Thursday, 1 February 2007

House work

I can’t put it off any longer. Something needs to be done. Of all the rooms in my house only the bathroom, all three bedrooms and living room are up to scratch. It’s time to call in the Workmen.

The hall and staircase look like something out of a seedy bedsit (okay, so I’m exaggerating but not by much), the kitchen is okay if you don’t look at it too closely (and certainly not at the lino-d floor), the utility room looks like a nuclear bunker and what we euphemistically call the Study is purely a box room full of junk. Don’t even get me started on the downstairs loo. Upstairs is better……the bedrooms were the first thing we did but the bathroom is now in need of a touch up. The tiny upstairs room that has been taken over by Mackenzie’s toys needs a spruce up as well as does the landing which is covered by so many patches of different colours from different paint testers it looks like a tube of Smarties.

When I mentioned this to David last night, midway between a rather excellent dinner (though I say so myself, as no-one else did) and whilst waiting for The Bill to start, he took on a rather pained expression.

“Do you remember the last time you said that?” he said darkly, turning up the volume on that irritating car advert as a diversionary tactic. It didn’t work as I had the Sky remote and zapped it off. I fixed him with my baby blues and let them work their magic. It took slightly longer than usual (I think the lamb was sitting rather heavy) but eventually he threw his hands up in that gesture of defeat that I love so much and gazed at me affectionately whilst shaking his head and muttering something about his feckless wife.

Actually, now I think about it I do remember the last time we engaged Workmen. It was, I think, because I was so happy at finally having a bedroom that wasn’t navy blue and orange that I’ve since wiped it from my memory bank. It all came back to me today though, following a conversation with my sister Bea.

She: “Darling, please tell me you’re not going to put up with the shoddies you had last time?”
Me: “What was wrong with them?” It might be worth mentioning that at this point I was knee deep in Homes and Gardens magazines and a rather fetching silk wallpaper swatch
She: “They were colour blind sweetheart. Why else would they team mushroom with kingfisher blue? Your bedroom would have looked like a doctors waiting room”
Me: “They weren’t that bad!” It’s all coming back to me now – one of them had BO and the other, I’m sure, was a kleptomaniac
She: “I’ll tell you what – I’ll send Calixta round to see you. She’s doesn’t decorate, she designs a concept. You’ll adore her”

Of course, I could just ask my friend Andy to do it but he’s ridiculously busy at the moment – all those people who have bought flats in that converted church in Deptford have hired him to fit the place out in ecclesiastical chic. He’s bulk buying five wick church candles at 40 quid a throw and has got a job lot of incense sticks.

What room to do first? Could I live with the rather tatty looking bathroom suite a moment longer while we do the hallway and stairs? People coming into my house for the first time look as if they want to leave and never return. Or do I need the bathroom done first so that I can enjoy my Crabtree and Evelyn bath salts and Molten Brown lotions in pure luxury (I’m thinking laminate flooring with shaggy rugs everywhere and those dinky little taps that look nothing like taps). But then the kitchen is where I spent most of my time. I’m hankering after Nigella Lawson’s kitchen but, keep getting drawn to IKEA for some strange reason. But then James Martin’s kitchen is very me, all pine and marble and a rather pointless statue of a fish besides the sink. And a black oven and separate hob. I also want one of those mini blow-torches for caramelising things.

I’ve made a decision. The utility room can wait until last I think, Mackenzie’s toy room isn’t a priority either and the upstairs landing could wait a bit longer. I’m going to ring Calixta right now and see when she can fit me in, Bea’s final comment is still ringing in my ears “don’t call after five darling, she’ll be re-birthing”.

1 comment:

dulwichmum said...

Sister, you know me so well!

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.