"You realise, of course" I say conversationally, as RHB lovingly applies the last coat of paint, "That we'll have to dismantle that bannister in order to get the couch into the front room".
RHB smiles beautifically. "No" she replies "You'll have to dismantle that bannister in order to get the couch into the front room". She turns up the volume on her i-Pod and returns to Radio Four's long-running soap "The Archers". I lift the dust curtain and, assisted by all the cats that are available, continue in my quest for the 'Little Leak that Did'.
In truth, the final stages of Phase Four of our renovations are upon us, but nevertheless we keep encountering the odd snag, mostly caused by the fact that although I revel in the title "West Hull's Leading Scenic carpenter and Joint Second Best Academic in the UK" , some of the skills necessary to finish the house have not been mastered by self. More accurately, most of the skills necessary to finish have never before been attempted by self, and given the learning curve necessary to achieve accomplishment in some skills, I gain new understandings into why our lawyer (See "The Adventures of Little Bunny Foo Foo" on this blog) was, as a relative newbie, self described as "practising".
In the current case, a radiator needs moving from here;
and replacing with the three shown here. This in fact represents the job completed.
The necessity for such removal is not limited to one of heat efficiency in terms of optimal placement of radiators, but includes that the previous owners of Large Mansions gave such little thought to Feng Sui, asthetics and good use of space that the first position of the radiator, if left as is, would always result in chairs, couches or sofas always being placed directly in front of the radiator, ensuring that the cats would always be warm, but benefitting no-one else.
As preparation for the move, I look up instructions on the internet, and see a carefully planned 4 step process that takes about a minute to read. It seems an easy job. All that is needed is the correct fittings, a basic knowledge of plumbing and no cats. The job is also, in miniature, a perfect representation of the Butterfly Effect in that until the radiators move, there can be no floor laid down. Until the floor is laid down there can be no kitchen completion as the sofas that will inhabit the front room currently infest the kitchen. Until the kitchen is finished several boxes cannot be unpacked, and until these are unpacked, the Canadians due soon (fleeing the Harpoon tyranny) will have no-where to sleep, because their bedroom is where the boxes are.
After a day's work, the job is done and I proudly show my work to our chief designer, the Red Haired Boffin. She has one minor quibble:
"Why are the pipes visible? That looks crap"
This is not quite the response I was anticipating so I point out that the "window seat" will cover the pipes. These pipes I have laid above the floor, mostly it has to be admitted, because I'm tired of taking flooring up. RHB nods thoughtfully:
"Well the window seat would cover the pipes, I agree" she says encouragingly, "but there is not going to be a window seat in here. Remember?"
"Oh......" I say.
"............Yeah........." I say.
"Well, er........ahem.........yeah.........erm" I say.
RHB is conciliatory, which in itself shocks me to the point of fear, "Let's have a think about it over dinner".
There is no need. She is right. There will be no window seat. There is no space. We did previoulsy discuss this. The plastic pipes running along the floor look crap. The job's a bad'un.
Two days later, and the job is re-completed. The room is nearly ready for paint. RHB has departed for work, reminding me of my promise never to paint again, a promise I have no intention of keeping. The newly plastered, re-plastered, filled, sanded, re-plastered, re-filled, sanded, vacuumed, re-filled walls beckon invitingly. Despite my complete lack of success in two of the finishing skills (see this post and "The Calumny of Plastering" an earlier post) I fully intend to paint. It is likely that at some point in the near future, a new post will appear on these pages "Spatter Marks: Design or Perspective? A Post-structuralist guide to painting".
Next step, the hallway.............................
1. In other news, it is not all work for us. We have been going out to dinner. Actually we went out once last month to the home of my friend JJ. Imminent Canadians and house warmers (who at the current rate of knots will be co-incidental) will be glad to meet, or remember for those who visited at New Year, Georgia, Sarah, Jerry, RHB, and JJ. The reason for all the attention being paid to events stage left, is the inaugaration of JJ and Georgia's new wood burning stove. To some, this may be less exciting than being attacked in the woods by a bear, or the machinations of protracted lawsuit, but it was, as always with these guys, a fun evening.
2. I have applied for a Free Elective module next year that involves doing some work in prisons, which I am very excited about.
3. Exams for me are endish of May, so once again, small delays may occur in regular updates.
4. I beat Alf comprehensively in last week's bike race. In your face, old timer!!!!!!!!!!!!