Monday. Don’t you just love Monday? Especially a dull, grey, moist December Monday in Islington with dull, grey, moist traffic thundering past on the main road. After the hedonism of the weekend, you wake up full of energy and get-up-and-go. Another week, so many possibilities! What excitement awaits?
Or you turn over and go back to sleep.
Well, actually, no, not today, because I knew the painters were coming. I didn’t know exactly when they would arrive but I did know it could be any time after 8 am. I managed to get everything done, including emptying the over-full rubbish bin and recycling bin. Then, at about 8:15, the doorbell rang.
I felt rather nervous about how much stuff we had left in the bedroom and showed it to the painters’ foreman apologetically. He was fine about it, almost ecstatic: “This is brilliant. People usually just leave the place as it is. This is great!” One more worry off my mind.
Tigger went off to work (on the late shift this week) and Freya and I retired to the now over-furnished front room. We spent the day in what resembled a very comfortable prison cell. I had to turn the heating down because the painters left the flat door and the house door open and this caused the thermostat, which is sited in our little hall, to go bonkers.
By the time the painters left for the day, they had stripped the walls and cleaned the ceiling. This lot – Lithuanians (I think) – work hard and unlike the previous pair of painters, know about dust covers and have covered our pile of property in the middle of the room. They have also cleaned up after themselves. They even politely asked if it was OK to leave their equipment in the room until tomorrow, whereas the other lot just left stuff lying around without bothering to ask. I of course said they could leave it as we are not able to use the room in any case.
I am relieved that this has been a relatively stress-free day of work. I am looking forward to the end of it and hope the rest goes as smoothly.
Around lunchtime, I heard a voice calling “Hello? Hello?” but didn’t take any notice as I assumed it was the painters calling one another. (There is another team working upstairs and there has been some coming and going during the day.) Suddenly a head appeared room the door of the front room, causing me to jump.
“That wardrobe out there,” said the head.
“Oh yes,” said I. “Not wanted. You may take it, if you wish.”
“Is there any more to follow?” enquired the head.
“Er, no,” said I. “That’s it for now.”
“Right,” replied the head and disappeared.
The owner of the head was no doubt hoping that other, tastier, items of household property would become available but I had to disappoint him. Only fair, as he disappointed me: I thought at first that he wanted the wardrobe but no, the damned thing is still there. I won’t give up hope just yet, though.
So now I am off for a breath of fresh air (or what passes for it in this fair city) and to collect Tigger from work. When Tigger works the later shift, we confront the rush hour and and crowded buses full of impatient passengers. But that’s all part of the rich pattern of life in the big city and it gives me a strange feeling of belonging.