Another Planet – Week 21 of the 52 week short story challenge

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‘I thought Millie was coming with you today.’ said  Angela as she sipped her mocha latte with two extra shots of espresso.

Selina tossed back her freshly coiffed blonde hair and flicked an imaginary speck of dust from her designer slacks. She did her best to avoid coffee fads and had a small cup of green tea cooling on the table in front of her.

‘She’s packing. She’s been packing for the past week. Every time I go into her room to talk to her she says that she’s packing.’

Angela pursed her lips. ‘Isn’t she living in halls? They don’t have that much room do they?’

Wincing as another sore point was touched, Selina concentrated her attention on her newly manicured fingernails. She had demanded that the nail technician concentrated on making her nails look as effortlessly natural as possible, and she was almost satisfied with the effect.

‘I’ve seen the university booklet and yes, the rooms are rather basic but at least she has her own en-suite. The kitchen is shared with six other students but I doubt if Millie will be doing any cooking. There is a restaurant in the same block and a laundry but I couldn’t find anything about service washes and cleaners.’

Hiding a grimace behind her coffee mug, Angela couldn’t help wondering if Millie had been totally truthful with her mother about student life.

‘Of course, I wanted her to stay home and attend Chester University. We offered to buy her a little car to make life easier but she was insistent that this was the only university that did the right course for her. It’s going to be so difficult having her living so far away.’

Selina sighed and put on the wounded mother look that she had been perfecting ever since Millie had announced her  plans for the future .

‘What is she going to be studying?’

‘Languages. Apparently this university has an excellent exchange system where she can spend her final year in France or Germany. Not quite the finishing school I would have liked for her but I understand that she could make some impressive contacts for her future career.’

‘Remind me – what does she want to do when she leaves uni?’

‘When she graduates from university Millie is looking to join Michael’s firm – her natural aptitude for languages will make her a valuable asset. Of course the other option was for her to go straight into working at the firm but Michael felt that she could do with getting more qualifications first.’

The expression on Selina’s face led Angela to believe that the decisions about Millie’s future had not been made as calmly as indicated. Angela liked Selina’s husband Michael. He was an easy-going chap who smiled at Selina’s excesses, ran a large and efficient export business, and spent much of his time travelling abroad.

‘When does Millie start? Won’t you be lonely without her?’

‘We are driving up on Saturday.’ Selina sighed and examined her nails again. ‘I wanted to go on Sunday but Millie says she needs time to settle in before lectures start. Why you should want to settle in to a student bedsit when you have a perfectly beautiful suite of rooms at home, I have no idea. I wouldn’t say that Millie is an ungrateful child but I do wonder sometimes if she really appreciates all that Michael and I do for her.’

*******

The packing excuse had worn thin and Millie knew that there was a limit to how many times she could back and repack her designer suitcases. There was an unopened box from Harrods that contained pillows, two duvets,  Egyptian cotton bedding and towels that Millie’s mother had assured her were a beautiful shade of cornflower and very soft. Millie hadn’t bothered to look in the box. She would far rather have gone to Asda or Tesco to get her bedding like the rest of the first year students. Another box contained cooking utensils, pans and crockery. Her father had intervened when Selina had been looking at bone china and Le Creuset. Unlike Selina, he had attended university and was far more practical in his outlook.

Millie loved her father. He understood her and did what he could to protect her from Selina’s extravagance.

‘She does love you sweetheart, she just doesn’t understand why you don’t have the same tastes as her.’

Millie had pulled a face. It was bad enough having your clothes bought for you, but Selina’s taste ran to expensive, elegant clothes that were more suited to a middle-aged woman than an eighteen-year old girl. Unbeknownst to Selina, Millie had been clothes shopping courtesy of a generous allowance from her father, and had arranged for her best friend Julia to put the more appropriate clothing in with her own clothes.

