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?