I went to see my coach last week and he suggested that I could aim for the end of December as a new deadline. He is also my acupuncturist and when I asked why he’d put needles in my ears (normally I only have needles in my hands and feet for balance) he said it was for calming me down. Wasn’t aware it was that obvious.
So where are we with the house with 3 more working days before Christmas? By Monday 4 of the bedrooms will be habitable. Going shopping tomorrow for furniture. Curtains have been dry cleaned and rehung, carpets are down – got a good deal from Abdullah and Son in Sparkbrook. Kitchen is nearly there – just need a few holes filling in and a bit more paint, a few pictures on the walls and a few old cupboards removing. I love the new cooker and the matching black fridge and freezer went in today. I cooked for the first time in ages yesterday. We’ve still to find a home for the huge microwave to make way for a dinky new one.
The painter is working his way through the house. He’d got a plan worked out yesterday for moving systematically through the hallway into the lounge – but like everything else that had to be shelved. I bought the carpet for the lounge yesterday, they could fit tomorrow or after Christmas. Guess what – the painter changed his plan so the room could be ready for the carpet tomorrow. He’s a great guy but I can’t help but think that he could probably work a little quicker (and with less paint dripping everywhere) if he wasn’t always drunk. He’s 65 and when he’s not working here he’s down the pub. One morning he rang at 10.30 to apologise for not gettin here at 8.30 – he’d just got home from the night before and was grabbing himself some breakfast. He offered to do a couple of hours for free to get the upstairs ready for the carpets but I told him to come in for half day and I’d pay him. He’s been reading me some of his poetry. He writes in the pub, instant stuff about what’s going on at the time, and performs them there and then. With the round of parties at the moment I don’t think we are likely to see him sober this side of the year; and by his account he’s pretty much out of it in January as his birthday is new year’s eve. Still, even allowing for cleaning up after him it’s still quicker than trying to do it ourselves.
The bathroom is functional, as is the toilet – doors went back on today. Still some touching up to be done in the bathroom but once Andrew fits the shower head we are in business. Chippy was in creating more dust but should be finished tomorrow. Please dear God let it be the end for him.
The only big jobs left are the tank to be fitted in the loft and the outside. They’ve made good progress out there but didn’t turn up today – the day they’d promised it would be finished by. When I rang to enquire why – they said it had been raining very hard and they can’t work in the rain – they must have been in another part of the country to me because I only say drizzle today. Anyway they phoned later to say they’d come tomorrow (even though they don’t work on Sundays) Jesus preserve us from British workmen. It isn’t as if they are cheap either – I can understand it with Brian but these guys are being paid £2,200 for a week’s work. And they had the nerve to critisize others who didn’t dieliver on time. We only took them on because a) they were recommended and b) they promised they would not let us down.
This whole process has had an interesting effect on our relationship (mine and Andrew’s) It’s the first time we’ve spent such a concentrated amount of time together. Most of the time it’s been much better than we were expecting but as we’ve beome more tired we’re becoming a bit frayed at the edges. What it has shown us though is that we are pretty solid – and I’m glad we’re doing this now and not next July.
Alas there’s been no time to focus on Christmas – next year should be better.