Friday, March 09, 2007

It's official. I'm a bore.

There is no saving me; I have become a building bore. Traipsed up to the cottage this afternoon to meet the architect who is acting as the project manager. There was good news. According to the architect, we do not have dry rot, we have wet rot. Apparently, this is better. There was more good news, we can level the kitchen floor. This was a puzzler. The builder left us in little doubt that we needed a split level kitchen. It was a question of joists, ventilation, outside levels and steep steps. Technical stuff. Consequently, we had two different meetings with men from kitchen companies who measured walls and ticked boxes; men who went away to design a split level kitchen. These meetings involved head-shatteringly boring conversations about where to put the Aga and hinges. It turns out these meetings were a complete waste of time for them and us. We are back to plan A - the traditional kitchen on one level. Strangely enough, I wanted to understand for myself the reasons that suddenly all things were flat and possible. The architect explained it to me. Technical stuff - similar to the first conversation but different conclusion. No; not clear enough. Still could not get my head around why we could suddenly rip up boards, pour concrete and not have horribly steep steps to climb elsewhere. My husband had arrived earlier to talk this through. "Just leave it to us," the architect told me, inviting my husband into his very own boy's club of two. He could have added the word "pet" - that would have been worse.

I have let some comments slide by me here and I am not proud of it. Sometimes, if you are liberal and someone says something incredibly un-PC, it takes a minute for your brain to connect with your ears and go "Woh! Tell me he didn't just say that." The conversation moves on and being a namby-pamby liberal you think: "I'll just let it go." You cop out. Warning. Alert. Alert. I am not doing that any more. I am not a visitor. I live here. This time, my fluffy girly brain caught up that bit faster than it normally does. The amount of money we are spending may have helped speed up its Barbie pink and synaptic connections. I may have said I had no intention of "leaving it" to them. I may have used the word "chauvinist". I may have said half the money to do the work was mine and I wanted to understand exactly what was going on. I may not have smiled while I said these things. As an aside here, my husband was, throughout this exchange, admiring the dug-out floor. Assiduously.

I admit I may not have helped by own cause when I arrived and walked in to see half the floor up and piles of hard core heaped up everywhere. I did say: "Gosh, have you found coal?". But I know, our project manager did not hear the comment I made upstairs when I saw yet another wall has come down ( this time between the master bedroom and what will be the en-suite bathroom.) He definitely did not hear: "Golly, this is like shoes - the less you have, the more expensive it is."

Anyway, we got over it. I think he is talented and doing a very good job of overseeing the project. He rescued the space for us and says the wet rot is no big deal. Next time he gives us a bill, I will be interested to see whether my name is alongside my husband's.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now you are just being pretentious !

Just stop it. Why are you having an Aga ? Why not just have a fciking Rayburn ? What is wrong with the word 'pet' ? Why do you think the TV series was called 'Auf Wiedershen Pet' ?

You are losing our sympathy here, our kid...Now just grow up a bit...

Eurodog said...

Some years ago - maybe 20!!! -there was a TV series set in a redbrick university in the North of England and one of the professors/tutors/lecturers kept referring to herself as "a mere woman" and would use the phrase "speaking as a woman..." This has stuck in my mind ever since.

Debbie said...

Bridget? Bridget Darcy? It's fantastic to have you back! It's been a while. Three kids eh? And that high-powered husband of yours has sent you North to keep you out of trouble? Some hope. Can't wait to see how things pan out. Great stuff.
http://www.mopsa.blogspot.com/

debio said...

How can we women think we've come such a long way - yet gained so little ground?

At least where I live, the men, more honestly, don't pay lip-service to women.

I am too old to stand permanently on a soap-box but I, too, freak on occasions.

How come it is expected that we manage completely and joyously when they're away but are treated as incapable on their return?
www.landofsand-debio.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I did start to think of the Abba song 'Thank you for the music...' ...

aims said...

Have been mulling over your ceiling beams in the back of my brain while I do my own renos....
Here in Canada we have a product called Circa 1850. It's a liquid you paint on and it strips off whatever gunk is on the surface. You can get it in a thick solution for vertical projects - like your ceiling beams. I just used it to strip an old church banister which I will varnish...very easy to use...although I'm sure anyone who has to do it over their heads will think it is a 'huge' job.
I say - stand your ground!

Anonymous said...

aims - nah, don't bother with that stuff, or buying NitroMors, make your own with caustic soda and wallpaper paste ! Seriously dangerous, but hey, much cheaper if you aren't an 'elf and safety namby-pamby...

sunshine said...

Just thinking -- wouldn't "Dry Rot" be an apt name for a wry blog?

Local yokel said...

You must be seriously lacking in self esteem if you get so huffy about chauvinism. You really aren't endearing yourself. 'Strife in the North' is so much more amusing. She she has a sense of humour which you, as yet, have really failed to convey.

Anonymous said...

local yokel - I agree that 'Strife in the North' is 'rilly super', but we couldn't enjoy it half as much without Wifey's help. Let us not make her self-conscious - she would end up being a little bit too sensible and not ripe for parody - and where's the fun in that ? BTW, whereabouts do you live yokel ? You should get a blog of your own - I'm sure it would be fun to read, All the best, TTFN x

Paolo said...

My two cents - I am an architect in San Francisco (where we only have dry rot). It is always MY job - not yours - to make sure you completely understand the issues.

Never be afraid to ask continually until you understand the reasons for something. Your architect should resort to colored blocks and crayon diagrams if need be.

I'm not sure why I'm reading your blog - but I'm enjoying it.

Dorothy said...

I'm a secretary in South Carolina, USA, and I am avidly following your blog. You are right in your indignation with the treatment the architect and others give to you. Stand up for yourself and don't worry about coming across as a pain in the ass! If you do it with some humor (and mix in a bit of seriousness so they get the point) they should get the message.

Love your writing - you are immensely talented.

Nikki said...

Well, we all have to dress men down a bit from time to time don't we. Especially when they refuse to speak to us like we are perfectly reasonable and intellegent human beings - with boobs.