Chapter 22: Tying Loose Ends

return to cheery state
By the time I reached this stage, I was a piece of tired rag. I was going through a busier period at work, had to handle both Savvy Steve's houses and I was expected to cook or man the toddler when the wife couldn't cope. The good news was, I lost all the weight I gained the past year just in time for late Autumn. It was the time the weather starts to get cold during the transition into Winter. If I did not reduce my flab adequately, I will be unable to squeeze a thermal layer into my pants when the morning temperature goes flat 10 or below.

I visited Savvy Steve and told him about my problems, "Hey Steve, could you get the flat off my care?"

Savvy Steve took a deep suck in his expensive looking cigar, glinted at me and paused for a few seconds, for effect. "No," he said. "You promised to look after my house, didn't you?"

"But now I have two of your houses to look after," I protested.

Savvy Steve held his hand up and stopped the conversation, "Say no more. You solve your own problem, you hear?"

I shrugged and left. That night, I told Jen I had to stop working on Savvy Steve's house and return to his townhouse to freshen up the place in order to drop the hot potato. The state of the house left me overwhelmed. Albany's hand marks were all over the walls, unwashable unless a great deal of time was put into it. Even so, the after effects was still unsatisfactory to me. The bath was in a mess, but at least there was a good chance to restore its gleam. I left the kitchen to Jen, who needed to combat the grease that we were too lazy to clean off regularly. We spent about 16 hours, split over a week, in order to get things to our acceptable level.

clean glass with new grout on tiles
Unfortunately, I saw Mr Daniel's idea of cleaning shower glass a month too late. Else, I would be able to do a good job in half the time I spent using normal shower glass cleaner. Removing mold in grout or silicon was also a time sink. Frustrated, I told Jen, "We are going nowhere. I will restore the place by adding things instead of removing."

Before long, I went back to Savvy Steve's townhouse with a 15L of basic paint that costed me $36.00 and a 270mm sheepskin roller that costed $25 or so and came with a tray and a few more accessories in a set. I brought along the beautiful blue cutting brush I promised to save after the last painting job. The sheepskin roller was recommended by Cedric when I bumped into him and his beautiful wife at Spencer Village. We were amazed at the odds of meeting there and sat down for a meal together. That sheepskin roller was an expensive roller that I planned to use for a few jobs in future. Most importantly for now, it would save me the time I badly needed by aiding me in painting Savvy Steve's townhouse.

self praise: nice quick paint job, better than scrubbing walls
The painting took me 2 weekdays and 5 hours and 2 hours on a Saturday, a total of 7 hours. I noticed my speed increased tremendously due to the familiarity of work as well as the new sheepskin roller I invested in. The roller has the ability to take in a lot more paint and spreads the wall more efficiently than a normal roller, speeding up my work significantly.

When Jen turned up, I asked her if I needed to go one more coat but she said it looked great and it wasn't necessary. Eventually, we got Old Fart John to take a look and he, too, gave the thumps up. Old Fart John was confident to find interested parties to occupy the place. That should keep Savvy Steve's mouth shut for a while. There might be troubles later on, we would just have to play it by ear. For now, I needed to focus on Savvy Steve new place and I couldn't stretch my physical limits for long.

Before we left, I took one last look at the lovely place we called our home for 3 years. The memories came back furiously. Albany was so little, so cute when we first moved here. We celebrated our birthdays, watching her grow significantly each year. It provided me quiet refuge as I combat cancer, watching over me during countless nights of worried sleep. It sheltered us through the cold days of Jen's miscarriage and recovery. It shared our happiness when little Anthony came along and grew into a healthy chubby baby. The place would always hold a special memory in a small corner of my heart. We have not seen the last of it, I am sure of that. For now, it is goodbye and thank you.