Wednesday, 22 June 2016

How To Survive Workmen In The House


The house has been through an assortment of workmen this Spring. First, way back in April there was the new kitchen (despite a team of lovely fellas promising a four-day-fit it still isn't finished), then, there were new blinds (also hit by delays) and now, there is The Bath Man. I expect it will be Quite Some Time before I let any other work people come in. Possibly, this will be after I have completed a fairly extensive and lengthy course of therapy.

The Bath Man was meant to come two weeks ago, but owing to the sudden and unexpected need to replace what were, quite possibly, the world's mankiest taps (a realisation brought on by showing them to someone who isn't family and despite that couldn't quite hide his shock at the condition they were in) he has, instead, arrived this morning. 

He is here Now.

And he is singing.

While wearing headphones. 

Possibly, owing to the fact that the singing coincides with the wearing of headphones, he has never actually heard himself sing with his own ears. Let me tell you, it is an experience that, once subjected to, remains forever seared on the consciousness (and quite possibly the subconscious too. I am expecting it to pop up in dreams).

He attempts all the notes, especially the high ones which he falls off.

Poppy has been sitting at the foot of the stairs staring up in the direction of the bathroom uncertainly wagging her tail and cocking her head from side to side as if she's never heard a noise like it and is struggling to place it. Ted has given in to barking, which is more mellifluous on the ears than the singing.

L (who is home today revising for mocks) and I initially exchanged humourous expressions when the caterwauling first began. After half an hour of being relentlessly subjected to it (the man does't pause for breath I swear), the amusement had worn off to be replaced with a definite edge of grimness. After an hour they were distinctly pained and half an hour after that there was a definite hint of murderous intent about them.

A brief respite was had when it ceased altogether for about fifteen whole minutes. Foolishly I allowed myself the indulgence of thinking we'd get away with the next four hours in blissful silence. But oh no, not so fast: it started again and this time there are fewer words and more warbles. Warbles up and down the scales (or what would be scales in someone who could actually sing)

L, seeing my face taughten says: Don't worry mum, he'll have to wear a mask to do the bath.

I reply that I think I will probably be permanently deaf long before he comes close to actually doing the bath.

At the moment he is in the cladding the entire house with dustsheets phase, which alarms me because I thought it was just the bathroom he was doing, and also words like fumes and extractor out the window although it is a bit small which isn't ideal but it'll probably work don't worry have been spoken.

To exact a small revenge for being forced to endure the noise, I stood at the foot of the stairs and recorded it. I asked L whether it would be cruel to upload it so you could hear it too and offer informed sympathy (or have a good giggle). He tells me it would be, so I shall have to content myself with playing it for M when he gets back from work. I am also considering offering it to the security services, for use in persuading criminals to fess up. Believe me, White Noise has nothing on The Bath Man Singing.

In order to soothe my frazzled nerves, I am doing a spot of sewing (applique) while watching The Sewing Bee, which always inspires me. Last year I was not a sewer and was in awe of the easy, devil-may-care way they all chopped up and re-stitched bits of fabric and changed old things into brand spanking sparkly new ones. This year, with the improved credentials of a bona fide sewer, I find I am watching it through different eyes. It is no less inspiring, but instead of awe I cast a more critical eye and wonder whether I would have attempted the various projects differently. I can also appreciate the really good ones properly.

It is perhaps no coincidence that my applique for today (making a bag for daughter J who is now back from her first successful year at uni) spells out the word LOVE. I shall be thinking that for the duration of The Bath Man's visit, albeit it with grim determination and through gritted teeth. He should be finished by 2. Which seems a good deal further away than it actually is.

Hope all are well and peaceful?

CT :o)

40 comments:

  1. I was having my bathroom done, bloody hell, what a violation of privacy.

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  2. I know exactly what you're going through. We had our bathroom done last June. Our builder muttered away to himself and I was never sure if he was talking to me or not. He used very loud tools which were on, off, on off every few seconds. The dog had to go to the babysitter's or she'd be up helping him. And the dust! I shudder to recall it now. It certainly is a bit of a nightmare. Hopefully, your man won't be there too long.

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    1. Yikes! That sounds awful. No dust here, thank goodness :-)

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  3. He Must Be Stopped. I know you will think of something. Well done on the sewing. I made a new bag for a deckchair on Sunday. Am inordinately pleased with it. A lovely bit of light blue-grey fabric to replace ripped and tattered acrylic or some such ghastliness. Took a tad longer than anticipated though, so we ate rather late... CJ xx

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    1. He finished at four and left, still singing! The dogs and I went out for a run to celebrate but the house stinks of chemicals :-(. New deck chair fancy sounds lovely xx

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  4. I thought I was having a rough day earlier, but it picked up. It was nothing compared to yours though!! Hope that he - the plumber/builder - gets the job done very quickly and stops singing - or howling!!! I can just picture Teddy running off to hide and Poppy not being sure whether to go and join him or pounce and see if she can make it stop! The good news is that he turned up! Hope it gets better!!!

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    1. It's all done now, bath resurfaced sing good for ten years :-). Phew! X

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    2. That should read and, not sing. How ironic!

