C’s arrival signals more often than not the start of my working day. Today, however, he was followed closely behind by a friend on her way round for “a nose and coffee”, so the kettle was subsequently flicked back on and the biscuits laid out. Its funny how progress is probably best appreciated through the eyes of others. On her last visit the kitchen was a building site. Today it is a room, albeit one not yet in use. Her amazement at its transformation gave me the permission to marvel at it too and I spent a moment dreaming of what it might be like to welcome her in a few weeks time, as they do on Grand Designs – standing sheepishly proud at their oversized doorway, their rent-a-red-(italian)-sofa, Barcelona chairs and buckets of floristry all in place, the stresses and strains forgotten aside from awkward questions about budget they coquettishly avoid.
Like Kevin, my friend can be honest.
“Is that the paint colour you are thinking of?” she asked, catching sight of the large blue swatch on the lounge wall.
“It is….I’m just not sure blue is right for a lounge.” I replied. “I’d been thinking green and then went off it, but I’m considering it again”
“Hmmm” she said thoughtfully before announcing with considerable certainty, “looks like a bedroom”.
Upstairs she asked my advice….could she could paint her PVC windows? I wasn’t sure.
“It’s just that I don’t want to spend money on windows,” she replied. “What will people say? Mmmmm like your windows? It’s like saying, ‘oooooo, love your boiler.’ Who says that?” She took a swig of her coffee “I want a nice sofa. People can say ‘ooh I love you sofa’ and I can say “thanks!”
I nodded in sympathy. Yesterday I had sent the dimensions of our bathroom window to a local joiners. The reply, pinging into my inbox moments before she arrived, had made me wince. I considered our shared dilemma. Would anyone care about our bathroom window? Probably not. Are we doing this for everyone? Most definitely not. Would I care about the bathroom window? Probably……long winded logic but the conclusion is clear. Yes we need a new window. No we can’t pay that. More research required.
After my friends departure it was very much a day of errand running. The wallpaper mural for the Worlds Smallest WC was ordered online, a selection of handles for the kitchen doors arrived for our perusal with S and I in total disagreement about which we like, the hob was collected from the hardware store which tried unsuccessfully to deliver it to an empty house yesterday – O and I having departed into London for a lovely day at the Science Museum and C, having taken a tumble from the top of his stairs following an encounter with one of his baby’s toys, having not quite such a lovely day in A&E. Green paint samples were bought to replace the blue in the lounge and stainless steel sockets were bought for the plugs on show in the kitchen including one to be positioned usefully on the side of the island. The knob for the larder door, salvaged from our reclaimed doors, was hunted and found and is currently being subjected to the powers of the eco stripper. Last but by no means least, I made some further progress on the banister post…with one now looking fairly naked as the second is cocooned in cellophane following its own coating of the stripper.
A visit to Fired Earth also proved fruitful not least as S appears, in a roundabout way, to have agreed to the tiling.
“Is that MDF for the kitchen?” he asked as he returned from work, referring to large sheets stacked upended in our hallway.
“I think so” I answered, turning away from the computer screen and the laborious task of re-sourcing bathroom furniture…..K the plumber having sent me back to the drawing board on a couple of my sanitaryware requests for either cheaper or better quality versions.
“I was thinking, the MDF he will use as a temporary work surface until the glass arrives could have been ply ….which we could then have used for the tiles we aren’t going to have.”
I stared back happily, tempted to present him immediately with the various designs mocked up for us by the Showroom manager. I bit my tongue. Tonight, judging by his exhaustion, wasn’t the night.
The day was brought to a close with a play for C.
“I’ll do you a list” I had said “of everything yet to do so that you can get an idea how much work is here and when you need to start touting for work elsewhere” I had said.
An hour later he reappeared.
“I’ve just had a text about a job”
“Oh?” I felt mild panic pulse through my veins.
“From your friend”
“Some friend.” I replied. C laughed. I texted.
“Stay away from our builder.”
“He’ll be well finished by the time I get my act together” was her smiley faced response.
I considered. She might be right. We are, I think, in striking distance of the goal. I’d better order my red sofa.