Selina didn’t know about Julia; didn’t know that Millie and Julia were best friends, that they were going to be on the same course together at University or that they were going to be in the same student flat. Millie had known from the first that Selina would not approve of Julia’s burgundy hair, her tattoos and piercings, her love of Steampunk and cosplay.

Michael had met Julia and thoroughly approved of her as a friend who could share freedom with his only child. He had to pull a few strings in order to get them in the same flat, and as he explained to Millie, it was a question of just not telling Selina things rather than blatantly lying about what was happening.

‘What her eye doesn’t see, her mind won’t grieve over.’ One of Michael’s oft-quoted maxims and one which defined the smooth-running of his relationship with his wife.

*****

In order to accommodate Millie’s luggage, as well as Selina’s essentials, Michael had borrowed one of the Range Rovers from work. Selina would rather have arrived in the Rolls, but had to acknowledge that it didn’t have the required storage space. She sat, rather uncomfortably in the passenger seat, whilst Millie sat behind her, in a position to exchange swift grins with her father but protected from her mother’s endless questions by earphones and feigned sleep.

Julia had been texting her all morning, having arrived early and already unpacked. It had been agreed that Millie would let Julia know once Selina had finally left the building. It was so difficult trying to keep her excitement in but Millie had learned over her eighteen years that expressing anything other than mild interest in anything, was guaranteed to get Selina’s hackles up in opposition.

The complaints began as soon as they arrived on campus. Selina peered out of the window and disapproved of the proximity of the student bar. The halls looked rather drab and ordinary. Why wasn’t the car park closer to the entrance? Did they really have to carry Millie’s luggage up two flights of stairs and go through three security doors to get to her flat? Was there no porter to do this? Or at least a lift!

Millie and Michael stayed silent and carried the luggage upstairs whilst Selina appropriated her daughter’s only (and very inferior) office chair and sniffed at the recently bleached en-suite shower room. Refusing her mother’s offer to unpack for her, Millie looked around the little room and exchanged another covert smile with her father.

‘Let’s leave Millie to it darling, there’s a nice little restaurant I’d like to take you to but it will take us a good hour to get there.’

Torn between wanting to continue dominance over her daughter, and the desire to be taken out for a meal by her adoring husband, Selina acquiesced gracefully and after bestowing a vaguely maternal hug, went off to wait in the car.

Michael gave his daughter a much warmer hug; he was going to miss her.

‘I’ve set up a shopping account for you sweetheart, and topped up your allowance. Let me know if you need anything. If you can manage to phone your mother tomorrow, my life will be much calmer.’

‘I know Daddy. I won’t go mad but I may need to buy some ordinary stuff for the kitchen – and maybe bedding – but that can wait till tomorrow.’

‘Buy what you need and donate the other stuff to charity. I can’t see your mother wanting to spend much time in your room or the kitchen. Next time we visit she will undoubtedly want to take you out for a meal – or to shop!’

‘God forbid! Julia says we can trade in some of my clothes at the uni charity shop. Was Mum always like this Daddy?’

Michael felt that it was time to tell a few hidden truths; he hoped that Millie would understand and not judge her mother too harshly. He sat down next to her on the unmade bed.

‘Your Mum isn’t like other people. I knew that when I met her, and I knew that I would have a hard time explaining to you one day. We’ve always been honest with you about the fact that Mum and I couldn’t have children so we adopted you.’

Millie nodded. Not possessing her mother’s genes had never really been an issue.

‘Your mother – came from a different place. She had to learn how to speak, act and dress from books and magazines – quite expensive and high class magazines.’

‘Well that explains quite a few things, but where did she come from Dad?’

‘I don’t really know. I found her wandering on a beach in New Zealand when I was on a business trip. She seemed so vulnerable – and lovely. She had no paperwork, communicated through sign language, just had the clothes she stood up in. I’m afraid that I am responsible for the way she is. I pulled a few strings, got her a passport and brought her back to England. Your Aunt Jane took care of her and that’s where she lived for six months – in a cottage out in the country, reading endless copies of the Tatler and Agatha Christie novels. She learned very quickly, I fell in love with her and we married. You know the rest.’