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  5. Get you with all your work an allure bringing them in off the streets willy nilly! The ying to getting the new bathroom yang is obviously this sing a long a max person! If you can't beat em, join em! Stick a bit of abba on n get warbling yourself!! I'm not feeling this year's Sewing Bee as much as normal. Think it's BC I'm so Darned Tired. I really like the blond lady who wears her own smocks. I don't like smug lady who needs a good dollop of conditioner on her hair. I do still like Patrick. Swoon

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    1. I think it's the promise of payment that's bringing them in, rather than my allure :-) Get some rest, woman and enjoy the Bee again xx

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  6. Hey CT,
    I have been subjected to Radio 2 for nearly two weeks. I'm reading this sat on a dust sheet in my (almost) finished living room. I hate Steve Wright in the afternoon.....
    Leanne xx

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    1. I'm with you on Steve Wright- it's even worse than Capital, which I am forced to listen to every morning on the school run :-) xx

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  7. Oh I read this in work today and I sniggered all afternoon. I have a singing postman who also sings out loud in a tuneless voice with his headphones firmly plugged in. I share your pain! xx

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    1. Dyou think they just don't realise how terrible they sound? I'm all for having a good sing song, but not for making other peoples ear bleed in the process :-) xx

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  8. it's not funny, not one bit...and yet, i find myself sniggering. :)

    glad it's all done. and so are you, i bet. xoxo

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    2. And he charged me 40 quid more than the quote, presumably for the pleasure of listening to him sing all day long :-( xx

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  9. This is without any doubt the funniest post I have read for a long time. Sorry about that because I am sure it is not at all funny for you who have to bear it. Have you thought of ear plugs?

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    1. I wish I had thought of ear plugs. Next time... :-)

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  10. I sympathise, having had builders around for most of last year and part of this. In my case it was the radio and a local radio station. But I didn't have the singing, fortunately - so I'm sorry to hear about that!
    I hope the sewing does the trick and is very calming.

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    1. Cripes, that's a marathon of builders :-). All is peaceful here today- only the birds singing :-)

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  11. I feel your pain. I resolutely have Radio 4 on whenever I have workmen in the house, some are even converted! How lovely to have a bath that is worth resurfacing and I didn't realise you were such a newbie sewer - thought you'd be doing it for years. I have to tell you that I rescued a toad today who had got himself twisted in my strawberry netting. I thought he was strangled but as I was carefully cutting the netting away he started wriggling and eventually crawled away. I do like my toads.

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    1. Even Terry Pratchett on audio wasn't enough to drown him out :-( the bath is an old cast iron one. Lovely, but costs a small fortune in maintenance. Wonderful about your toad. Ours are all being secretive this year and I haven't seen any toadlets yet either. I did rescue a honey bee who'd detached himself from the swarm and gone into the bath room yesterday. He meticulously cleaned all the spider web off his feet. Lovely things :-)

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  12. Well thik yourself fortunate. For weeks now I have had builders, that is with my house AND my next door neighbours. We are having all our outside plaster removed so for 2 solid weeks, (probby more) the drill things was working 8 hours a day and the noise was horredous. It was like being strapped to a dentist chair with his drill working in you mouth for days on end. Of coursse there is scaffolding ll round the house whhich make is very dark and DUST. Well say no more. We are at the last stage of the final rendering but I dod not her them today yet. They need to days now that has NO rain. I ask you, this is N. Ireland!! Anyhow I have to say the wether during all this time has been very kind to us. think we still have about 2 more weeks or so becasue the painter has his work to do adn the builder then has new down pipes and a LOT of cleaning up to do adn I hope it is ALL done before my daughter and family arrive from Malawi!

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    1. Lordy, that sounds like hard work. Hope it all gets finished in time.

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  13. I am still chuckling...Britain's Got NO talent in your house then!! I do hope your singing workman has now gone and L is able to get back to revising and M enjoyed the dulcet tones. I really think you should up load it to your blog...hee hee.
    I hope you are clear on the voting...it sounds like a complete muddle to me and no clear view of anything. Maybe you have more of an idea?
    Love
    xxx

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    1. I'll email it to you ;-). The run up to the vote has been a disgrace all round. We're heartily sick of the whole thing. Just back from voting and will be up early tomorrow for the results. Hope all's well with you all? Xx

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    2. You must be really sick of it. I am very interested in the result but am confused also. Most Australians aren't interested - they dont even understand their own voting which is coming up!!!!!! xx

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  14. Ps LOVE THE 'LOVE'...just LOVEly.....xx

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    1. Appliquéing onto linen was hard work so I've turned it into a zip bag for odds sync ends of fabric! Xx

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  15. Oh dear, it all sounds a bit of a nightmare but the thought of a nice soak in the bath at the end of it all, will hopefully get you through this singing phase. x

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    1. 24 hours to go before the bath is useable and I'll definitely be in there! X

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  16. Ewe yuck to builders! I could write a book my dear CT. I am supposed to be gearing myself up for another round of tradespeople to come in to our poor house. However every time I lift the phone to arrange something I feel the need to lay down in a darkened room...I do wish that more women would go into the trades because I am sure they would be a hell of a lot more reliable! Do hope you are well -I cant wait for the referendum results tonight! Nerve wracking!! xx

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    1. More women tradespeople is a great idea. We've just voted- how about you? Getting up early tomoz for the results. It is nerve-wracking but also I'm sick to death of all the talking by the politicians! Hope you're all well honey? Xx

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  17. Oh dear, I'm sorry for all of you suffering but it did make me laugh! I wonder how often he is invited back to carry out further work!! Sarah x

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  18. Eeep. I think I'd need headphones of my own.

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  19. You did make me chuckle over your workman - maybe he doesn't realize how loudly he's singing and would be mortified if he knew. R started doing our bathroom nearly 4 years ago and it still isn't finished; I think, at this point, I'd happily put up with some out of tune warbling just to get it done! Shame about your poor daughter having to suffer through it whilst revising. xx

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x