My father remarked when I was in Cork recently that I had become “very houseproud”. These words were not uttered in an approving tone; not a disapproving tone either, more mildly startled.
As regular readers will know, I love my house. Over the summer we got the hall floor re-varnished and my sister gave me a present of a rug that she bought in India for me. Is it not beautiful?
And we got the front door painted as well. And, then, I felt that it would be a good idea to polish the door furniture [yes, that’s what it’s called, who knew?] which was a much more challenging undertaking than you might imagine but surprisingly pleasing.
I then had the bit between my teeth and decided that I would polish the stair rods, a task which I had previously scorned as something that you would want to be insane to tackle [you may draw your own conclusions at this point]. I did them at a steady rate of about one per evening. They took an hour or so each and there were 30 in total. The effort. But the effect is so pleasing for me and I hope that when I need to do them again, the grime of ages will not have set in and it will not take me so long. Note in the picture below the shiny brassiness of the lower rods while the upper rods are very tarnished. It’s very hard to take a good picture of the whole staircase so you will just have to trust me that they are now all done.
I picked up a pitch black coal bucket in my parents attic [speculation that it came from my paternal grandparents’ house but really nobody knows] and spent ages attacking it with flour salt and vinegar which confirmed that it was copper but I failed at making it the shiny, beautiful copper in the internet instructions. It’s just very hard to get a coal bucket in the kitchen sink.
You will note from the picture above that I have not yet turned my brass polishing attention to the fender. I think it may just be too big a job for me. The best is the enemy of the good and all that.
Then I turned my attention to the family silver.
Polishing silver is so much easier than copper and brass. And it is so shiny.
Here is our entire family silver collection. Maybe didn’t take hours to polish now. Those with larger collections may find it more challenging.
Also, I love my wedding presents – those coasters? Wedding presents. Two Georgian silver serving spoons [out of shot]? Wedding presents. How delightful it is to be conventional in middle age.