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August 07, 2003, by Léon Krijnen

The feared boktor   

boktor.jpg Ixus is here, first pictures will follow tomorrow. First things first: getting used to the new manuals, which are slightly different from its predecessor, the first version of Ixus, or digital Elph as it is called in the US. And i have to make my daily trip to the wastedump, as i am demolishing the inside of our old house, built in 1895. We've temporarily moved to another house in Breda.
Upstairs i've removed all walls, inner roofing covering and ceilings, downstairs i've taken out all ceilings. There were three: one constructed around 1980, hanging down 40 centimeters from the original ceiling. The second one, guessing by old newspapers (De Volkrant and De Stem) from 1962 and 1969, used as preparation for wallpaper, must have been constructed around 1970.

This was softboard on a wooden frame, which was nailed to the original 1895 ceiling, constructed in plaster on natural reed. The reed (or is cane, or thatch the right English word for the stuff?) was nailed to the old beams, kept together by some kind of netting of ironwire.
A bloody messy, dusty job. Just pushed a crowbar through a hole somewhere, closes my eyes and pulled. Nu use wearing safety goggles during the ongoing heatwave, because they stain from the sweat; steamy windows. I did wear a dustmask, and got showered by all kinds of black and white dust and sometimes bigger hunks of gypsum and plaster for a couple of days. The combination of the dust with the reed and ironwire was nasty stuff to get in the trailer, but i made in a couple of trips.
The beams were better than i expected, but the roofing was completely gone or in the final stages of rotting on the leaking spots that gave us free showers for the last couple of years during heavy rains, especially in combination with south-western winds, when the falling water was blown under the tiles.
I think i'll have to do a few trips more with the trailer before all mess is gone. I don't see any dry rot, and i haven't seen or heard termites. Termites overe here are the feared boktor, which sounds, by the way, great in English: boktor (i'll have to see the boktor :-). But i'll let an exterminator decide, now that everything is visible. All beams sound sound whem i knock on them with a heavy hammer, and all soft spots seem to be caused by leaking water.
Next step, after cleaning out the remaining mess: pulling down the ceiling in the kitchen, breaking down the kitchen kabinets, cleaning out the old garden house. Then: the exterminator, followed by a roof contractor. See ya later.

Posted: August 7, 2003 10:29 PM (447 words).   

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