Whilst O and I are escaping the Project of the Three R’s to indulge in two of an altogether different sort…rest and recuperation…various elements back in London are slotting into place. Or at least we hoped that would be the case as all onsite awaited with anticipation the arrival of a (we hoped) made-to-measure set of bifold doors and a fixed pane window. Checking in with S at midday he confirmed that the foreman seemed happy with both the fit and the company, impressed that they had turned around the order in a fraction of the time his experience has led him to expect. His good mood was shortlived. S’s request that we now command a 10% finders fee received the terse, “Good luck with that.”
The worktop has also been ordered and a site survey booked for the last week in March meaning, should the floor go down as hoped (a degree of difficulty being accounted for and accommodated in the timescale) and the kitchen installed with no hiccups, we should have a fully operational kitchen space by mid April. A very exciting thought indeed. . . Yesterday afternoon I enjoyed a delicious hour utilising the facilities of my mother in law’s very comfortable kitchen to make O a small selection of homemade dinners whilst directing a treasure hunt for my four year old nephew. Neither of the two activities can be performed very well in our own house at the moment and it was a delightful reminder of the simple pleasures that await us once we have a functional space in which to be altogether again.
Whilst on the subject of function, it transpires that both S and I, despite being apart, synchronised our restless nights due in part to the telephone exercise conducted earlier comparing the electricans work against our checklist and finding it lacking. Sockets had been missed, lights had not been installed (namely our vintage factory pendants which appear to need some new cord) and wiring left unchased. The foreman today assured S that the items left outstanding were intentionally done so due to access issues… so we shall wait and see. On the positive side the exterior lights he did install illuminated our new doors beautifully so there was much excitement chez belle-mère this evening as pictures pinged, one by one, into my inbox.
Despite the discomfort, it does feel strange not to be onsite whilst all this work is taking place and I must admit to resisting leaving London for a while. I was determined to be available for questions and to enforce our decisions to ensure we were getting the build we wanted and not the one the builders thought we should have. Now I am here, the green of the rolling fields, scent of vinegared chips in the sea air and majesty of Roseberry Topping are all playing their part in returning me to something like my hairwashed pre-build self. However, surpassing all the magic that shampoo and a view can do, is the energising and reassuring sight of O playing raucously with his cousins and being cuddled, kissed and spoilt by three of his five sets of grandparents. Amidst his daily adventuring he has been learning to jump….bending down until his bottom almost touches the floor before straightening his legs with a jolt, simultaneously picking up and replacing one foot. He is learning to partake in interactive play as he manoeuvres a plastic frog and a bubblebath bottle around the rim of the bathtub to the patter of newly annunciated sounds simulating the kind of conversation a frog might have with a bottle. And he is learning, alarmingly quickly, to recognise when he is being fobbed off. This morning, as is customary, I handed his beaker of water to him before I began making his breakfast. He took a sip. He turned the cup sideways to peer inside and promptly replaced it on the table in disgust. His arm reached out towards the kitchen, hand splayed, accompanied by a chorus of “me,me,me,me,me”. I looked towards the kitchen at the space Grandma might occupy and saw a bottle of Robinson’s. Clear coloured liquid is no longer something he feels he should need to accept now he has been introduced to the delights of Summer Berry.
Armed with knowledge of his drinking preferences and a packed lunch that would easily satisfy his Dad, his Nana and Grandpa took O today to the farm whilst I indulged in a charity shop mini-crawl. Thankfully I found the items the success of the build is currently hinging on… A battered old OXO tin within which nestles a plastic bag full of tobacco scented puzzle plus a selection of wooden frames (which I may paint…I may not) to add to my slow growing collection. I intend to use them to create a family photo wall to bring those that love O, S and I to our home in spirit when they can’t be there in person. One day soon, though, we hope to be able to test the bifolding mechanism of our doors and open them wide to welcome our friends and family ….and begin to repay our rapidly accumulating hotel debt.