After living in the house of Uncle Zhang, the manager of Meilijin Pen Company, his father looked for a rented house, because the shorter the time to disturb Manager Zhang, the better.
It didn't take long for the house I wanted to rent to be found. My father said that the house was located in Xiangfu Hutong, northeast of Tax Corner, in the fourth courtyard, close to where he worked, and he could walk a few minutes away.
Soon my father took me and my mother to see the house, and the landlord was already waiting for us. There are 9 houses in Courtyard 4, all of which are empty, so we can choose at will. After discussing with his father and mother, he did not choose the spacious and bright north house. There are 3 rooms in the North House, each of which costs 50,000 yuan in rent, and at least one and a half is required. At that time, his father's salary was only more than 300,000 yuan, and he was reluctant to spend so much money to rent a house. They also don't want to choose the south house, it is dark and damp, and they have to rent it inside and out, and the rent is indispensable. Pick or choose, they chose Westinghouse. There are two Westinghouses in the courtyard, one is more than 10 square meters and the other is 6 square meters, and they chose the larger one. It is close to the North House and the rent is 30,000 yuan.
At that time, the old version of RMB was still used, and 10,000 yuan was only equivalent to the new version of RMB 1 later.
The west room chosen by my parents is long from north to south, about 4 meters more, and wide from east to west, about 2 meters more. Because there were beams in the middle of the house, it was registered as two houses when it was converted to a rented house in 1958.
This room was built by the back wall of the No. 3 courtyard house, and the inner walls of the house were plastered with mud in some places, and the bricks borrowed from the wall were exposed in some places, which were dirty and old, and the house had no roof, and when you looked up, you could see the old rafters and broken reed foil, which seemed to be dilapidated.
Naturally, my father also found these problems and took the time to clean up. After cleaning up, I took my mother and me to see it again.
At this time, the wall was completely new, snow-white and white, and it turned out that my father had mended the peeled wall skin, tired of the exposed wall cracks, and painted the wall with white ash.
My father also made his own roof. Since the house was relatively low, my father did not tie a shelf, but directly pasted the white paper on the rafters. This room was built by borrowing the back gable wall of someone's house, and the beam pillar against the wall could not be built into the wall, so it became a pillar, and my father specially wrapped this pillar and beam with cardboard, and pasted white paper, I don't know, I thought it was a specially made partition between the inside and outside the house.
The white walls reflect the white roof, shining brightly, and the new home finally has the appearance of home.
After cleaning up the house, my father started to make furniture again, and my mother once showed me how my father operated, which was actually to transform the box. I don't know where my father bought a batch of used boxes, which looked like a large piece of equipment, and the board was long and thick. The father had disassembled the boxes, and the boards were wide and narrow, thin and thick, and more than a centimeter thick. He said that these boards should be used to make a board cabinet, a rice noodle box, and a few benches with paving boards.
When my father took us to see it again, all the things he said were ready and laid out.
The cabinet was a bit like an old-fashioned large cabinet in the countryside, about forty or fifty centimeters high, sixty centimeters wide, and two meters long. The top surface of it is two-thirds nailed, and the nailed part is supported by a plank; The part that is not nailed can be lifted as a lid. My father said it was mainly used to put clothes.
On the other side of the board was a bench made by my father. Since I had never seen such a strange bench, I took a few more looks. It uses 4 slightly thicker plates as 4 legs, and two pieces are nailed diagonally to the face of the panel. The general bench is the face of the panel rushed up, and it is the side of the panel rushed up. Since the width of the panel becomes the thickness, the load-bearing capacity is greatly enhanced. The lower part of each set of legs is connected by a crossbar, which is connected by a plank between the two crossbones. Although the structure is simple, it is strong and practical. The planks are nailed with nails, there are no mortise, but the bench is fine to use. I had never seen such a bench anywhere else, and I couldn't help but suspect that it was my father's originality.
I don't know where my father got it, but it was used by others at a glance, it has been polished smooth and smooth, and it has been deformed by dampness, twisting and twisting, and the bed has been set up and undulated. To this end, my father laid a straw mat on it to level it.
