Once this house is suitably makeovered I think the next job will be to makeover me. By that I don’t mean dunking my arm up to its elbow in the green paint tin whilst attempting to put the lid on five minutes before leaving the house…. yesterday’s mishap which involved trying to negotiate my way rapidly into the shower with a towel between my teeth. I managed on that occasion to leave, late, looking fairly presentable but my public appearances are generally becoming concerning. This morning as I paid for my coffee following nursery drop off I noticed a couple staring at me. Could it be the unwashed hair? Lack of make-up? The splodges of yellow paint adding to the green on on my arms? Or perhaps the thrown together attire? No. I’m fairly certain it was the streak of toothpasted water running from neckline to breast bone …a faux pas likely to have taken place during the routinely problematic minty flavoured wrestle O and I conduct each morning. That said, the unwanted attention may have had something to do with the loud conversation about droppings I’d had with Pest Control as I struggled to be heard over the cafe din.
Pest Control had kindly agreed to come round this very afternoon following my insistence that something be done whilst we still have access of sorts behind the kitchen cupboards. Once the solid worktops are fitted on Friday our chance will be lost. Last night S, laying on his belly torch in hand, saw the blighter munching on a piece of bread under the fridge which had found its way there by means of the little monkey we also have in residence who is currently going through an unwelcome stage of throwing food. Tonight the crunching sounded less like bread and more like cable or even, god forbid, our lovely units …..and should that be the case they will find no mercy here at the Pebbledashed Pad.
In order to prepare for the poison bearing man and knowing from experience that he likes to bear nothing much other than that, having steadfastly refused last year to move anything to get better access to the rodents probable entry points, I attempted to remove the MDF worktops myself. Two sections came away easily with the unfastening of a few screws. The third section however, was fixed down firmly by the plumbing of the tap. I called K.
“Are you coming over today?” I asked hopefully.
“At some point” he replied noncommittaly.
Explaining the situation I asked, if it was at all possible, if he might be able to get here before twelve. He was vague and said he would see what he could do. I remained hopeful.
I called S to tell him the news.
“You’ll need to pull the fridge out” he added “ask P to help. But first you need to lower the wheels at the front with a big allen key”
“Right. Where’s an allen key?” I asked.
“I don’t know” he replied. “My tool box?”
“Where’s your tool box?” I asked.
“I don’t know” he sighed. “I don’t know where anything is anymore”
I looked vaguely into the snug at the ‘tidied’ mess but with chaos staring right back at me I made an executive decision to delay the visit until we had time to better organise ourselves. At this rate they would turn up armed with foam, poison and steel wool…find nowhere they could put it, charge us and leave again to the sound of mice jeering at their retreating backsides. I called Pest Control to reschedule.
Once that was sorted it was easy to forget all about our unwelcome visitors as I busied myself with finishing my frames, applying a second coat of green to the lounge walls and beginning the dirty and arm aching job of sanding back the last banister post. Intermittently I went upstairs with coffee for P and their electrician, D and whilst there was collared to discuss the positioning of a bathroom extractor fan and its ducting. An unwelcome suggestion to take the ducting over the top of the bathroom cabinets ‘concealed’ by funky, cumbersome boxing was rejected by way of my new trick….silence …..until a more satisfactorily streamlined idea (ducting down and under the basin, properly concealed beneath the existing shelf) was proffered. Whilst upstairs I asked P if the discussion with K regarding the toilet cistern had taken place.
“I just told him you’d changed your mind” he said mortifyingly “and then continued on with something else before he could respond.”
I mentally dissolved our crime working partnership realising that if you want a job done its quite often best to do it yourself and prepared myself instead for an uncomfortable conversation with K, him arriving just as P was leaving.
“I start early and leave at 3.30″ P had explained to me last week ” but K gets everywhere late and works into the night. That’s not me. I tell him, if you need to speak to me you need to get here early.”
K expressed his displeasure at the timing of P’s departure but sticking resolutely to his guns P left for his train whilst the huffing and puffing between K and his right hand man G, becoming more colourful as the door closed behind their colleague, continued. Wishing I could make myself scarce, instead I dropped my clanger.
“Tomorrow Im going to swap the toilet for a concealed cistern” I announced and in an attempt to spread the blame added “as P and I both think it will work better”
Looking me directly in the eye in the manner of a reprimanding head teacher, he pursed his lips.
“You know the implications of that” he said simply. “If it leaks you are stuffed”
“But you are installing it” I replied obstinately, referring to his blasphemous tendencies whenever addressing a problem caused by the installation (in)abilities of others “so it won’t leak will it?”
He raised his eyebrows and shook his head despairingly.
“And anyway,” I continued “the shelf will come off so P said you can get your arm down behind the loo that way”
“If only life was that easy” G piped up, to my knowledge his very first words other than the grunted assent to a cup of tea.
“P is a bit like C.” K said with a wag of his finger in emphasis of his point “A little bit of knowledge can be dangerous” and with that he disappeared behind the studwork to busy himself importantly. I shut the door quietly behind me and resumed my sanding.
If my life is at the point now where anything to do with a toilet cistern has the potential to be dangerous, I’m due a rethink. A makeover is unlikely to be sufficient….