I have found myself saying on a number of occasions over the past weekend that the builders have finished and the words feel alien in my mouth. S seems equally as unaccepting.
“Whose coming today?” he said this morning, ringing to check in on us from work.
“No one.” I replied “they are all finished.”
“Is P not coming?”
I agree it feels odd. Of course, they aren’t completely finished… K will return at some point to finish off the straggling bits which need doing in the bathroom. C has his floor and snug cupboard to complete….a day or twos worth of work at the end of the month. We also need to get some plastering done in a room, which S spent a good portion of the weekend clearing, due to be returned to its intended use as a bedroom having masqueraded as both a kitchen and workshop over these last five and a half months.
The rest is left to us.
Huge amounts of painting are still to do, though with the Earthborn solution up my sleeve I’m feeling less anxious about that. The woodwork, however, gives me the heebie jeebies at the mere thought…..all that blimmin sanding….stair treads (we will go, perhaps foolishly, with a runner up the stairs meaning each step will need to be sanded back and painted), stair spindles, ancient skirting and those blasted upstairs doors. Then of course there’s the odds and sods….curtain poles, pictures, mirrors, door handles…all the stuff which can so easily get left as we begin to get used to living without.
Then there are my (numerous) ‘projects’.
These are accumulating fast as I continue to buy ‘treasures’ from junk shops (see Fridays post) and car boots. Sundays haul was considerable …all acquired before breakfast for the measly sum of £30. A galvanised steel circular basin…destination as yet uncertain but may find itself in the garden. Another steel bucket type thing, its original use unknown (but I’m intrigued…anyone any ideas?), which I hope to use in the bathroom possibly to store O’s multicoloured plastic between bathing sessions. An old stool, the legs of which I thought might work as the base of a coffee table with a wooden board game, (perhaps Indian?) S was given by friends fixed atop (alas the board is too big so I may now top the stool legs with a leftover slate tile or even some glass to be used as a little side table). An old Bisto tin to add to a collection of rusty tins which as yet also have no real home or purpose, two gilt frames, a selection of wooden platters and a couple of bushy rosemary plants. Having not experienced a car boot for a long while and bathed in the Sunday morning sun it was an exciting adventure and fairly quickly a few golden rules became apparent.
1) Always drive… we considered walking but I’m not sure what we were thinking
2) Take cash, in small denominations. They don’t take Visa.
3) Always barter, the satisfaction of getting even 20p off an item feels like a triumph
4) Buy then. You can’t come back tomorrow. Should I have bought the circular, convex road mirror for the garden or even the hall? Too late…
5) Never pay more than a tenner for anything. At a carboot to do so feels extortionate.
5) Steel yourself for banter….
….My friend, having hold of a funky old bike she plans to position in a flower bed as support for flowering creepers offered, my arms bring full, to help carry my rosemary plants.
“Pop them on my handlebars” she said to a bare chested, necklace wearing trader “it’ll balance me out”
“Ah, in my day I’d have loved to have balanced you out! What a night that would be eh?!”
Much guffawing ensued (from him) as we stood agape, “But Im f**king fifty eight!” he added, as if that alone was going to dissuade my friend from taking up the tempting offer.
Reeling slightly from the above encounter, we shoehorned our treasures into the car and made our way home. As S and O opened the door to me and my haul at 9.30am the reception was incredulous… but not in the way I’d hoped. I’d visualised a cry of admiration, particularly in response to my bathroom purchase.
“More bloody frames? We’ve already got about three hundred” was what I got. I had to admit it had a ring of truth about it.
S’s stoic patience with me was tested again this evening as he returned home to a hallway filled with a battered tallboy, the bookcase and a record unit – the items having been delivered this afternoon. No comment was uttered. His relative silence makes me think he may still be reserving judgement on my procurement skills. Or, more likely, he is already decided….
PS. Having now returned to work and the builders having vacated Im going to reduce postings to two a week, aiming for Monday and Friday to keep all who want to be updated on progress. Thank you for your loyal daily support thus far and please keep in touch….I love hearing your thoughts and comments.
Borrowed an idea from last months Red Magazine