Ah yes, the bliss of returning from a week in Magaluf (no laughing) knowing that back at home, the house you moved into less than a month ago is in the safe, guiding hands of your trusted ‘project manager’, responsible for overseeing all the decrepit property’s improvements, viz: replacement double glazing, rerouting of old plumbing system and new boiler, opening up previously boarded-over kitchen door and finally ripping out the old kitchen and replacing it with a spanking new one,
A bit like that old Changing Rooms programme, I hear you thinking. Yeah, we thought that too.
In my mind I had all kinds of joyful welcomes awaiting mself and my 12 year old girl when we returned relaxed and tanned from our exotic holiday away (I said no laughing) and to be fair, because we arrived in the wee smalls, we couldn’t really make out the extent of the renovations because we were too exhausted to turn very many lights on and take a little tour of our new and improved home.
So, and because it was a little chilly thereabouts, especially after the heat of the tropical retreat we’d just flown in from, I flicked on the new heating system, made us both a hot chocolate and we crawled into my big bed together to keep warm and recover. Ant and Dec* (our cats) were probably around somewhere, curled up nice and warm in a corner or something and we’d make a nice big fuss of them once we’d all had a good night’s sleep.
So when we finally got up the next morning and walked into the kitchen to find… well, the ceiling ON the new cooker and the new floor, I thought I might have still been dreaming. I certainly didn’t remember that on the plans I’d gone over with the builder – perhaps a new twist on kitchen design that had gone over (literally, if I’d been standing there at the time) my head?
I’m all for cutting a long story short. I’ll also cut out all the tears and tantrums and screaming and panting and phone calls and more tears and tantrums (me, mainly) and get to the crux of the issue here. But I never know where to start with this particular (what is now a humorous) anecdote.
Do I begin with Dec cat having gone missing during the renovations, or do I begin with me having flicked the heating on the night we got in? So it turns out that whilst my brother had been round one night to feed Ant & Dec, he realised he hadn’t seen the latter for a while, and so asked the PM (no, not Tony Blair – the country’s leader at the time). In a moment of hush, they thought they could hear the cat wailing, and beliving it to be coming from beneath the floorboards – which had been removed in parts for the new plumbing system – took the boards up which they thought he might be under; had a good look, decided he wasn’t there and so nailed the boards back down….. unknowingly puncturing a pipe in the process.
So when I’d turned the heating on the night before, a nice slow seepage of warm water made very sure that when we got up in the morning, the ceiling of the kitchen was not in the place it had been when we’d first arrived.
But this was not the end of the story. Dec was still missing, although quite vocal (he loved his food and probably missed it). The workers returned, lifted more floorboards, repaired the pipe, repaired the ceiling, left gaping holes in the floors where the cat might alight should itrealise we’d left bowls of food out in order to encourage it out from its hiding place, and we waited.
Eventually the cat crept back out; ignored us completely and went straight for his food – as any good cat should, but phew – he was back.
This is also not the end of the story, but there’ll be other images of what else happened in that stepping-stone of a house, I’m sure. Watch this space as they say. 😉