A woman’s lovely touch has been left right out of me. I do not have any ability with furnishings and fabrics and artfully-placed flowers. I tend to yearn for more masculine improvements like a wood-worm free attic (done) and dry walls (still to do). There is however an exception. Floors. Over the months I have drooled over stone floors, and parquet floors and wood floors.
It turns out my choice is somewhat limited and for the sake of economy and rationality I need to have floorboards. Something durable and splendid, a worthy successor to all the dreams of perfect floors. In the end the choice came down to pitch pine and Canadian Redwood. Both of these were recycled, re-sawn timber. Floorboards which have been lifted are a devil to re-lay – too much damage. Re-sawn timber is different. It is taken from beams and joists which come out of demolished buildings and structures. It is given a new life by being re-cut into floorboards. It allows one to have timber which conscience would otherwise bar.
I was yearning for pitch pine, but I requested a sample of the Redwood from another company. It was substantially cheaper, and this restoration needs to run to a budget if it is to be done at all. At first sight I did not warm to it at all but I put it on the floor. I then pushed off for a decadent weekend elsewhere. At intervals I bemoaned the fact that it was the Redwood which was the cheaper timber, and sang the praises of pitch pine. When I came back, there was the Redwood. And I saw it with new eyes. Going about my work I kept looking at it and thinking how really splendid it was. What a handsome colour and so beautifully grained. I suddenly realised that it was what I really truly wanted.
This morning I carefully re-measured the house floor area, and finding to my relief I made it just what the builder had made it, I rang up and ordered my Redwood. It will come in about three weeks. It is a more-than-worthy fulfilment of the months of day dreaming. All I needed to do was to abandon what I thought I wanted and see what was there.