‘That doesn’t explain about where she really came from though Dad?’

Hastened to his feet by the sound of Selina tooting the car horn, Michael kissed Millie on the top of her head.

‘She isn’t of our world sweetheart. She comes from another planet.’

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‘Oh no, we forgot to get the biscuits’

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Did everyone enjoy the Star Wars stuff?

The most original for me was the following Tweet:

“Why is it that all Star Wars fans have lisps?”

Moving swiftly on – whilst all that jollity was occurring, the kitchen was finally plastered and the beautiful boy with no teeth made an attempt to clear up the mess using much water.

Not a success, but he tried bless him.

Dusty windows,  dusty, dirty doors and a thin layer of plaster dust on everything and everyone – even upstairs.

Wheeze, wheeze, puff, puff.

The electrician came back in to move the meter and finish off the spotlight holes – and turn off the electricity for over an hour – much to Gap Boy’s chagrin.

The chief builder (who calls me ‘Boss’ so I must be a bit important) came in on Sunday morning and delivered loads of flat pack cardboard boxes – astonishingly assisted by a usually uncooperative GB.  He also put the radiator back on in the kitchen so we aren’t quite as chilly as we were.

It was the plastering’s benefit though – not ours.

I mastered the art of washing up in the bathroom – thanks to Lovely Friend who advised me to see this kitchen replacement as a kind of indoors camping trip.

Minimal crockery and cutlery, and dump the dirty stuff into a washing up bowl to wash in the toilets when you can’t possibly eat anything else off it.

Hub and I decided that putting sherry trifle on the plate that you’ve just eaten steak and salad from was maybe roughing it a bit too much.

Hub does not like washing up bowls so we had to purchase one specially.

Carting the dirty crocks around in the washing up bowl was rather like being back at work  – although the five steps to my bathroom sink are far more acceptable than the route march I used to have to make up and down the stairs from our bijou office to the communal office sink.

At least I was allowed to wash up at my last two jobs.  Prior to that I worked in a team where people fell over themselves to make hot drinks and wash up – as a more palatable alternative to talking to the public and doing some work – I preferred the latter.

Our diet since the Krappy Kitchen disappeared has been – alternative.

GB has been on protein only so that he could slim down and wear the American football costume for his friend’s party.  After falling off the protein wagon spectacularly by whizzing up to BK and filling his rucksack with burgers, he now seems to be existing on packets of cooked crispy bacon (not from Sainsburys as it is far too flaccid).

Hub continues to eat healthily and has barely deviated from his normal routine – smartypants.

I grew tired of cold chicken – yes really – one can you know!

The weather wasn’t good enough for the disposable barbecues and you can’t live on double cheeseburgers – or KFC  or kebabs  or Chinese or Indian or fish and chips – for very long 🙂

After rummaging in a nearby open box – I found it  – the answer to my dreams of  freshly cooked flesch!

The old GF Grill came up trumps.

So far we have cooked steak, bacon and sausages on it.  Cleaning it is slightly problematic and entails the (now) much used washing up bowl and at least one kitchen roll.

It was very nice to see Builder Boss anyway and even more wonderful to see my kitchen bits arriving.

He then advised that the lads were going out on the lash on Sunday night but quite fancied coming in after lunch on the Bank Holiday Monday to put the units together.

I made a note to myself to pick up some more biscuits for them.

We went shopping and I left the note at home.

KRAFT moment.

The builder boys (two of them) turned up after lunch as arranged and I was back on tea-making duties (bleurgh) – they aren’t as self-sufficient as the plasterer who brings his domestic effects with him. They looked a little delicate – it was a good night apparently.

No biscuits 😦

Luckily Hub and GB decided to take the Scoob for walkies and obtain biscuits and bin liners en route.

You can’t take Scoob to the shops on your own.  I doubt if he would  get stolen but his aggressive wuffing might damage his reputation as our loveable soppy dog.

