I was dreading today but things went better than I expected. The problem was that several tasks were being performed at the same time, involving all rooms in the flat, leaving nowhere for us to be. I was seriously thinking of putting Freya in her carrying cage for the duration, much as I hated the idea.
As usual we were ready by 8 am but no one appeared. The doorbell finally rang at 8:45. First in was the man to see to the windows. I explained our predicament and he was sympathetic: he would attend to the window in the back room first and then we would be left in peace. It turned out not to be quite as simple as that but almost.
I placed Freya’s fruit-box bed beside me on the two-seater settee and stroked her to keep her calm. The noise and the coming and going made her nervous but she remained in the box even when I was called to the kitchen to be asked about the siting of a cupboard.
The window man proceeded to work on the window and this involved opening it. The temperature in the room soon become colder especially as the heating had been turned off. Freya was interested in the sounds and smells coming from outside but made no serious attempt to investigate. She soon got used to the noises the window man was making and settled down.
The window man went to deal with the front room window leaving ours open because he had applied some mastic that needed time to dry. His place was taken by a carpenter, come to box in the pipes leading from the boiler. All went well for a while and Freya didn’t seem to mind the smaller drills used to drill wood or insert screws but when he brought in the bigger drill to make holes in the wall, Freya nearly jumped out of her skin. Fortunately, I was ready for this but even so had a hard job holding her, getting scratched as she tried to free herself to run away. Only four holes were needed and the panic didn’t last long.
After a while, though, some more wall drilling was required. I took hold of Freya, expecting another struggle. In fact, she barely reacted. It must have been surprise at the sudden loud noise that frightened her the first time and perhaps my taking firm hold of her the second time prepared her for the shock.
The boxing-in completed, the window man returned and finished off his work. He demonstrated the window locks that he had fitted and swept up the debris.
At last, around 2 pm I realized the kitchen installers were on their way out. The kitchen was finished but for a sink. “The plumber is on his way,” they assured me. One long hour later, the plumber arrived and put in the sink. The kitchen was complete at last.
There is still a long way to go – probably two more weeks – but the installation of the kitchen somehow seems a significant point in the journey. We have already begun filling the cupboards and drawers.