The Sound Of Music

18 Jan

Apologies if I owe you a reply to an email; I have been incredibly busy all week and I have not had time to write, but I have not forgotten you.  I have been busy because my house is to be re-wired tomorrow; I may have mentioned it.  We will be without electricity all day so, as Captain von Trapp might say, ‘My fellow bloggers, I shall not see you again for a very long time.’  Forty-eight hours is a long time in the blogosphere – if I don’t post every day you will forget me and move on to a more reliable housewife.

It has been a long road getting here: a man called at my house before Christmas to survey it.  Despite the fact that he couldn’t move for decorations, huge trees, and the thirty-seven gifts I was wrapping when he called, he seemed to think a little shuffle around was all that was needed for the electricians to get on with their work.   I trusted him (it was Christmas and he was Scouse, after all), thinking the only problem might be the room my backside takes up: how do I solve a problem like my rear?  I did a little clearing and then forgot about it until the engineer called the Friday before our due date.

Not a nice man.  He walked around my house with a disapproving nose, peering into cupboards to see if we had storage space, and tut-tutting the whole time.  He even went up the loft ladders, which must have sixteen, going on seventeen steps, then pulled up short: ‘There’s no way we can do this on Monday.’   Granted, you could climb every mountain in Britain and not be qualified to find your way around the detritus of fourteen years that chokes my under-roof area, but it’s not that bad.  Though I did once get trapped in one gap for an hour before the Hub came to look for me, wanting his dinner; but that was a long time ago and he has blown up many balloons since then in an effort to keep me sweet.

I begged the engineer not to write us off until I had tried to get rid of some my favourite things, and he graciously gave me a few days.  I spent the whole of last weekend Freecycling, or Freegling, as it is now: the subsidiary Brit arm fell out with the Yank parent arm about its lack of understanding about how things work here, and declared its independence.  No recycling with that over-the-pond heckling! was the cry.  Whatever.  All I know is, people quickly collected three old vacuum cleaners, PC World’s entire back-catalogue of broken computers, and even a lonely stoat fur I found in the corner over the bath where the birds nest.  I was happy to say so long, farewell to it all. 

The engineer did not return, but the surveyor and the head electrician appeared on Tuesday.  They both seemed to think the job could be done tomorrow, but the loft was still a cause for concern because every card, drawing, sentimental tat  and hand-made gift ever given to us by the boys lay in boxes right over the area needed for access.  So it was back up in the loft for me and broken toys, broken appliances, old clothes, bedding and an idle vice went the way of their former housemates.  Why would anyone want such crap?  I really don’t understand it, I thought, as I lamented each departure.

Now the loft is as clear as it is ever going to be; the house is as uncluttered as the moment before the van with our furniture arrived fourteen years ago; and I have confidence that it will be a go tomorrow. 

Amazing!  I had just typed that last full stop when the electrician called, inspected and told me it is a go – what a nice man.  It was music to my ears.  I must have done something good.

Tomorrow will be as easy as do-re-mi: all I have to do is get up; make, eat and clean up after breakfast; shower & dress; put everything, including drawers full of clothes and tvs which are blocking access, on the beds, tables and chairs; prepare a flask of tea and sandwiches for lunch; and take out tomorrow’s already prepared dinner from the freezer…all by eight a.m., when ten burly men will arrive to rip my house apart and put it back together again in time for tea.

Here’s to a happy, dustsheet-covered day.  See you on Wednesday!


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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