And – we are back in the present.  The lads are cracking on and I saw my Belfast sink this morning.  Haven’t had the opportunity to stroke it yet though.

The worktop is being sorted today, tiles and paint ordered and a painter and tiler lined up.

We may have our new kitchen by the weekend – fingers crossed.

The washing pile is beginning to look rather scary but that is probably the worst thing about having the kitchen replaced.  GB wasn’t particularly impressed by my attempts at hand washing his underarmour.

“Why is it still wet?”

“Because I can’t get as much water out of it as the spin cycle can.”

“Hmmm. Are you sure you tried?”

Reader – the air turned blue and GB was left in no doubt as to who will be doing his hand washing in the future.

His solution to most kitchen-related issues has been to retreat to his man cave with R Whites lemonade and the aforementioned crispy bacon.

Hub has  been at work through most of the trauma but has done his best to pat and sooth me and the Scoob when he comes home.

Scoob has probably been the most traumatised of us all really but his ranting wuffs are now limited to the first half an hour of the day. He is sleeping peacefully by my feet right now, and earlier on, was quite content to watch the chaps through the garden gate  – provided that he knew where Hub and I were.

Dare I say, he has even become attached to a couple of them – not my poor toothless boy however, who has learned to give Scoob a wide berth and not put his hoodie up when working outside.

I was particularly touched this morning when one of the chaps invited me into the kitchen and explained that if they put the cupboards at the level of the tower which will contain the oven and microwave, I – being a mere 5’5″ – might have difficulties accessing them.

I have a little red stool because I can’t reach the windows.  I had assumed that I would need it for the cupboards too.

Not so, they did a quick reccy about my height and have micro-adjusted accordingly.

So glad that we went out for the biscuits.

‘I couldn’t stay away’

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I confess.

It has been two days since my last blog in the April Showers section of my life and I couldn’t stay away any longer.

Here we are in the merry old month of May when lovers sing, hey ring a ding a ding,and Gap Boy (dressed as an American football player) went off to a party last night so we had peas and carrots all night long :-).

On the downside – the artex dust has made me wheezy  – so I have inhalers – and caused a rash – so I’m on itchy cream and antihistamine, I’m on antibiotics again and – oh well, that’s it really – except to say that my GP is an extremely nice man and a very good doctor.

So – mustn’t grumble  – because the sun is up and shining very beautifully over the rooftops, Hub is catching up on much-needed sleep, Scoob hasn’t realised I’m awake yet and the kitchen I have longed for and dreamed about for years is slowly taking shape,

No sign of a text from GB asking to be picked up from the party/police station/friend’s house, so I assuming – perhaps foolishly – that all is well there.

Uni Boy will undoubtedly perform his duty call this weekend; he knows that I worry far too much and that the only way to shut me up is to make a call once a week to catch up on life here in the slow lane.  He is very busy at Uni on his final year exams, but is also aware of the fact that his bedroom is full of the Chilly Twins and a number of large cardboard boxes.

We all love the Chilly Twins.  They sit there very quietly in their Manhattan Silver glory, still pristine despite the layers of brick and plaster dust that cover everything else in the house.

GB very kindly filled up the water dispenser for me – forgetting to check that it was totally empty first  – so we have a very soggy instruction manual for the water filter.

“What a stupid place to leave the instructions!”

I sniggered quietly at my roaring boy.

The facility to get chilled water instantly pleases me extremely and I look forward to the day when the Chilly Twins are in their permanent home and I can pour myself a quick glass of icy water whilst doing the domestic goddess bit in the new kitchen.  I particularly like the fact that a little blue light comes on when you press your glass against the thing that makes the water come out. I’m easily pleased.

It is good to delight in simple things.

Continuing with the kitchen theme  – and if you are bored by my obsession kindly take the easy way out and stop reading now.

The inspector came and pronounced the RSJs very satisfactory (rolled steel joists – wit woo), the acro props (oh how au fait am I with builder-speak! Not really – Bezzie Mate told me what they were called – he knows such stuff) have been removed and are lying outside on the grass.

