Last weekend we went through our 27-page lease document for the new house. As we read, we got more and more incredulous and slightly dismayed at how exacting it was. I don't know about you, but if I'm told matter-of-factly that I have to keep a place clean, I think "no problem, I'll be the most house-proud tenant ever." But if I'm told I can't make any changes at all without permission; can't put up any pictures, or even use blu-tack or self-adhesive, can't put furniture against any walls and have to steam-clean carpets every 6 months and de-cobweb and clean every light fitting and window track for each quarterly inspection, I start feeling bolshy, and wondering what nasty little things I can do that aren't actually mentioned in the contract!
Yesterday we got "the call" to tell us that the keys for our house were available for collection! Yay! We presumed that as the contract was so nit-picking, the property would be all clean and in perfect condition for us. Well, if you agree to keep a property perfect, it kind of goes without saying that it must have been perfect before you moved in, right?
Wrong. We spent the rest of the afternoon taking photos of every nick, scratch, mark, dirt, cobweb, cockroach (eek!!!), water stain and missing light-bulb - there were 8 light-bulbs missing! Seriously, who takes light-bulbs with them when they vacate a house? We only left when the light faded and the camera battery ran out. So we'll be back there this afternoon to finish the job.
This morning however, I had to make a card. We have been invited to a birthday party tomorrow, by friends who have been in Perth for 6 months and have fully mastered the essential Aussie barbecue concept. Now that we have our house, D has offered to take us around the local barbecue shops before anyone else arrives, and show us the best deals on the best models. This will be DH's department - have you noticed that anything to do with open fire is automatically the man's area of expertise? Bonfires, barbecues, camp fires... But that's good, because it will give me a break from the cooking.
D's card gave me the opportunity to enter a few more challenges:
Charisma Cardz: animal magic - well Garfield the cat is an animal, right?
Lili of the Valley: blue and silver
Quixotic: case it, meaning a "card-lift". I chose this delightfully grumpy one by Simonne Clay of SemSee's Sparkly Scribblings:
Inside it says Happy Burnday. I hope D doesn't take it personally. ;-)
The blue card-stock is American Crafts, and the blue and silver PP is SEI from their Christmas range but hey, it works. The rik-rak was given to me by my Mum, and the silver ribbon is from my stash. The image is from the net and coloured with my Copics of course.