By oldpineyurt, Jul 14 2019 04:47PM
As it's been over two years since we published our previous effort, we realise that we’re probably not cut out to be bloggers or social media influencers! However, thoughts of a carpet have moved us to take to the keyboard again to tell you a wee story. Intrigued? Read on!
A day or so ago, as we were cleaning the Hut in readiness for our guests’ arrival, we spotted a small dirty mark on the carpet. Out came the Vanish (other carpet cleaning products are available) and a damp sponge; we sprayed the affected area and sat back to allow the product a few minutes to work its magic. As we waited, thoughts came to mind of how the carpet came to be in the Hut in the first instance.
About four years ago a young couple asked if they could come to stay, bringing their baby, which had just begun to crawl. We discussed the issue, and decided that we would say yes; provided that the parents kept a close eye on the infant, there didn’t seem to be any reason not to – apart from the floor. The floorboards are old and, although they have been polished smooth by generations of feet, we worried that a crawling baby might pick up splinters. What to do?
Then we remembered the old carpet square in the loft. It was something of an heirloom, and could be dated back to at least the early 1950s, and probably well before that. The trend towards fitted carpets, and subsequently for laminate flooring, had rendered the old-fashioned carpet square largely redundant; ours had lain in the attic, rolled up under a pile of junk, for nearly forty years, destined, most probably, never to see the light of day again – but, from memory, we thought that it might just fit the Hut floor.
Donald was despatched to investigate, and reappeared some forty minutes later with the carpet over his shoulder, perspiring and grumpy because he’d had to move mountains of relics. We rolled out the carpet, a fine pure wool Wilton, on the Hut floor. It fitted – almost. An upright post, which Donald had used to strengthen the Hut roof during the heavy snowfalls of winter 2009-10, stopped the carpet from rolling out fully on one side; on a second side the fireplace prevented it from lying flat. Otherwise, it was perfect! We looked at each other, Donald obviously itching to use the Stanley (other makes of knife are available) knife that he was trying to hide behind his back. Half an hour passed, in a combination of heated discussion, long silences, and lots of emotion - the carpet had seen service in many houses, its edges had been the racetrack for many a toy car, and its intricate patterns had entertained infant minds for hours.
Guests who have stayed at the Old Pine Yurt will know what happened next; we cut the carpet to fit around both the offending post and the fireplace. The baby was safe.
Fast forward two years to the nice gentlemen from VisitScotland who were doing a survey on glamping, and came to ask us some questions. It was a cold April day, with frequent snow showers, but we were all cosy in the Hut, with the stove crackling away as we sat with coffee and biscuits. The business part of the meeting over, talk turned to more general things. We noticed one of our visitors, Bob, admiring the carpet; he told us that his father had owned a carpet company, in which Bob had also worked for several years, so he was something of an expert. We proudly related the story of how the carpet had been brought out of retirement to save the delicate hands and knees of a tender infant.
“Hmmmm” he said, “that’s a shame – it would have been worth two or three thousand pounds if you hadn’t cut it up” . . . . .