All the rubble and kitchen detritus has also been removed.  A very sweet elderly man in  a flatbed came and took it.  I was a bit concerned that he was doing all the heavy lifting whilst the two young chaps on the flatbed were pointing out what he should pick up and pass to them next.  Younger generation eh! Mock Tsk.

The electrickery is almost finished now – which is just as well because yesterday saw the arrival of the Plasterer!

He brought with him the sweet boy who has no front teeth but a beautiful face (until he smiles – at which point my maternal heart goes out to him and wants to whip him up the road to the friendly dentist who has done such a great job of keeping the teeth of this family on the straight and narrow).

They are very self-sufficient.  Not only do they have their own ghetto blaster, they also bring their own kettle and tea-making facilities – I was allowed to make the first one but after that the boy took over domestic duties.

I have a new box of biscuits for them today.

I thought the plastering would be quieter than the demolition and the channelling but the banging of the lump hammer has been replaced by the frequent sound of the metal stepladder being dragged across the floor.

These are small things in comparison with the revelation that the Plasterer and his boy sing like angels – well angels singing along to Radio One and covered in plaster dust. If I thought that the builders were tuneful, then they are knocked well and truly into a cocked hat  by the glorious abandoned trilling with which my plastering is accompanied.

I am delighting in their happy noise and anyway – I’ve found the button that switches on the subtitles for the TV now.

When the chaps leave for the day Hub and I have been wandering about in the echoey vastness that has replaced the Krappy Kitchen.  We both have daft looks on our faces as we remember parties in the past and look forward to finding out just how many lovely friends we can get in here for the kitchen-warming.

Enough of all this.

I must find the itchy cream, get dressed, sort out the Scoobs, enjoy the sunshine and the flowers in the garden whilst he wees, open up the kitchen, boil the kettle, make my breakfast, wake Hub (much later) and smile like a loon as the singing starts.

I also need to acknowledge that without the careful planning and shrewd investments of our much-missed Ronnie, none of this would be possible.  So Lovely Mum and Ronnie, if you are up there watching the chaos, listening to the singing and laughing at my cack-handed attempts at making tea  (bleurgh), thank you for making sure that we are all so well looked after.

I wish you – and all the other beloveds up there in the clouds – could be here in person to join in the kitchen party but it is never very hard to conjure up your smiling faces – we will raise more than a glass or two to you in gratitude and know that you will always be with us.

In the words of a friend – Happy Days xxx

 

 

 

‘The End of the Pier’

 

 

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Thirty days of blogging.

Stories, memories and a very small poem that crept into my head in the night.

Dominated somewhat by the saga of the Krappy Kitchen and the process of acquiring the food preparation and dining area of our dreams.

Over the past day and a half we have watched the last vestiges of the Krappy Kitchen disappear.  I let out a small cheer as the lump hammers hit breeze blocks that have dominated the middle of the room for the past fifteen years.

The electrician was the last of our visitors to leave today, having drilled out the holes for my brushed chrome spotlights (I had a choice between white, shiny or brushed chrome).  My mind scurried back into virgin kitchen mode when asked to make that choice.  Then I asserted myself and after opting for brushed, was strangely proud to be told that I had made the right choice.

Hub and I wandered around after our visitors had left today. Our kitchen is an echoing shell now, with dangling wires and the huge double RSJs lurking in the ceiling.

We have found out a few things about our house.

It’s a miracle that Gap Boy hasn’t fallen through the floor when stropping in his bedroom because the existing RSJ only went across half the ceiling – the bit where he sleeps, not the bit where he regularly shouts, guffaws and giggles on his computer.

It’s another miracle that we haven’t all been killed in our beds due to the shoddy wiring put in by the first owner – who was (surprisingly enough) a qualified electrician.  Perhaps he trained st the same establishment where the subsequent owner did her artexing course. There will be no more skin scraping artex in our kitchen either .

