Ah….the restorative effects of a spring clean…….
Today I intended to tidy and clean the parts of the house in which we presently reside but before I could begin I was stalled by C in his mission to clear the contents of the snug so that he could continue sanding the boards. Arriving home after dropping O at nursery, which you would think from the way he scuttled in and reacquainted himself with all his little friends that he had never been away, I found C staring perplexed at the remaining pile of redundant (for now) reclaimed wood.
“I don’t know where to put it” he said, having put everything else in the hallway and in doing so having done a fairly good job at hampering my re-entry.
“Perhaps we could tape it up into bundles” I suggested “and pop it on its end in the lounge or in this part of the hall”
“I don’t know if we have tape” said C, remaining rooted to the spot.
I disappeared upstairs and returned bearing masking tape. With C seemingly satisfied I retraced my steps upstairs in search of the kettle amidst the dust and mess. C appeared like a shadow behind me shortly after.
“I don’t know what to do with this wood” he said again.
“I thought we were going to tape it?” I said patiently.
“The problem….” he began, a phrase in his vocabulary which is well used though to date its only the hallway boards which have remained one…everything else, if you allow him the time to wallow in the problem which includes telling you all about it, he usually finds a solution for. “The problem”, he repeated, “…is that masking tape tears so I can’t really do it with that. What would be really nice is to use some of that fabric tape”
“Uh huh” I said, head in a cupboard searching for mugs.
“Which you had” he continued
Mugs in hand I stood back up.
“It was there…” He indicated towards the hallway, now a-clutter with paraphernalia from the snug….cupboard doors, tools, boxes…. I peered downstairs. ‘Needle’ and ‘haystack’ came to mind. We ventured downstairs under the premise of looking.
His phone rang, negating the need for my thoughts to be formed into words. “That will be S” he said.
“Oh?” I replied.
He dug deep into his pocket for his phone. “I rang him earlier. I didn’t know where to put the wood”.
He answered. “Hi”
I heard my husbands voice at the end of the line. “Hi C, its S”
“I had a missed call from you, sorry not to get back to you earlier” I heard him say from somewhere in West London.
“…er…M’s back now but I was ringing to find out where to put the wood…”
I retreated back upstairs. Shortly after my phone buzzed.
“Hi darling” S said “C isn’t sure….”
“What to do with the wood.” I finished. “I’ve told him to tape it up and put it in the hallway.”
“So did I.” S replied.
Having succeeded in claiming half an hour of my life and confirmation from S, C felt reassured enough to tape up the floor using a variety of tapes he discovered, and stack it in the hall while I conveniently forgot I’d used the royal ‘we’ and instead got on with my own re-organising.
The kitchen, both bedrooms and bathroom were tidied, dusted, hoovered and mopped and as I did it I felt the impossibilities of completing the house fall away and optimism return, assisted by the arrival of my design consultant Z. A professional make up artist she has an eye for colour and together, venturing down to the sun soaked extension to contemplate various shades of white, we decided upon the best of two of the Earthborn options. In addition we cracked the lounge, snug and guest bedroom colour palettes. Why Z and not S? As, when presented with ‘Piglet’ and… er… ‘White’ (and I thought I said I was going to try and be brave?) S replied. “I can’t see the difference”. He has his say when he wants to though, and ‘Wood Smoke’ was blackballed.
His opinion, though encouraged, is often proffered at the most untimely moments.Today I pointed out that our kitchen run looks proportionally rather small in the space and our fears of it encroaching too far down the room were misplaced.
“Oh pet…there’s no worktop space!” S exclaimed when the situation was pointed out.
“Don’t oh pet me! You looked at the plans too!”
My indigence is a touch unfair as whilst I encouraged his feedback my opinions did tend to dominate. So I set about rectifying the situation. I abandoned my trusted scale rule and instead, armed with two chairs, a tape measure and masking tape hashed up a lifesize replica of the dining area. A quick email pinged to the kitchen company asking for one more 300mm drawer unit and a swift reply in response giving the thumbs up has solved the problem.