Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More dreams...

My absolute favorite old house dream ever... couldn't resist sharing that one.

For some reason my family had inherited a farm house that had once been in a small vilage but now in the outskirts of Vienna (Vienna "swallowed" quite a lot of small villages in the 19th and early 20th century). The first time we went to look at it was on a glum, rainy winter day. We were going up a winding street paved with blocks like the real old streets in Vienna untile we came to a tall iron fence with a thick hedge growing behind, completely hiding the lot and house.
The gate revealed a huge lawn area that slightly sloped towards a large yellow farm building with adjacent barn (basically an L-shaped house and barn built to form a rectangle around a yard, pretty typical for the area near the German border where my dad comes from). We first tried to open the large barn door supposedly leading to the yard. The entryway was stuffed with all kinds of trash piled up to the ceiling. No way. So off we were, around the house. On the short side of the L (the long one faced the street) we found an incredible double-decker verandah with big greek revival columns and (on the upper level) a beautiful iron railing. That seemed to be the formal entrance, a double panel door with windows to each side. The door opened inwards. About 3cm. Then it hit the solid resistance of about 2m of piled up boxes.

So that left one last door, a small side door.
It did open and revealed the kitchen. 4 steps leading down into the kitchen, an old sink resting across the banisters. Across the door a huge white kitchen cupboard. To the left: an ancient gas wall heater, a wood fired stove, an equally old gas stove and some low cabinets. To the right, squeezed in between the window and the steps a sink with a no less ancient gas water heater (1930s I guess). In the middle a huge maple farm house table with chairs.
The floor littered with construction debris, sawdust, broken chairs,...

I turned the light switch, nothing.

So we spent about half an hour just tossing trash out into the garden to make the kitchen liveable. While it got darker and darker we ventured into the hallway to find a fuse box or anything. The hall was narrow and long, maybe 2m by 8 or 10m. And like everything it was piled high with clutter. Only a narrow passage was left. To the sides I could see 5 doors, behind me the kitchen door and absolutely unwalkable stairs to the uptstairs. Another door was probably leading to the cellar stairs.

At the end of the narrow passage I found a swinging door leading into a formal foyer, the one with the aforementioned front door. To the right I saw a 2 doors, one probably leading to the yard, the other into the short side of the L. To the left there was one door which as I soon discovered opened into a small room that held a huge ancient fuse box.

I started screwing in fuses in near darkness and was soon rewarded by dim light coming from the old lamp above.

As we now could se something we started to explore further. The doors to the right of the hall led to two living rooms or maybe dining that we absolutely couldn't even set a foot into. The third door revealed a bathroom, with books everywhere. Even in the clawfoot tub. Wonderful dark blue tile and white fixtures, everything looked like it hadn't been touched for decades. Nor cleaned for that matter ;-)

The doors to the left led to two equally cluttered bed rooms.

At this point we decided to call it a day and continue later, which is also what I'll do now.

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