The builders have sorted out the dodgy building bits and an inspector is coming to check it all  out tomorrow. Another stranger at the door.

The nice electrician is going to have a look at the rest of the wiring when he’s finished in  the kitchen.  He very gently told me that progress will slow down a bit now because the plasterer is coming in and it will take a couple of days for the walls and ceiling to dry out.

I smile that silly smile and remind him that after waiting fifteen years to be able to afford this kitchen a couple more days won’t worry me.

Talking of compromises, the work top won’t be quite as sexy as planned.  With the wisdom of Solomon I had to make the choice between waiting another three weeks for the Star Galaxy worktop or cancelling the order and getting the slightly more down-market black granite with just silvery bits in it which can be delivered when the builders need it because it has been sourced locally.

It is still a sexy worktop and with any luck, my kitchen will be done much quicker (and a bit cheaper too!)

Washing up in the downstairs bathroom is a bit challenging but having the temporary kitchen on the dining room table is easier on the legs.

After rebelling about the use of plastic cutlery and paper plates, we bought GB a set of his own cutlery and unearthed some plates.

More compromise.

I was in a bit of a quandary about the old gas cooker yesterday.

It had to sit outside all night until the big lorry came to collect the rubbish. I really should have given it a bit of clean before the builders came but it is being junked anyway and we ran out of time.

Trouble is, it sat in the garden in full view of the manic mothers on their school run (they slowed down to have a look – not quite to 20 miles an hour but not bad).  Now they all know what a dirty  cooker I had.

GB has been quite sweet today but that goes hand in hand with his lecturing and hectoring about every single subject under the sun.

My idea of snoozing gently with Scoob whilst Martin and Lucy wax lyrical about three-bed semis in Clapham has been shattered  due to the fact that GB cannot sleep upstairs whilst all that banging is going on. So he talks and talks and talks.

Mind you, he told me about the hose incident last night.

Apparently one of our elderly neighbours was watering his garden yesterday evening when someone drove up the road at speeds in excess of 60 miles an hour (I doubt it) , so my neighbour remonstrated with him.  The neighbour remonstrated back and my neighbour hosed him.  More naughty talk and another shot of hose.  I expected to hear the our neighbour had been bopped but apparently the drive chose to zoom off instead.

Perhaps it was the sight of my neighbour’s hairy, brown and extremely pregnant-looking belly that saw him off.

I know it’s been warm over the last couple of days but that belly would certainly frighten the horses. Put it on!

Poor Scoob had just got used to the chaps who chipped of the seventies brown and white tiles  yesterday when there was a change of personnel and he had to come to terms with three more of them.  Luckily the poor young boy in the hoodie who got so badly wuffed at yesterday was off on another job today.

They are a smashing bunch though.  I can hear their conversations through the wall and the range of topics is impressive and very informative.  GB asked me if I minded all the swearing. I hadn’t actually noticed it.

The kitchen singing is even better than the banter though.  The lads brought along their old, dusty, paint-spattered ghetto blaster and they sing along to Radio One. – although they may have wandered into Radio Two yesterday afternoon when I heard one of them singing falsetto to ‘Too shy, shy’.

My attitude to our builders is very positive therefore.  They don’t seem to mind the awfulness of the tea I make them (being allergic to tea makes this a very hands-off process and the fumes make me retch a bit). The biscuits I sent Hub out to buy have been a great success, and the fact that I really don’t mind them using the downstairs toilet also went down well.

“I don’t mean to be cheeky but can I use your loo/have a cup of tea/ smoke in your garden/ eat these lovely biscuits?”

They are such polite boys.

I have a feeling that today’s blog won’t really be the end of the pier as planned thirty -one days ago.

Making the effort to write something every day is a discipline I learned when participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which is held every November. http://nanowrimo.org/

It may not be easy to stop now although I’m not sure if I’ll continue to blog every day.

I have a kitchen to dress in the next week or so (that’s what they say on DIY SOS isn’t it?)

