Cellardyke house damage worse than we’d feared

Exhibit A: Gareth and Dave Gibbs examine a broken chair in the kitchen. This photo was taken as we were about to leave, around 23:15, when we had calmed down a little.

We’re just back from Cellardyke where we’ve spent the evening clearing up some of the damage that a group of six Polish visitors (3 couples) caused to our holiday cottage in Cellardyke, Fife. I’m so glad that we didn’t have guests going in there this afternoon, because we’d have had to turn them away. Words escape me about the destruction that they caused to our house. I can’t imagine why anyone would do that to someone’s house!

Here’s the damage we found:

  1. Kitchen chair broken (see photo above).
  2. Washing machine powder tray snapped.
  3. Microwave left in a disgusting state. I have no idea what they burned in there. (See Exhibit B, below.)
  4. Letter box flap dented.
  5. All the carpets are blackened, especially the stairs and smaller bedroom. We’ll need to get professional carpet cleaners in to clean them. Vanish Carpet Mousse got to work on some of the stains.
  6. Coke or coffee stains all over the small bedroom floor.
  7. Cigarette and tea light burn marks on 3 carpets (bedroom, stairs and living room). (See Exhibit F, below.)
  8. Door from hallway to living room has been kicked in, big holes in the door and the hinges are broken. This door will need replaced. (See Exhibit E, below.)
  9. Child-safety gate at the top of the stairs has been kicked in. You can see the foot marks on the gate. (See Exhibit C, below.)
  10. Toothpaste all over one sofa cushion.
  11. Rubbish, half-eaten food and empty cigarette packets hidden behind the books in the living room.
  12. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring VHS video stolen.
  13. Scrabble and Trival Pursuit games boxes have been ripped apart, as have a couple of books.
  14. Ladder to loft broken.
  15. The walls in most of the rooms will need repainting as there are shoe marks all over them.
  16. The lock on the bathroom door was forced so that part of the door frame has broken. (See Exhibit D, below.)
  17. And the place reeks of cigarette smoke, and was more disgusting than the day we got the keys and started ripping up carpets.
  18. An electric heater was left switched on behind the sofa!!! We were so fortunate that the whole house didn’t go up in flames.

I am utterly disgusted at these acts of wanton destruction. What they did wasn’t an accident. It was wickedness. I would go so far as saying that what they did was evil. Here are some more photographs:

Exhibit B: The most disgusting microwave oven in Scotland™.

Our friend, and my former homeless hostel Deputy Manager Dave Gibbs valiantly cleaned this for us.

Exhibit C: Broken child gate.

The gap at the top left should have the safety catch, which we found on the mantlepiece in the kitchen. Beside the screw which used to hold one of the wall brackets! You can clearly see the black foot mark from where it was kicked.

Exhibit D: Damaged bathroom door frame.

As you can see the lock used to push into a hole in the door frame. It took quite some considerable force to break that.

Exhibit E: One of the holes in the living room door.

And this is part of the living door that was kicked in. We can’t close the door now, the hinges are so buckled. There are at least two holes that go right through the door.

Exhibit F: Burn marks on the small bedroom carpet.

This is the largest burn mark in the centre of the small bedroom carpet. It looks like it was caused by a tea light left burning on the carpet.

I’m left quite speechless, hurt and very angry. In fact, interestingly, I was coping with it alright until I discovered the books that had been ripped, and the games boxes that had been destroyed, and that’s when I began to feel really angry.

I know that we run the risk of some damage to the house from visitors from time to time. But this, in the words of Marjorie Dawes, is “SOMETHING ELSE!” What they did was malicious and evil. As I said to Jane it was more spit and less polish!

The house now smells a combination of Co-op’s own brand anti-tobacco air-freshner, Flash with bleach and Vanish Powershot!

We’ll need to plan carefully what we need to take over to clean the place more thoroughly, redecorate and replace the damaged items (chair, door, safety gate, etc.).

(p.s. It’s taken me all my effort not to swear in this blog post, and say words like “*&£$%!” and “evil @#&^ing *£$!@#{s”.)

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Former Scrum master at Safeguard Global, Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

4 thoughts on “Cellardyke house damage worse than we’d feared”

  1. That’s so awful. It’s difficult to fathom the mindset of people who would do something like that, i can only assume very large amounts of alcohol were involved. I hope you have their address and will be sending them a large bill for damages along with a threatening lawyers letter.
    I knew people at college who treated houses like that and it’s horrible, just a completely selfish disregard for the property and, by extension, feelings of others.
    Where would i go for details on pricing and availability of your cottage?

  2. Gosh it looks even worse than I thought, how can folks be so thoughtful with other peoples property. Did you know these people? When I think how hard you both worked to get it looking like a home.

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