Thursday, June 23, 2011

Touchy feely

I went to my book club tonight for the first time in months. It's my kind of club. You don't really have to read the book and even if we all have, we usually don't talk about it for longer than 15mins. That said, its the place where I have some of the most fascinating conversations.

This week Brendon and I started packing up. We've got a small set of boxes that contain the contents of our new home stacked on one side of our apartment. On the other side, we have a much, MUCH bigger pile of boxes that we'll be selling or giving away. But there is much more to sort through and it hasn't all been easy sailing. Last night we got stuck on two very significant assets - our bookshelf and CD collection. There is a lot of nostalgia wrapped up in music and books. Brendon had CDs from when he was in high school and I wear much of my book shelf as a badge of honor. There is Nelson Mandela's autobiography - Long Road to Freedom, the English Patient by Michael Ondaatje and a recent favourite - The Book of Negros. Music and books - they are like visual representations of who we are and what we value. It doesn't matter that Brendon may never listen to CCR or Led Zeppelin again, not to mention the 600 other CDs in his collection.  It is the time in his life that it represents that feels impossible to let go. I feel similar about the books I own. I will probably never read them again but they are like keys to the past, helping me remember what I was like when I curled up with them.

But we have no room.

So we are now having to grapple with these new ways of storing information and challenging ourselves to consider them. In my book club, one of my friends owns a Kindle. She's stopped buying the paper versions and loves the fact that she can carry around hundreds of books in her purse adding only the weight of a small notebook. And when it comes to music, everything that we ever play these days is on the computer. I personally haven't looked at a CD jacket in years. Yet in our book club today we couldn't help mourn the loss of all that is tactile and gauge how and why we felt compelled to keep the material versions of these prized possessions. I don't have an answer for what we should do next though. Do you?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

One banister away...

Well the Globe and Mail article couldn't have happened at a better time. Sandwiched between breaking news and analysis on the Vancouver riots was the story of our little home. We had well over 100 people tour the house. Many of you are our neighbours and others came from as far away as Victoria and Port Moody. Some of you were considering building a laneway home yourselves, others looking into models of co-ownership and even one family with almost an identical story to ours. Thank you for coming by. We felt very honoured to share our space with you.

Now on to the last final obstacle - the final inspection. This one involves inviting a building inspector into the home to ensure that everything is up to code.  On our side of things, the one thing standing in our way was the banister railings. We needed one for the stairs to the crawlspace and up to the second floor. For those considering installing one themselves here are few things you need to know:
  •  A handrail is generally required if there are four or more stairs.
  • The handrail should be at least an inch and a quarter in diameter with a maximum of two and a quarter. 
  • The height should be between thirty four and thirty eight inches and in the case of Vancouver - aim for 36inches. Measure consistently from the stair nosing upward. This will help to ensure that you get the right angle.
  • Find the studs before you try to hang it!
  • Make sure you've already put a final coat of paint on the wall where you'll be mounting the banister. There is nothing harder than doing touch-ups around the brackets. 

If all goes well, we'll be able to move in...hopefully by the weekend.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Well it's not quite a riot but...

...we're hosting our Open House tomorrow and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm. Come one and come all to 3597 West 23rd Ave (just off Dunbar). There will be treats, info on building green and a chance to meet my in-laws.

If you can't make it, take a look at this Globe and Mail article on us that will run tomorrow in the BC Real Estate section and ran today in the Ontario paper. Seems like when it rains it pours so we also got an article in the Westender Magazine. As soon as I get an electronic copy, I post the link.
See you this weekend!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Well, life happens. Brendon got his wisdom teeth pulled yesterday and is still trying to recover. We've got good friends visiting from out East (that we forgot about) coming tomorrow.  And we can't seem to finish all the painting and last minute details we need to for Saturday. So we're postponing the open house till June 18th and 19th. Sorry! Hope you can still make it one week later.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Open House

Hear ye! Hear ye! Come one and come all. The day has come to tour our laneway house. June 11th and 12th 18th and 19th (that's Saturday and Sunday) from 1pm to 4pm our doors are open. Now is your chance to bring up all the questions you've been dying to ask like, "Does Akua really get along with her in-laws?" and  "What the heck is Paperstone?" 

Our address is 3597 West 23rd Avenue. The house still looks like a construction site so that should be your first clue. Looking forward to hosting you all.