This week we have been busily combining the opening of doors for the acceptance of more parcels…..all relating, albeit indirectly, to the ongoing decoration of the snug…..with the almost constant making of hot drinks as the gardeners continue their battle with our sloping patch.
With teas nestled comfortably in hand J and his shy labourer L (who is currently struggling to get over O’s recent declaration that of L he is “a little bit scared”) were out on the front driveway surveying the growing pile of garden rubbish when a courier arrived for the umpteenth time. J, by this time, was fairly familiar with such comings and goings. On his first day, knowing I would be out for most of it, I had asked him to receive delivery of a chair.
“The money for the courier is here” I had said pointing to an envelope propped up on the corner of the island. “And just pop the chair in the snug maybe, to keep it out of your way as you and your guys pass through….”
J had nodded. “No problem, luvvie” he had said.
The next day seeing the money gone but knowing he hadn’t convinced anyone, despite heroic attempts, to actually take it he turned to me worriedly.
“Did it come? The envelope isn’t there…..”
“Yes yes, my neighbour let them in” I said.
His shoulders dropped with relief.
“Ah…” he said, before going on to furnish me with a rendition of the experience….
First the bemused postman delivering a very un-chair-like tube (adhesive mirror if you are interested – a work rather than home purchase…) had an envelope pressed into his hand. Graciously refusing, the envelope was returned to the island. Later another knock sounded, this time a courier delivering a large and heavy box which, it turned out, contained the pirate chest. Again the envelope was handed over but the courier, having first checked his paperwork and confirmed he was expecting no such payment, returned the envelope and went on his way. J, having had at that point his fill of both deliveries and gardens, decided to sign off for the day so when the courier bearing the chair did in fact arrive it was my neighbour who kindly facilitated the successful exchange of chair for dinero.
Leaning across the box to sign for Chair Two’s receipt J asked the same question S was to ask later.
“Not another chair?”
“Sure is” I replied “with more yet to come…..” and leaving the two of them to their tea I wrestled the box from where it was clearly blocking any further garden progress.
Two further chairs were, at that point in time, en route via EBay to the Pebbledashed Pad and whilst S had deferred the option to vet them pre-bid he did make it perfectly clear that he doesn’t want anything that looks like it should be in a care home or hospital. I thought these would fit the bill, being 60’s midcentury style shapes with (fairly) neutral fabric which I hoped might not be too offensive to live with until the time comes when we can reupholster them. But I was wrong….
Arriving home late that evening from work I heard S turn to my mum.
“Has she got any more of these coming?”
My mum, I can only imagine from the following silence, nodded.
“I saw the box outside.” S went on. “It said BBQ. I thought please no, not a BBQ. So. It was a chair. Almost as bad….” and with that he ventured upstairs to where O and I were busy wrestling with water, shampoo and tears with not a word to me about our growing chair collection.
The chairs….I feel the desperate need to explain…..have been purchased in order to free up the sofa and allow it to be moved from the kitchen to the snug. The snug will eventually have a wall of shelving to include upon it a TV and being a room which I don’t imagine being used by anyone other than fans of a cuddle and Frozen (or indeed this weeks film of choice ….the gloriously nostalgic Peter Pan) a sofa seems the most appropriate form of seating to place before it. Contrarily the kitchen we enjoy most when full of friends and family and, much as I love all who visit, it can feel quite uncomfortable sitting side by side in close proximity whilst facing a wall. Instead a cluster of chairs encircling a central coffee table is my approach to making a sociable little hub. With budgets tight my chair choices have therefore all been selected on the basis of a) being second hand (and green….though less so as all four were sent from Germany) and b) costing only two figures each (including delivery) as opposed to well-into-three-knocking-on-four at Ikea or elsewhere.
“I can kind of see where you are going with this …but…..” my mum wrinkled her nose and with a shake of the head continued “….I must admit I wouldn’t have those in my house”.
In defensive response I heard myself repeating my above reasoning believing illogically that repetition might result in ultimate persuasion. But it was no use. A raised eyebrow whilst artfully arranging three of the chairs around a rug said it all.
I’ve taken advantage of mum’s eye for detail elsewhere too, resulting in Chair Four, when it did eventually arrive, being surplus to requirement. Originally earmarked for the snug the layout had since been rearranged on her insightful advice so up into O’s bedroom it went where I decided it might serve a better job providing a perch for bedtime stories than the low yellow pouffees currently do. Now that O enjoys reading to us…..studiously staring at the pictures before repeating memorised lines of text verbatim….story time now takes a fascinating while and is all the best enjoyed, I feel, on a comfortable, you know…60’s midcentury chair……
Saturday night, using the chairs as they were intended and sat facing each other each holding appropriate glasses of something cool, S put his feet on the gym ball….a temporary footrest which appears to be serving the purpose functionally for the time being.
“Are we done now with the care home chairs?” he asked.
“They aren’t care home chairs!” I cried indignantly.
“They are! Some have even got wee stains on…”
I shook my head (they haven’t) though I must admit there is a throat-catching scent of Eau de Vintage about the place…..
“So what are you recovering them with?” he asked.
“You know….I’m not sure……what do you think?”
“Green maybe? A green herringbone or something?”
“Mmmmm that would be nice, yes. All the same fabric?”
“No I don’t think so. They are different shapes after all….”
I nodded thoughtfully.
So whilst acceptance, I think, has now been given to the cosy corner our attention, with the garden shaping up nicely, is now required elsewhere. Playhouses. Something we are reminded of on a daily basis by a vocal and persuasive (where does that come from?) almost-three year old.
Lying in bed Saturday morning, O sandwiched between us, I reminded S of the task in hand which if done promptly could coincide with a birthday.
“I’m rolling my eye.” he said “like you say I do in your blog. Look. Roll.” And he duly demonstrated.
“It’s a wonder your eyes are still in your head the amount of rolling they do. Anyway….did you look at those links I sent you for playhouses? Do you want more coffee?”
He rolled an eye.
“So many questions…..so early…..”
The cosy corner….still needing a rug (this one might end up in O’s room) and coffee table…..oh and the coffee sack picture to be rehung from where it fell months ago and has remained. But the question is….are you convinced?