Feeling tired, achey and a little out of sorts it seemed today as if the world and I weren’t quite on the same page….or even the same day.
With the bathroom team, an electrician added into the mix, eagerly awaiting their delivery – in particular the shower tray so that a new wall could be constructed around it with wiring and pipe work concealed within – I called the shop to chase things up.
“Hi” I began, “I wondered what time I could expect my bathroom delivery?”
There was a pause.
“Tomorrow” came the reply.
“I was told it would be delivered on the 18th” I said, annoyance clipping at my tone.
“It will be” was the response. “Today is the 17th”
Sheepishly I ascended the stairs, bearing biscuits, to apologise for my error.
“Not to worry….. this time.” K said lightheartedly, “we’ve plenty to be getting on with.”
Shortly afterwards, as I sanded away at badly applied (by me) filler on the redundant screw holes of the access panel in a bid to try and mask it as best I can once painted (I’m still campaigning for avocado on this sofa wall beneath a collection of our various posters …a sceptical S agreeing for the moment to suspend judgement until they are gathered from around the house so he can see just how much of the green paint will actually be showing), K reappeared.
“I’ve a little question for you” he said
“I like little questions” I replied peering down at him from atop my ladder. “It’s the big ones that keep throwing me”
“I’ve asked the Finance Manager and he says to ask the Design Manager” he continued.
“So you should. Fire away”
“Do you want a pull cord or switch for the bathroom light?”
I thought for a moment. I repeated the question to myself. I thought again.
“I’m not so good at the little questions either today.” I said eventually. “What’s best?”
“Whatever you want” K said kindly but unhelpfully. “You make sure you have whatever you want”
I thought again. Switch outside would perhaps be more streamlined….but….one day we’ll have a teenager who undoubtably would find it hysterical to flick it off with an unsuspecting family member inside.
“Pull cord” I said decisively and returned to my sanding.
Several other questions were asked as I caulked my way round the skirting, the bucked out beveled affair now sitting flush against the architrave having been quickly and painlessly swapped for thinner MDF topped with matching beading. Some I could answer….”where did I want the shaving socket?” Others I couldn’t…”does the shower tray have a lip?”
“I don’t know, I’ve never seen it” I had replied handing a despairing, head shaking K my phone so he could call the shop to talk tech.
Speaking of which…an hour or so later the Technology Manager, having already checked in with K, called to check in with me, delegating an errand as he did so. We are still contemplating how best to deal with the need for extraction in our kitchen so S requested that I visit the local hardware shop where we have loyally purchased all of our appliances to find out what kind of island cooker hoods are available to us.
“I won’t understand what they are saying!” I pleaded.
“You can always call me from the shop” reassured S, “we just need prices and the size of the ducting the cooker hood might need.”
With S having established from the foreman that 4 inch ducting is needed to comply with building regs and me having transferred this information verbatim to K to be accommodated within the reconstruction upstairs, I reluctantly set off.
All was going well….brochures were out, prices given and aesthetics considered when I remembered the all important question.
“What size is the ducting?” I asked “4 inch or 6 inch?”
“125 ml” was the reply.
“Er… which one is that….4 or 6?” I asked
“5” he answered wryly, “but they work in metric”
I gathered up my brochures thinking now might be a good time to hand this task back to its rightful manager. I was halted.
“What size is your hob?” asked the assistant.
“I can’t remember” I replied unhelpfully before continuing in explanation. “It’s not yet been installed, its still in its box. We bought it here though…would there be a record?”
Looking gleeful at the opportunity to tippity tap on his keyboard, talking through each key press as he did so…he nodded.
“Search …..customer records….enter…..” There was a pause. “Postcode?” he demanded.
I told him.
“Street?” he asked.
I told him.
“Number?” he said.
I obliged again.
“Re…turn….” his hand bounced into the air from the emphasised impact against the key.
“Mr P?” he asked, eyes still scanning the screen. I remained silent. He looked up.
“Mr P? Is that you?”
“Well….er……no…..I’m his wife” I said making a mental note to put makeup on tomorrow.
“It’s a 600” he said “theres only one hood there that would match” he stabbed at the brochure with his finger. Relieved….not by the news but by the signal that my job was at last, done ….I departed the shop.
I detoured on my way home to nip into B&Q to buy paint for mist coating and a couple of lengths of ‘staff bead’ so C could finish the skirting…a job which had escalated in difficulty due to a nocturnal decision I’d arrived at to try and link the understairs storage to the motley line of cupboards and doors leading from the hallway into the extension. Each has its own quirk….the larder having a reclaimed door and knob, the boiler cupboard now a blackboard, the utility area soon to be magnetic, the WC door, plain with a stainless steel knob chosen and positioned by the builders concealing what S has taken to describing as a ‘Benidorm Beach Bar loo’ and the under stairs cupboard apparently designed to look as much like a wall as possible which will eventually conceal pushchair and scooters. The latter bound to be much in use if O’s overnight ability to ride it is anything to go by. Standing awaiting our full attention he demonstrated last night his newly acquired skill proudly. “Deddy… deddy” he prefixed and with ‘go’ he was off with a scoot scoot scoot glide – leg remaining elongated arabesque-like out the back. But Im going off track….again. next to the scooter cupboard is a last tiny cupboard big enough for a tool box to slide into…but the entire ensemble wasn’t really looking very concealed. Instead they jumped out as being neither wall or architraved door. It turns out, on questioning C, that apparently concealment was what Id asked for. I think I meant that I wanted the entire space to be utilised as storage….rather than it being necessarily concealed. We were at a point, though, where it needed to be either one or the other.
I presented an idea.
“Perhaps we should fix some skirting to the door so that it continues along ….matching the other side and I’m not left with that raw edge again…..and then it might really look like part of the wall rather than something…er….different” I suggested
In agreement C set about solving the conundrum of how a door bearing skirting could open without catching on the wall-affixed skirting beside it. These kinds of problem are his favourite with complicated but clever solutions often painstakingly created. We have, as a result, a masterpiece in carpenteering….skirting complete with beveled beading to allow for the fixed piece to accommodate the hinged door’s curved trajectory. It took, however, almost a day in the making. Hurtling towards the red end of our bank account I had better not have any more expensive ideas. Or better still, learn how to make myself perfectly clear in the first place.
The world and I need to realign.