The flooring that we found in the Manse when we purchased it was, while completely adequate in a bare-bones way, nothing to write home about. The upstairs situation improved dramatically when we hauled out some old carpeting to reveal the very funky mid-century linoleum mats that I remember from my 1960s childhood (and that had doubtless been there for many years before that). They’re what’s on the upstairs-bedroom floors now, and even though they’re damaged in places, I’m getting quite attached to them. The colours are great, and they are beautiful in their own simple way.
But this post is about the dining-room floor, and more specifically What Lies Beneath.
Here is what the dining-room floor looks like now:
This vinyl floor was installed while my family lived in the Manse – I’m guessing maybe 1970 or thereabouts. We thought it was just wonderful having this new floor, but until the other day when I was looking at some old photos I’d forgotten what it replaced: the floor that you can see in the background of the photo of Melanie. Here’s another shot of that floor, probably taken at the same time and featuring my brother John, 10 months old:
I kind of get why we thought it was a good thing that it be replaced – except I suspect it was just covered up, rather than replaced. When Raymond and my brother John (yes, that would be the lad in the photo) did some excavation on the kitchen floor (more on that in the next post) they discovered layer upon layer upon layer of flooring.
We also did some excavation in the dining room; the end result is here:
This was a quick dig, aimed not at uncovering the individual layers of flooring, but discovering the condition of the wooden floor that we knew must lie underneath it all. We were pleased to find that it isn’t bad at all, and that same wooden floor, in a refinished state, will probably end up being the “new” floor in the dining room.
Anyway, it’s quite the wild fern pattern on the dark background on the old floor, isn’t it? And in the photo of John you can see the metallic strip that I guess covered a join in the linoleoum. Now that I see it again after all these years, I suddenly remember the feeling of its ragged edge catching the bottom of my foot, bare or leotard-clad, back at the dawn of time.
The period that this archeological project is excavating, in fact.