It was a house a-flurry with activity this morning with the worktop templater arriving at ten, overlapping with the fireplace guy and his apprentice at eleven and me recommencing my banister restoration project by twelve. Within the hubub of activity stood a stationary C, looking somewhat redundant. Eventually he made his way up the stairs.
“What are you up to?” he enquired.
“Stripping back this banister” I replied.
“Hmm.” He watched awhile. “Thankless task” he said eventually.
“You could do me a favour” I said, “Is it possible to remove this spindle so I can reach round the full post?” I gestured to a spindle butting up close to the post, preventing me from getting access to one flat side.
C looked more closely. “Probably not” he said, “the spindle would have been slotted in and then nailed..and then…hmmm. I could be wrong. Lets give it a go” he disappeared, returning with both hammer and chisel. A few knocks and a bang later and the spindle was free, albeit missing a section.
“Oh” he said, picking the splinter up from the carpet. “It didn’t survive.”
“No matter” I replied. “Bit of wood glue…it will be alright. Thank you”
With the advantage of 360 degree access I continued to scrape away the softened paint, and C continued to watch.
“I had thought” he said eventually “that the templater would be in and out in an hour. I can’t really do much while he is here.”
I stopped scraping and thought for a minute.
“There’s the contemplation of the access hatch?” I suggested. I was referring to the boxing around the boiler flue which S had spent the weekend making inaccessible by filling in the screw holes to the tune of “no-one will ever need to see it” before K announced that he would….every time he serviced our boiler.
“Humpf” replied a disdainful C. “Contemplate?”
I thought again.
“Shall I get my list?” I suggested “I have a ‘Jobs for C’ list on the table. There might be something on it you could get on with”
I fetched the hastily scribbled list and read it through, item by item. Meanwhile C frowned.
“What” he said eventually “is that word?”
“Snug” I replied.
He looked at me quizzically.
“The dining room. Your woodworking workshop. We’ve taken to calling it that for want of a better word….”
“Right.” His finger moved down the page, echoing my spoken rendition. Finally he looked up.
“And what will I do after dinner?”
Grinning, he clutched the list and returned downstairs. To contemplate.
Meanwhile I cracked on with the banister post, my new trick being a suede brush I had bought earlier this morning which was making short work of cleaning away the softened paint. There was some benefit in leaving the other post for weeks, I realised. The wood, bone dry, had sanded back easily. This second post was clogging so I made a mental note to revisit in a week once the wood had time to expel all evidence of the stripper and Fairy-bubbled water I’d used.
As the kitchen company dropped off the doors, drawers and shelves….our kitchen delivery now complete bar the hinges they irritatingly forgot, C reappeared on the stairs.
“There’s something I haven’t told you” he said.
“What’s that?” I asked as I packed my tools away.
“At the end of April, which is only a few weeks away, we are going on holiday.”
“Oh lovely” I enthused.
“I’m only saying because of your list”
“Oh that’s ok.” I said “we can work it out. You must be excited, Where are you going?”
“Peppa Pig World” he replied finally.
Later, after having resigned himself to the fact that boys do indeed wear bonnets, S reprimanded me whilst carefully cutting rabbits out of O’s Easter Egg box for tomorrows nursery headwear competition.
“Don’t laugh” he said after I’d relayed the story.
“I told him I wanted to hear him tell you with a straight face, and he had chuckled” I replied.
“Don’t stick those eggs on with masking tape!” cried S. “They will have fallen off by tomorrow.”
“What else have we got in this house?” I retorted.
S went to a drawer and extracted a roll of Sellotape,
“There you are.” He said “just put a line on top of the eggs”
“Are you kidding me?” I picked each egg back off and restuck it with mini rolls of Sellotape.
“What does this look like?” I sighed.
“It’s the perfect combination of homemade fun and commercial advertising.” he responded.
I carried on sticking, S carried on cutting.
“We’ll be wanting to know where Peppa Pig World is soon.” he said.
“Hampshire” I replied, “I’ve already checked.”