Turning Tat into Treasure: Wk 20 – Day Four

Our tiler P, instantly replaced in O’s affections upon our arrival by his Spanish uncle ‘Eeeo’ (Tio)…is, despite this dramatic but unbeknownst fall from grace, still very much fighting our corner back at the house….with two corners a particular concern. A phone call this morning enlightened me.
“The marmoleum fitters are here” he said “and although they have drawings showing a join the length of the bathroom, I’ve suggested they join the floor instead at the alcove into the shower. They weld it so its waterproof. Are you happy with that?”
I agreed that I was…very much so.
He went on.
“I’ve been thinking. If we put the bath in tomorrow we won’t be able to get the skirting on in the far corner afterwards, but if you get hold of it tonight I can do it tomorrow morning”
“Ill tell S” I said pityingly, knowing that he had firm ideas this evening that he, with the help of a hoodwinked friend, would resume the immense job of painting the hall and landing. Another trip to B&Q, if yesterday’s post was anything to go by, wasn’t likley to be news well received.
“There is another thing I wanted to talk to you about” P said ominously. “When I took the tiles up on the hearth yesterday” (four of which remain intact by the way…..) “I realised I needed more screed than I had planned, so it will take longer to dry ….which means I wont’t be finished in there today. You might want to push back the carpet fitting”
The carpet had been planned for Friday with the thinking being that it would be nice for O and I to come home to – but the delay, though not ideal, wasnt the end of the world.
“I’ll call them to postpone” I said.
“Oh…” He added “I cleaned up the tiles in the fireplace surround yesterday since I was down there anyway. They are sparkling…”
I thought it probably not appropriate to mention how quickly he had been fickly forgotten this end and instead thanked him profusely for all of his kind help before ringing around to set in motion the agreed changes to our plans.

“Morning darling” I said, getting through to S.
“Are you feeling threatened?” he asked cheekily, referring to yesterday’s foray into blogging under the banner of the Pebbledashed Pad.
“Well it seems O isn’t the only fickle one.” I said “A comment on the blog says you should be Chief commentator….I don’t think I had better let you post anymore….”
“I’ve more to say” he warned “so I’ll send some stuff through at some point…”
I shook my head with faux outrage at his instant blogging success and continued on with the main point of my call….to bark out my latest orders.
“I must go” I said eventually, the skirting organised and marmoleum situation explained, “Dad is here…we are packing up the lamp.”
“Right.” he said slowly, “but you’re not actually bringing it home are you?”
“I’m going to try” I answered hopefully.
I’m fairly sure this provoked a swear word.
“Lots of people said they liked it….I’ve a few ideas for it…I think it might work” I insisted.
“You are bringing it home as lots of people said they liked it? ” he asked, despairingly.
“Listen” I said “you are not creative director indefinitely. You presently hold an interim role, meanwhile I can still make decisions ……..and I think I can make it work.”
He sighed, exasperated, said his farewells and hung up.

The lamp has, as you know, been divisive and not everyone has yayed in its favour….not least my sister. In fact her suggestion to flog it to the local vintage shop along with my broadcasted-to-the-world flippancy nearly lost me the opportunity to have it altogether.
“I’m keeping it” my Dad insisted this morning when I called to ask him to bring it down so I could look at it properly. “Your sister will only flog it and I might need it when the time comes that social order breaks down, banks fail, euros are worthless and electricity supplies fail. I could then use the lamp to prepare my home grown vegetables…”
My sister’s suggestion comes following a recent, still slightly raw, demonstration of the economic benefits of converting tat to treasure. Last weekend ‘Eeeo’ was manning his regular stand at the local car boot sale. A woman approached wanting to buy a rattan stool.
“6 euros” my brother in law had said when asked the price.
“That’s expensive” she had replied “can you sell it for less?”
“So you can sell it in your shop?” he had asked pointedly with a raised eyebrow
“What shop?” She had asked innocently.
Your shop” he replied to frantic protests.
Yesterday afternoon, be-fringed and enroute home from a pampering session at the hairdressers (my fringe so very wrong… my sisters very right….) we detoured into the shop for a mooch. There, as we entered the front door, was the stool. Bought for 4 euro. Selling for 40.

The question is…how do you ascertain trash and treasure? It’s a gut thing, I think. In my opinion the shop owner hadn’t quite got it right…her shop a tat-trove as apposed to treasure trove….the stool being one of her better items. With the lamp I may be about to make a similar mistake…but I’ve a picture of how it might work in my head and may ….just ….pull it off…
…If it makes the journey back alive.

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Look familiar? On the floor of an ancient lighthouse…see below

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Dad and his wife A attempt to take a cast of O’s feet. This attempt didn’t work.
“You’re first failure” said A to my Dad
“Darling, it’s not a failure until we get to the end of the day…” he said before mixing another bucket of yeso

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Third time lucky. Weighs a kilo…..so may cause havoc with my already delicate hand luggage…

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