I had lunch around five o’clock, courtesy of Celia who has furnished me with keys to her flat and given me the run of the kitchen.
The fitters arrived twenty heartstopping minutes late; traffic. I asked Danny to text me if they are delayed again. My nerves won’t take this. Mother was an inveterate worrier, a champion worrier, a worrier of awe-inspiring breadth and depth. Had there been an Olympic sport in worrying she would have brought home gold time and time again. I don’t think I’m in her league, at least I sincerely hope I am not, but something of her dedicating worrying seems to have rubbed off, and comes to light at times like these.
So once the fitters, Danny and his brother Nico, had arrived, I turned my worrying energy in the direction of the floor tiles; would they arrive early enough for Danny and Nico to lay them today? had the driver got Danny’s number if I was out?
Then when those two worries were allayed, I went onto tomorrow’s delivery. Then I had to put that worry aside when Danny pointed out, a trifle sourly I thought, that there was only one bag of tile adhesive. I had ordered two. A phone call to the suppliers (Tile Giant in case you’re interested) resulted in them admitting the fault but saying they couldn’t get another bag to us before tomorrow.
I am so glad I decided to take these days off and loiter while the work is being done. I made a mercy dash to the branch on the Old Kent Road – yes that’s the cheapest property on the London version of Monopoly and in my ‘hood’ as chaps and chapesses say these days – and brought home the goods. Thank goodness I am not living in the west coast of Scotland. On the other hand, if I were, I should probably be living in a larger property where I could have stored everything and so had the tiles, adhesive and grout delivered some days in advance of the project.
Danny made my heart beat faster and my stomach rumble louder when he suggested a third bag might be needed. Fortunately it wasn’t. Tempted though I was to join Celia and Charlie for lunch at a more conventional hour, I thought I’d stick around while the tiles were laid. I’m glad I did. I was too late for one very light one to be laid in a prominent position, but managed to check some of the other, though not all, questionable arrangements.
By the time Nico had finished the light was going. We tried to turn on the kitchen light to see more clearly. Nada. Something has happened to the electrics, and most of my flat is powerless. I foresee an early night. This laptop was charged, but is running down; the ‘phone I need for the alarm in the morning; there’ll be no reading in bed tonight.
Fortunately Tony the Electrician is coming tomorrow, so normal service should be resumed in twenty-four hours. Ironically, I gave away a load of candles yesterday, and Octavia, Celia and I were discussing at the weekend how we never had those candlelit baths others seem to love so much. I say ironically, as a candlelit bath is very much on the cards tonight.
I am longing to see the floor in daylight. Without the cupboards, my kitchen looks so much bigger. If only I had Gilbert and George’s prediliction for eating out. But tonight, although I intended to eat in a local restaurant, my heart wasn’t in it, and I have ended up having a picnic in the sitting room, and drinking cider from the bottle.
Some of us are just meant to slum it.