 

 

 

‘The welcome arrival of the Chilly Twins’

Thanks to the help and support of our Dear Friend and her lovely Hub, we broke the back of the Krappy Kitchen clearing yesterday.

Boxes were packed, bread, cheese and Danish parties were eaten and there was a steady flow of good conversation.

Hub and I did some more packing up last night and out main aim for Monday Monday was to empty the fridge freezers and get them outside to defrost so that our beautiful Chilly Twins (Frosty and Freezy) could be temporarily installed in the room that Uni Boy used to live in before he fled to York, and which provides accommodation for Bezzie Mate when he stays.

There were a few other jobs that needed doing but hey – the kitchen wasn’t coming till Wednesday and the builders did n;t start till Thursday – no worries.

I woke up this morning just after six am and lurched out onto the landing to come face to face with Gap Boy, fully dressed and coming up the stairs with a mug of coffee.

“Bet you thought I was a burglar.” he grinned.

Do burglars often stroll up the stairs with a mug of coffee in their hands?

Of all the thoughts that passed through my mind ‘oh look, a burglar!’ wasn’t one of them.

GB was champing at the bit. He desperately wanted to go to the supermarket for munchies but was under the impression that nothing would be open till 0700.

Being a good mummy, I checked on the web and advised him that although Tesco shut at 1600 on a Sunday, it reopened just after midnight  – so there was no need to hang around teasing me after all.

Off he flew on his trusty steed.

Scoob greeted me with much enthusiasm. GB soon returned with his rucksack stuffed with goodies and I was just about to give Scoob his breakfast when he went into big scarey wuff mode.

“There’s two blokes with a van outside.” quoth my darling boy as he wrestled with the growling beast.

I pulled up the kitchen blind and was confronted by the grinning face of my builder and his mate.

A vision in my old blue flannel nightshirt, naked morning face and scruffy plaits, I opened the door to them.

“Morning Boss.”

“Umm, good morning.  I thought you were starting on Thursday.  The kitchen doesn’t arrive till Wednesday.”

“Yeah, but we’ve got to gut your kitchen first.”

Outwardly I remained calm and negotiated a twenty-four hour reprieve. I waved them bye-bye with a smiley face that turned rapidly into Munch’s ‘The Scream’.

I decided to have breakfast. After all, it wasn’t eight o’clock yet.

After breakfast I broke the news to Hub. He does outward calm so much better than I do.

The imminent arrival of the builders made the fitting of the door that would separate the hallway from Scoobyland was more urgent now.  GB took Scoob for a walk, Hub had his breakfast and set about the door with such renewed vigour that he killed the drill bit.

Cue GB “What’s that burning smell?”

Hub was just about to embark on a journey to B&Q to get a new drill bit and more boxes, when the phone rang and it was the KNOWHOW boys, who wanted to deliver the Chilly Twins between 1100 and 1200 instead of between 1300 to 1700.

Hub said  “Yeah, that’s fine.”

I said “AAAAAAAAAARGH.”

He went off to B&Q.

I began packing frozen food into frozen food bags and packed them into the downstairs bath. Then I packed the fridge stuff into freezer drawers ad put them in the bath too and shut the door.

The Chuckle Brothers had nothing on Hub and me as we dragged both fridge freezers out into the courtyard so that the men could take them away to the great fridge freezer heaven in the sky.

I Dysoned – yeah, I know I don’t do it often but these were desperate times.

I dog sat whilst Hub organised the undressing and placement of the Chilly Twins. Scooby s desperately wanted to help – well he might have wanted to nibble at the delivery men.

My Twins are beautiful; all shiny and white inside with shelves and compartments for EVERYTHING. Their outsides are Manhattan Silver and they  have blue lights on them.

I sorted out the fridge side and Hub did the freezer and it all fitted in. Yay!

Bezzie Mate and I had been texting so he knew of our predicament.  He offered his support and  drove the hundred miles to come and help us; he made us both laugh, mucked in and packed boxes and bags, and even took the Scoob out for walkies so that Hub and I could safely put all the junk into the garage.

