It’s becoming clear that operation ‘Get Us and The Houseplants to a Safe Haven By Friday’ is in jeopardy, partly due to the unallocated (on the gant chart) time needed to serve our squatter, comfortably making himself at home, with an eviction notice. The larder shelves had barely been finished before C’s tools and trinkets lined them, somewhat contraray to the function for which they were actually designed. His paraphernalia, allotted initially to the snug, is now uncontrollably spewing across the kitchen area with plumbing apparatus turned out in a heap, drills, wood glue, coffee mugs and sandpaper strewn across the island and a coffee station set up in the utility area. Re-containing C to the snug – more of a sawdust sandpit than anything resembling a family room – will be absolutely necessary before any movement from upstairs to downstairs can take place.
Tonight, on a mission to put a first coat of paint on the larder shelves, I employed that very female tactic with which I often irritate S and moved things, combining separate piles of screws and fixings to the nearest container. These were then emptied from the larder and lined up instead against the bifolds…not a space where they can reside for long but until the snug is reorganised to accommodate them it will have to do. This transference from shelf to floor will, I’m sure, result in a days extra wages as C hunts for necessary fixings and tools. That said there is a distinct lack of any noticeable organisation to his working set up at present. This afternoon, for example, he lamented the loss of a particular drill bit.
“I have a feeling” he announced “that the guys from the kitchen company went away with it”
“Really?” I said, as I achingly sanded a somewhat stubborn larder door accompanied by sporadic Christmas tunes from C’s playlist…..not altogether inappropriate considering the April snow.
“The last time I saw it they were using it” he said.
I stopped my sanding.
“I didn’t think they fixed anything..they just delivered” I said.
He shrugged, exasperated. “Well where is it then?”
Perhaps now is a good time for you to scoot down to the pictures below and meet me back here in a moment after which I think you’ll agree…your guess is as good as mine.
Meanwhile I was again paralysed ….not today by indecision though maybe a little as I’ll admit to not knowing quite where to start…but rather ambition. ‘Paint the ceiling, utility cupboards and shelves’ my list said simply. The ceiling was out of the question, the paint having arrived but its application not the best idea whilst C was trying to fit doors and plinths. Painting the utility cupboards was all very well, C having kept up his side of the bargain and completed all that needed doing yesterday leaving me free to get on with the fairly exciting but experimental application of the blackboard and magnetic paint. After a little contemplation (read procrastination) I figured it was crazy to finish sanding the larder door with wet paint around so instead I made the executive decision to postpone the experiment and continue on the door …a job which I thought might take an hour but which in fact sapped four. Which left me 15 minutes before I was due at nursery to begin applying our Earthborn eggshell, another experiment, to the architrave.
An entertainingly verbose O distracted me from painting duty for the next couple of hours as he tested out his newly acquired vocabulary… the beginnings of conversations forming.
“Hot. Hot” he repeated from his highchair, his little hand splayed and directed towards a variety of correctly diagnosed objects….the radiator, kettle, cup, and the light bulb. Each time an agreement by S or myself was required until, satisfied, he turned his attention elsewhere.
“Dog” he repeated, pointing at his book.
“Yes darling, clever boy…. it is a dog” I replied from the sink as I filled a saucepan with water for his spaghetti.
“Bag” he said matter-of-a-factly, pointing to my apology of a bag spilling its unruly contents on the table, a dollop of green paint having stained the leather.
“Its mummy’s bag. Good boy”
With arms outstretched and face crumpled, his observations turned to a plea.
After which, tummy full and bathed, he lay sleepily in my arms, observations silenced by the sleep dancing heavily on his eyelids. Safely tucked into his cot I returned downstairs to tackle, I hoped finally, the ceiling.
A productive evening was had with a first coat applied to the architrave, ceiling finished though still, I think, looking patchy, masking tape around the Veluxes removed and most of the larder shelves coated. Midnight signalled the replacement of the brush in its tin, a much needed shower and bed. There is much work still to be done….but Project Downstairs will continue….
The Plumbing Pile