Along with changes to our front yard's landscape we are also working on some kitchen renos over the next few weeks. This led to the unfortunate task of wallpaper stripping. I hung a floral Waverley wallpaper in my kitchen in 1997 after I easily stripped the original wallpaper off two of the walls. At the time I decided that the gunky glue and specks of paper I would need to remove in order to paint required more effort than I wanted to expend, so instead of painting, I re-wallpapered. As it turns out that was not a good idea. The newer wallpaper was very stubborn and despite home remedies of hot water, vinegar, and cheap fabric softener I had to break down and rent a steamer.
I spent most of the past weekend scraping and peeling small strips of paper off the two walls. The patterned layer came off in thin pointy strips followed by the linty beige under-layer which required a bit of peeling, but more scraping and shaving. Later, smears of glue and tiny paper bits were doused with TSP, and elbow grease was applied to a green scrubby....still working on that part actually.
One thing I looked forward to as I toiled, were the cartoons left behind by the people who originally papered the wall in 1992. They left a sort of a cartoon time capsule which I enjoyed re-visiting.
When I came across this in '97, I called the phone number and discovered it no longer belonged to Kevin O'Neil. If anyone out there knows of a Kevin O'Neil who lived in Kelowna's lower Mission in the early 90's I'd be thrilled to talk to him. It looks like he's been on a few adventures as the drawings show icons from Australia like the Sydney Opera House, Ayers Rock and kangaroos. It looks like he may have done some travelling in western Canada as well and there are pictures of moose, a train, bats, raspberry bushes, a man in a tree trying to escape a bull, and a bus travelling through foothills. By coincidence, I entertained myself listening to CBC's Sunday afternoon phone in show and this week host Red Sharon was asking people to share their tales of summer travel.
I'd forgotten that my son had added a contribution during our '97 reno and again by coincidence the phone-in show was peppered with newscasts that included tributes to the late astronaut Neil Armstrong.
After being stuck inside on such a beautiful summer weekend, I resolved to do my very best to never wallpaper in any of the houses I live in from this point on, in deference to future owners.
My hope is that as a result Karma will allow that I'll never have to remove wallpaper for the rest of my life. I'm not holding my breath however....