The sound of Hub and BM laughing as they blithely wrecked the Krappy Kitchen was music to my ears.

I sent Hub to bed; early shift beckons so I will be dealing with the builders on my own in the morning.

Can’t count GB. He slept all day (after winding me up atrociously and causing me to make the ultimate empty threat of “if you don’t help out you won’t be allowed in the kitchen”). Yeah right!

BM has embarked on his long drive back home.

I am off to bed.

Scoob will be wuffing and I need to be dressed and with my face on before the builders arrive tomorrow.

Thanks to brilliant friends, things have not been too bad, but as another friend has pointed out – they can only get better.

GB says that we are rubbish. His particular gripe is that despite setting up a temporary kitchen on the dining room table, I have failed to leave out any cutlery for him.

I bought plastic cutlery and paper plates in case the water went off.

The Chilly Twins are packed full to bursting.

Ah well, tomorrow really is another day.

 

 

 

‘So much to do, so little time’

I got up very early today because Hub was off to paintball.

Gap Boy had informed us last night that he was off out to his mates for the day.

Oh Bliss. Just me and Scoob and a flip chart sheet of Operation Chuck It Out Chores.

GB hadn’t given me a time when he should be emerging from his pit so I left him to it once Hub had gone.  Scoob had been walked and fed so just me to sort out.

I wasn’t going to clear the dining room table off till later but a vase full of dying flowers fell over on it and the rush to pick up the paperwork, mop up the mess and move the left over Easter eggs meant that it got priority.

My nice piece of Italian brocade that serves as a table cloth got wet and old flower-smelly. It washed up well though.

Having shifted one lot of old flowers to the Krappy Kitchen for recycling, I thought that I might as well do the other two vases as well and plonked them on the beautifully empty piece of work top that we cleared off yesterday.

That meant that I couldn’t have breakfast till I’d done the flowers and put the vases into soak because I’d used up all the spare room on the work top.

It was while I was walking past the dresser that I remembered that I had to sort out my cookery books and put them into the small book-case so that we could move the dresser tomorrow.

So I did it. It took ages. Is there a mathematical ratio regarding the number of cookery books to the amount of cooking that you do? I had a dead heat between Delia Smith and Keith Floyd.

And I was quite glad that I hadn’t had a shower first or my breakfast because it was rather dusty shifting all those books.

I ate breakfast eventually, and had a shower and got dressed into something more practical than my now very dusty nightshirt.

I have been beset by disruptions and distractions all day though.

I get up from the sofa intending to do something and get waylaid by something else that needs doing.  Some of the things have been a nuisance – forgetting where I put the bottle of water I just took out of the fridge (it was in the kitchen by the vases), others have been a blessing; texts from Hub, a lovely call from Bezzie Mate and from my Uni Boy.

On being told that Hub is getting a new kitchen door on his way home, UB asks if and when his room will get a new door, especially as BM stays in the room when he visits.  UB’s door has been assaulted by GB on several occasions, most notably the one where he re-enacted the scene from ‘The Shining’ – “Here’s Johnny!”. A door with knife holes in it does not give a good impression to one’s visitors.

GB doesn’t actually have a door on his room.  He demolished it some years ago and we said we would buy him a new one when he started to behave in a more responsible fashion.

He still has a curtain where the door should be.

At four o’clock today there was still no sign of GB so I tapped on his door jamb.

He told me that he should have been awake at a quarter to eleven  but didn’t hear his alarm.

I felt guilty – it’s a mother thing.

I accomplished nearly all the things I set out to do eventually and I have project managed the rest of the week – my flip charts are things of wonder.

GB revved off on his motorbike eventually.

Hub came home with the kitchen door and fetched takeaway because we didn’t want to get the clean worktop dirty again,

Lovely Friend and her Hub are coming to help us clear out the Krappy Kitchen tomorrow so there will be more motivation and energy flying about – GB excluding.

Onward and Upward!