25 March 2018

ObserVation: Heel marks

hen we moved into the house there was carpets in most rooms, as with the flat we had just left. Well that’s not strictly true, we had a ‘great’ time having to tearing them up before leaving. As this was going to be our first and by the looks of it our last house we were going to completely renovate until our decorating budget ran out.

We decided on tiles for the kitchen, bathrooms and hallway and wood (real or imitation) for the rooms. The only carpet was to be on the landing. As we wanted to completely refurnish the living room we went to the annual Mobelmesse (international interiors show) here in Cologne to get some ideas. We spent a day walking around noting what we didn’t want and realising at the end of our hike that we were no wiser than before we left that morning.
Luckily a friend introduced us to a couple that does interior design (her) and the technical and carpentry side (him). It worked well and we ended up with a combination of light coloured maple and bamboo for the sideboards, cabinets, multimedia wall and dining room table customised to our wishes.

We had decided on parquet for the living room and went for a light soft Canadian maple (to match the furnishings) that turned out to be very soft. Yes I know we heard the warning bells too. But our minds were set. We were advised to take a thick layer so as to have the possibility of sanding it down and re-lacquering sometime in the future. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but one can see it is light in colour.

We realised that the ‘customised’ living room had taken a real chunk out of our budget and so the floors upstairs would have to be somehow downgraded. So it was decided to have a plastic wood imitation lamination in the bedroom and my workroom in the roof, and a cheap wood lamination in MrsA’s office. Well our Canadian maple has over the years being marked and dented from hard objects being drawn over or falling on it, the worse to date was one of my iPads falling off the sideboard..

[Ed: I suppose of its own accord!?]
Well yes, sort off..
[Ed: Thought so, mind of their own]
The iPad survived but the screen saver showed some weird psychedelic colours and was as if stretched like looking through a prism. As I had nothing to lose, I took it in both hands and tried to twist it along the major axis. The 'bending' worked and normality was returned. I take it I had with the manoeuvre reconnected the lose internal screen plug to the motherboard. I bought a new one after that..

[Ed: Any excuse..]
Hey! I couldn't take the chance it would warp again could I?
Well to date it hasn’t and now I have three (long story).

Now back to the floor.
There are also marks from heels of some of our female visitors and one in particular that usually forgets to bring her flats. Most of our ‘regular’ visitors now know following a little prep talk that they have to bring slippers or soft shoes otherwise either they have to stay outside or 'reduce' to socks/stockings or bare feet.
With the experience and anger it brings, the living room has become a total DMZ for outdoor shoes of any kind. This now works quite well but unfortunately the damage is done.
I don’t even have to put on my stern ‘I hope you brought your slippers’ stare anymore when I greet them in the (tiled) hallway. Some of our friends are so compliant that they swap their footwear out in the pouring rain if need be before ringing the door bell!
Just in case someone is forgetful or we have spontaneous visitors we have a number of felt slippers in a box in the hallway similar to some stately houses with floors that get a regular polish by paying visitors.
I have over the years discussed and scrutinised with MrsA on more than one occasion the impressions we get left with following visitors. Hence these telltale marks are readable to anyone who has had problems of this type. Our stair case is also wood and has marks from the previous owners daughter, typical round stilettos marks. Fortunately due to the lighting in the stairwell they are only visible when you know where to look.

Up to this point you may have some sort of inkling where this is all leading. You may be thinking it’s to do with heel marks, and if any of you have taken a look at my heel collection, then it's to do with my heels.
Well right on both accounts.
But as of today and in the future I hope to not leave this type of impression in the living room floor. This room and the stairs are absolute taboo to my heel walkabouts..

[Ed: Don’t you mean wobbleabouts?]
Indirectly yes, that too. The last thing I want to do on top of micro heel patterns is slip and gorge a gorge in the floorscape!

Accidents of the usual kind that MrsA and myself make introduce lets say ‘character’ to the floor and is to a certain extent okay. My heel patterns would make MrsA realise there is another woman in the house beside herself, and then there would be a ‘talk’ that I have been avoiding for what seems like eons.
Even if I would never walk in heels in the living room, when I on the rare occasions have the place to myself for longer than an hour I will sometimes dress and go and lounge around on the couch. Yes that is a ladder in my tights.. #$%*!
If you look closely at the picture left [Ed: above and to the left of the light reflection] these marks are from the forgetful female visitor mentioned above and are not from me!
While dressed I go upstairs carrying my heels, then put them on, check myself and take pictures in the large mirror on the landing. If the sun is shining I would go into the bedroom to sit on the bed to see how I look in daylight (see picture below).
It may sound strange that about daylight, its not because I have strange blood running through my veins, its because all my stash is stored in the cellar and were I normally stay when dressed. Its only now and then I risk it to come up and see myself in sunlight.

Now that I have giving you some background to sensitive floors and pointed heels and were I wear them, I must revise something I said about the floors in the bedroom and office. 

I'm not sure how I mixed things up in my head but the bedroom and office floor material is the other way round!
That is plastic wood imitation lamination in the office and cheap wood lamination in the bedroom. This sounds more logical from the wear and tear perspective. Office floor robust and bedroom floor well, comfortable.
And this is also how we planned it!
Hence I have over the last couple of years been walking back and forth on wood and to top it all on soft cheap wood!

Well quite some time ago while I was in the office with the door semi shut. I heard our cleaning woman come out from the bedroom next door onto the landing and call MrsA. I though nothing of it as they both disappeared into the bedroom. I heard a bit of a muffled conversation until MrsA called me to come over.
As I entered they were talking as they were bent down almost on their knees looking at the floor at an acute angle. I had no idea what was going on until I was asked to join them and also look at the floor at the same angle. I saw the reflection of the sunlight through the bedroom window opposite on the floor and their in relief there were markings!!

I immediately knew what they were and I had a moment of sinking and becoming sort of out of focus with my surroundings. I heard MrsA a long way away asking me what I thought they were. 
I quickly returned and went into my um and ah routine as with the twinkle glitter findings in the cellar from my pink prom dress.
I came over ‘confused’ and muttered something about ‘I have no idea how they came about’, knowing full well how they came about! I really thought the games was up, but even after our cleaning woman had left, I heard nothing more about it.
It can't be more than a dozen times, but I have been leaving my 'mark' all this time, not much, but readable with the right light.

Of course I didn’t bring up the subject again, but I still wonder why with the experience and findings we had in the living room that she had not given any indications of knowing and imagining how they came to appear in the bedroom. Maybe she is waiting for me to make the first move and admit they are from me. Or maybe she just wants to forget it all, and get back to business as usual.

I have loaded above two pictures for your scrutiny, I think its obvious what they are, but your opinion would be welcome.