Chez l'abeille

Culture. Travel. Writing. My world in words and pictures

Fixing Chez L’abeille. Part 2: The indelibilty of dust


The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed the dearth of updates since December when I wrote about my plans to find a builder. Suffice to say that getting a start date was a bit delayed prolonged. I have actually lived in a box storage unit for quite a while now (AKA my bedroom) whilst the cleared top room was ready and waiting.

Yesterday it started.

Since yesterday I have been reminded of the unique properties of Victorian dust. I’m not entirely sure what they put in the materials that went into lath and plaster, but whatever it is, it is completely unique. The only thing I can compare it to is the (allegedly) washable powder paint we primary teachers use. As any self respecting teacher knows, the idea that red powder paint is washable is generally disproved on a daily basis by most parents. However I was also reminded by a colleague about the properties of  black powder paint: any use of this product leaves your fingers and nails looking as if you had just climbed up a chimney. No amount of soap and hot water will remove it from your skin. Which leads me back to 100 year old dust.

All I can assume, therefore, is that the Victorians must have made ample use of washable black powder paint when building houses. No other explanation exists for the  indestructible dust particles which now coat every surface.

I am remaining calm and carrying on…


©Chez l’abeille 2014






11 thoughts on “Fixing Chez L’abeille. Part 2: The indelibilty of dust

  1. I love the pictures of the walls. You’re an archeologist in your own home.


  2. Ah, Victorian dust. Dust of ages. It seems to puff out of the walls and settle into corners when you’re not looking, doesn’t it?

    Have you come across that strange black sticky treacle stuff that they coated their wooden stairs with? Maybe they didn’t do it in London. It might have been a Brighton fashion. Like bungaroosh.

    Good luck with your builder hunting.