Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Bright Lights, Chuffing Trains, Busy Men And Clean Windows!

Hmm, where to begin ...

Well contrary to my predictions; the cat is just fine with her new and much busier surroundings, therefore this 'delicate - don't make me go out and get my paws wet' act she puts on is just another of her whims.

First night back ... Went to bed at pretty much my normal time [not the same day I got up], read my book for a while, switched my lamp off 'oh bugger, the grumpy old man has left his lamp on ... ' WRONG! Oh heck, I'm venturing into Victor Meldrew territory here; the episode where the lamp-post is knocked through their bedroom window. Oh boy, was it bright, I'm used to the cosy orange glow of one of our street's only three lights filtering through my curtains, but this was something else. Up I bounded out of bed - look, this is my diary, if I want to exaggerate the speed I do things, then I will - opened the curtain a crack ... the brightest, whitest security light I've ever seen was stuck up on the workmen's temporary buildings.

I have to admit at this point that it didn't keep me awake, as soon as my head hit the pillow again I was fast asleep. In fact it was the best night's sleep I'd had here in years.

7.30am ... Heanor Haulage lorry honking to be let in ... and how did I know it was a HH lorry? because by this time our curtains were open and I was watching trains FROM MY BED!! I didn't realise how many passed through Langley Mill early in the morning [my early]. Now I know I've said somewhere in my blog that we don't hear the trains because our brains filter them out, but the volume has been turned up a few notches with our buffer buildings having gone. My neighbour has assured me that I'll be adjusted in a matter of days just as she was. Ah, but I sleep with the window open, only shutting it now when the workmen arrive, hmm, but then I always did sleep with the window open so the volume increase will be the same [don't worry, this is me cogitating - if you listen hard you'll be able to hear the cogs as I change gear].

8.30am ... Up and raring to go! There was a surprising lack of dust in the living room but a generous coating everywhere else so I tackled that first.

8.50am ... Although I've dusted I can't get rid of the smell of damp dust, I wondered if the roof was still intact and rain had got in - I sent the GOM up the loft to investigate. The roof was ok but my previously cleanish loft space was covered in gritty dust which means the [now] twelve boxes of Christmas decorations will need fettling before they're allowed through the hatch into my freshly painted and carpeted bathroom. If the smell persists then the chimney may have to be checked for soot.

9.15am ... I think I'll clean the windows seeing as they've been done outside [courtesy of Asda] and I've got a 'view', meanwhile the GOM is doing important man-stuff ... writing his bets out.

'Oi, where's your window cleaning equipment?'
Off he trots, rummages around for a few seconds then presents me with his chamois leather and gets back to his 'osses ... 'Hmm, you're on your own here,' methinks.

9.20am ... I took the nets down and got on with the job in hand, deciding not to put them back up while we're relatively private being a temporary dead end pedestrian-wise. I was dimly aware that the step-ladder had been shoved up close and personal to my rear quarters while I was balancing precariously on a windowsill.

9.35am ... One window cleaned. Time for breakfast.

10.10am ... 'I'll just go and put me bets on and I'll fix the toilet when I get back.' ... We've got a button to press that flushes the toilet, but the pin holding the chain had snapped. Did you know there was a chain involved? No, me neither, but you live and learn. 'Don't do any more washing because I'll turn the water off to fix it.' Oh I say, he's getting a bit above his station. I decided to extend my break while he's gone ... he'll never know.

10.35am ... Himself is back, I rush - yeah, yeah - to the dining room window and start splashing water about and rubbing vigorously. Hmm, he's accurately weighed up the situation, re lack of cleaned windows. He's taking a deep breath to make some comment. I get in first ... just to throw him off balance - ladies, this nearly always works.

'It's time you cleaned the outside more often, I have it on good authority that you were always getting your ladders out and perching on top of them in your blue Aristoc overalls to clean the windows.'

... 'Yeah ok, I'm turning the water off now.'

10.38am ... 'JULIE ... I'VE DROPPED THE CHAIN.' - Oh ar*e! Upstairs I went, he'd never get it back, I had to hook it with the teeth of a comb in the first place as it's a tidgy corner cistern. Got it out, glared at him when he told me that he could have made a hook to reach it.

10.45am ... Down he comes, all fluffed up and beaming because he's fixed the loo and turns the water back on. 'I think I'll put me dart board up', he announced [had it for his birthday].

10.55am ... All is quiet, he must be concentrating hard, I change my soapy, vinegary water and move on to another window.

10.58am ... 'JULIE! ... Is this level?' ... Oh bugger, here we go again 'No, it's not.' ... 'Well hold this while I fetch me spirit level.' Now me, being a woman with a scientifically proven smaller brain would have had the spirit level with me, but hey ho, fixing things is man-stuff. I stand there holding the dartboard with one hand and chamois leather with the other, wondering how long this obviously important task was going to take.

11.03am ... Patience wearing thin, this effin dartboard will be through the [clean] window and onto HH's demolished bit any second now. Back he comes, plonks the level on top of the board [it's in a cabinet] and tells me to ... 'stand over there and see if I agree with his level'. He'll get whacked with a wet leather on the back of his head in a minute!

11.04am ... Yes, me and his spirit level agree. 'Hold it that side then, I'll hold this side' [he talks a marvellous job] ... 'Now where's me screwdriver?' all the while rummaging through his pockets with one hand ... 'Oh, I've left it over there.' I'm calm and serene, I mean, I've got nothing better to do, lets stand here and hold the bloody dartboard up, which in my opinion should be an inch higher anyway ...'You can go now' he tells me, 'I can manage it myself'

11.05am ... 'JULIE! ... I've dropped me screw.' I'm in a calm place, this isn't going to bother me, I arrive at his side, bend down and pick up the offending screw, return to our bedroom window which has been wet many, many times now - but not to the point of being cleaned ...Thud. 'JULIE! ... I've dropped me screwdriver'...

Can anyone tell me why it is that a man's job requires assistance on tap and is far more important than anything a woman can possibly be doing?

His next suggestion? ... Strip darts - doesn't 'bare' thinking about, does it? ... So far I've lost both shoes and a sock, he's just lost his shoes. We'll be ready for bed by midnight at this rate ...

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Be nice, I'm very sensitive.