I have to start by saying that our landlord, Chris, has been amazingly responsive: a “deep cleaning” team arrived today.
We really weren’t sure exactly what to expect; standards can vary widely within North and Central America.
What I hoped for was washing the tile floors, right into the corners, cleaning out the door pockets (more about the very cool pocket doors in a later post) and scrubbing the baseboards. Washing the windows (of which there are very few, except for the decorative glass in the door panels). Washing the door panels themselves where they are grimy. Washing all the marble and polished stone sills and built-in shelves. De-greasing the light switches. In general, making the place sparkle as it should so the twice weekly cleaning lady can – with a schedule – maintain it.
It would be fantastic to have the 6 gorgeous chandeliers polished, but that’s something of a specialist job.
Chris wasn’t sure when a deep clean had last been done. He bought this property almost 20 years ago, finishing repairs in around 2012, and renting out the ground floor since then. He’s new to managing the property himself (a friend did that until a few months ago), and probably never expected EVER to have to deal with someone as chatty – or as OCD – as me. Poor man.
So what actually happened? A team comprised of Chris’ regular cleaning lady and her very hardworking son arrived just after 9 a.m. and spent the next 6 hours scrubbing. The place looks, feels, and smells exactly as clean as it should.
Plus…. we got an entire set of completely unexpected bonuses, all of which served to demonstrate how committed Chris is to his property (one of several he owns, and the most historic) and to his guests.
I had asked whether he could replace the scorched toaster and perhaps buy a serrated/bread knife (dull or missing knives are the bane of every renter’s existence).
Upon his return from this morning’s orchestra practice, Chris arrived laden with shopping bags: a new Cuisinart toaster, a shiny new stainless steel kettle (he’s convinced that a stovetop kettle is an essential home comfort), a huge deluxe salad spinner, a spice rack loaded with 16 herbs and spices, and an entire set of Kitchen Aid knives in a wooden block with built-in sharpener!
What did I do while all the cleaning was going on? Well, besides unpacking Chris’ gifts, I emptied all the kitchen drawers, washed all the cutlery and utensils (Ted dried – I’d already done all the dishes and pots and pans), and loosely “supervised” the cleaning.
Half an hour after Chris’ unexpected kitchen gifts, a brand new couch and love-seat were delivered for the living room, where a decorative but not comfortable gold velvet antique Queen Anne sofa had been. The new pieces are not only comfortable but also beautiful. I’m going to love reading in this cool inviting space (pictures to follow) where Ted has set up a workspace at the piano converted into a really nifty desk complete with secret hidden drawer that Chris demonstrated!
Another half an hour and a brand new Whirlpool gas range was installed.
Was I a bit sad two days ago? Yes.
Am I absolutely ecstatic today? YES!!
We can’t wait to continue getting to know Chris during our stay here. Our chats so far have been a lot of fun – he’s a really interesting person with a wealth of knowledge about and love for music and art. It feels like there’s a real potential for a new friendship. Time will tell, of course. Five months of my chatter can wear out even the most congenial soul.