OUR house is filled with wrongly located furniture and the deafening rumble of Dave the floor man making a proper job of the floorboards we sanded six or seven years ago.
This is one of those ideas my wife has that I grumble about, only to share in the credit when everything works out.
The furniture has been piled into the conservatory or stacked in the spare room. I am in the study with an unplugged television at my back, as well as the chair my mother was given as a wedding present, two dining chairs, a pair of guitars plus amplifier and a propped picture or two.
In other words, only a little more cluttered than usual; and I am sitting here writing with my head only a little more cluttered than usual.
Dave is filling my day off with rumbling and grinding. A moment ago, I was making a coffee in the kitchen and sparks flew under the closed door.
The unconnected television is collateral damage from the sanding. Yesterday a man from Virgin fixed us a new TV box to replace the sclerotic old one from BT.
Only then did we realise we’d mistimed the floor and Virgin. The new box had barely been connected when it had to lose its umbilical link to the TV. We’re hoping it will all work again when hooked up in a day or two.
We’ve been in this house for seven years or so and it’s changed a fair bit, although don’t go mistaking me for someone with a fat wallet. Thanks to a poorly performing endowment mortgage and a couple of bank loans, people have been hired in for the heavy work and my wife has done 90% of the decorating – and that 10% from me is a remarkably generous self-estimation.
I feel guilty about my lack of skills with a paintbrush or indeed a spade. But, look, some people are made to tap away at laptops while others are good with a tin of paint and a garden fork. And Twitter doesn’t look after itself, you know.
In a puny attempt to defend myself, I would point out that this week I gardened on two consecutive days and didn’t throw in the trowel after 20 minutes, as has happened before.
Now it is time to go downstairs to top up the coffee cup, another of my important life skills. This entails leaving by the front door, walking down the side of the house and then coming through the kitchen door. The cat darts in, hears the roar of the sander, and darts out again.
As I leave with my skilfully topped-up coffee cup, she looks at me as if to say: “What’s going on, Julian?”
I shrug and say that she’ll have to ask my wife when she gets home.