Miss Ceejay Writer, a good friend of mine, sometime near-neighbor, and fellow patron of the arts, came to me with a detectable tinge of a panic in her voice.
Recently she has become invested in business dealings in other cities, having leveraged her profits from the CocoaJava Cafe. Unfortunately, all this time, the very same cafe has been undermined at the very foundation by a great infestation of mice and rats! Along with the unusual subsidence of the ground in the Academy district which claimed the old Wilde Hospital building after its boiler burst, this means the cafe is literally on shaky ground.
Miss Writer herself can no longer commit to caring for the old building, itself quite old and subject to many Renovations and at least one move. With my experience in Academy and in building renovations, I offered to assume ownership of the Old Grey Lady and see what I could do. I tried to remind her that I’m batting .500 on successful Renovations so far, but she was quite pleased… and quite in a hurry to unload the place and dash off to the train. Curious…
Mr. Mornington stopped by with some good advice on which bricks will be the trickiest. More well-wishers also came by, and Mr. Tenk even took up his traditional spot on the hearth.
All of the old furnishings had to go. Its for the best, really, given who knows whom or how many have slept on or spilled things on them. I’ve tented the place to begin fumigations. The next step will be to get into the sewers and install some metal reinforcements. Then see to the walls themselves.
It will be a slog, but I’d best get hopping. I’m sure what with winter starting, folk will be eager for a hot cup!