The Passage of Time: Wk 16 – Day Five

8am came and went this morning with no sign of P and his chocolate treats…a Kit Kat having been added to his Willy Wonka-esque portfolio …handed to a delighted O over breakfast the other day resulting in an instant loss of interest in egg on toast. I guiltily thought of him walking up the hill in the pouring rain… a hazard, I imagined, of being a tradesman with no transport….and considered for a moment bundling O into the car to fetch him. It transpired, however, that this tradesman was in fact nowhere near. A pinging voicemail explained that he was, in fact, leisurely washing a bacon sarnie down with a cup of instant in a cafe near home….the trains being up the creek due in all probability to raindrops on the line.

So far public transport hasn’t served him very well….not that he’s the kind to mind. Earlier this week, homeward bound after a long day, the trains had been cancelled running out of our nearest station. Whilst most of us would have impatiently begun to seek out alternative routes on smartphones whilst pacing the platform, P sat down on a bench and read his book.
“I thought I’d just wait till they started again” he had said as he relayed the incident. He has a similar lackadaisical approach in the mornings.
“I watch those commuter types running for their trains” he said “and I think hey…theres another one coming in three minutes! Why run?”
Whilst cajoling O to eat his a breakfast without a chocolate component, eating some of my own, packing up a bag with lunch, shoving a load of washing on and frantically masking and notating the kitchen doors with handle positions for C whilst running late for O’s music play session, I imagined for a moment what it might feel like to be washed about like bobbing driftwood on the surf as P appears to be as opposed to stubbornly steering my way upstream. Scooping O up into my arms to navigate our way round the disaster area of the bathroom in search of essential toiletries, a space which, bar one beautifully tiled wall looks no further progressed than it did on day one, I realised where the sacrifices for this easy-going attitude to life were being made. This bathroom, far from being completed in the two weeks scheduled, would instead be taking as long as it took.

Returning home from a morning of drumming, shakering and scooting in the park afterwards ….picnic postponed due to the unpredictable weather…I discovered a frowning C on the patio, cigarette in hand, head upturned to the greying skies.
“I thought we were getting some sun” he explained “so I brought this door out to dry. It’s going to be a pain if I have to bring it back in again”

The door of which he spoke was the rotting, splitting reclaimed one from upstairs which he had filled with glue and had in braces. Having pulled it back together, he went on to explain in joinery jargon, that the tenon and mortise joint now protruding from the side of the door would need to be planed. I blankly nodded my acknowledgement as opposed to my understanding and thought, not for the first time, how once again our green intentions are causing us considerable more time, work and money….these being extraordinary lengths in which to go to salvage a salvaged door. As Mother Nature dsdainfully ignored C’s pleas and opened the heavens, C manhandled the braced door back inside resolving instead to store it in ‘his room’ allowing it the period of his holiday to strengthen and set.

With P busy doing something invisible to the bathroom …having eventually braved both the rain and the disrupted rail network…I started to prepare for the arrival of the man booked to refurbish the lounge fireplace. C, always resistant to other tradesmen muscling in on his manor, had been none too happy when I had warned him of his scheduled arrival yesterday.
“Last time they were here” C had said “I lost an hour. Plus I had to clear up to give them access. Now I have other people’s stuff in my room too so its harder to tidy.”
Noting the territorial referral to ‘his room containing other people’s stuff’ as opposed to our room containing his stuff, I had obligingly emailed a request that the snug fireplace refurb be conducted next week whilst C is otherwise engaged with Peppa and George. My request met with approval, the new parts for the snug fireplace not having yet been cast. All were happy.

With O exhaustedly giving himself up to a nap I got on with a few little pleasurable projects accompanied by a ‘Poker Face’ humming C mixed in with bursts of the drill as he began the task of affixing the kitchen handles. The first of my jobs was to make a start sanding back the pine frames destined for O’s room in preparation for a coat of Farrow and Balls yellow ‘Babouche’. The second, to slick kilner jars with blackboard paint ready to be chalkily notated with their contents. I was interrupted by the unscheduled arrival of K, arriving to belatedly exchange the delivered shower tray for another with a differently positioned waste…a job which was apparently urgent last week but, judging by his infrequent appearances onsite, would appear was no pressing matter after all and certainly didn’t warrant my frantic calls to the bathroom warehouse organising the immediate switch.

It would seem its not only P for whom time is of no concern. Meanwhile we have little choice but to stay friends with those butterflies….


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