At 5pm, I poured myself a stiff gin and wandered around looking at my work. Basil followed along, happy as a clam to be back in his domain. It was so lovely.

I should probably think about getting a job. I just popped to the supermarket to get some more Easy Off Bam (I should get shares) and ended up spending over $100. Oops. Richard has a new job as a Mortgage Broker and Insurance Something, and has been at a course for two weeks in Auckland. He gets back tonight. A friend of ours gave us a beautiful bottle of Villa Maria Methode Traditionelle for our engagement which is chilling now. I can't wait to clink glasses and wish ourselves a happy and succesful time back here in the 'Raunga.

Also, updating my blog should be much more frequent now that we have internet at home. I've also been spurred on by my talented sister, who has started a blog of her own. Check it out!



Jen on the Edge said...

I've been following your saga on Twitter and have been horrified by what you've been through. I hope you can get restitution.

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