The reason why my father put the large cabinet under the bed, I think saving materials is secondary, mainly to save space. Because the bed takes up less than half of the entire area of the house, there is no suitable place to enlarge the cabinet.
The bed was propped up in the south of the room. Large cabinets were placed on the western wall in the south of the house. The lid of the large cabinet is exposed on the outside of the bed, so you can easily reach things. The mother put the icing on the cake and pasted the exposed part with a kind of glossy paper, which looked much better. On the green glossy paper, the pattern of a black origami swallow is printed. I had been observing the pattern for a long time, figuring out how to fold the little swallow, but I never got the point.
The rice noodle box was smaller, with a lid that could be lifted whole, and my mother used it as a kitchen countertop to cut vegetables and knead noodles.
The rice noodle box was placed on the north side of the house, and a water tank was placed on the east side of it. When the door opens, the water tank will be hidden by the door, completely invisible. This door is a folding door, two black lacquered door leaves are connected by hinges, and the two door leaves can be folded up after opening the door. Since it folds and leans against the corner, access is more convenient.
But there are advantages and disadvantages, and its security has become worse. Its latches can only be mounted on the door frame, and the door frame is flanked by wooden lattice windows, and the door can be opened from the outside by breaking the window paper. Knowing this, I have always been unsteady in my heart, and I often have nightmares of bad people opening the door from outside, in which my mother and I struggle against the door to prevent bad people from breaking in.
In addition, my father installed a piece of glass on the wooden lattice window. There are no walls on the east side of the house, except for the windowsills, which are all wooden lattice windows. This kind of window can only be pasted, and there is no place for glass. My father nailed six small nails to the south window and stuck a piece of glass, which not only enhanced the brightness of the house, but also allowed you to observe the situation outside. My mother also provided it with a small curtain. Wooden lattice windows are generally pasted with window paper, which is a type of coarse cotton paper made by hand. This kind of paper has poor light transmission and is not insulated. Therefore, the house is always not lit, and it is still cold in winter and hot in summer.
This photo shows the real window of my home
This kind of pasty paper window is particularly afraid of rain, and when the rain is heavy, the window paper is easy to come out of the hole. For this reason, my father specially bought a large canvas with iron-clad corners at the corners, and there were holes in the iron-clad corners, which could be hung on nails nailed to the wooden window in advance when it rained, which could keep out the rain. But the effect is not good, one is that it can only cover the windows in the south, and the windows in the north are still drenched. Second, if it is not hung in time, the southern window will also be drenched. Later, Dad nailed four more rain baskets to hang in front of the window, which completely solved the problem.
After moving in, my father bought a fuchsia painted popuze table with three drawers and placed it on the west wall of the house. It was the only furniture my father bought for Anjia.
After careful cleaning by my father and mother, the house has white walls, white tops, white window paper, and basically all the furniture needed, and it really feels like home.
We moved into Little Westinghouse in May 1954.
I was under the impression that the window paper was patched in a short time. The window paper is not very strong, it is easy to touch the hole, once it touches the hole, the mother will use the remaining window paper, cut a pomegranate, peaches and the like to fill it up.
In addition, if the rain hits the window paper, a watermark will appear, and then a watermark will appear on the white roof. The roof of this house is covered with white ash, and if it rains for a long time, it will water will leak, and watermarks will appear on the white paper of the roof. The watermark on the window paper and the watermark on the ceiling are like abstract paintings, and if you stare at it for a while, you can find that it looks like something, and it can change in the blink of an eye. After watching it for a long time, I actually found many strange looking human faces in it, which was quite scary. So when I sleep, I lie down and close my eyes and try not to look at them.
Later, after the New Year, my father re-glued the ceiling with newspaper, so that the abstract paintings were gone. But after going to school, I always tried to understand the content of it, which also affected falling asleep (my parents slept later than me).
(Except for the photos of my window, all other photos are from the Internet.) ）