Today was a significant day for a number of reasons. The first being that S turned forty (cough) something. The second being that in doing so, a milestone has come and gone as far as the refurbishment of the house is concerned…at one point us having foolishly fantasized that S’s birthday might give us the opportunity to throw open our doors and celebrate the house’s completion. Whilst that is clearly not to be, with the arrival of our recycled glass worktops an important and long awaited piece of the jigsaw fell….or more accurately was hefted….into place.
I rose with S at the ungodly hour of 5.30am for present giving and a rare weekday breakfast together. Two presents from O and I sat enticingly awaiting his attention…..A vintage french clock and a set of old carpenters tools. The clock had been bought first. ..my thinking at the time being that it would act as an apologetic replacement for a clock I once insisted he remove from our flats’ lounge claiming “it didn’t look right” despite S’s daily laments that he was unable therefore to tell the time. Despite the fact I knew he’d like its belated replacement, guiltily I realised that I loved it and had already figured out where it would go. I wasn’t sure it would be very touching to receive a present with a caveat attached…..”this is for you but I want it to hang here“.
Troubled by the (delayed) realisation I struggled to think of an alternative gift. This week, however, I was given a clue. S had talked animatedly about the workshop/shed he wants at the bottom of the garden and how he could begin a new hobby within it.
“What size is this shed going to be?” I had asked incredulously having heard his plans.
“As long as it has a decent workbench it doesn’t matter” he had replied ” I would just really like to have a go at woodwork. I think I’d like it”
I logged on to eBay. There I found a wooden box full of vintage carpentry tools. I bought it.
S still received the clock of course, along with detailed instructions about where I’d like its future home to be. Both of us, regardless of its location, will I’m sure become reliant on its timekeeping skills. The box, however, jammed full of timber-handled tools worn smooth by years of use ….each preloved item yet to be unwrapped – something to look forward to when we return from our bank holiday weekend with the family – will I know be loved once again by an owner loved by me.
Once S had left for work I set about clearing the worktops and removing drawers in preparation for the worktop fitting with the same sense of nervous anticipation I had on kitchen delivery day ….the risk of getting it wrong having far more catastrophic consequences than buying another tin of paint. P arrived before O awoke so I continued my preparations for a couple more peaceful moments until P ventured downstairs in search of coffee, bearing news that my little man had stirred.
“Good morning!” I cooed as I entered his room finding O lying wide eyed but still, cocooned in his little sleep pod. His big eyes blinked.
“Morning baby” I said again. His eyes blinked again.
“Shall we go downstairs for some breakfast?” I asked softly, a question usually answered by the enthusiastic “Ninner!” Still he did not move.
I opened the blind,
“P’s here….” I said and with that he jumped to his feet accompanied by excited repetition of his name.
Passing by the bathroom for O’s routine press of the drill button, P announced that he had a surprise….Following us downstairs he rustled a packet of mini cheddars.
“This is my lunch” he said ” but I’ll share them with you. Ask your mum for a bowl”
With bowl held outstretched in the manner of Oliver asking for more, O feasted on cheesy biscuits whilst ‘cheers-ing’ his water against P’s coffee throughout. Making an egg I feared would remain uneaten I told myself that it was, after all, Fun Friday (a day O and I spend together attempting to do nice things…) and allowances could be made.
Once P had resumed work upstairs O and I got on with our day….packing for our mini-break, reading, football, watering the strawberry plants (and the patio) …but still there was no sign of the worktops. I called the company.
“They left half an hour ago…they should be with you any minute” I was reassured.
Half an hour came and went. I made P and I a coffee. O and I had another kick about outside. I checked my phone. A voicemail informed me that the worktops had been delivered to our old address…one I had no idea they even knew about.
“Call me back on this number” the delivery driver demanded in an irritated tone….leaving no number.
With messages crossing from me to company, company to van and company to me it took twenty minutes before confirmation that the van had the right address was given and twenty more for it to drive the ten minutes from old flat to current house.
“We had the wrong address” the driver said accusingly to me upon his eventual arrival.
“God knows how” I replied before catching sight of a second man. I recognised him…..the templater.
“You have no excuse for going to the wrong house!” I cried “you came here before!”
With papers adamantly waved under my nose admittedly shifting all blame from them to the office, we amicably decided to let it lie, coffee was made and the worktops were heaved in. O and I taking a picnic and some books up to the end of the garden let them get on with it. Get on with it they did.
The birthday boy hard at work got a third present. Pictures of an almost finished kitchen….very much worth the wait.