Today was the last day before refurbishment begins. I woke up at 8 am and sprang from bed full of joi de vivre. That’s a lie, of course. I dragged myself to the kitchenette to make tea in the hope of reviving some enthusiasm. It worked. Well, more or less.
There were several tasks to perform. We needed to have breakfast, do the shopping, go to the launderette and finish clearing the back room. We set out with sprightly step in the direction of Chapel Market, dragging the shopping trolley with us. We suddenly realized that 1. it was Sunday, 2. the time was just before 9 am which meant that 3. nearly everything was closed. In particular, Sainsbury’s doesn’t open until 11 am.
We had breakfast in a cafe and went home again. As you can see, we’re not used to early starts. Still, we felt we ought to make use of the time and so we decided to do the laundry as the launderette would be open. We needed three machines but fortunately, the launderette was not busy and we finished the task, if not in record time, at least without any hitches.
Back home again, we left the laundry in the suitcase and shopping trolley, had a snack and then thought about the shopping. We decided that because of the forthcoming disruption we should not buy too much and therefore didn’t need the trolley. It could look after the laundry for a bit longer.
Off we went to Sainsbury’s and found it crowded. The loudspeaker was apologizing for the long queues at the checkouts. Yeah, I bet they were really really sorry about that. We usually go on Sunday morning when it is less busy.
Back home, we made tea and decided a little rest would be appropriate. “Wake me up at 4:30,” said Tigger.
Then it was time to confront the back room for the final showdown. There are now eight cardboard boxes stacked against the wall labelled “Keep”, “Rubbish”, “Oxfam”. We rolled up the carpet. There was no yellow dust. No, this dust was black. I plied the dustpan and brush while the vacuum cleaner smirked at me in the corner. And then, suddenly, it was all done. Finished. Incredible.
The back garden – or bramble patch, as I prefer to call it – contains at least 50 black plastic bin bags. Tomorrow, we will phone to ask the property management whether they can arrange for them to be collected, along with the items of unwanted furniture that accompany them.
I am amazed that we completed the task, especially in so short a time. But for the fact they turned off our heating, we could have put refurbishment back until next summer. That would have given us several months to do what we have done in 7 days. That would have been reasonable. On the other hand, we would probably have kept putting it off. The pressure to get it done has concentrated our minds and driven us through to completion.
The moment is euphoric. We have been making plans. The front room will become a sitting room cum study with two small settees, a coffee table and a bookcase. The computer will be in the corner by the window as now but we have plans for that too. We hope to have curtains – yes, curtains! – at the windows. (You don’t need to know what we have at present.) The back room will become the bedroom again and there will be proper hanging space for clothes. We may even splash some paint on the walls.
Will all this come to fruition? Well, you have to admit it is pretty radical. Watch this space, if you have the time and patience. In the meantime, we have to face refurbishment. How will it go? I have no idea. We stand on the brink of the unknown.